Living experience on a raw food farm – Day 31

Day 31 1/12/05

I woke up at 5:00 am this morning. I got picked up at 6:00 am to be taken to Christian Ackerman's to butcher a pig. The driver almost left without me. Peter didn’t know I was getting picked up and told her it was the wrong house. I had to run after her. She was fat and pimply.

It was still dark out and extremely foggy. We started talking about the Amish. She drives a lot of them around. She thought I might be Amish. She found it surprising that I was able to live with them and they let me. She asked if they have running water or take showers much. I said, “Yes, they do take showers.” She said, “They smell a lot of the time when she drives them.” She asked, “Is it going to be hard for you to butcher a pig?” I said, “Not really.” She said that she doesn’t eat too much meat and that whenever she does she usually feels gross and will stay away from it for months. She doesn’t eat read meat, eats a little chicken, fish and usually turkey. I asked her if she feels good when she eats organic grass-fed meat. She didn’t know what that was. I explained to her what they did to cows in factory farms. She said, “That’s mean.”

Christian I met at the conference a week ago. He’s a young guy, about 23. He has a wife, two kids and a whole farm to take care of. I ate breakfast with him and he made some eggnog with coconut kefir. I thought it was funny and neat that this Amish guy knew about and liked coconut kefir. Breakfast was good.

We went to the butcher shop. I helped out his brother Michael in the barn a little bit, sweeping the hay etc. Christian has 15 Jersey cows. One has a crooked face. They killed about 2-3 pigs yesterday. They were Homer’s and he was going to come by and help today. I spent a couple of hours cutting them up. I talked with Christian a lot about Weston Price, Amish and English, etc. He said he used to have his own construction business and had a cell phone. He said he needed the cell phone in order to run a successful business but he is glad that he doesn’t have to have it anymore. He said it would never stop ringing and he felt that the radiation caused cancer. He had a friend who used to always chew on the antenna and ended up getting a blister on the inside of his lip. He talked about how the Amish aren’t perfect like everyone thinks and how they are human too. It was a good time.

Michael, his brother, is 15. He was making beef jerky and gave me some. Christian had a bite and said, “Hmmmmm, RAW” It was funny, like a Raw Meat Commercial. They used whole garlic, whole onion and naturally fermented soy sauce. It was good.

I cut up the pig into different sections for scrapple, bacon and sausage. I was working on grinding up the lard in a meat grinder and Homer came in with his son Andrew. Andrew was crying a lot. Later as we were cutting up pork, Andrew would take the bone and eat the raw meat off the bone like it was nothing. Homer said they gave Andrew raw meat every once in a while and he loves it. I thought that was great. They don’t like giving him raw pork though.(1)

We took some of the cooked bones and some organs out of the wood-fire oven and I saw Andrew walking around munching on a liver. I hope my kids are like that. The kidneys were the delicacy that day. As soon as we took them out of the wood fire oven, everyone went after them. We added some salt and they tasted incredible. I felt really good, a little bit like when I eat a raw liver. We went to eat lunch, it was the best meal I’ve had since I’ve been here: extremely decadent spare ribs, tender and fatty beef, sweet potatoes cooked in cream and butter, peas and carrots, fermented salsa, cottage cheese, yogurt with raspberry sauce, milk and of course, butter.

I showed them how it is possible to eat the spare rib bones if they are cooked long enough. They fell apart in my mouth. They tried it too and seemed to like it. It’s funny how a lot of these Amish people who are into the Weston Price stuff are open to just about anything, even raw meat. I feel I could get them to eat anything if I told them Sally or Aajonus said it was okay. I ate till I was stuffed. I still felt decently good.

When we finished eating, we went back to the barn to make scrapple and sausage. Scrapple is pork scraps, organic lard and fermented grain (Christian does corn, wheat and oats with a kefir culture). I mixed it in the wood-fired kettle, it was great. I was addicted to Scrapple when I first came to live with Albert.

I left with Homer Adams. We stopped to get some gas and Homer stepped out of the car. The driver turned around and said, “I’m trying to figure you out, are you Amish or what?” I told him, I was helping them out with some stuff. He told me how he thought they were weird cause they live like it’s the 1800’s. He said he drives a lot of them around. On the weekend, he’ll take a bunch of Amish girls to the beach and they will put on two-pieces. He said he’s had a couple over at his house swimming before. He said on weekends, there will sometimes be these huge Amish parties that 100 kids will go to. He said he used to have a 12 passenger van and the he would charge Amish kids $12 a pop to take them home. He said he would make $200 a night sometimes and would be up to 3 am. I stopped at Homer’s; he had his nephew drive me home in a carriage. He was about 12 years old(2). It was extremely foggy. It felt like a Disney land ride with fake fog. I already said what I ate today.

1. Sometimes, people have funny rationalizations. So raw beef and fish is okay, but raw pork? GROSS! I think people believe too much that they read. People freak out about salmonella in chicken, but maybe the salmon industry made that up to get people to eat more salmon. Then, the chicken industry retorted by creating the “mercury in salmon” theory. The chicken and salmon industries both attack the beef industry by saying that red meat is bad for cholesterol and the heart. But the beef industry counters by promoting the image, “Real men eat 10 oz steaks!” Beef, chicken and salmon all gang up on pork. The Pork industry needs to hire better PR people. “The other white meat”, just doesn’t cut it.

2. Many of the Amish that I was with, would give their children responsibility at young ages. For example, teach them how to drive horse and buggies before they were 12 years old. I like this way of parenting and felt it was more beneficial. Among the English, it’s like, “You are such a cute baby, look at the cute baby. We do everything for our baby.” Then the kid starts going through puberty and isn’t as cute anymore and the parents say, ‘Get a job! Get some responsibility!” The kid doesn’t know what to do because his parents never showed him how and he gets blamed for it. That is how it was for me. When I went to college, I didn’t even know how to do laundry. Parents need to take more responsibility.

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