Saturday afternoon I attended Joel’s second seminar, “Folk’s This Ain’t Normal.” It was raining that afternoon so I decided to head over to the tent 45 minutes early…that was a God thing as I managed to get one of the few seats left. The place was packed and many people stood out in the rain just to hear Joel speak.
Joel began his session by talking about our culture. He used the analogy of a video game where lost lives, cars or spaceships can be replaced in 10 seconds and the game starts over. He explained that we need to teach our children about real life…that “stuff” lives or dies based on their participation; that we can’t extricate ourselves from nature.
Joel talked about the “modern” process of growing grain and the rising population of people who have gluten intolerance. He explained how the older, slower process of “shocking” the grain allowed a cycle of heat and cold, wet and dry which produced a slow fermentation in the grain that killed the toxins in the gluten. Our new modern, speedy equipment does not allow for that natural process to take place which is causing the problem we see now.
Joel spoke about how the family farm worked in harmony with nature. The cattle ate grass, pigs were the “recyclers” of dairy waste and chickens were used to “process” kitchen scraps into meat and eggs.
Joel says, this ain’t normal: 1) We are the first culture to eat food that you cannot pronounce or produce in your kitchen 2) We are the first culture whose government tells us what to eat. 3) If it won’t rot-it’s not worth eating. (he cited a study where they attempted to break down processed food using vermaculture and even the worms wouldn’t eat that food.)
What is Normal? Joel says: 1) Get back in the kitchen. He stressed that he wasn’t talking “barefoot and pregnant”, but that we get back to basics and use KNOWN, NAMED abundance. 2) Buy raw-process, package and preserve. 3) Look around and ask yourself, what can I do to extend my season?
Joel is an inspiration to many of us who are choosing to eat what we produce and eschew the processed junk that our government deems as safe and healthy.