From the CEO


6-14-2018

Going Mental

During the counterculture’s religious experimentation of the 1960s and 1970s, I was introduced to the old Sikh gurus’ recipe for health and happiness: vegetarianism, fasting, yoga, and meditation. Over the ensuing decades, my use of these disciplines led to the discovery of how food energy affected my personality.

Vegetarianism, fasting, yoga, and meditation are all energy manipulation techniques. Vegetarianism and fasting go hand-in-hand with yoga and meditation because they reduce one’s energy, allowing for a calmer personality facilitating yoga and meditation’s mental discipline aspects. The basic conceptual metaphor is that when water flows through a garden hose (relatively lower energy), it is easier to manipulate than when it flows through a firefighter’s hose (relatively higher energy). With the flow of energy reduced, one’s mind, body, and personality are easier to control. By altering our energy level, we can change how we mentally and emotionally react to everyday situations, and we can build a personality of our own choosing.

The energy level that we sustain creates certain types of thought patterns and emotional responses. For example, increasingly higher energy levels will result in a progression of high energy personality traits: high mental noise, low patience, frustration, anger, rage, closed mindedness, elitism, paranoia, refusal to submit to authority, and sociopathic and homicidal tendencies. Lower energy levels will also result in a progression of associated traits: timidity, fearfulness, lack of enthusiasm, depression, low self-esteem, insecurity, lack of independence or self-respect, purposelessness, and suicidal tendencies.

Various energy levels elicit certain responses from others, depending on the surrounding cultural norms and morals, and therefore affect the quality of our lives. As we lower or raise our energy, we experience various stages of altered reality or consciousness that affect not only our own lives but the lives of those around us as well.

Higher energy levels are harder to control but can manipulate physical reality to a greater extent. Lower energy levels produce observational qualities such as prescience, empathy, intuition, and precognition. Lower energy levels can manipulate reality to the same extent but in a very different, much more subtle manner. Whereas high energy tends to tear down and rebuild reality in its own image, low-energy reality manipulation creates a space for new, spontaneous co-creation; it works with, around, and from within to alter reality. High-energy personalities tend to be very restrictive and controlling, whereas low-energy personalities tend to be more accepting and open to new things.

Too high of an energy level can cause things to start breaking down. People won’t be able to stand being around us and we’ll push imperfect people out of our lives. We’ll grow angrier and more violent to the point we can no longer control our actions or think clearly. We’ll spend a lot of time and effort handling (or mishandling) our energy. Our excess energy will make us do or say things we’ll later regret or get us ostracized from the society we live in, and eventually we’ll recede into our own world. Unfortunately, many people who never take steps to reduce their excess energy wind up in jail or mental institutions or arm themselves in fortified compounds.

Anybody who has experienced alcoholism or drug addiction can attest to the life-destroying effects of extreme energy dissipation. The life we have created begins to break down our home, relationships, health, family, and job. People disrespect us and take advantage of us. We aren’t any fun to be around because we are constantly sick, injuring ourselves, depressed, or always the victim of our circumstances.

Our individual energy level ultimately determines the life we live through its interaction with others and the surrounding society and environment. By learning to use our energy and manipulate it consciously, we can decide what life we will lead and the quality of our experiences.


5-22-2018

Why Try To Live A Healthy Lifestyle?

Why exercise, stay fit, cut out “bad” food, and eliminate harmful chemicals in our living environments? It’s so we can remain active and self-sufficient in our old age. Plenty of people stay active until the day they die of “natural causes” rather than wasting away in a nursing home or hospital bed, their physical and mental health wrecked by a lifetime of abuse and neglect. If we constantly subject ourselves to things that have a negative impact on our bodies and minds, we will suffer the debilitating consequences of that lifestyle beginning in middle age.

We’ve all been taught that low energy, physical weakness, bad eyesight, compromised immune system, erectile dysfunction, vanishing libido, thinning hair, wrinkled skin, stiff muscles and joints, dementia, failing organs, blood issues, etc., are more or less the natural result of getting older. However, in many cultures, these symptoms are considered a result of energy imbalances in various internal systems and are avoidable and reversible.

These poor health symptoms are largely the result of an overall low energy condition that has slowly accumulated over several decades of substance abuse, poor dietary habits, and artificial chemical contamination. This condition is compounded when we go through the hormonal changes of middle age.

When we hit puberty in our early teens, the hormone changes we experience produce a huge increase in our energy. The opposite happens when middle age brings on a reduction in those hormones. Now, after having spent most of our lives trying to discharge our energy, we find ourselves stuck with entrenched energy-dissipating habits (alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, sex, staying up all night, sugar, and junk food) and a life-or-death need for more energy (because of the hormone changes). The usual result is an ever-increasing frequency of doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription drug use.

It is possible to turn this condition around. When this happens, it essentially means our energy stores have dropped so low that we have no reserves to prevent or repair damage or maintain our bodily functions properly. This is most readily felt in our reduced stamina and cardiovascular and pulmonary performance, and it is visible in a lack of muscle tone and reduced muscle mass.

To reverse this condition, we must eliminate energy-lowering foods and substances and start consuming energy- (muscle-) building alternatives. The next step is to replace energy-dissipating activities with physical and mental exercise that will contribute to increased energy storage. We must mentally and physically train ourselves to hang on to energy long enough for it to rebuild our body’s energy storage capacity.

Depending on age and the amount of accumulated damage, it may take up to a year or two of gradual effort to see progress, but the rewards are well worth it. This conscious change allows us to benefit from greater physical ability and self-esteem, fear reduction, and an increase in our overall enjoyment of life. Altering our lifestyles in this way can be done at any age and will help eliminate the need for it later in life… when it will be much, much harder to accomplish.


4-12-2018

Energy and Healing

As far as most of us know, the medications and medical procedures to which we subject ourselves (pharmaceuticals, herbs, chemotherapy, surgery, diet, lifestyle changes, etc.) in an attempt to cure our ills simply eliminate the offending substance or bug, and magically heals any damage. We take a pill, get an injection, or have an operation, and, boom, we are on the road to recovery.

For healing to occur, however, our body has to allocate energy to support the process, create an offensive environment that kills harmful microorganisms or malfunctioning cells—or modify an offending substance so it can be removed by one of our body’s systems—and repair any damage. The bottom line is our body must cooperate or the healing won’t happen. Our body’s immune and regenerative systems are 99% of any cure. Even if we have surgery to cut something out, our body must prevent or fight off infection and heal itself. Even antibiotics and vaccines are just meant to help support these systems in their fight, like how a crutch supports a broken leg while it’s healing. 

Vaccines are simply small amounts of the microorganism, dead or in some cases alive, injected into the body to stimulate production of our defense system against that strain of bug. The injection doesn’t actually fight the disease—our immune system does. Until we learn how to build a human body from the ground up, all our medicines and procedures merely act in a supporting role. Any successful medical regimen depends on our internal systems being able to function properly, as well as, ultimately, the energy we consume in support of those systems.

Bacteria and viruses come in and out of our bodies at will. Our immune system is our only real defense against their ill effects. Not only do the substances we ingest keep our immune system supplied with the energy it needs, that energy also controls our internal, system-wide pH balance. The pH balance of our body is a largely overlooked contributor to our immune system’s functionality. High-energy substances (animal products for example) increase acidity, and low-energy substances (fruits for example) increase alkalinity. Microbes require specific pH environments to survive and cannot exist in the wrong pH level. When ill, our body naturally craves the type of energy substances it needs to raise its acidity or alkalinity to help it combat invaders.

Microorganism-caused diseases and many degenerative issues must have a receptive or weakened host in order to grow and proliferate. Bacteria, mold, yeast, and fungi not only invade living things and cause problems but they also decompose dead things. Why don’t living things rot and decompose? They are subjected to all the same environmental factors as dead things (such as moisture, microorganisms, insects, and parasites), so what keeps things that are alive from falling apart and decomposing? When an organism such as a human being, a tree, or an elk is alive, its immune system, cells, and organs are getting enough energy to function properly and fight off all those natural agents of decomposition. Those agents are all around us, waiting for the opportunity to turn us into dust and goo. As soon as the energy supply is reduced or turned off, in they come, but if we keep ourselves strong we can resist them. The bulk of this defense is simply the bio-electric field each cell in our body generates if it is getting the proper quantity and quality of energy.

If we compromise our immune and regenerative systems, we become more susceptible to disease. Our modern way of life in the West can easily be nothing but a conglomeration of immune-system-weakening foods, substances, and activities. Everything from the air we breathe and the clothes we wear to the homes we live in and the work we do can negatively impact our immune system. The best thing we can do to support our health and fight off disease is to do everything we can to keep our immune system strong for as long as we can. Simply by eliminating as many environmental, immune-system-detractors as possible and eating food that is free of chemical additives and which supports our personal energy pattern, we will drastically improve our chances of fighting off disease and healing injury.

3-15-2018
Energy: The Overlooked Human Commodity
Physicists seek to explain the universe through a unified field theory by observing the attributes of the smallest particle of energy. This is theoretically possible because everything is made of energy — our food, clothing, computers, and galaxies. Even we are made of energy.

Energy is never used up completely. It is traded around and infinitely passed from one thing to another. We expend our personal energy at work and get paid with money (which represents the energy we expended), and we trade that money for items others have used their energy to produce (food, clothing, fuel, and more).


Energy is used to build things, which results in a static or stored energy state (our physical bodies, plants, wood, and oil). Energy also exists in various dynamic energy forms, such as wave energy and particle energy, and forms that resemble both waves and particles. We don’t really understand what energy is, but we observe its effects and how it acts, and we can harness it for our own purposes based on these observations. Living things use DNA patterns to create a life-form out of the energy consumed and absorbed. Even inanimate objects with mineral composition use a matrix pattern unique to their form to do the same thing.


The various types of dynamic energy affect us in different ways, positively and negatively. Sunlight has a mostly positive effect, whereas gamma ray radiation is mostly negative. We have created various devices to sense, measure, and set safe limits on the many forms of dynamic energy we are subjected to. A Geiger counter can tell us how many units of radiation are present. We know that X units of radiation are dangerous to our health because we have observed the damage caused by exposure to X. We know in the presence of X, Y happens.


Food energy is the same. We can burn food (outside the body) and measure how much the released energy will raise water temperature (units known as calories). This provides some relative measurement of the food’s energy when compared to different foods, but it doesn’t fully describe the effect of the food’s energy inside the body. We can’t watch the energy being released inside the body from the food we eat, and we can’t watch the body react to it, absorb it, or use it. However, we can observe the result of the effect on the mind and body.


The various externally measured qualities of food have been shown to react differently once inside the body. For example, citrus fruit with high acid content is acidic outside the body but creates an alkaline condition once it is inside the body. Additionally, every food has a unique effect on our stored energy level (beyond its caloric content), which affects our strength, stamina, and internal systems (organs, immune system, regenerative system, and mental processes).


The human body is the only instrument that can fully measure the internal effects (scientifically known and unknown) of food energy through its senses and physiological reactions. The body can be seen as one big complex device that will indicate food related energy levels. With a little calibration through experimentation, attention to detail, and experience over time, we can learn to use this aspect of the body to our great benefit.


Just as too much radiation or sunlight can cause physical damage, too much food energy can harm us. A lack of sunlight can cause ill effects and so can too little food energy. We can train ourselves to use our senses and observe that in the presence of X food, Y happens to our body, and we can take steps to correct the issue by removing, reducing, or increasing X.


All the little nagging health symptoms, many chronic symptoms, and even disease can be a result of high or low levels of food energy. Our immune and regenerative systems, the two main pillars of our health, are largely controlled by the energy we consume. They do not function properly without the right level of energy.


Consequently, we can explore and explain the universe of our body through the observation and manipulation of the energy we subject it to.



2-22-2018
Healthy Foods

How do we define healthy foods? I define foods as healthy if they cause no net decrease in our health. These foods must support our health and build us up in such a way as to provide sufficient energy and nutrients to maintain our internal systems. Our internal systems require a certain level of energy to function properly, and if those requirements are not met, our health begins to suffer.


The confusing issue is that these requirements are largely unique to the individual. Compounding the confusion is the fact that our social and commercial definition of what is healthful changes over time.

We know what we feel like when we are healthy and when we are sick, but most of us, at some point, don’t have the faintest clue as to whether something is healthful or not. At first, somebody must tell us the difference—and herein lies the big problem. Most of our ancestral information on how and what to eat and how to live our lives in a healthy way has been overrun by the fast-paced, prepackaged life we live. We have lost touch with the earth and what is naturally healthy; we can’t even get that individual information from our intuition or experiences anymore given that our taste preferences have been trained to crave health-damaging, even deadly, foods.

So, we are left to figure it out on our own, reading this or that report claiming health benefits for all types of products (again, what’s healthy for one person may not be healthy for another). If we eliminate the questions of quality and nutrients, what remains is the individual energy requirement of each person. We can buy the finest quality organic, locally sourced, family-farm-raised, grass-fed beef, confident that it is perfectly healthful. If our energy pattern is such that we need the high energy of beef, then we will thrive on it. However, if our energy pattern clashes with beef—if beef gives us too much energy—then it will not be healthy for us. Food is healthy if it (a) harmoniously meshes with our energy pattern, (b) is minimally processed and free of health-harming additives and chemicals, and c) provides the nutrients our body needs.

We can begin to build a personal database of what is healthy or not by observing the early warning signs that our bodies and minds exhibit and by attempting to correlate symptoms with our recent consumption habits. These symptoms (body odor, runny nose, aches and pains, skin issues, infections, constipation, diarrhea, gas, impatience, anger, depression, etc.) alert us to imbalances or deficiencies that can be addressed in a timely manner to avoid illness and disease in the future.



1-15-2018
Community Support 101


Supporting the community in which a business operates boils down to respect—for ourselves, our team members, our neighbors, our consumers, and the environment.

Respect begins with how business is conducted. Slow and sustainable growth eliminates the issue of stockholder control over how a business is run. Fast growth necessitates investors who expect dividends on their investments, which can put downward pressure on labor costs, benefits, and ingredient integrity.

A sustainable mindset cultivates a basic respect for individual team members. This respect means treating them as equals with differences; sharing profits; and providing them with a living wage, benefits, advancement, and appreciation for a hard day’s work. Such respect creates a feeling of fulfillment that permeates extended family as well as the surrounding community.

A person’s self-respect, ability to support their family, and ability to contribute positively to their community are directly linked to how the entities and organizations that control economic success treat them—whether a person’s innate abilities are allowed to develop in a supportive way or are crushed in the overarching scramble for wealth and power. Economic suppression has been linked to a host of urban issues ranging from high crime rates to drug use and shattered lives; these problems are often intergenerational.

Operating from a place of respect nurtures a positive and constructive community spirit instead of a disadvantaged, victimized, “cog-in-the-machine” mentality. Respecting people regardless of race, gender, age, education, religion, position, wealth, or power is the foundation of any healthy community.


12-20-2017
Why Not Raw and Unprocessed?

Today we live in an environment relatively free of communicable and foodborne illnesses compared to just one or two generations ago, but we forget what we did to make it that way. People ask why we need to pasteurize (a heat-treating process that kills microorganisms), sanitize, and vaccinate.

They ask those questions because their whole family or community wasn’t wiped out by smallpox, and their kids weren’t crippled by polio or killed by infected milk or meat products. A couple generations ago, those kinds of deaths were far more common and accepted as part of life. For example, cholera deaths were so commonplace in many areas that people did not drink water for fear of catching the disease. In the early 1900s, unpasteurized milk consumption was the leading cause of death in the United States. Foodborne illnesses and deaths were a large public health problem and eventually led to the establishment of the FDA and other health institutions.

During an inspection at our plant a few years ago, an FDA inspector explained the need for pasteurization very well: the main milk consumers are the very young and the elderly—the two age groups most susceptible to foodborne illnesses. If you have your own cows and you milk them and drink that milk, there’s no problem. Concerns arise when you try to keep that milk longer than a few hours and distribute it or sell it to others. Disease-causing bacteria then have a chance to grow to lethal quantities.

Food mass-produced in a factory must be treated in a sanitary manner, processed to make it edible, and subjected to procedures that ensure its safety. There are positives and negatives to this. We lose some of the food’s purity and some of its healthfulness but gain the ability to feed many more people and keep them from getting ill or dying from foodborne disease.


11-20-2017
Our Children
The greatest gift we can give our children is a healthy diet when they are young. They may grow up and eventually discard any diet we impose, but by protecting them from additive and chemical laden, nutritionally hollow, sugary, or salty foods their body has time to build a strong immune system and internal organs that will carry them well into old age. If we provide them with low quality adulterated foods when young, their bodily functions are compromised and begin to break down at a much earlier age. By feeding them a fast food diet, we also teach them bad eating habits that will burden them for the rest of their lives.

It’s easy to fall into the habit of a poor diet when raising children. With our fast-paced high stress lifestyle and two income households there is usually little time to cook three meals a day, so pre-cooked and easily prepared convenience foods are hard to resist. Peer pressure to eat candy and junk food is ever present and virtually irresistible to young children through TV marketing. Day care and the public-school system where our children eat once or twice a day are generally more concerned with economy and profit than healthy food.

The scientific/medical community largely resist the obvious ill effects of a poor diet simply because it’s many aspects haven’t been scientifically proven. While this proof is being sought independently, food corporations are busy with their own propaganda studies that obfuscate the issues in their attempt to protect their profit and market share.

So that leaves us as parents, the protectors of our family, to use our best judgement when filtering out aspects of life that might harm our children. Do we roll the dice and wait for overwhelming proof that artificially created and adulterated foods don’t do us harm, or do we listen to our instincts and provide those who trust us for their safety and advice on how to navigate life whole health supporting foods?



10-17-2017

 Microorganisms

Algae, yeast, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms are all used to provide humans with some of the most important ingredients for a healthy, productive life. Whether eaten directly, allowed to act on other food staples (a process called fermentation), or in symbiosis within our bodies, these microorganisms provide our internal environment with many elements essential for our survival.
As precursors to all other forms of life, microorganisms created the oxygen-rich atmosphere that allows our species to exist. Our ancestors discovered, probably by accident (and unknowingly), that these tiny life-forms acted on foods and made them much more edible, digestible, and nutritious than in their natural form. Additionally, and most importantly at the time, the fermentation process created a net preservative effect, which allowed those foods to be stored for longer periods without becoming inedible.
Algae, microorganisms responsible for the bulk of the oxygen we breathe and the lack of toxic levels of carbon dioxide in the air, are a nutrient-rich and protein-packed food source for humans. A good source of trace minerals and positive medical modifiers, they also have the added benefit of detoxifying the body (except the brain). Green algae were used by the Japanese to precipitate mercury from silver ore. They can accomplish the same thing for the human body as well. There are also blue and red varieties of algae, all with varying qualities that are very useful in maintaining human health. It is also theorized that much of the crude oil we use today to support our current civilization was formed from deposits of algae laid down over the billions of years of their existence.
Yeasts are a type of fungi that we use to make bread and various alcoholic beverages (grain-, vegetable-, and fruit-based) through the process of fermentation. Fermentation alters the basic food to make it much more digestible so that a greater amount of the food’s nutrients is absorbable by the human body. Yeast unlocks the full nutritive potential of foods and provides B vitamins and trace minerals to boot (as waste products of the yeast’s life cycle). Yeast has probably provided human civilization with the single greatest advancement in survival techniques in our history. This microorganism allowed surplus grain to be converted to alternative forms of food that are more nutritious and longer lasting than grain in its original state.
The interaction between humans and bacteria is a love-hate relationship. Bacteria can be very beneficial or very deadly. We humans depend on beneficial bacteria (commonly called probiotics) for our survival. These species of bacteria populate our intestines and assist in food digestion and nutrient absorption. As an added benefit, probiotics produce B vitamins and trace minerals as byproducts. Without them, our health would suffer mightily. They also help support our immune system by fighting off health-harming microorganisms through competition for food and environmental space. In foods rich in probiotics, such as dairy products (yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, etc.), fruits, and vegetables (pickled), the beneficial-bacteria fermentation process, like that with yeasts, allows for greater absorption of the foods’ nutrients.
Throughout the world, species of microorganisms are used to ferment all types of foods, from soybeans (tempeh, soy sauce, miso, tofu, etc.) and cheeses to chocolate, wine, and meat products. Fungi have been used in the production of pharmaceuticals such as disease- and infection-fighting antibiotics. One of the more exciting aspects of bacteria is their ability to clean up environmental pollution. They can dispose of a wide range of petrochemicals, heavy metals, and even nuclear waste.
There is no greater contribution to our lives than the generation of sustainable trace minerals that these little organisms provide us. As a static, agriculturally based civilization ages, the trace minerals in the local cultivated soil gradually leach out. To replace them in the local diet, these civilizations have naturally increased their consumption of fermented and cultured foods. Our prepackaged, post-WWII American diet is beginning to do the same with the recent focus on fermented dairy products, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Microorganisms are vitamin- and mineral-manufacturing powerhouses. All we have to do is provide them with food and a comfortable place to grow and multiply.



9-18-2017

Food As Medicine

The concept of food as medicine is as old as we are. Even animals in the wild eat food and herbs to solve their health issues. When you see your cats or dogs eating grass, they are self-medicating with food. The majority of animals’ health issues are resolved by veterinarians with a simple blood test for nutrient deficiencies and a diet change to cure the issue.

Once a controversial subject in the human-health arena, lately this concept has received much more acceptance as a valid way of mitigatingand, in fact, curingvarious health issues. In its broadest application, food as medicine can simply mean cutting out the foods and substances that negatively affect our health. Its not hard to do, and the positive effects can be very dramatic.

Everything we put into our bodies has ingredients that provide nutrients our bodies need to build and sustain themselves; positive or negative medical modifiers that affect an organ or system of the body; and energy to imagine, think, and do.

At the very least, most of the food we eat should support our health. Three times a day or more, we are presented with opportunities to sustain and even build our health. So many food products don’t do that, and, in fact, they can actively harm us.

Ingredients that are artificial, ultra-refined, or created to enhance a natural food product for convenience or profit’s sake must be broken down, absorbed, and eliminated by the body. This process creates what has been termed “free-radicals”,¹ a catchall phrase that describes substances the body has no use for and cannot even recognize to decide what action to take. These substances accumulate in the fat around organs and have been shown to actively break down cell walls, resulting in accelerated aging of our internal organs and our bodies in general. Even more or less natural ingredients such as sugar and salt, can cause documented health issues when consumed in excess.

We create the types of bodies we want every time we put something in our mouths. Do we want bodies that are addicted to the nutritionally hollow and destructive effects of fast food, junk food, convenience food, and ultra-refined food? Or do we want to support our bodies with unadulterated food that is conducive to good health and provides us with a healthy future?
¹ http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/antiox.html





8-23-2017

Hunger vs. Sustainability

How and why we eat boils down to the interplay between our physiological condition and what food is available to us. Whether we eat to sustain our health or simply to satisfy hunger has a huge impact on our long term health prospects. Beginning in middle age (and sometimes earlier), we suffer the consequences of how we choose to eat in our youth. Are we simply an organic boiler that we can feed any kind of fuel and expect to stay healthy? The answer is no. There are qualitative as well as quantitative considerations.
 
Eating simply to eliminate hunger was reasonably safe as recently as 60 years ago. However, the introduction of refined foods, sugar (artificial and natural), chemical additives, and eventually a world-wide distribution network (that allows foods from any climatic zone to be available anywhere any time of year) has made that an increasingly dangerous proposition.

As generations of poor eaters come and go the negative effects of eating without considering the effects of food on our energy and internal systems has resulted in poor health at an increasingly younger age. The baby boomers (those born between the 1940s and 1960s) were the first generation to be exposed to the bulk of the artificial ingredients and chemical laced consumer products that we currently come into contact with every day of our lives. The younger generations will face a prodigious minefield of health harming substances for their entire lifespan.

The explosion of degenerative diseases in the last twenty years is the direct result of the harmful substance contamination of our food and living environment. 1.6 million new cancer cases a year, 50,000 new cases of heart disease, 1.4 million new cases of diabetes, 50,000 new cases of lung disease, the list goes on, and that is just in the U.S.A. (Data from the CDC website.)

If we don’t start looking out for ourselves, paying attention to what we put in, on, and around our bodies, the greatest generation will be the last relatively healthy one.



7-24-2017
Health

The dictionary defines health as “the presence or absence of well-being.” Beyond a simple trip to the doctor, we Americans spend an inordinate amount of time, effort, and money searching for health. Is it to be found with nutritional supplements, Oriental diets and lifestyles, the latest commercial diet fad or health food kick, or maybe the newest miracle root or plant from the rain forest? 

What happened to us to make us so preoccupied with our health and cause us to view ourselves as unhealthy? 

This country’s journey into health self-examination started in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The industrialization of meatpacking plants brought about an ever-increasing disregard for the health of the consumer. In 1903, following the outcry after the publication of Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle, which depicted the conditions and practices in these plants, new laws were passed and the Food and Drug Administration was created to protect the public.

This time period witnessed the founding and gradual rise of the Seventh Day Adventists, a Christian sect that promoted vegetarianism and abstinence from tobacco and alcohol. One of the founders of the movement, Ellen G. White, wrote prolifically on the subject of diet and health. Her works influenced others, such as John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek fame and Jethro Kloss. Kellogg essentially started the health food industry when he invented whole grain breakfast cereal as a substitute for the upper-class’s eggs and meat and the lower-class’s gruel. Jethro Kloss operated and expanded health food manufacturing plants and opened health food stores during the early 1900s. In 1935, he published Back to Eden, which promoted vegetarianism and natural healing techniques and introduced America to soy foods as a meat substitute.

In 1968, the government became involved again in the food industry with the creation of the so-called McGovern Committee (the US Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs). Chaired by then-Senator George McGovern, the committee was originally conceived to investigate malnourishment in America. The committee’s purview grew throughout the Johnson and Nixon administrations to include environmental issues and the nation’s eating habits. The results of the investigation, issued in the McGovern Report (released in early 1977), were based on open discourse with a wide range of experts and concerned citizens from New Agers to industry executives and from medical doctors to folk healers. It was a genuine, open, and transparent attempt to figure out why so many of our citizens suffered from poor nutrition, heart disease, cancer, clogged arteries, and a host of other degenerative health issues—and what could be done about the situation. 

The committee’s original report was groundbreaking. The report called for a major overhaul of American eating habits. The committee’s research had determined that most of our health problems stemmed from our dietary and consumptive habits and set forth dietary guidelines to help bring about change. The guidelines called for greatly reduced consumption of dairy products and red meat in favor of fish and fowl. Grains, legumes, and vegetables replaced animal products as dietary mainstays. 

Unsurprisingly, shortly after the release of the original report, a firestorm of protest from the meat and dairy industries forced the committee to water down its language and scale back the proposed guidelines. Even so, that report, coupled with the emerging clout of the health food industry, altered the way we, the general public, look at food and health in this country. Nutritional labeling, ingredient listing, dietary restrictions on cholesterol and salt, and warning labels on alcohol and tobacco products were all repercussion s of this study. 

As a modern, scientific, Western society, we had come to the same conclusion as our ancient Chinese and Hindu predecessors: our physical and mental health is controlled by the food we eat. 

Our main roadblock to true health through proper eating is the marriage of the current corporate business structure to the country’s food supply. Companies must increase their profits every year to please stockholders. To increase profit, a food company must figure out how to encourage consumers to eat more. Thus, we are exposed to constant, highly effective marketing campaigns and enticed with artificial flavors, sweeteners, and color and texture enhancers that clog our arteries, depress our immune systems, create cell-destroying free radicals and cancer-causing agents, and contribute to weight problems caused by overeating. 

Our bodies have built-in systems to protect us from outside invasion and systemic diseases if we can keep them supplied with adequate fuel and nutrients. We also must restrain our self-destructive consumptive habits and retrain our taste buds to appreciate healthy foods. True health has to start with the three things we do every day to stay alive—breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat clean food—plus a little willpower to resist damaging substances and cultivate a healthy respect for our own lives.



6-27-2017
Corporate Feng Shui

Recently, I tried a new pub that my friends frequented that supposedly served only local craft beers. I figured I could at least get my favorite Shiner Bock draft as it was a Texas brew. I sidled up to the bar and asked for a Bock. I was told that they did not serve that brand as Shiner Brewery had been bought out by a big evil corporation, and their establishment did not sell corporate beer.

This experience had become a common one in food and drink venues around Austin and the larger circle of the natural foods industry. As long as you were a small corporation or a family owned business it was okay. But if you were too big, then you were evil.

Where was the line? What happened if your small company was successful and grew large? Did you become evil simply because you were successful, incorporated, or was there some other criteria? How did it come about that we look at corporations as a bad thing?

Corporations are the basic building blocks of capitalism. Capitalism is a mode of conducting business where a person or group invests cash that they don’t otherwise need for survival (known as capital) in an enterprise to make more money. Basically, the point is for investors to make money with money, not hard work.

There are many types of corporations. There are C corporations, S corporations, limited liability partnerships, and non-profit companies. The main advantages for creating a corporation are for one’s business to have a continuous existence (beyond the founder’s death), legal rights, and liabilities independent of its owners and investors.

Corporations became a common way of life in the seventeenth century through the spice and cotton trades. They fostered a global slave trade, exploited and stole the communal land of those who weren’t enslaved, and converted a sustainable farming/animal husbandry way of life (in place for thousands of years) into a monoculture poverty stricken labor force in order to feed their factories with the raw materials necessary for profit.


Modern corporate structures blossomed in the nineteenth century through the creation of state subsidized railroad companies. The railroads defrauded thousands of investors of millions of dollars (billions today) all over the world in what amounted to nothing more than a massive ponzi scheme (reminiscent of the Great Recession of 2008).

These forms of corporations are to this day responsible for an exponentially lower standard of living for the majority of the population of the world, and for the terrible degradation of the environment in their insatiable quest to supply their machines of production with raw materials and cheap labor. This is all done in the name of profit and the accumulation of wealth (and of course, the consumers’ demand for mass produced goods.)

The many depredations perpetrated by these corporations led to anti-corporate/monopoly/trust legislation in many countries, especially in the U.S., and a general anti-corporation public consciousness.

A corporation typically has to have investors and stock holders to grow fast and large. The stock holders and investors usually don’t work for the company and are simply in it for the yearly dividends they get paid for their investment. Through the Board of Directors, the investors actually control the corporation and can fire the corporate officers if they do not perform up to the investors’ expectations.

In these types of corporations, the focus is kept on profit, which sublimates all else to that goal. Employees are interchangeable cogs in the machine and the environment is seen as a supply depot to be used and abused as needed without regard for any broader repercussions. Cheaper and or dangerous ingredients are used, recipes changed, and processes are made more efficient and automated. As a result, there is little reciprocal support for the community of human beings (employees and consumers) that is in reality the very foundation of a corporation. Many corporations today not only treat their employees in an unsustainable manner, but they slowly poison their consumers with health damaging products.

The owners of these corporations, after having made huge fortunes on the backs of abject poverty and unimaginable suffering, turned to philanthropy and public works in their retirement. A pattern can be observed throughout corporate history: the creation of the core product or services, incorporation and the fight for survival, actively eliminating the competition and manipulation of stock, reducing costs largely through downward pressure on wages and labor lifestyle, massive profit taking, and ending in retirement and philanthropy.

Why not engage in philanthropy with one’s own employees and customers all through the company building process? Why not engage in environmentally sound business practices and sustainable resource harvesting? Why not focus on human beings and their quality of life? This is what “supporting the community” means. This is what “supporting the environment” means. This is what being “sustainable” means.

Destructive behavior is not endemic to the corporate structure. It depends largely on the company owners’ personality and goals in life, but also on growing slowly and in a sustainable manner. In this way a corporation can remain independent and adhere closely to any founding community and environmentally supporting ideals.

This is the path White Mountain has chosen to tread. We aren’t out to be the biggest or only yogurt maker. We aren’t trying to eliminate other yogurt makers. (There are plenty of yogurt eaters out there for anybody who wants to make and sell it.) We aren’t taking advantage of our employees’ hard work by paying them poorly. We aren’t taking advantage of our consumers by using low quality ingredients or additives. We aren’t interested in selling out to some corporate giant and retire in the lap of luxury.

We’re simply making products we feel good about, making a living doing it, and enjoying the hard work and community building that goes along with living a responsible and sustainable life.




5-23-2017
What Are Corporate Ethics?


From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of “ethics”:

1. ethics plural in form but singular or plural in construction: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
2. a.  a set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral values · the present-day materialistic ethic · an old-fashioned work ethic—often used in plural but singular or plural in construction · an elaborate ethics · Christian ethics
b.  ethics plural in form but singular or plural in construction: the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group professional ethics
c.  a guiding philosophy
d.  a consciousness of moral importance · forge a conservation ethic
3. ethics plural: a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness) · debated the ethics of human cloning

The term “corporate ethics” represents a good and bad structure applied to the operation of a corporation and how it interacts with people—employees, end users of its products or services, investors/stockholders, and government regulators. Ethics are not necessarily codified into law, but rather are generally considered a set of rules that are largely self-applied and self-policed.

Currently, there is a growing movement for corporations to become more ethically “good.” Corporations in general are seen as a bad thing, most recently due to the results of the Great Recession of 2008 and the highly publicized distribution of large bonuses to the corporate officers of publicly bailed-out companies. This trend has become a cutting-edge marketing technique that companies hope will help them stand out from their competitors.

The idea of using corporate ethics as a marketing strategy is aimed at persuading the consuming public to use its buying power to purchase the products and services of ethically certified companies and avoid those that have not been so certified—a variation on the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest or, in this case, the most ethical.  

There are various certifications that a company can apply for to make its case for recognition as a benevolent ethical business entity (B Corporation, for example, offers such a certification). Other elements of corporate ethics are the appointment of an independent board of directors that exerts control over corporate officers so they don’t loot the company at the expense of the stockholders; implementation of a policy that the CEO’s salary will not be exponentially higher than that of the average employee; and company engagement in environmentally supportive activities. But in the end, it all boils down to how human beings treat each other, and that can only come from inside a person—the individual in control. Any outside rules, regulations, or certifications can be circumvented when deemed necessary or out of simple greed.

Ethics are rooted in how we are from birth, how we were raised, what we were taught as children, and what we have witnessed during our lives. Simply put, it is part of who we are as individuals. As we age, we are affected by increasingly complex influences as we merge into our society and culture. In Western cultures, especially the United States, our cultural goal is to attain the holy grail of financial security and the lifestyle of the rich and famous through the accumulation of wealth. We are taught these views in grade school, through the many media streams we consume, and in our professional career training. The corollary to our wealth accumulation training is that we are also trained to desire and purchase consumer goods. The consumer dynamic is even held up as our patriotic duty to ensure a strong national economy. This dual perspective—the desire to make money coupled with the desire for consumer goods—creates the polarity that keeps the engine of business running and people willing to spend their entire lives operating in it.

To attain the goal of financial security, competition has been accepted as a normal way of life and as necessary for a healthy capitalistic society to function. Treating people poorly is the natural result of this worldview, as respect for others is usually the first ethic to fall by the wayside in the quest for wealth through competition. Our lifestyle goals place enormous strain on any ethical structure we create. How can we be outraged at corporate officers who seek to accomplish these encoded financial goals by giving themselves large bonuses and paying themselves exorbitant salaries, when attaining those goals is considered the apex of success in our culture?

We must replace those lifestyle goals with something more inclusive, while at the same time providing for our social and financial security. We have to be accountable to each other, connected to each other, and helpful to each other; we need to look out for each other. In other words, we need to return to our hunter-gatherer tribal roots and incorporate more egalitarian ethics into our everyday lives. We have to realize that we depend on each other for our ultimate happiness and enjoyment in life and that how we feel about ourselves is based on our treatment of others—not on money or consumer goods.  

In this country, we attempt to promulgate to other countries a set of ethics involving democratic processes, human rights, morals, and the benefits of capitalism while at the same time, here at home, we pillage each other in the name of business to the point that many of us can’t afford to have a reasonably healthy life or a home. We should seek our security in our connections to other human beings and not in cold hard cash.

In the business environment, White Mountain Foods feels these new ethical goals should translate into what we call “right livelihood” (making a living with work that makes us feel good about ourselves and supports the community); treating each other as equals with differences; and an overarching tribal/egalitarian view of work, responsibility, and profit.

The corporate environment is a living, breathing entity, or corpus—Latin for “body,” a structure of life, and the root word of corporation. For survival, the corporate entity depends on all of its various parts (team members) to be present and working properly. Is one part more important than another if it takes all for the entity to function? How does one maintain all those parts harmoniously? It begins with respect for individuals and acceptance of those individuals as they are. Only then can you build a team that is focused on the ethical production of healthy products, the ethical support of each other, and the ethical support of consumers—all of which ultimately contribute to the support and advancement of the company and, by extension, the community/environment in which it resides and operates.



3-09-2017
Authentic, Old World Style Yogurt

The nutritional contents of food are held up as its defining attributes, the scientifically verifiable and quantifiable, what we should be using food for. We are told to seek out or reduce calories, protein, fat, sugars, and certain vitamins and minerals in order to attain a state of good health. The nutrients have also been linked to the support of bodily functions, our organs, glands, the immune system, the regenerative system, and our blood. This has all been scientifically proven - but when was the last time you ate food that actually made you feel good as you were eating it and was supposedly good for you?

Yes, our yogurt has a high probiotic count. It is made with a dairy product high in protein and calcium. It has no chemicals, preservatives, or texture modifiers added to it; has a traditional tart taste; and is packed in glass. Science has shown that yogurt supports the immune system and overall gut health. In this way we try to describe our yogurt by comparing it to other yogurts, by illuminating it with generally accepted quantifiable attributes.

But it's the unquantifiable that makes our yogurt truly attractive and unique, that makes our consumers fall in love with it, and enjoy it so much. Their body craves it. It reminds them of home. It reminds their body of what real, gut satisfying, health supporting food tastes and feels like when it goes down. Not just in their mouth, but in their gut.

Yogurt is not just milk with live culture added to it, and White Mountain yogurt is not just any yogurt. When the culture is allowed to work on the milk for an extended period of time and allowed to become true old world style yogurt, the result is much greater than the sum of its parts.

Our yogurt is appreciated by what we call our "rabid consumers" (those who seek to infect others with the White Mountain Yogurt bug) because of its unquantifiable attributes. It simply makes them feel good.





1-17-2017
Introduction: Who We Are

Hello, my name is Jeff Murray, and I am the owner and CEO of our thirty-six-year-old family business, White Mountain Foods. Based in Austin, Texas, we manufacture and distribute Bulgarian yogurt and vegan, meat-alternative health food products. The yogurt is distributed nationally and the vegan products are available in the Texas/Southwest region. 

My relationship with White Mountain Foods started in 1997. During my time here, I’ve discovered that the founder, Reed Murray (my brother) , our customers, and I share a common philosophy: human beings first, business and profit second.

Our food philosophy can be traced back to the early 1960s, when my parents (who both grew up on farms) decided to try eating healthier in hopes of avoiding the cardiovascular disease that had killed several of my paternal relatives at a young age. Influenced by information from the Framingham Heart Study, which they read about in Reader’s Digest, my parents gradually eliminated many harmful foods and introduced us to the concept of food as medicine.

That concept of food as medicine grew to become my life’s passion. I have experimented with food and the environment’s effects on my body and those around me for over forty-five years. I have discovered that all the harmful substances we ingest or subject ourselves to have definable effects on our bodies and minds that can develop into life-threatening disease or mental instability.

Producing wholesome, additive-free foods that support health is the best way I know to make a difference. Accomplishing that goal begins with providing our employees with a healthy, enjoyable, safe, and supportive work environment. That atmosphere of support directly transfers to our products. Our products are and will always be made with one thing in mind: the health and support of our customers and our environment.

In the future I will use this page to share some of my thoughts and experiences about food and its relationship to our mental and physical health.  

It is my hope that our products and my experiences can make a positive contribution to your life.

1 comment: