1. Low-fat chocolate milk is good for you. It’s better to drink chocolate or any flavored milk than no milk at all.
3. Shop farmers markets whenever you can (see above rule). Buying local, fresh food is not more expensive, in most cases.
4. Read labels on your food and know what you are eating. Local food is probably fresher and helps your local economy. For me, that means Kraemer cheese spreads (apricot honey is my favorite flavor; order at 800.236.8033), Mullen’s ice cream and Crave Bros. farmstead cheeses.
5. High fructose corn syrup is not all bad. We should rely on science and facts to determine “the truth” in regards to nutrition. From a farmer’s point of view, because we can sell corn for many different uses – food and otherwise – the value of a bushel of corn (56 pounds) is higher and we’ll ultimately receive a better price in the long run as new markets emerge. In other words, the kernel of corn is worth more in pieces than it is whole.
6. Get to know a local farmer. See first-hand what they do. Ask questions. Listen and seek to understand. Diversity in farming – production methods, commodities, sizes – is good for all. Fact: 99% of farms are owned by families.
7. Let the land lead us to its best use. Land on our farm is best suited to growing alfalfa and corn, which is made into cow feed and from that, the cows give us meat and milk. We don’t grow “people food” on our rolling hills, such as vegetables and fruits. (Read about W.D. Hoard and his campaign to bring dairying to Wisconsin, vs. growing wheat in Creating Dairyland by Ed Janus).
8. Meatless Mondays are a fad and will fade in time. Eating less beef won’t save the planet. This misinformation is stated like a fact in Newsweek, National Geographic and more – I just can’t fathom how this gets repeated over and over again.
9. Be sure to take in dairy breakfasts, pork chop dinners, beef cookouts, chicken BBQs and other local food celebrations!
10. Eat everything in moderation. Get some exercise. (Yoga is my 1st choice). Get enough sleep. This is not rocket science – the basics of being healthy haven’t changed a lot.
11. Become familiar with the USDA’s food plate. Enough said. www.choosemyplate.gov
12. Ask your mom or grandma for a favorite recipe and make it with your children or grandchildren (see next rule). Repeat often.
13. Eat (slowly) with family and friends whenever possible and savor your food and the fellowship you share.