Veg Out Challenge

Jolie Vue Farms believes in healthy eating with a balanced diet. Recipe for Success is a non profit farm to fork program for our schools which teaches children how to grow, prepare and eat vegetables. Glen Boudreaux sits on the RFS board and is committed to the health of Houston families.

To that end, JVF is participating in RFS 's VEG OUT Challenge: Folks commit to eating 30 different vegetables in 30 days!  Register at the RFS website and get ready! There's recipes, ideas, lists of vegetables and a chart for you to download and use. Each JVF customer family that participates and succeeds will receive a JVF T-shirt!

Let's do this!!!

The New JVF Website

If you haven’t visited our website in the last few weeks, do so now. We finally found a knowledgeable and innovative webmaster (and he is one of our Farm To Fork members to boot) and he has done a fabulous job of getting us into the modern era. We are sure you will enjoy it and the more you visit us, the more prominence we will get on search engines, something we need. Then if you will “Like Us” on our farm Facebook page, you will really propel our prominence on the net. Honestly, I don’t know how we have grown and prospered without the net exposure all enterprises need today, but we have. Your assistance in this will help us expand even more and that is good for all of us. Maintaining a healthy customer base is essential to financial sustainability and that enhances all aspects of sustainable farming. We ask for your support.

Go to jolievuefarms.com, look around, tell your friends, go to our Facebook page, like us. Repeat.  Thank you.

The Semi-Famous Jo Robinson

Ever heard of Jo Robinson? Jo is the founder of eatwild.com, which originated as a compendium of food studies comparing pasture-based meats, beef, chicken, pork, eggs and dairy, to their counterparts in factory food. From there, she established directories of grass-based farmers in the various regions of the country. She is the most accessible semi-famous person I have ever known, having established a long correspondence and conversation with her about grass-based production. All given freely and enthusiastically.

Jo has written a book, Eating on the Wild Side, which turns her focus from meats and dairy to vegetables. Her subtitle is the missing link to optimum health. Who could ignore those titles? And so far, the book lives up to its titles with some fascinating information and ideas about plant life, their natural defenses, and how to use those inherent defenses to get the maximum nutritional boost from your vegetables. The working hypothesis is this: in the wild, healthy plants survived their predators by emitting defensive mechanisms that were distasteful to say the cotton boll weevil. This may occur through changing its odor or making itself bitter to the taster. In the process, all manner of elements were unleashed that sat dormant before the attack. So, as consumers of those vegetables, we should convince the plant, which is still a living thing when it arrives at our kitchen, that it is under attack. How does this translate in the kitchen? One example is garlic. When we crush it to put into our gumbo or tomato sauce, let it rest on the counter for 5 minutes. The garlic will be marshaling its resources following the “attack”, so you must give it time to do so. While you wait, your garlic will be doubling, tripling or quintupling its nutritional value. Jo goes through each class of vegetable and fruit to teach that “attack” technique. I recommend this book. It will buy you more good health for the same money.

Cara’s Pork Belly

Cara Portnoy is one of many accomplished Foodie’s in our ranks. Here’s her prescription for pork belly.

“Last week we pulled out our fresh bacon and rubbed with salt, whiskey and maple syrup. Smoked it yesterday.”

Just FYI, one of the cuts labeled fresh bacon still had the ribs on it.* We didn't salt it like the other cuts, but just smoked it along with the bacon. Yummmm…that was an awesome dinner. 
Had it alongside some brown rice, prepared adzuki beans, and cashew coconut creamed kale!”

* Note: Pork belly and fresh bacon are one and the same, coming from the meat and fat layer developed alongside the ribs of the pig. Sometimes we ask the butcher to cut it off the ribs, at other times we leave the ribs on. The rib bones only enhance the flavor of the meat.

Dietary Balance

Honi and I serve Recipe For Success as Directors Emeritus and plain old director, respectively, a Houston-based foundation leading the way in reducing childhood obesity.
RFS just initiated its 2nd annual VegOut! Challenge from the steps of City Hall and the program already exceeds last year’s total enrollment which challenges us to eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days. Sounds impossible, right? 30 different vegetables?  You probably didn’t know there were that many to choose from.  But go to www.vegoutwithrecipeforsuccess.org and see how do-able it is. Then register to take the challenge.  Balance your diet with appropriate portions of vegetables to go with your meat

The Current Read

“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
— Julia Child

Our baby boy (John Henry) gave me Standage’s An Edible History of Humanity for Christmas. The author traces the impact of food on civilization from our beginnings as hunter/foragers to agriculture and all of its technology today. A very interesting point is made early on, to wit:

“[The switch from hunter/forager to farmer is the most] mysterious because the switch made people significantly worse off, from a nutritional perspective and in many other ways. Indeed, one anthropologist has described the adoption of farming as ‘the worst mistake in the history of the human race.’”

Standage explains that anthropologists have compared the skeletal remains of hunters living side by side or back to back with farmers. Hunters are larger, stronger people. Farmers show clear indications of malnutrition so assumedly did not live as long as the hunters. Besides, he says, the hunters had more fun - they could fill their food quotas in a couple of days, leaving themselves with 5 day weekends. More time to socialize and ponder the big questions, as we modern day farmers all know. It’s a 24/7/365 career.

I never thought about it that way, but it does remind me of the Comanche nation, one of our most interesting societies for the way they dominated the Plains so completely in the early days of the Republic and before. The Comanches transformed themselves from weak, malnourished and conquered people to the most dominant tribe of the Great Plains only when they adopted the horse which allowed them to harvest buffalo at will. There was nothing like the regular digestion of red meat to grow a tribe into superior beings.

As I get further into the book, I find that I like it less. But it is still a worthwhile read from which I conclude a couple of things - really just affirming what we preach at JVF:

Excluding meats from our diet is a colossal mistake, especially for the young; secondly, eat that widely diverse plate of food because while the vegetables and fruits cannot alone pack the nutritional punch of a piece of meat, they do contribute their own unique profile of vitamins and minerals necessary for a complete diet. They round out the meal.