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Friday, May 27, 2011

Recap of May 2011 Meeting

Our May meeting at Culture Club 101 was well-attended, fun, and informative. The potluck included many delicious homemade specialties, all prepared using traditional methods that maximize nutrient density and minimize anti-nutrients. After dinner, several community members made announcements: one about an upcoming lecture, another about bulk orders to share, and another about free nutritional therapy evaluations. Then everyone sang Happy Birthday to fellow member Terri Cardinali. Next, chapter announcements addressed a fund-drive for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and the distribution of the meat products derived from the first steer purchased by our newly formed Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club.

After announcements, we were treated to a lively question-and-answer session about Grass-fed cattle with our special guest Frank Fitzpatrick of 5 Bar Beef . We learned how to recognize true grass- (or forage-) fed beef by the color of its fat. The color always reflects the nutrient content, including fat soluble vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid - a potent anti-cancer nutrient), and a healthy Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio (about 3:1). Non-grass-fed beef has white fat with little to no nutrient value, a very high Omega 6 fatty acid content, no cancer-fighting CLA, and a poor Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio (about 1:18). Conventional beef also contains toxins associated with confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

We learned that as the grass turns from bright green in the spring to golden brown in the summer and fall, the color of the fat in grass-fed cattle turns from orange to gold to pink to gray. These colors mean the fat is full of nutrients and extra good for you! If the fat is white, throw it away. But if it's orange, gold, pink, or gray, eat it with gusto! Since most people don't like to eat the fat straight up, Frank usually has a meat cutter grind it into the ground beef to make tasty, succulent and healthy burgers!

Frank also explained how the flora of grazing animals changes when they're fed grains. Grass and forage normally have a sugar content of about 17 to 18%. When the animals eat grain, that sugar content goes way up. Increasing the sugar content makes the environment of the rumen more acidic, which then kills off all the native beneficial flora in the animal's gut, and attracts different strains of pathogenic bacteria which proceed to do their damage to the animal, impairing its digestive and immune systems, and requiring it to be kept on a constant diet of antibiotics, which further degrade the animal's overall health.

The lucky people who attended the meeting also learned some secrets about aging the meat to make it extra tender. But to get that kind of meat, you have to be in the Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club. It's not available at farmers markets, even from Frank!

After answering many questions and sharing a few good laughs, Frank invited the group to purchase some meat he brought in a large freezer in the back of his pick-up truck. The best part was when he took out a box of 8 legs with hooves attached. The group eagerly swiped those up to make delicious gelatinous soup stocks. Stock made with the leg bones and hooves contain lots of collagen and keratin, and is extra rich, delicious, nutritious, and very healing, especially for those with digestive and immune problems.

Thank you, Elaina, for hosting us at Culture Club 101, and thank you Frank, for a wonderful presentation!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Announcement: Official Leaders of our Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club

As many of you may know, for the past couple months I've been looking for a volunteer to lead our Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club. It took a while, but now it's official! Our Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club now has 2 co-leaders: Ram Basu and Jaye Park. Ram is handling group correspondence, and Jaye is our vendor liaison.

Since April 30th, the date of our ranch tour with Frank Fitzpatrick of 5 Bar Beef, both Ram and Jaye have been working diligently behind the scenes to help organize our group purchase. At the moment, they're working out a fair and simple way to share and distribute the products derived from the bull Frank selected for us. The bull was slaughtered on May 5th, and now the meat is being aged.

If you're not already a member of the GFBB Club but would like to join in on future purchases, please contact Ram via our WAPF-Pasadena Facebook page.

I hope you will join me in thanking both Ram and Jaye for generously donating their time to this effort. This is the kind of volunteerism that makes our organization strong and helps build a healthier and more sustainable food culture for our community.

Thank you both, Ram and Jaye!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Leader of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Meeting Notice for Wednesday, May 25th - Potluck & Grass-fed Beef Talk

Hello, Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation,

And ATTENTION all grass-fed beef consumers! Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 25th at 6:30 PM at Culture Club 101 in Pasadena, with special guest Frank Fitzpatrick of 5 Bar Beef. He was our host for the ranch tour where we observed some gorgeous healthy cattle grazing happily on beautiful grasslands in Northern Orange County. He's also the vendor who will be providing our Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club with their first bull.

If you're interested in grass-fed cattle, how they're raised, and why grass-fed beef so good for your health, then you won't want to miss Wednesday's meeting. And if you're a member of the Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club who couldn't make the tour, then this is your opportunity to meet Frank personally and ask him any questions you may have.

Topic: Grass-fed Beef
Speaker: Frank Fitzpatrick, owner of 5 Bar Beef
Date: Wednesday, April 25th, 2011
Time: 6:30 PM Potluck
7:30 PM Presentation
Place: Culture Club 101, 30 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106
Fee: None!
Clean-up: Volunteers always appreciated

If you'd like more information about Frank and his cattle operation, go to: http://5barbeef.com/

Pending confirmation of our meeting place, I hope to see you Wednesday!

Karen Voelkening-Behegan
Pasadena CA Chapter Leader
Weston A. Price Foundation

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Trip to 5 Bar Ranch on Saturday April 30, 2011

Hello Members and Friends of the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Here’s a little description of the ranch tour we took on April 30th:

A group of 14 of us went to visit the ranch in Northern Orange County where the owner of 5 Bar Beef, Frank Fitzpatrick, keeps his bulls and steers. We had a wonderful tour of a beautiful scenic landscape where we saw many happy and very healthy-looking bulls and steers feeding on lush green spring grass. Frank answered lots of questions for us and even sold us some beef. The group seemed very pleased and impressed with his operation, and one of our members even video-taped our interview with him.

We all got an education during the video-taping: As Frank explained, due to the quickly-growing green spring grass, the fat of these animals is extra dense with nutrients, which you can see because of the color the nutrients give the fat: a yellowish, orange, pinkish hue. This color gradually fades as the year goes on. Eventually the fat goes white, and then you have to wait until spring again to get such great nutrient density. In Frank’s words, he’s “in this business to sell the fat. It’s the most nutrient-dense, healthiest food a human being can eat!” Since most of us don’t want to eat the fat by itself, a lot of it gets mixed in with the ground beef.

Frank did impress upon us that once the rains subside and the grass starts to go brown, the nutrient value of the meat begins to decline. Frank’s best recommendation is for us to get our order in this week while the grass is still green and the nutrient density of the beef is at its height. Frank has already selected the healthiest steer for us that he can find, with the largest amount of fat. For those on the tour, he even explained the characteristics to look for when picking the best steer on the ranch. So anyone who orders with our group will clearly get some of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense beef around!

This is just one example of the many great things that are happening at your local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. If you're interested in being part of the Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club, please let us know, and you can join in on our next order!
Happy Spring!

Recap of April 2011 Meeting

Our April meeting occurred just a few days before the 2011 Real Food Symposium in Pasadena. Since a group of us were planning to volunteer at the Weston A. Price Foundation & Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund booth at the symposium, we all benefited from having Certified Trade Show Marketer Ruth Failer as our special guest. With years of experience and her own company, Tips of the Trade, Ruth gave us a hands-on interactive lesson about how best to communicate our message, both at the booth and in our daily lives.

It came as no surprise that the best way to educate fellow consumers is to become better listeners ourselves. By first determining what people are looking for, we have a much better chance of meeting the needs or our listeners and keeping their attention. In fact, Ruth taught us that the most important question we can ask anyone who shows up at our booth is: "What brought you to our booth today?" If the passer-by was just looking for the bathroom, then they may not appreciate a lecture on raw milk at that time! On the other hand, if someone came to the booth wondering how a traditional diet can help them with their health, then we have much more to work with. The same lesson can be applied to our personal interactions during our daily lives. We have to know the goals, interest level, and motivation of our listeners before we begin sharing our message. In essence, effective communication can only be achieved through effective listening!

Besides having the wonderful lecture from Ruth, we also celebrated our 1st anniversary as the Pasadena California Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. We had a delicious potluck (as usual) and three amazing desserts!! We enjoyed an ice cream cake made by Karen, a cheesecake with chocolate sauce made by Lois, and this gorgeous home-decorated birthday cake made by Theresa! And each desert was prepared to the standards of the founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Sally Fallon! It was truly such a wonderful night. We are so fortunate to have such a great group of people and cooks!

Karen's Letter to Ruth

Dear Ruth,

I'm just writing to thank you for your wonderful presentation last night. Our group really enjoyed it, and we all benefited from the role-playing exercises and examples you gave us. The lessons we learned will come in very handy for our non-profit, educational organization. Proper questioning and listening techniques are such important communication skills, that it's essential to bring them to everyone's attention.

I hope you enjoyed speaking as much as we enjoyed having you. The way you handled the different unexpected situations that came up was very professional, and I could tell that your presentation was based on a lot of hard work and experience. I will definitely pass on referrals to you whenever I have a chance.

We really appreciate what you did for us, and as the leader of the group, I can gratefully rest assured that your "students" from last night are now in a much better position to properly deliver the message of our organization.

Thank you so much!



Karen Voelkening-Behegan

Pasadena CA Chapter Leader

Weston A. Price Foundation