My husband and I chose to move our family back to Vermont and grow the best foods that we can on our small farm. Our goal is to be a diversified farm of primarily heritage livestock as well as fruits and vegetables. We employ permaculture, biodynamic and organic practices but do not feel the need to pay for any of these certifications as the paperwork alone would put us out of business.
Our current food culture is such that we felt we needed to insulate our family from it. The root lies in trying to heal our bodies from different illnesses in our mid twenties. Chronic fatigue, extra weight, adrenal fatigue, pre diabetic symptoms, chronic hives... the list went on and on. It was a last ditch effort to heal our bodies, and in that effort, food became the root. The journey has come full circle at this point and we are back eating meats, stopping off at vegetarian, vegan and raw vegan on the way. We like a lot of the Weston A. Price Foundation principals and followed the GAPS diet and SCD diet for a spell as well. None of these diets worked in their entirety for us. We had to listen to our individual bodies and our toddler son (who taught us more then you can even imagine). The result was a modified paleo diet which is working beautifully for our family.
For our self assurance that the animals we do choose to consume are getting the best life possible, we work closely with farmers or raise our own. In that process we have spoke to many different feed companies in an attempt to find the right feed for our critters as well as diligently avoid GMO's. Did you know that the organic certification does not require the testing of its products for GMO contamination? For a resource on this visit the Non-GMO Project's Certification FAQ and reference the second question. We could have gone the route of Sally Fallon and do no corn or soy in our feed (which means you are making it for yourself for the most part) or find a feed company that has the same values as our own. We were fortunate enough to find a feed company that is now Non-GMO Project Certified (with some, not yet all, of their feeds) as well as doing all their own in house 800 sample testing.
Raising our critters was a step in the right direction, but our son was still having behavioral issues similar to ADHD and sleep issues resulting in a lack of sleep for everyone. He was also chronically constipated and at his worst had eczema and the RROD (I'll leave that to your deductive reasoning). So onward and upward. But there was and always is so much more to learn and wade through.
The End of Life as We Knew It
There was something in our son's pristine diet (and it was pristine at this point while on the GAPS and SCD diets) that was still bothering him. And Mommy had noticed something was bothering her too. We racked our brains trying to figure it out and then came across something that changed our worlds. Homeopathy. The ability to use the memory of a herb or mineral in a sucrose pellet to heal. We had been using those pellets for allergies with great luck (and that's what we thought it was) for several years but the idea behind them had never really hit home. We had soy free eggs and our lives started shifting. You read that right, soy free eggs ... and our lives started shifting. The chickens that laid said eggs got soy free GMO free grains to supplement their pasture (really it's pasture to supplement their grains, but you get my drift). No ADHD symptoms...how is that possible? The only difference is the eggs (that we eat TONS of). Hmm... I wonder....
So off we went to explore. Mommy had never done well with beef buy grass fed/finished beef resulted in a happy Mommy and son. Daddy even noticed a difference. Venison...same thing. OKAY! Mommy is passing on allergens in her milk to our son. We had conventionally raised chicken and turkey and were at each others throats... anger was a symptom.