Sunday, August 19, 2012

Move Over Viagra!

I usually don't talk much about private affairs but two conflicting statements by health gurus Joe Cross and Mehmet Oz had me intrigued and my husband is doing an experiment with yellow watermelon. Joe Cross said that when he was juicing his sex drive was low. Dr. Oz wrote that for men to have optimal health they should have sex over 600 times a year. When I broke that down, that was twice a day (if you subtracted the time a woman was on her period and you didn't see any activity). I read Dr. Oz's statement when we were eating fairly healthy years ago but we weren't heavy juicers or mostly vegans and I thought he was nuts. I was happy with my sex life and several times a week was ample for me. How could anyone have the energy or time for twice a day?

When we started juicing until dinner for several months, my energy increased dramatically. My sex drive increased with it. Daily activity seemed like no problem but this idea about twice daily still seemed far fetched. When we started eating primarily vegan and ate a lot of raw food, my energy took another leap. Twice a day is not only possible but easy. If you eat right and go to bed on time, between 10 pm and 11 pm for us, you have enough energy then. You automatically wake up ready to go at about 6 am. You have time before you start your day at 7 am like we usually do. Along came an article about yellow watermelon and Viagra like effects. Result? It had my husband buying basket loads of yellow watermelon from KMK Farms yesterday.

Most people haven't eaten a yellow watermelon but it tastes much like a regular watermelon. The key benefit though is found in the rind. If you eat 6 cups of rind and flesh (my husband peeled the skin and ate the rind with the watermelon) studies show it has Viagra like effects. Better than Viagra is the fact that not only can it help erectile dysfunction, there is speculation that long term consumption can produce long term results.  Other benefits of yellow watermelon: Citrulline, found in yellow watermelon combines with the bodies enzymes to produce arginine which is what some body builders take in chemical form. Yellow watermelon is good to assist with blood circulation, angina, high blood pressure and of course sex drive. With all these benefits, we see the truth about Hippocrates statement "let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Of course watermelon taste better than medicine.

Big question is how are you going to eat 6 cups of yellow watermelon rind and flesh easily? Easy, juice it! Don't have a juicer? We'll make it for you on our Norwalk which preserves 90% of the nutritional value. Watermelon Juice $5 with rind, made fresh for you. Or buy a watermelon $3. Mark ate one whole mini watermelon yesterday and felt a flush which slightly reminded him of the flush he got when he took niacin. Read more at

So what are you waiting for. Yellow Watermelon up while it's in season! Can't hurt and will definintely help give your body nutrition not found in most of your food sources.

Yours in health, hope and happiness.

Ta-raw Hamilton

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Simple Eye

Wander lust bit me as far back as I can remember. The desire to travel the world and eat the finer things in life was the stuff my dreams were made of. My travel dreams came true when we owned a successful printing company. I researched the finest restaurants in every city and the trip centered around dining out. Now, as a frugal, organic farmer living in Fresno -- rather than in beautiful San Diego or Cosmopolitan Toronto or even Ethnic India, both my travel and culinary dreams are largely repressed.

It's hard for me to keep a simple eye with respect to these things. My ultimate dream career was being a personal travel sampler. The king had a taster, and although rich people have lots of money, they all have limited time. My idea was to go to exotic locales, find the coolest things to do and the best food to eat. Plan an itinerary where people could see the hidden gems of the location, be treated to the best health services, like massage and hot springs and eat the finest food. Whether I'm part of the vacation or not, I get excited when someone is going to travel. I want them to get the most out of their trip, whether it's business or vacation.

This past weekend was my first trip where I dined out extensively since adopting a pure food lifestyle. We stayed at the Hilton in Scotts Valley near Santa Cruz. Excellent hotel that I was able to get on priceline. Then we packed our picnic lunch and supper for Thursday since I wasn't going to pay the ridiculous prices for a Thanksgiving meal since we don't celebrate it anyway. I had pre-selected two excellent organic pizza restaurants, one in San Francisco and one in Santa Cruz. I spent a hundred dollars at the farmers market in Aptos buying fresh berries, sprouts and other items for our lunches on Saturday and Sunday. We dined at the most beautiful restaurant in Capitola called ShadowBrook. We ate organic sorbet and organic vegan hot dogs as a junk food thing. This trip followed a day trip to L.A. where we dined at two raw restaurants.

I have to tell you, my body was not happy with me.  When I ate at the two restaurants (both raw) in L.A, I needed to take a 2 hour nap because there was so much oil on their food. It all glistened with it. The organic thin crust pizza was probably the best choice of my trip. Shadowbrook left me feeling as heavy as the raw restaurants. For the frist time in my life, I appreciated what Jesus said in the Bible "The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is simple, your whole body will be bright".

As I walked to work yesterday, I took time to converse with my God, Jehovah, and to thank him for the simple realization that it took me a lifetime to arrive at. I have the best life in the world. Every day I get to play with his food creations. I express my creativity and love in the diverse creations that preserve the inherent nutrients and flavors he endowed the food with. Keeping my eye simple by eating pure food has kept my whole body bright. My mind is sharp and alert. My feet tap energetically to the jazz playing at the cafe. My fingers deeply massage the greens, my skin glows with the purity of the food I've consumed and my eyes shine from gazing at my customers, my friends and family partaking, in these simple delights with me.

Perhaps it was an overindulgence in finer things that brought me to the realization that I don't want the life of the rich and famous. Maybe it was the thorough saturation of pure food this last year, or it could have been the little bulge my tummy acquired over this vacation -- whatever the case, I now revel in simple things. As the world bombards you with culinary temptations that will only make you irritable, drowsy and fat -- remember the simple life is the best one.

I finally understand. The glamor of dating, the excitement of courting is the stuff dreams are made of. Especially when money isn't a problem. Some people spend their whole lives dating and courting, touting the virtues of the single life. But it should be a prelude to a much deeper relationship. The excitement settles into a yearning. A gentle missing the person when they aren't with you. Instead of discovering new things about them, you draw on knowledge of your love to anticipate their needs and provide them with what they need so they never have eyes for anyone else. Your mate is what you're content with 24/7 for the rest of your life. When a stud comes along promising the world, you reject it, knowing that empty promises lead to broken hearts. All these years, I was courting food, trying to find the fit that was best for me. But now I'm married. My pure food lifestyle satiates me completely and I must keep my eye simple so that like a naive schoolgirl, I'm not seduced by a deceptive promise of things that aren't real.

I promise now and forever to keep a simple eye. I'm committed to unadulterated foods made with love by our creator to nourish our body and mind. For the first time in my life, with respect to fine dining, I can say "That don't impress me much".

May you too let your light shine with the simple things in life. Pure food, pure love, and pure thoughts.

I remain simply yours,


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Escape from Crude Reality

I rarely get sick but when I do, it's always the same pattern. I resist the general flu, then a stronger virus attacks and turns into a sinus infection because I continue working when I first get sick. I had not had a day off for two and a half months, and I've had 5 days off this past week. As a little girl, my mom made being sick a time of love and recharging.

I think Indians in general tend to be workaholics, but I've worked since I was 9 years old, and if I was too sick to work, my mom knew something was truly wrong. She would always start off with a head massage. Our whole body is connected to our hands, feet and head-- and her belief was that if you were sick, your body needed help to fight it off. She would part my hair into miniscule sections and apply almond, coconut or mustard oil to my entire scalp.  Then she would massage my head with short and long strokes and finally squeeze it like a large grapefruit. Sometimes a fully body massage would ensue. Then I was to lay in bed (wasn't allowed to watch tv) and read or sleep and eat.  She would prepare hearty lentil soups or one that was a mini black garbanzo bean. She would also make me peas porridge for breakfast. She was always an amazing cook but those tastes were more pronounced when I was sick.

When we went to Europe for the first time four years ago, I marvelled at how much less people ate over there. In France, (Nice and Paris) and Italy (Rome, Pisa and Venice) they all drank whine with their meals. In Nice, Rome and Pisa I ate on the cruise ship, but in Paris, Venice and Madrid we ate like the locals. I was shocked at the prices and we carefully selected restaurants. We don't drink alcohol, but our daughter Laura, who had been to Europe years earlier, said she regretted not trying the wine because everybody said how different it was. When water and wine are the same cost, 50 cent difference, I figured we should drink wine and sangria. We could only afford to eat until we were no longer hungry, not until we were stuffed like we were accustomed to in America. 

Like my mothers cooking, I remember every meal we ate in Europe when we weren't on the cruise. The dishes were exquisite and the wine was warming. The meal demanded that we linger over it since the expense meant it was an occasion to be celebrated and treasured. I was always warmly happy when I finished dining.

This past week, my husband and daughter filtered and bottled the first batch of organic wine that my son Kyal and he personally made at the farm. Our grapes are not only organic, but unsulfured. They have nothing added to them in the growing process other than neem oil. We didn't add yeast or sulfur or anything else to the wine. My husband brought home a bottle on Tuesday evening. After having a glass, I told him it reminded me of the wine in Paris and Venice. In Paris, we selected a restaurant very carefully. It was a cold drizzly day but we insisted on walking so we could see the city I had only dreamed about. After lingering over our meal, our bodies were warm and the cold didn't bother us. In Venice, we ate Italian Pizza with our wine and the evening wind didn't faze us at all. I had needed a hot water bottle in bed when I was sick, but after drinking the wine, I was warm from head to toe. I had another glass and was giddy with happiness. I should have stopped at one glass.

On Thursday, evening my daughter Lydia made an incredible spinach Ravioli with a red sauce. I ate three plates and drank no wine. On Friday, evening I asked her if there was any left and she said yes. She folded sauteed mushrooms into the red sauce too. My husband asked if I would like some wine with my dinner. We both had a glass. The food was unbelievable. That same day, at the cafe Ariana and Rachel were expressing their love in the kitchen. Eileen commented The enchiladas were so awesome, like a symphony of delicious tastes in my mouth! The Chocolate Cream pie was a perfectly healthy indulgent finale to the meal! Brian commented Your "surprise me with something" shake was FANTASTIC! More than worth the walk! Clearly, those customers, like me, reveled in their meal. Like Europe, I knew I could have only one serving of the pasta that day because there wasn't any more left. Like Europe, because I drank the wine with my meal, I didn't crave anymore. In fact the warmth that crept over my body was sublimely delicious. I was sick but happy. I never got giddy because I had only one glass.

It occurred to me then, that in America, we have made our entire eating experience crude. We eat on the run. We don't revel over our meals as an occasion to be celebrated, in fact most families don't eat together and more often than not our meals are consumed in front of the t.v., computer or in our cars. The food we are eating is heavily processed and not made with local farm fresh ingredients like the meals we ate in Europe. If we drink wine with our meal, it is not a house wine or sangria like the ones we drank in Europe made with love by local vintners. It is commercialized wine made with sulfur, yeast, malic, tartaric and citric acid added. The grape juice is often imported from Chile because it's cheaper. In fact both Trader Joes and Whole Foods have jumped on the band wagon with $2 bottles of wine. Americans are given cheap food, cheap wine, cheap soda and cheap junk food. In India and; Mexico, the sodas are expensive, the bottles are small, and they are made with cane sugar. Here corn syrup is added to most of our food and beverages because it's cheaper than cane sugar. Junk food in India, Mexico, England and Europe was very expensive because it is processed and requires machines etc. Organic veggies are cheaper because they're farm fresh and local. Here we can get soda cheaper than water and chips and chocolate cheaper than veggies.

In Europe everyone drinks wine with their meal. In France, their diets are rich with butter, cheese, bread and meat which all can lead to heart problems but they have lower rates of heart attack than Americans. It has been said that their custom of wine drinking is healthful for them. In the Bible, Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his frequent stomach problems and Jesus drank wine with his meals. In fact wine was safer than water to drink.

For our anniversary, a dear friend who works at a winery in Northern California brought us a 10 year old bottle of wine. It is said that a woman should have 4 ounces of wine, and a man should have 8.  We tried to drink it, but it was too strong for us. We drink maybe once a year. When i drink our wine, it smells like a wine so my body prepares to dislike it-- but it goes down smooth. I don't wake up in the middle of the night like I usually do after drinking a glass of wine. As the daughter of a Sikh Priest who didn't belive in drinking alcohol, I hate to say it, but I can see why a little wine could be good for us.

I've heard the saying, when in Rome, do as the Romans -- but I must say that we have to exert our utmost effort to not eat like Americans when in America. During this holiday season when excess is rampant and quality is elusive, many are caught up in the whirlwind of "American" food. But our bodies are a temple to be honored and kept chaste. Unlike the idol worshippers who ate meat that hadn't been properly bled, Christians refrained from such practices. May we too refrain from eating food that pollutes our body and violates the sanctity of the gift God gave us: life. With our food and our drink, may we choose a little deliciousness over an excess of crudeness.

Encouraging you to focus on quality, not quantity
on value and not cost

I remain,

Ta-Raw Hamilton, 



Saturday, November 12, 2011

Government Studies support diets that support big corporations

I read a study today that had 22 health experts rating diets.  A vegan diet barely met the 3.0 overall rating. The Raw Food Diet was rated as one of the worst 3.  Why? The article says

2. Raw Food Diet (score: 2.1) 

  • Type: Low-calorie 
  • The aim: Depends, but may include weight loss, improved health and helping the environment
  • The claim: Raw food is packed with natural enzymes and nutrients that help the body reach optimal health — and you’ll shed pounds.
  • Promotes: Raw food that hasn’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered or exposed to pesticides or herbicides, including fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs
  • Reduces: Eliminates anything pasteurized, all processed foods, refined sugars and flours, table salt and caffeine
  • Pros: Fruits and veggies dominate the menu; nearly guaranteed weight loss
  • Cons: Tedious meal prep; equipment required; lots of rules
  • Cardiovascular benefits: According to U.S. News, it’s unclear, but this diet could have a positive effect. “An eating pattern heavy on fruits and veggies, but light on saturated fat and salt, is considered the best way to keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check and heart disease at bay,” U.S. News stated.
  • Why No. 19? Experts found this diet to be lacking in calories, calcium and vitamins B12 and D. Its safety was also questioned because experts felt the emphasis on raw and undercooked ingredients resulted in a high risk of food poisoning.


Let's get this straight, the only cons they came up with is that there is

1) Tedious meal prep? I guess if nuking food for 30 seconds and sitting on your butt in front of the TV is your idea of fun, preparing healthy meals from the rainbow colored fruits and veggies pictured above might be tedious. This attitude has most Americans eating out instead of making home made meals like our grandparents. But if you don't want to prep, eat them as is.

2) Equipment required?! Are you kidding me? Eating Raw Food intrinsically requires no equipment for basic preparation, it's raw, remember? For the advanced or "tedious" preparation I guess equipment is needed, but is their microwave, stove and bbq not equipment?  The only equipment I know of for advanced raw-food is a food processor, vita-mix and dehydrator.

3) Lots of rules?! One rule folks, don't heat past 118 degrees. 

I love that it's unclear to them that "an eating pattern heavy on fruits and veggies and light on fat and salt is considered the best way to keep cholesterol and blood pressure in check and heart disease at bay." 

The experts found this diet lacking in calories. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, obesity is now the fastest- growing cause of illness and death in America today. But hey, let's discredit diets that cut down on calories.

Lacking in calcium?! What because we don't drink pasteurized milk that actually weakens our bones? Sesame seeds, broccoli, kale, beans, almonds and walnuts which are all grown locally without mistreating animals are rich in calcium.

Lacking in B12?! Lifetime vegetarians in India don't have Vit B12 deficiencies. Maybe because Green Beans, Beets, Carrots, Peas, and under the sea vegetables like Nori and Spirulina contain Vitamin B12 as do fermented foods like Water Kefir, Miso and Fermented seed and nut cheeses. Vitamin B12 is necessary in miniscule amounts. It is needed in such small amounts it is spoken of in micrograms, not even in milligrams. Regardless of what authorities say, this much we can secure through a diet of fruits, nuts and vegetables as is illustrated by one of the most populated countries in the world, India, where the largest bio-diversity of vegetables is grown and consumed.

Lacking in Vitamin D?! Come on now, Sunshine is where we get Vitamin D and the sun shines everywhere. You can't blame food if you don't get up and get out in the sun. I walk to work every day to get my 40 minutes of sun. I guess getting out in the sun might be considered tedious by nutritionists too, but I call it logical. In India, as soon as the sun comes up, people go out in their courtyards which are in the middle of their homes and this is their living room where they actually live, eat, work and play. In America, the center stage of our indoor living rooms is the TV which promotes hiding from the sun and taking in more calories. 

Uncooked ingredients result in risk of food poisoning? Organic food is the purist, least poisoned food in the world. We can eat it uncooked and unwashed if we want to.  Cooking food doesn't kill the cancer causing carcinogens but I guess that's not food poisoning that's body poisoning which is making millions for these same nutritionists and dr's so they won't mention that.

Here is a link to the article:

May you not be duped into believing everything you read.  In the Bible, the Boreans were considered more noble-minded because they examined the scriptures to make sure that what they were being taught was true. May you too examine whether the meat diets this article is promoting is consistent with good health. Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn have demonstrated otherwise in "Forks over Knives" as did Joe Cross in "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." "Dying to have Known" also highlighted the medical communities unjustified attempt to discredit people like Dr. Gerson. 

Like the article said pure food results "in weight loss, improved health and helping the environment", what could be nobler than that?

Yours in knowledge, scrutiny and health,

I remain

Ta-raw Hamilton 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thank You

I tell everyone that comes into our 600 square feet of raw paradise that my goal is to be like the general store that existed in the olden days where customers knew the owner and the owner provided them with the basics they needed to stock their homes. Sometimes in this global economy where internet has replaced face to face communication, I think that my goal is far fetched. How happy I was to hear an entrepreneur speaking of how social media is returning customers to one to one marketing where they are developing a relationship with the businesses they shop with. My brother, Jas, kept harping on me that I needed to blog and make videos to share my knowledge with others. Despite the vast amount of time this takes, I have done so as a Thank you to my customers. Sometimes I felt that it was pointless because very few people give me feedback electronically. However, I'm amazed by people who come into the cafe and tell me that they read all my blogs, they record my shows and they follow us on facebook. I guess a local economy in a global world really is possible.

This blog is to thank you. I want to thank every person who cares enough to come into our store and support us with your purchase of groceries, food or smoothies. Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs and taking in knowledge about food, farming and community. Thank you for investing the time to learn how to make healthy food by watching our show Ta-Raw on KGMC Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. or at our free uncooking classes Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Thank you for caring about your health. Thank you for being ambassadors of health to others. Thank you for returning to old fashioned values where your health, the farmer and the environment support each other and the city we live in. Thank you for rewarding my efforts to make nutritious food by coming in to enjoy it. Thanks for filling the social gap left in my life because I no longer go out with friends to eat unhealthy restaurant food. In the pecking order of perfect stranger, kind of stranger, acquaintance, friend and finally,-- family, our shared love of food and health has transformed us from perfect strangers and made us a close knit family and community.

As we approach one year of investing our lives into our cafe and market, I want to thank each and every one of you who has shown a vested interested in supporting my dream and goal for a healthier Fresno.

Yours in gratitude, health and love,

I remain,

Ta-Raw Hamilton

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flu Season and the holidays, any connection?

People have been sick or fighting the flu for a couple of weeks and will typically fight the flu until March. This is directly linked to the increased consumption of sweets from Halloween through Valentines day because sugar supresses the immune system. Many people excuse themselves from having to eat right during this holiday time because of the social aspect of food. However, I remember eating dinner with Ruth Mumby, who is treating her breast cancer naturally with treatment form the Hoxsy clinic. Since sugar feeds cancer, she didn't take even one bite of our desserts at the restaurant. She also had restricted choices because she couldn't have anything with tomato, vinegar or pork because it negated the effectiveness of her tonics. Feeling that her lifestyle was overly restrictive, I asked her if she found it hard to live this way all the time. She answered, "No, life means more to me than desserts and some food." I never questioned her choices again.

My husband was at Costco with our 5 year old son Daniel in the first week of October and Costco put out all the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies right after Labor Day. Daniel saw a woman with a huge bag of halloween candy. He said, in his ever loud, robust voice "Wow, that sure is a big bag of candy. Dad, do you see that huge bag of candy. That's a lot of candy!" Mark tried to shush him and move on. Later, as they were checking out, the woman was in the next line. Daniel didn't see her. Another customer asked the woman where she got the candy, which made Daniel perk up and focus all his attention on them. The woman said to the man, "just take this bag". The man said "no, I don't want to take your bag, just tell me where it is." She said "no, really, I'm so sick of seeing this candy, just take it, you'd be doing me a favor." Although my son didn't mean to make her feel bad, pointing out what a large amount of candy the woman had in her cart, made her reconsider the wisdom of buying it. Daniel loudly proclaimed "I'm so happy she didn't buy that." You see the stores drown us in treats and junk food at this time of year and make it seem okay to indulge. However, since we only buy one treat at a time for our kids, it was unfathomable to Daniel that someone would choose to buy that much junk food because it wasn't good for them.

How about you? Has this holiday season brainwashed you into thinking that eating processed sugar, dairy and meat in large amounts won't affect your weight and health? I've just finished watching a movie "Dying to Have Known" which you can watch on netflix or for free at  This movie pointed out the link between food and health and also between food and emotions.

We are bombarded with images of happy family gatherings centered around food during this time of year, but we opened our store on November 22nd of last year and most people were far from happy eating turkey dinners, ham roasts and copious amounts of desserts. As one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I don't celebrate the holidays and although the store was closed, I went into work on Christmas Day to catch up on stuff. At least three people came in for something to eat because they were alone and hungry and everything else was closed. I made them smoothies and shared the warmth of my heart and store with them. Many people don't realize that more suicides happen during the holidays  than any other time of year. I know it's partially because of lonesomeness, but is it also partly because malnourished people make unwise choices? Although most people are eating far more food than usual, they take in far less nutrition then usual because they are indulging. Lack of nutrition is linked to depression.

Many of our customers admit to staying away from the cafe because they want to enjoy the holidays with their friends and family. They feel it's too hard to eat this way when the rest of America is absorbed in comfort foods. I have to admit, that in years past, junk food was a temptation for me too. Now though, I can make pumpkin pie, persimmon nog, pecan pie, sweet potato casserole, portabello steaks, falafels, pizza and truffles that are good for me. Most people indulge for two months and gain between 5-10 pounds and then spend January trying to work it off at the gym. Isn't it more logical to be an advocate for change? As you get invited to social gatherings, why not make love in the kitchen? Take a healthy dessert, salad, veggie platter with hummus, or entree with you. Use these invitations as an opportunity to introduce people to "real" food. The kind that cures cancer and other diseases. One of our challengers last month was supposed to take five shots a day for her diabetes. She went back to the doctor, after eating raw for 30 days and he couldn't believe her test results. He actually had to check that it was her chart he was holding.

Party food is like a one night stand, fun for a short while and then depressing in the morning. I don't know too many people who are impressed with a mate who is faithful 99% of the time, but our bodies are more forgiving. I'm not saying you can't indulge once or twice a week in a meal that isn't healthful-- but to eat junk food for an entire day, days, weeks or months because it's the holidays is punishment for your body. It can't defend itself against occasional processed food without a strong foundation of nutrition. More and more flu has been turning into pneumonia. The first sign that something was wrong for 25% of people that had a stroke, was the stroke that killed them. Don't let these holidays be the straw that broke the camels back. My show Ta-Raw which airs on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m. on KGMC will show you how to make delicious, nutritious food that you can enjoy and share with others.

Don't trust your holidays to industrial food, take your health and your families health to heart, by making love in your kitchen.

Yours in health, truth and advocacy, every day

I remain,

Ta-raw Hamilton, 559.497-5085, Revive Cafe, 1807 Broadway Street, Fresno 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A land flowing with milk and honey

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years to live." the author of this quote is undetermined but the significance of bees to our food diversity is beyond question. Taggart Siegel's movie "Queen of the Bees" was eye opening. I was a vegetarian growing up and we drank buffalo milk and ate honey. Many people think that Indians revere cows but as a Punjabi, I didn't. However, we took good care of all our animals. When our goat or our buffalo gave birth, they were extra nourished and their milk was left for their calf or kid.  When the baby was grown, we had a symbiotic relationship. We fed the animal well, and, in exchange, it provided us with milk.  People tried to nourish the animal in the best possible way because the healthiest animals provided the most milk. I think the same principal applies to bees.  When we feed our bees well by providing lots of forage that is pesticide free, we have strong bees that produce more honey than they need and we can have the bounty.  Therefore, when the Israelites looked forward to a land flowing with milk and honey, to me, it signified that everything was in balance.  

We live in an environment that is extremely unbalanced.  Instead of nourishing cows so we can have an excess of milk, Dairies ensure the cows have calfs so their body produces a lot of milk. They then separate the calf from its mother and sell us the copious amount of milk.  Instead of protecting our plant life so bees can have an abundance of forage, we monocrop millions of acres with plantlife that doesn't sustain the bees. Corn, Soy, Wheat and Canola are not sources of food for bees.  Although almonds provide a few weeks of pollen for bees, the millions of acres of monocropped almonds means bees can't live here in the valley because they have nothing to feed on for the rest of the year.  I discovered that commercial bee keepers transport the hives thousands of miles to pollinate almonds and then feed them high fructose corn syrup. They hope that there is enough honey left in the hives so the bees can derive enough nutrition from it to stay alive.

Dairy cows used to live 20 years, now they live 4 or 5.  Pigs and chickens are bred to be so fat that they can't stand up. Beef cattle are fed corn that will kill them instead of grass that nourishes them. Bees are dissapearing despite efforts by man to increase bee production by breeding Queen bees and impregnating them. All our animals are being mistreated, and for what? So that you and I can eat meat?

When I was a young adult, I ate very little meat, but when I did, I loved veal parmigiana. Someone tried to tell me that cows bred for veal were not allowed to have a life and they were confined.  I didn't really care because I didn't know how they were being treated and I didn't think that my occasional consumption of veal was going to change anything.  My previous attitude towards meat is now personified by most americans. Because we are so far removed from how our animals are being treated, we think that our individual consumption of meat won't change anything. Because we are so far removed from farming and how our plants are being grown, we don't understand how the pesticides are killing our bees and us.

The Bible tells us that knowledge brings accountability. In Genesis, God told us to take care of the animals and to eat fruit and vegetation bearing seed.  Many will protest that Noah was allowed to eat meat and that we aren't under the mosaic law anymore. That is true, but Noah was only allowed to eat meat because there was no fruit and vegetables. Secondly, people were not far removed from the animals and plants like we are now.  In India, we didn't eat the buffalo or goat when it died. Those animals were a part of the family. Every day they had worked to provide milk for us. The oxen weren't eaten after their death, they had plowed our fields. 

Knowledge brings accountability. If humans started to live for 20 years instead of 80 because of an external force or treatment, an outcry would erupt. But our consumption of meat has created an environment where animals are mistreated and live only a quarter of their lifespan in degrading conditions. Many choose not to learn about our food by refusing to watch movies like Food Inc, Food Matters, The Future of Food, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Forks over Knives and Queen of the Bees -- but ignorance is not bliss.  This ignorance is what is killing humans with diseases like diabetes, stroke and cancer in ever growing numbers.

Although Christians could eat meat, the apostle said that if eating meat made his brother stumble then he would never eat meat again. Although, we can eat meat, drink milk and eat pesticide sprayed vegetables, if our actions result in the mass slaughter and mistreatment of animals, should we not feel obligated to stop eating this way? Or, are we like the Israelites who didn't treasure the perfect food, manna, that Jehovah provided and demanded meat instead?

We have the grand privilege of living in California where there is a cornucopia of fruits and veggies that we can eat year round. We also have organic meat options that are pricey but reflect the cost of life. If everyone in Fresno woke up tomorrow and chose only to eat organic,-- overnight the meat industry and conventional farmers would start doing things differently. They are in the business of making money. If they can make money feeding us garbage and treating animals like dirt they will. If they can't because we demand humane treatment of animals and plants, they will change the way they farm.

If we can't care for our bees by being beekeepers, then the least we can do is grow, or purchase organic fruits and vegetables. This protects our bees who need to live in a pesticide free environment to survive. We should purchase only raw, local honey. This supports the beekeepers who carry the torch we can't.

May you take the time to take in knowledge. Then act on that knowledge. Remember if we are faithful in these matters that may appear to be little, then we will be faithful in much.  May the day come when all of us have the courage to faithfully honor and support a sense of community and well being for each other, in as much, as we have done it for those animals in our care from bee to calf.

Yours in health and kind treatment, I remain

Ta-raw Hamilton