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The HUSBANDRY Category

There are many reasons to get involved in husbandry and no, it’s not just for husbands! Husbandry is the care, cultivation and breeding of crops and animals. (Oxford Languages). It’s important because we are noticing a decline in the health of the planet and its’ habitants. Our food is not as nutritious as it used to be causing more physical and mental disease. Due to changes in food production over the last 50-70 years, our produce is showing a steady decline in vitamins and minerals. Livestock are raised in unhealthy conditions, fed unnatural food and injected with unnecessary hormones, among other things. Most of this stems from commercial farming and the goal to produce quantity over quality. There’s what Mark Hyman MD describes as “the dirty politics of big food.” This idea is a trillion-dollar monopoly between big food, seed, fertilizer, and big agriculture companies where money is put before the greater good. We also have digressed from eating the whole animal – also known as nose to tail - and have transitioned to muscle meat only, thus giving us an improper balance of nourishment and wasting the lives of so many furry friends. Likewise, we have had to manufacture many supplements to make up for this change. Oftentimes these manufactured supplements are not fully absorbed by the gut and have planet impacts of their own. 


We hear a lot about the methane from cows causing environmental damage. What we don’t hear is that how they are raised can make all the difference. Like dietician Diana Rodgers says in her book Sacred Cow, “It’s the HOW not the COW.” When cows are free to roam the land in their natural setting, their manure becomes fertilizer. Soil is a living ecosystem filled with microbes, bacteria, microscopic insects, fungi and so much more. Animal urine and manure are a valuable component. Through microscopy, scientists have recently discovered this invisible yet complex system is key to life on earth. Scientists have found that factory farming methods are very damaging to soil. Keeping animals in one place does not allow the system time to rest and rebuild. Modern machinery, pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modification all disturb the properties within the ground. This is why our soil has been diminishing in nutrients for quite some time. The plants growing from it and the consumer are receiving less nutrients as a result. We have talked about this negative cycle in previous blog posts. See our recent entry on fashion and beauty as an example. The answer lies in regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is achieved through measures like: no/minimal soil tillage; compost and manure usage; companion planting and timing; open grazing; restoration of microbiome; and diversification of cover crops and pollinator habitats. You might say a different type of quantity promotes quality.


Did you know the more crops travel, the more they are depleted in nutrients? Buying local produce is so important, especially with the soil issues happening so that our food holds what value it still has. Additionally, our produce is loaded with harmful chemicals. Recent research suggests that harmful chemicals can be found in 90% of urine in our society. Farm animals are being fed straight grain when they were intended to eat a balanced diet including grasses, fruits, vegetables, bugs, reptiles, rodents etc. Forcing large amounts of a breed into a compact area with their own feces creates more viruses and parasites. We then try to “fix” the problem with toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and extreme pasteurization measures. When an animal is in a tense situation like being loaded up on a trailer, fight or flight hormones begin pumping through their systems. It takes time for the hormones to work their way out of the system again. When an animal is slaughtered and butchered in this stressed state, the consumer ingests these hormones. The healthiest way for us and them is for the animal to be put to rest while happily grazing the land in the same place they’ve lived for quite some time. Thus, they are calm and in a good state of happiness and healthfulness. Within both the crop and animal agricultural industries, it is just not as lucrative for them to take a step backward in technology. Since we are what we eat, it’s time to take matters into our own hands. We need to steward the land like our ancestors did for the right reason, if we can’t, we need to try our hardest to buy from those who do. 


Physical work from farming and gardening is intense and probably seems like an insane waste of effort. Now that we’ve been discussing the importance of it, let’s talk about other benefits. It's not uncommon for some to spend hours in the gym, followed by a session in the sauna, cold plunge, or tanning bed, and then consume a handful of expensive supplements. However, ask someone to lug a bag of compost up a hill in any sort of uncomfortable weather, and they’ll look at you with confusion. Our bodies were built to move throughout the day and not just during a fitness session. We are made to be exposed to different temperatures promoting healthy nervous system function, detoxification, circulation, anti-inflammatory defense etc. Obviously, we know this given the vast amount of cryotherapy and spa facilities in our society. We wear a badge of honor for sitting still and uncomfortable for a few minutes. Sunlight exposure is imperative for good health. Have you ever wondered why the rate of skin cancer rose when sunscreen was invented? There are multiple reasons but it should make us think about how our ancestors lived without it. Their food was much more nourishing and protected them internally from the sun. They also weren’t sitting under artificial lighting 24/7 only to go to the beach or pool in the hottest, most damaging part of the day. They weren’t wearing sunglasses that have been shown to block the eyes’ ability to sense how much melanin is needed. Melanin is the hormone responsible for the tan we build and it protects us from burning. It’s ironic that our supplement protocols often include vitamin D and melatonin (a sleeping hormone, not to be confused with melanin) – both of which can be obtained through natural light. Melatonin is a sleep hormone released when the body recognizes a change in light. That’s why watching the sun rise and set is so good for our sleep/wake cycle – referred to as circadian rhythm. This same hormone is often recommended for fighting covid as it boosts the immune system. Long story short - our bodies take on many benefits from working outside.

There are many ways we can practice inclusion within the husbandry category. Not everyone has access to land and the time to care for it. However, we can take small steps like purchasing food that has been grown and raised properly and knowing what buzzwords on food packaging are truthful and impactful at the grocery store. Know what local farms, community gardens and farmers markets are closest to you. If your access is limited, it may be worth looking into a shipment of quality sourced food. There are also co-ops where people swap goods. You might be able to grow an abundance of herbs on your porch while someone else is stockpiling citrus, and another may be responsible for driving further away to pick up a specific item for the whole community that is hard to source, such as fresh fish from the harbor. Through community, education and effort, we can make strides toward creating better health and a better world for us all. 

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