This past week I was in Pennsylvania at the Wise Traditions conference, the annual conference for the Weston A. Price Foundation. I’m not sure what the final headcount was but I think there were over 1,500 people in attendance.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, a video must be worth a billion words (there are a lot of frames in a video). Hence, I chose to do quick video montage of my experience at the Wise Traditions conference. Words cannot express how awesome it was.
Watch the Video
Here’s the video. Please go share it on Twitter/Facebook/blogs etc.!
I tried to get as many people into this video as I could — although I know I missed so many of you. I am sorry! All my love goes out to each and every one of you.
The Politics of Food
The theme of this year’s conference was The Politics of Food. You may wonder why in the world we have to have a whole conference just to talk about food politics. I’ll tell you why.
Last month, two small family-owned dairy farms were raided by the Food & Drug Administration: Morningland Dairy and Estrella Family Creamery. Both farms had their merchandise “confiscated” (ahem — STOLEN). Losses combined totaled a half a million dollars.
Here’s how the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) describes it on the Action Alert on their website:
Farmstead cheese operations–Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri and Estrella Family Creamery of Montesano, Washington–face upcoming legal battles which could result in court orders for each dairy to destroy its entire cheese inventory for allegedly being adulterated. The FDA is now taking aim at raw cheese producers and has created a climate of fear among those who make farmstead cheese for a living. The agencys longterm goal is to eliminate access to raw dairy products. Read “FDA’s Ace in the Hole” at www.farmtoconsumer.org/ace
Note: Here’s how to donate to Morningland Dairy & Estrella Family Creamery:
Folks, this sort of behavior on behalf of our government is revolting and horrifying and completely out of line. So we WAPFers are organizing and mobilizing for, what Joel Salatin called the coming “tsunami”. Please go and donate to these two dairies right now!
Wise Traditions Highlights
I’m still flying high as a kite on a blend of super-charged-activist-adrenaline and a deep, resounding love for humanity. Not only did I get more hugs in five days than I get all year, hanging out with these folks fills your heart with real hope for the planet.
I have never in my life been so blessed and honored to know such an incredible group of highly intelligent, creative, caring and dedicated people. I am profoundly grateful for the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is why I have dedicated my life’s work to this organization.
I want to highlight just a few of the amazing memories I have from this year’s conference. There’s no way I can cover it all in one post so I’ll just hit on a few of the high points.
Sharing dinner with two sustainable grass farmers, Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures Raw Dairy and Chris Kerston of Chaffin Family Orchards, two of the smartest people in agriculture on the planet today, and both brilliant marketers.
Filmmakers and Lawyers
Hanging out in a sports bar after Joel Salatin’s brilliant keynote speech with “Farmageddon” filmmaker Kristin Canty, listening to Gary Cox, General Counsel for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, explain his legal strategy for his lawsuit against the USDA. Boy, are we ever lucky to have these two brilliant minds on our team.
Here’s the Farmageddon trailer (due out next year):
Cod Liver Oil Captains of Industry
Hanging out on another night in the bar with Maureen Diaz, one of the very first WAPF chapter leaders (there are 500 chapters now). We were very blessed to get to hang out with Dave and Barb Wetzel of Green Pasture Products and they told us the amazing story of what on earth inspired Dave to start a dairy farm and start making butter oil and fermented cod liver oil. This is a story you have GOT to hear — I’ll let Dave tell it on an upcoming podcast.
Nutrition Science Geniuses
Listening to nutrition-scientist-genius-academic-nerds (that’s a compliment — I love nerds), Stephan Guyenet of the Whole Health Source blog and Chris Masterjohn of The Daily Lipid debate about nutrition at the VIP dinner. They may as well have been speaking Chinese.
Teaching the Next Generation
Watching Sally Fallon Morell present her Powerpoint about sustainable farming to the children’s program. The kids were raising their hands and saying, “That’s a feedlot!” After that, Sally taught them how to make omelettes.
Chef Shane Kelly, WAPF Comedian
Having lunch with Chef Shane Kelly who made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants.
Wilderness Family Adventures
Eating dinner with Wilderness Family Naturals, Ken and Annette Fischer and two of their children. Annette captivated everyone with tall tales about wild frozen pine martens from the Minnesota tundra and a mind-blowingly fascinating story about how her arthritis was cured by a dentist in Texas who spent 9 hours cleaning out the rotting infection where her wisdom teeth used to be. A story I hope Annette will tell on a podcast. Needless to say, I’m booking a trip to Texas to see that dentist (more on that later).
What About the Lectures?
I didn’t get to see very many lectures (too busy) but I will be getting the mp3s in the mail (so will all of the Real Food Media featured bloggers) so you can expect lots of great posts coming soon on the Real Food Media blog network.
Wise Tradition Recap Posts from Other Bloggers
Check out the following posts from other bloggers…
Kelly the Kitchen Kop: Monday Morning Mix-Up 11/15/10: Wise Traditions Edition and Weston Price Foundation 2010 Activist Award Winners.
Hunt Gather Love by Melissa McEwen: Wise Traditions Recap
The Healthy Home Economist: Wise Traditions 2010 Roundup
Kat’s Food Blog: People I Met at Wise Traditions
Hunter Gatherer: Idiosyncratic Observations from Wise Traditions, the 2010 Weston A. Price Conference (I really enjoyed meeting Hunter Gatherer blogger, John Durant. He has the coolest business card ever — each one has a fossilized shark tooth glued onto it!)
Whole Health Source by Stephan Guyenet: Impressions from the Wise Traditions Conference
You can also read through the Twitter feed from Wise Traditions by using the hashtag #wapfconf.
Also, in the next couple days, we’ll be posting all the photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/realfoodmedia/ Please feel free to use them on your blogs, post on Facebook, etc. to spread the word.
Wise Traditions in Dallas 2011
I can’t tell you how excited I am that Wise Traditions is coming to Texas next year. Especially because we have decided to move back to Austin. As we say in Texas, “Yee haw!”
Kelly the Kitchen Kop just posted on her blog that you should start saving your money now so you can afford to go. I wholeheartedly agree. Do not miss it. This is the biggest event of the year for sustainable food and agriculture and if you want
I am not exaggerating when I say that the Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions conference is my favorite thing all year. I’m even planning the birth of my next baby so I can attend!
Share Your Comments
If you attended the conference, share in the comments below what you thought about it, and what were some of your favorite things. How did you like the food? What were some of your favorite lectures? What new things did you learn?
Can’t wait to see you all next year!