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next installment of agriculture photos

14 Feb

dairy cattle ranchI’ve been a busy bee. Not only am I discovering a lot about food and its production for my own benefit, but I’m working on a related fine art photography project for a class I’m taking, also. Hence, all the artsy B&W photos.

I spend a lot of time driving through the agricultural lands here; Hwy 28, Hatch, Dona Ana, Anthony, and all throughout the Mesilla Valley. What I see is a mixture of hard physical labor, neglected infrastructure, migrant workers, secluded mansions, and a struggle between modernity, urbanization, and authentic living. One thing I know for sure: our food producers are most certainly under-appreciated.

Here are some of the most recent photos from my adventures in farmland: Continue reading


dairy-free living update

20 Aug

I went an entire month without consuming any dairy. No milk, no cheese, no sour cream… I even avoided all breads and other packaged foods with whey or nonfat dry milk listed as ingredients. And I have to say, I felt really good. For the first time in a long time, I went an entire month without major digestive problems or abdominal pain. I visited Oregon’s Willamette Valley last week, which is usually a surefire way for me to get an allergy-induced headcold, but amazingly I was not congested at all. Coincidence? Continue reading

the case against dairy: part 2

23 Jul
dairy negative impact on the environment

A typical American Dairy farm. Image courtesy of the USDA.

Day 4 of dairy-free living. I am happy to report that I have not had ANY dairy during those 4 days; not even tortilla chips with whey as a seasoning ingredient. I have already begun to notice the impacts on my body. Without subjecting you to the gory details, I will say that I have been suffering for months from severe digestive problems. It got to the point where the doctors suspected I had Ulcerative Colitis, and performed a colonoscopy. Those symptoms have all but disappeared in just 4 days. It hasn’t been as difficult as I had anticipated, and I’m not craving the grilled-cheese sandwich or the quesadilla (yet). My urge to eat certain other undesirable foods like French fries, however, has seen a sharp increase. Ha. Continue reading

the case against dairy

19 Jul

I love cheese. From cheddar to Gruyère, Gorgonzola to Havarti, and everything in between. My favorite salad dressing is Bleu Cheese. My favorite sandwich is grilled cheese. I love cheesy fries and nachos. I really, really, love cheese.

dairy cows being fed en masse

image provided via public domain from the EPA

Having said that, there has been a nagging suspicion in my subconscious for some time now that perhaps I shouldn’t be eating so much cheese. In fact, maybe I shouldn’t be eating dairy at all. No cream, no butter, no yogurt, sour cream, ice cream, or… cheese. This proposition is a sad one for me, like leaving a lover after many years of fond memories. Most dairy products have suitable alternatives; soy/rice/almond milk instead of cow’s milk, soy cream (actually pretty darn tasty) instead of ice cream, olive oil instead of butter. But I have yet to find a cheese substitute that doesn’t leave me pining for a grilled cheese sandwich. Continue reading

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