Home Health and Nutrition Folks, This Ain’t Normal

Folks, This Ain’t Normal
Read in 19 min.
Listen in 23 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Joel Salatin

Folks, This Ain’t Normal

Improving all of society by changing our food habits

Our well-being begins with what we eat: the foods we consume have a huge influence on our overall health, as well as on our lifestyle, and on the whole society in which we live. That is why the US government's clear preference for industrial food production systems over traditional farms is having a disastrous impact on people, who are losing both their culture and health in one fell swoop. To reverse this trend, we need to learn about the problem, and Joel Salatin helps us do this in his book Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World.

Folks, This Ain’t Normal
Read in 19 min.
Listen in 23 min.

The relationship between farms and their surrounding communities is broken

In an ideal world, farms produce the food that the surrounding community consumes, creating a virtuous circle of cultivation, breeding, distribution and consumption that is very simple, direct and creates very little pollution. However, it is unfortunate that this ideal method no longer seems to exist: the drive towards progress and greater wealth that began in the 1960s and 1970s, has gradually eroded the relationship between farms and local communities, on the one hand allowing the entry of a third wheel, in the form of large industrial production companies, and on the other, imposing increasingly strict rules on the food trade. These two factors have led to a paradox: to put safer food on the table, we make it impossible for any producers of what many might refer to as ‘real food’ to access the market, whilst rolling out a red carpet for chemically treated foods that are often produced using methods that are far removed from the way nature intended.

Not only does this new landscape have an impact on the food we consume, but it also affects culture itself. By making seasonal products available all year round, placing long-haul foods on the shelves that otherwise would never have been part of the local cuisine, and creating new food purchasing trends - which involves the sale of goods that are already washed, cut and packaged - today's practices are completely erasing all knowledge of culinary traditions, and natural, seasonal cycles in the new generations.

So, on the one hand, it is the traditional farms that suffer, but on the other hand, this process impacts us all, effectively making us strangers to the food culture that has been with us since the beginning of time.


The key ideas of "Folks, This Ain’t Normal"

The relationship between farms and their surrounding communities is broken
The trouble started when kids stopped chopping the wood
The problem at the heart of the waste we produce nowadays lies in the loss of our traditional cooking culture
The food we are used to is very polluting and industrial
Fast foods are destroying the market for local produce
Intensive farming and genetic modification are the evils of our time
Take-home message
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