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Living Like Our Ancestors

April 16, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe take for granted, too often, the conveniences and luxuries we have today. The advances in technology, medicine, science and food help people live longer, healthier lives, and yet now many look back at how it used to be.
Let’s take a quick look, through the Farmer’s Almanac, at life on the frontier in “the good old days.” “Prior to 1874, anyone claiming to be a physician could practice medicine, whether he had studied for the profession or not.”
Among the beliefs and treatments – for chicken pox remove your clothing and run around the chicken house three times. I’m not sure what that did for chicken pox but it would bewilder the neighbors! Lice remedy – undress and put the clothes on an anthill – the ants were said to devour the lice. Have arthritis? Find a tree stump that has “spunk water (rain water) collected and rub this water over the arthritic joint.
Before we harken back to the good old days I wonder if we’d take these remedies as they are? It’s easy to think it was safer then, with organic food and raw milk the norm, but there were food safety issues. Dangers from chemicals and diseases in livestock that we don’t see because of advances in veterinary care, vaccinations and modern methods that are so often criticized.
Food choices abound, both past and present, but if we remember how things used to be, look at the big picture of how things used to be. That isn’t always convenient, but can save heartache, as well as lives.
Tradition and technology empowers food choices more than ever before – and with food safety a factor!

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