Beginning in Winter 2006, Teal Farm established a grazing partnership with Maple Wind Farm (producers of organic grass-fed meats and eggs). Animals will be managed to improve the quality of grassland forage and to develop the carbon-sequestering capacity of topsoil using rotational grazing, and possibly, keyline plowing. Keyline plowing is a kind of subsoil plowing that allows oxygen, nutrients, microbes, and perennial roots to penetrate deeper into the soil profile, possibly enabling more rapid topsoil formation.
Founder’s Note on Animals and Nutrient Density:
The issue of animals is an interesting one, and my own perspective on their role in an ecological food system has shifted this past year as I learned more about their importance--or lack thereof--in establishing OPTIMAL human health. Information is often difficult to sort out in the face of cherished beliefs and time-honored traditions.
Recently, I learned of a medical doctor named Joel Fuhrman who bases his entire practice on the pursuit of optimum health and longevity using the best research available. His approach is deceptivly simple: eat predominantly whole foods containing the highest amounts of micro-nutrients per calorie (micro-nutrients are: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, bioflavonoids, etc. Green vegetables rank the highest).
Focusing on nutrient quality instead of caloric quantity is the one of the organizing principles of the Teal Farm food system. Consequently, such a human health perspective suggests that animal products (which are high in calories but low in micro-nutrients) comprise no more than 10% of total caloric intake, with 90% coming from high-nutrient sources. Weighing this information (reluctantly, at times) implies shifting my own thinking from what I used to believe about the role of animals in an ideal food system.
Selecting foods for optimum health presents other advantages. It helps identify the best foods to grow to address food scarcity, malnutrition, obesity, and chronic illness. Imagining the possibility of freeing our nation from the runaway financial burdens of poor health, from the loss of mental acuity, and affording the chance to develop our human capabilities to their highest, excites me personally as Teal Farm attempts to discover, research, and pursue an ultimate food system for the future.
But imagining the ideal leads to revolutionary change.
Such change is easier when looking through the lens of nutrient density; one has
to just follow the logic where it leads. There is a generous body of knowledge
assembled by Joel Fuhrman, MD. on the various health and longevity benefits (as
well as the staggering economic advantages of avoiding costly medical care)
which is accessibly presented and scientifically grounded. I highly recommend
his website, and books such
as Eat to Live and Disease Proof Your Child for those interested
in learning more about the relationship between micro-nutrient density and