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Food for thought


Thu, Dec 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Someone called my name at Preston Foods and I turned to see my friend, Bonnie Haugen, who I first became acquainted with when I interviewed her for a Journal article in 2001. Although I hadn't seen her for a long time, visions of Springside Farm in rural Canton came immediately to mind. I remembered the lush grassland pastures that cover the rolling hills of Bonnie and her husband Vance's farm, the fences that divide large fields into smaller paddocks, and the comforting sounds of fifty cows methodically biting and chewing grass after we moved them from one paddock to another.

Springside Farm also came to mind recently while I was reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, 2006), who said the blessing of being an omnivore is that we can eat many different foods and the curse is when faced with something new we're not sure if it is safe to eat. The book is an excellent, and, in part, horrifying account of how we produce, market, and agonize over what we eat.

Part I, "Industrial," takes the reader from row cropping annuals, involving petrochemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, to the elevator; to the feedlot, where confined animals that evolved to eat grasses must eat corn instead; to the processing plant; to the consumer and a fast food meal.

Part II, "Pastoral," takes the reader through the various grasses, shows the differences between organic food on an industrial scale and on a small scale, such as Springside Farm, where animals are free to forage outside on perennial species that are fertilized with manure and grow through the energy of the sun, and where crop diversification and rotation control pests. This part ends in a "Grass Fed" meal.

Part III, "Personal" takes the reader through hunting and gathering experiences, explores the ethics of eating animals, and ends with "The Perfect Meal," which the author prepares using only food he had personally hunted, gathered and grown.

These days we are told to buy local because much of the money spent locally stays in the area and supports businesses, jobs, farmers and tax bases. Buying locally produced food also allows the consumer to know exactly where his food is coming from and to decide whether he wants the advantages of organic products from sustainable farming and humanely treated animals. In spring, summer and fall, farmers' markets are a good way to buy locally; they allow the consumer to talk with the gardeners and farmer .....
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The key to good politics? Good communication

Thu, Dec 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Not long ago, I was speaking to a group of high school students when one raised his hand, declared that he wanted to run for Congress, and asked what he should study in order to prepare. I suspect my answer surprised him. I told him to study English ..... 
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One Moment Please - Leadership Training

Thu, Dec 31st, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

"We got no food. We got no jobs. Our pets' HEADS ARE FALLING OFF!!!" This is a quote from the character Lloyd Christmas from the movie "Dumb and Dumber." In contrast, th ..... 
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An appreciation

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I have always considered it a privilege to write a commentary piece for the Journal. I am allowed to write about anything I choose and never have the editors changed the content of what I wrote. I have received unsolicited positive comments, and hav ..... 
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One moment, please...

Thu, Dec 24th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the years, throughout my life in the newspaper business, I have received many anonymous correspondence via letters, telephone voice mails, and even e-mails from individuals who have strong opinions one way or another.

While some of the me ..... 
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My typical Christmas

Fri, Dec 18th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I don't know exactly when it started, but the holiday season is here in full force. Decorations are everywhere, people are frantically shopping for gifts, and holiday music seems to have taken over. I recognize the true and wonderful meaning of Chri ..... 
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One Moment Please - Lutefisk, it's what's for dinner!

Fri, Dec 18th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

By Jason Sethre

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

On Sunday, December 6, Christ Lutheran Church, located in Preston, hosted their 20th annual lutefisk dinner, which boasts an average of 900 to 1,1 ..... 
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You've got mail

Fri, Dec 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Computers and internet communication are still a marvel to those of us who remember when a long distance phone call was a huge deal and reserved for announcing a death in the family. Long distance rates were lowest in the evenings and on Sundays, an ..... 
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One moment, please... Yeah, that'll happen when pumpkins fly!

Fri, Dec 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

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