About Flax

Flax is being used in more loaves of late, and in my case this is fresh-ground immediately before being mixed into the dough and soaking along with the dough for 20-30 hours before baking.

Here is a solid article overviewing many of the benefits of flax. I didn’t know about the phyto-estrogen/ Lignans related issue which has favorable effects for both men and women. Generally speaking I don’t put much stock in these sorts of lists, but on the other hand, based on how it tastes and how I feel using it, am convinced it is a very beneficial ingredient and I find am using it in more an more dishes, especially morning oatmeal and daily brown rice.

There is a diet which highly recommends mixing fresh ground flax with (properly fermented) cottage cheese. The Budwig Diet – “The Flaxseed oil and cottage cheese of Dr. Johanna Budwig as well as the ultra high nutritional formula TRICAN® corrects the original “document” or DNA of the cells with a blast of ultra high nutrition. That way the DNA will now start producing healthy cells instead of distorted and diseased cells. That is the real solution to cancer and disease.”  http://www.budwigcenter.com/

Advertisements

Hippy wisdom

https://sites.google.com/site/windintheroses/home

Lots of outrageously funky good common sense in this lady’s e-book and website, like:

how best to eat dirt and ash (for minerals);

how to get rid of parasites including biofilm fungi etc. (which cause auto-immune – a misnomer- diseases like arthritis using borax, bicarbonate of soda.

How to pickle vegetables, make kvass, good bread, survive depressions.

It’s fun.

Extract:

Arthritis, like all other biofilm-related diseases, is caused by a parasitic biofilm that grows throughout the body wherever it can find an opening wide enough for a cell to grow through. The immune system will attack the intruder wherever it finds it, and, because the film is invisible to medical diagnosis, it appear that the immune system is attacking its own body.

The body’s immune system does not attack itself, however. That it appears to do so indicates that there is something there that is “not-self”, whether or not it is visible or acknowledged by western medicine. It is called “auto-immune” because allopathic medicine believes it is the immune system attacking itself, but it is not.

There are many so-called auto-immune diseases. The most common or well known one is arthritis. Some others are fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, Lyme disease, celiac and myesthenia gravis. Probably there are many of others, including many of the exotic-sounding diseases that didn’t exist a hundred years ago.

Parasitic biofilms get established in the body when it is overly acidic, and the digestive system is unable to see off or digest the intruder due to insufficient enzymes. Our digestive enzymes do double duty. When they are not digesting our food, they join the immune system to patrol the body and digest any invaders that the other parts of the immune system cannot deal with. It is the job of the digestive enzymes to digest these parasites. The “auto-immune” response is the immune system doing its job — attacking foreign invaders. The “auto-immune” disease is the failure of the immune system to eliminate the foreign invader.

Because the immune system cannot fully eliminate these foreign microbes, they are able to form transparent films that are invisible to current microscope technology. These biofilms, as they are called, provide the foreign microbes with a home that acts as a protective shield for them, allowing them to form colonies. Depending on the location and nature of the colony, the main symptoms of the particular “auto-immune” disease can be caused by the battle between the foreign microbes and the body’s immune system, or it can be caused by the physical presence of another living organism pressing against or blocking particular organs or pathways in the body or, as in the case of chronic fatigue, the strain of carrying around a parasite that is draining the body’s resources and energy for itself.

When there are other deficiency disease factors present, the presence of a parasite can make them worse.

Understanding parasitic biofilms:
New discoveries, Bacteria Organize Into Biofilms, Biofilms and chronic infections, Introduction to Biofilm

Ways To Combat An Internal Biofilm

Externally

Price Changes

I have recently become aware that another baker at the FM is outselling me by over two to one. Now of course this might simply be because his breads are far better, and that is not really for me to say, but it also could be because although my bread costs about the same, gram for gram, as supermarket ‘artisan’ breads, his is about 40% cheaper AND he is using the same organic flours from Milanaise as I am (though many of my fresh-ground flours are from Speerville-supplied kernels from Maritime-based farmers).

Given it is November, it is easy for me to guestimate the income from now until year’s end (about 6-7 weeks worth) and conclude that without any question this year I was not able to make a clear profit net of basic, necessary living expenses, which in my case are quite modest given there are no mortgage or new car payments in the mix. Health care in the form of (often ineffective but nonetheless expensive) dentistry is the biggest challenge, and I have found this year that I cannot afford what I need and so am just letting teeth break and not fixing them. But even with this rather strange way of saving (!), am still not breaking even. This is the sort of conclusion one doesn’t want to make, but the numbers don’t lie. And since I have virtually no savings after thirteen years on the island, and the bakery is the sole source of income at this point, the current situation is simply untenable. Something has to change.

Clearly am faced with a challenge. Presuming I wish to continue the bakery operation – which I do – I must find a way to boost net income so that it is sustainable.

I have decided that the first thing to consider are my ‘price points’, so am lowering the prices on nearly all breads to see if, over a few months, that will boost sales volumes. Have calculated that if volumes go up by about 20% then that will more than compensate for the lower prices.

Of course the risk with this approach is that it could possibly hasten having to close down since if the volumes don’t pick up, all it will effect is a lowering of income. (But if risk didn’t involve taking a chance that things could go worse, not better, it wouldn’t be called ‘risk’, would it?!)

Have been selling about 80-90 loaves per Market Day and really should be selling about 100-110 (at current prices) to be viable. So hopefully lowering the prices will get me to about 120, which should be fine. Of course this will take a few months to evaluate given that Jan-Feb-March is always very slow for seasonal reasons.

Secondly, must consider additional market venues, either other Farmers’ Markets, or finding a retail outlet, a corner store, a steady restaurant contract or whatever. The challenge here is to find something that want sufficient loaves to justify a second Bake Day during a week, since I can only add a few loaves to current FM Bakes, especially since in theory they should at some point come in at around 120. So an order for 20 loaves on Wednesday is not good enough, it has to be at least 40 loaves to justify an additional bake, which is a 2-day process. Ever since opening have been waiting for / wanting more sales in the immediate local area (Marion Bridge, Gabarus, Albert Bridge) but almost none have been forthcoming. Perhaps I need to approach Church’s with more determination, perhaps set up a road side booth during the summer months (personally do not like that idea), perhaps an email-based order and delivery service once a week. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

Lastly, there is an old bakery in Whitney Pier that I could take over rent free for 18 months, and which has one of the largest brick ovens in North America, plus a rotating convection oven in back (both propane fired). But this is a relatively large undertaking and I cannot do this alone due to lack of capital. If there is anyone out there who reads this at some point who is interested in owning and managing an island-based production facility, please let me know. Myself am only interested in working the brick oven and producing line of quality, organically fermented breads. I believe this could be done with 1-3 employees as a sub-department in a larger bakery operation and we could produce the best commercial bread in the Maritimes which could be sold in several FM’s, health food stores, and purchased regularly by upscale restaurants as well. If nothing else, it would scare the supermarkets into making better bread, although I must say that the artisan breads are pretty good now if you are someone who likes (laboratory / factory grown commercial yeast risen) breads; I don’t, and there are no good sourdough loaves available in such venues, and I believe if more people had access to them, they would ‘take’.

Jamie of Kingsville Farms (the rival baker!), a very friendly fellow, floated the idea of structuring the large bakery as a cooperative. Perhaps this is worth exploring too.

Meanwhile, though, must still confront the harsh reality of the current situation which is that they have not ‘taken’. Another baker has demonstrated with his skill and hard work that much higher volume sales are possible in the Sydney FM, so clearly my product line (and/or its prices as per above) is not appealing. Which means also that quite possibly having access to a larger brick oven will make little difference. In order to better evaluate this, I will therefore lower my prices to being closer to what they would be were I manufacturing in larger volumes.

Time will tell!
I make this post partly to keep those few who follow this blog informed, but mainly as some sort of expression by a small, artisan bakery operator of the sort of challenges we face. Personally, I have no doubt AT ALL that I will find a way forward with this; that the challenge as it becomes more clear and dire will oblige a solution to be found. As long as the bread is good – and I believe it is – and the prices reasonable – which I believe they are based on their cost and labour involved, it will work. But that is easier said than effected, that is all, and right now am faced with the challenge of finding out how to raise volumes somehow.

Oh yes, am also building up a much nicer looking booth. More on that later as hopefully (after delaying it for months during the busy summer months), it gets put together in the next couple of weeks. Maybe that will provide the sales boost I need and this whole ‘crisis’ will be no more than a blip.

GM Cotton series

Last night at Allegro’s delicious International Dinner (Indian), I was seated next to a friend (and neighbour) who has been suffering from a bad rash on her hand, and similar rashes and puffiness around the eyes, and also some sinus problems – for over a month now. It seems that after some difficulty, and trying several therapies both alternative and conventional, that she has found a good GP who is giving her helpful salves.

But as she was unwrapping her birthday present, which included a pair of cotton track pants, something jogged in my memory about GM cotton and rashes, which I blurted to my other neighbour at the table, a senior medial professional, who (rightly) regarded my comment as a little bizarre because it was seemingly out of context. When I mentioned how there had been reports of terrible rashes in India due to the proliferation of Monsanto-derived GM cotton crops, and also tens of thousands of suicides, he reasonably asked for a connection between the rashes and the suicides at which point, on further reflection, I confessed that I had no clear memory of the topic and left it at that. However this morning I decided to research this a little on the internet, and a Google search for : “gm cotton rash india” revealed the following article, which contains many other links, some of which I have also pasted in. Not surprisingly, it confirms what I only vaguely remembered, but just to clarify the above paragraph before the reader delves into the longer articles below – should you so choose – the rashes were not causing the suicides, rather the indebtedness of the farmers using GM crops. And although I doubt that my neighour’s rash has anything to do with GM cotton, still it is interesting to note in one of the linked articles entitlded ‘More illnesses linked to Bt crops’:

“Those who had more severe symptoms of the skin tend also to have associated allergies of eyes and respiratory tract. Eye irritation, involving itching, redness, swelling and watery eyes affected 11 of the 23 individuals; 9 had upper respiratory symptoms of watering from the nose and excessive sneezing. Three had mild symptoms, while 10 each had severe and moderate symptoms respectively.”

Very similar to my neighbour’s symptoms in that her most obvious bad rash on on the right hand between thumb and forefinger (around the He Gu LI 4 Master acupuncture point on the Large Intestine meridian which is the brother/mate of the Lung meridian) and skin eruptions are connected with Lung organ in that the skin is the ‘exit’ of the Lungs, but also she has reddened swollen skin around the eyes, mainly on one side, indicated liver / toxin issues in that the eyes are the main sense organs of the liver. And this rash of problems (pun intended) began, if I remember correctly, with sinus issues. Maybe these sorts of symptoms are common with a whole family of allergic or toxic or whatever disorders; not being a doctor I have no idea.

But in any case, I was more or less right in my vague memory about the GM cotton in India, rashes and mass suicides, though it should be noted that there were mass suicides before GM cotton in India, albeit they accelerated.

Of special interest is several reports about how the solution to this is simply going back to organic production: soil heath returns, yields increase, pests decrease, debt is eradicated. Basically, large corporations have succeeded in using junk science to scare people into thinking that they need products and services which they don’t, and for which they pay with lifetimes of servitude to their banker masters (debt). It’s an increasingly common story in all fields.

The main article is the second line below ” Farmer suicides etc.”

GM Cotton Series
gm cotton rash india – Google Search
Farmer Suicides and Bt Cotton Nightmare Unfolding in India
Organic Cotton Beats Bt Cotton in India
More Illnesses Linked to Bt Crops
Deadly gift from Monsanto to India
Return to Organic Cotton & Avoid the Bt-Cotton Trap
GMO alert: top 10 genetically modified foods to avoid eating
Cotton – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Later addition: this article is pro-GM, challenging what it regards as inaccuracies/hyperbole in most of the coverage claiming that GM cotton (and other crops) are harmful etc. http://agbioforum.org/v12n1/v12n1a02-herring.htm