World Trade Center Environmental Organization http://www.wtceo.org/
March 28 The New York City Peak Oil Meetup forged ahead last Thursday
with its campaign to educate the public in basic farming skills, undeterred
by the fact that the meeting was held in the belly of that
most unnatural beast, Midtown Manhattan. As part of its series
Bringing the Farm to You, Thursday's guests spoke about The Cow
From One End to the Udder.
Deb Tyler, a dairy farmer from Cornwall Bridge in Connecticut, talked about
growing up in Wisconsin and moving to New England where she came to appreciate
the cow's ability to transform sparse grass in a rocky landscape into protein-rich
sustenance. Adolescent rebellion took the form of eschewing meat, milk,
grapes and an assortment of other foods on idealistic grounds that in the
end seemed ungrateful and were anyway driving her crazy.
She returned to cows after getting her teacher's license and tried to come
up with ways to bring cows to the classroom or vice versa. She now
owns a herd of ten Jersey cows which, unlike the Holsteins most of
us get our milk from, have normal pituitary glands that don't overdose
us with hormones . Through the non-profit http://www.motherhouse.us/
she teaches classes in how to milk, "Eggs-perience Chickens,"
"Get Your Goat" and master a host of other Old Style Life Skills.
S he also boards other people's cows from which they can get
their own supply of unadulterated raw milk.
The herd is all female. Male Jerseys aren't so gentle and when they get
to be a year old, Deb and her family eat them. Most of the cows in
the herd are artificially inseminated by Deb herself since her arm
is smaller than a man's and doesn't hurt the cow as much. The semen is injected
into the unanaesthetized cow's cervix (aagh!) but the cows don't seem to
A woman and her daughter who board a cow with Deb come every day, always
in the same dresses or overalls. They also have one dress "for good."
"I thought I lived simply," said Deb, who alludes to Quaker philosophy,
"but they've got it down."
Following Deb, Melanie Ferreira, a gourmet organic chef who recently founded
the Academy of Healing Nutrition, http://www.academyhealingnutrition.com/
talked about the health-giving properties of raw milk. Although
pasteurization was instituted to stop the spread of TB in the twenties, the
TB was more the result of unclean manufacturing processes used at the time
rather than a risk from the milk itself. Pasteurization and homogenization
rob raw milk of its health-giving properties, Melanie said, going on to warn
the audience to beware the word 'organic' which does not always mean what
She had brought a dozen eggs from 'pastured' hens that eat bugs and worms
and are therefore more nutritious. The eggs we buy often come from chickens
that have been debeaked since the conditions in which they're raised
are so 'cooped up' in the original sense, they would otherwise peck
each other mercilessly.
The eggs were a range of colors and sizes including one that was tinged
with blue. Melanie cracked one egg open. The yolk was an orange mound, larger
than what we're accustomed to, like a dilated pupil. The amniotic
fluid was distinct from the rest of the white.
A piece of shell had fallen in. Saying, "The egg loves the egg." Melanie used
half a shell to scoop it up. The shell-piece virtually leapt into the scoop of
familiar substance, a marvel to those of us who remembered pursuing elusive
bits with a spoon.
By way of grand finale in showing nature's versatility, Melanie separated
the film that clings to the inside of the shell and placed it on the arm
of a volunteer saying, "Nature's bandaid."
Then Deb broke open a bottle of raw milk and, since it's illegal to sell
it in New York State, passed around free samples.
The event was organized by Philip Botwinick who is also one of six main
organizers of the Energy Solutions Conference to take place in New York
City, April 27-29.