Category Archives: Notes from the farm

Low Food Prices, High Medical Costs

From Mercola.com

Never mind the fact that Americans have the lowest health rating in the developed world thanks to this industrial, processed diet, and the fact that we have the most expensive health care system in the world, even though it ranks 37th in terms of quality.

Cheap food is no bargain when it makes you and your children chronically ill. Nearly 38 percent of American adults and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese, and this alone costs the U.S. health care system up to $210 billion each year.

That could pay for a lot of organic veggies, yet using Vilsack’s reasoning, you should be happy that cheap food affords you to pay for your ill health.

Cheap food is no bargain when it leads to the permanent “vacation” that is premature death either, at least not for the surviving family members who have to bear the loss of a loved one.

Remarkably, while the global maternal mortality rate has improved, falling by more than one-third in the past 15 years, the U.S. is one of the few countries that buck that auspicious trend. Since 1990, the maternal death rate in the U.S. has actually RISEN by more than 50 percent, according to the latest statistics.

Impact your local economy – buy direct from your local farmer

From Modernfarmer.com July 2016

There are many reasons to buy directly from farmers (at farmers markets or through CSAs)—higher quality produce, faster delivery times, supporting small farmers—but one that isn’t too well-understood is this exchange’s impact on the local economy.

A new study from UC Davis took a look at the way buying directly from farmers affects the economy in the Sacramento, California, area—which is only 4 percent of Sacramento’s total agricultural business. It’s a complicated question, but the conclusion is decisive: Buying directly from farmers has a disproportionately large impact on the local economy.At its core, the study found that a dollar spent buying directly from a farmer has about twice the impact on the local economy as spending a dollar on food that goes through a middleman—a supermarket, for example. There are all kinds of reasons for that: Farmers who sell directly to consumers tend to buy more supplies locally, which can benefit seed and equipment sellers in the area; and they also tend to hire more local labor, which in turn benefits in the community.The researchers also played around with a hypothetical: What would happen if grocery stores in the Sacramento area switched their purchasing habits a little, buying more from farmers who also sell directly to consumers and less from those who only wholesale? Grocery stores in Sacramento currently buy about $4.6 million worth of product from these direct-selling farmers; what if that was shifted to, say, $5.6 million? The study found that that kind of shift would infuse a whopping $1.3 million into the local economy and create about 22 jobs.We didn’t really need another reason to favor direct-selling farmers, but hey, we won’t turn down a chance to help the local economy, either.

If you live in Coastal San Diego County, Seabreeze is your local farm.

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and we’ll include a free CSA cookbook with your first delivery.

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Luncheon at Seabreeze

On a cool October afternoon, this group of lovely friends enjoyed a beautiful lunch on the farm:

adobe_oven         upper_table plating_lunch2 plating_lunch lunch_table2 Prep dessert lunch_table lower_lunch_Table

Contact us if you’d like information on having your event hosted at Seabreeze

Real Food or Fake Food

From Businessinsider.com

You walk through the automatic glass doors and into the grocery store and grab a roller basket.

On your list, the usual: milk, olive oil, coffee, tea, orange juice, veggies (organic), and maybe some fish — you’re trying to be healthier, after all.

As you walk the aisles, you spot a few additional items. You pick up some honey for your tea, and some maple syrup for a weekend breakfast. You realize you’re running low on spices so you grab some paprika and a shaker tin of black pepper.

These seem like simple, basic, everyday items — staples of a quality diet. The weird thing though? Some of them may not contain exactly what you think they do.

These essential staples represent many of the leading categories for fraudulent or counterfeit food.

In fact, it’s estimated by the industry group Grocery Manufacturers of America that up to 10% of food products contain an adulterated or fraudulent ingredients — something that’s not what people think they are buying.

For products like tea, that may include random leaves or colored sawdust. For honey, it may be high fructose corn syrup. And for fish, where a long supply chain and sources from all over the world offer a number of places where a different product may be substituted for a desired one, all kinds of substitutions happen.

“Ten percent of commercially available food is adulterated, but for some of these fish it’s 19 out of 20 times,” says Larry Olmsted, author of the new book “Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do about It.”

Olmsted tells us that some of the stats on how big the “fake food” issue is are “mind-boggling.”

Economically, the extent of the fraud is massive. Depending on how you measure it, the financial impact of this deception is huge — ranging from around $10-$15 billion all the way up to $50 billion.

These illegal substitutions can be dangerous too. In some cases, mislabeled fish actually comes from banned species that are inherently toxic or that have dangerously high levels of mercury.

However, as Olmsted points out, you don’t want to be scared of food. People may try to pass off fraudulent products as real, but don’t give up: It’s worth trying to find the actual (delicious) thing you are looking for instead of a bland and potentially risky substitute.

And in many cases, he explains, one simple tip can help people avoid the adulterated substances.

“The biggest sort of overarching tip is just try to buy the food as close as you can to the whole form — as in intact — as you can,” he tells Tech Insider.

Ground and instant coffee are much more likely to contain leaves, twigs, or cereals than whole bean coffee. If you buy a whole lobster, you know what you’re getting — a cheap lobster roll or lobster ravioli are far less likely to be what you think. Instead of juices, consider just buying fruit. It’s healthier and more likely to be what you want. In 2013, certain samples of “beef” sold in Europe were found to be 80%-100% horse meat — but the horse was ending up in pre-made “beef” lasagnas, not in much more easily identifiable steaks.

At restaurants, Olmsted says simple questions can make a difference. The people working there should know where their fish comes from. Truffle fries are a bad sign, since real truffle oil is so expensive that there’s no way it’s ending up on the majority of diced potatoes with that claim.

But in the end, Olmsted says that the point is that real foods are so good they’re worth seeking out — whether you get them at the grocery store or at a restaurant that you trust.

Just be wary of the premade, mass-produced, or pre-ground stuff where there have been multiple opportunities for some unexpected ingredients to slip into the supply.

“The less recognizable the food is to the eye, the more likely it is to be adulterated,” he says.

Read the original article on Tech Insider. Follow Tech Insider on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2016.

Be assured that with your Seabreeze Organic Farm deliveries, you will receive only real, nutritious FOOD.  Our shareholders are encouraged to make an appointment with Stephenie to come by and tour the farm to see where your food is being grown.  

We all enjoy the benefits of eating our real foods, and we want to invite you to do the same.

When you sign up for deliveries, mention this post in the delivery comments section, and we’ll give you a $10 Green Store credit.

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Or send us an email with your questions, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we get a chance:

Know your farmer, know your food

From thegrownetwork.com

…If you are buying directly from beyond organic, biointensive, biodynamic, permaculture, or other farm systems that are focused on soil health and biodiversity, and you eat your food soon after purchasing it, your food is also likely to have higher nutritional content than food from the grocery store. Additionally, when you eat local you cut the time and distance between you and your food, which often means higher vitamin content since the food is picked ripe and is less subject to the nutrient degradation that can occur over long storage periods. If you go to the trouble of getting fresh food, don’t let it sit on your counter for a week before you use it. If you can’t eat it fresh, then can or freeze your fresh food immediately after harvest.

For things you are not able to grow yourself, the next best thing is to know the farmer who does grow them. This isn’t a perfect guarantee of food safety or nutritional benefit, but if you can ask questions and see the growing conditions, then you can be a better judge of the safety and quality of your food. Keep in mind, good farms are operated by people trying to earn a living doing something that usually pays less than the US poverty rate. They don’t have big advertising budgets, so they have to work hard to keep all of their customers happy…

Read more here

What Happened to Our Food?

From thegrownetwork.com

Sometimes it blows my mind to think that there were no grocery stores when my grandmother was born. They didn’t exist yet. Within just two generations of me typing on my laptop right now – my grandmother walked to the butcher for meat, to the bakery for bread, and to the farm stand for veggies, eggs, and milk. Not because she was a trendy organic shopper – but because those were the only places to buy food! She knew each of these people by name, and they knew each others’ families. My, how things have changed…

Read more here

 

Help Your Skin Glow With More Vegetables

Low in calories, high in fiber, and with almost all the vitamins and minerals your body needs, vegetables are a nutritional cornerstone. While many think vegetables equate to a few leaves of lettuce and some tomatoes, there’s a wide variety of veggies available, and you can use them in a number of different ways…

If you are in the majority who’s skimping on veggies, you’re really missing out on major health benefits, including the following:2

Healthy glowing skin Courtesy of their higher water and phytochemical content, vegetables help produce that healthy “glow.”

As noted in the featured article, a “study3 from St. Andrews University concluded that people who ate three additional daily portions of produce for six weeks were ranked as better looking than those with lower intakes.”

The cause for this improvement? The carotenoids pigments that give vegetables their red and orange colors also improve the color of your skin, rendering it more rosy and glowing.

Many vegetables are also known for their anti-aging benefits, helping firm your skin and combat wrinkles.

Weight management Low in net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) and high in fiber, eating plenty of vegetables can help you lose and manage your weight in more ways than one.

Simply cutting net carbs and increasing your fiber intake may actually help you achieve results rivaling more complicated diets.

Previous research has demonstrated that fiber has appetite-suppressant qualities that helps you feel more satiated, thereby preventing unhealthy snacking.

Fiber also helps improve metabolic markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar; helps protect your heart and cardiovascular health, and appears to reduce mortality from all causes.

Improves gut health and keeps you “regular” Constipation is one of the most common bowel problems, impacting nearly 1 in 5 Americans at any given time.

It’s uncomfortable, and can cause bloating and painful cramps.

The fiber and water in vegetables can help prevent this scenario, and promotes optimal gut health in general by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria.

Athletic performance and recovery Nutrition is imperative for athletic performance. Specific veggies shown to boost endurance and speed up recovery include beetroot juice, tomato juice, and watercress.

As reported in the featured article, one study “found that drinking 16 ounces of organic beetroot juice daily for six days helped men cycle up to 16 percent longer than they did with a placebo beverage.4

Meanwhile 100 percent tomato juice has been found to reduce exercise-induced stress on the body by as much as 84 percent.”5

Improves energy, mood, and psychological well-being Vegetables help boost energy levels, especially if you cut out net carbs and processed foods at the same time.

Juicing tends to be particularly potent and quick-acting in this regard.

Recent research shows higher vegetable intake can also help you feel calmer and improves your mental well-being.6

Eating fruits and vegetables was also related to greater self-reported curiosity and creativity — traits associated with happiness.7

Reduces risk for chronic disease Vegetables help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, includingdiabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

In one recent study, eating just over one extra serving of leafy greens a day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.8

Part of this benefit is due to the fiber content.

The fiber in vegetables is broken down into health-promoting short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by your gut bacteria, and SCFAs have been shown to lessen your risk of inflammatory diseases.9

Boosts healthy immune function Researchers have discovered10 that a gene called T-bet — which is essential for producing critical immune cells in your gut — is activated by leafy green vegetables.

These immune cells, called Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), reside in the lining of your digestive tract, and ILCs are thought to be essential for:11

  • Maintaining balance between tolerance, immunity and inflammation in your body
  • Producing interleukin-22 (IL-22), a hormone that can protect your body from pathogenic bacteria
  • Maintaining healthy intestinal balance by promoting growth of beneficial bacteria and healing small wounds and abrasions in the gut
  • Helping resolve cancerous lesions and prevent the development of bowel cancers
  • Preventing food allergies, inflammatory diseases, and obesity

Mercola.com May 2, 2016

Seabreeze Monarchs are Thriving!

The North American Monarch Butterfly is in Danger of Becoming ‘Quasi-Extinct’ 1:07

If that happens “it becomes a nonfunctional population with very little prospect of increasing,” Dr. Orley “Chip” Taylor, a co-author of the study and director of the nonprofit group Monarch Watch, told NBC News.

The study looked at variations in monarch populations, starting in 1993, and analyzed what the chances were of the butterfly hitting a population level too small to be able to recover, Dr. Karen Oberhauser, a professor in the department of fishers and conservation biology at University of Minnesota and co-author of the study, explained to NBC News.

“It fluctuates a lot from one year to the next which makes it more vulnerable to reaching a low point,” she said.

Each fall, Eastern monarch butterflies travel thousands of miles, migrating from North America to spend winter in the mountains of Mexico before returning north in springtime. They are the only butterflies that make such a lengthy, two-way migration every year, according to Monarch Watch.

nbcnews.com April 21, 2016

Thanks to the support of our stakeholders, Seabreeze has become a Monarch sanctuary where we have multitudes of Monarchs hatching and happy to enjoy all that the farm offers!

Why it’s better to choose fresh over canned

Despite industry promises, two-thirds of cans still contain the hormone-mimicking chemical according to a recent report.4,5 Among the worst of the worst were Campbell’s, Del Monte, and General Mills.

All of Campbell’s cans tested positive for BPA, as did 71 percent of Del Monte’s and 50 percent of General Mills canned goods.

As noted by Janet Nudelman, director of Program and Policy at the advocacy group Breast Cancer Fund, and a co-author of the report: “This is shocking to us because we’ve been hearing for years now that the canned food industry en masse was moving away from BPA.”

The report now urges major food manufacturers to create a comprehensive plan for the removal of BPA from all cans, to be transparent about their timeline for removal, and to ensure that replacement chemicals are in fact safe by sharing their safety data.

So far, this has not been the case. Many plastic bottle manufacturers, for example, simply swapped BPA for bisphenol-S (BPS) — a chemical that is very similar to BPA and has been shown to produce many of the same health effects.

In 2013, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch discovered that even minute concentrations — less than one part per trillion — of BPS can disrupt cellular functioning. Metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes, and even cancer, can result from such disruptions.

Mercola.com April 13, 2016

With Seabreeze Organic Farm deliveries, you’ll always receive the freshest produce available outside your own garden.

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Benefits of Reduced Meat Consumption – Our Health and Our Planet’s Health

Between now and 2050, a global switch to diets that rely far less on meat and far more on vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods could not only save up to 8 million lives per year, and reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds. Such a change would also save, in reduced health care costs and reduced costs from climate change, up to $31 trillion.

Does that sound like the wild-eyed claim made by some group with a vegetarian agenda? It’s actually the conclusions of a major new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week.

The researchers looked at the environmental, health, and economic impacts of various food pathways. They modeled four different dietary scenarios for the year 2050:

  • A “business as usual” scenario based on projections of future diets;
  • A scenario based on global dietary guidelines, which includes meeting the minimum suggested level of fruits and vegetables, and limits to the amount of red meat, sugar, and total calories;
  • A vegetarian scenario, which conformed to the dietary guidelines; and
  • A vegan scenario, which also conformed to the dietary guidelines.

Their conclusion was that, compared with the “business as usual” scenario, transitioning toward more plant-based diets could reduce global mortality by 6–10% and food-related greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70%.

They found that compared to the “business as usual” direction, scenario two, in which global dietary guidelines were adopted, could prevent 5.1 million deaths per year. When people followed dietary guidelines and also went vegetarian, the researchers found that 7.3 million deaths could be avoided annually. And a guideline following vegan pathway could prevent 8.1 million deaths per year.

Approximately half of the avoided deaths were due to a reduction in red meat consumption. While the other half were due to a combination of eating more fruits and vegetables, combined with a reduction in total calories, leading to fewer people being overweight or obese.

And the financial savings the researchers calculated were simply stunning. The models developed by this team of researchers found that changes in diet could lead to enormous savings both in healthcare and in reduced damage from climate change.
Plant-based eating quote by Ocean Robbins
This was hardly the first serious study to suggest that we might be better off eating less red meat. In fact, in 2015, after careful review of more than 800 medical studies, the World Health Organization concluded that processed meat causes cancer and that red meat probably does, as well. And a 2013 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that vegetarians outlive meat eaters considerably. Over the course of the 6-year study, among a group of 70,000 participants, researchers determined that vegetarians had a 12% lower risk of death compared with non-vegetarians.

But what made the just-released Oxford Martin School study unique was its comprehensive approach — looking at the health, environmental, and economic impact of various dietary approaches.

You don’t even have to be a vegetarian to take advantage of this studies’ findings. Every time you choose vegetables over hot dogs, or beans over burgers, you are helping to stabilize the world’s climate, and to improve the prospects for your long-term health.

Life is often filled with trade-offs, and choices that seem to come down to the lesser of two evils. But when it comes to moving in a plant-strong direction, the benefits are clear.

Seabreeze Organic Farm is here to help you change to a plant-based diet

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