Mailbag: Clearing Up Confusion on Organics, Choices and Amorality

What a world. It took us nearly a month, a check worth 20 bucks and a trip to our local ag extension office to get the farm’s soil tested.

All that… just to get the news that any grower already knows.

Add fertilizer.

Meanwhile, way up over our heads, NASA’s InSight rover is digging into Martian soil… and is tweeting about it.

“We’re ON MARS, you guys,” it tweeted last week. “You’re all honorary Martians.”


We wonder what the property taxes are like.

But isn’t it funny that man lands on a distant planet and the first thing we want to do is play with the dirt?

Perhaps we’re all just dirty farmers at heart.

What’d You Say?

But if you’d take a look at the mailbag this week, you might say we’re confused farmers.

Andy, I love your newsletter but get confused regarding your ideas on diet. 

I’ve been a fan of Salatin, Eliot Coleman, Dr. Gerson, Weston Price, whole food/real food diet for like a decade. We eat a lot from our garden/winter garden/foraging and grow a lot of our meat (poultry only). 

I appreciate keeping my family’s eating sharpened and already agree with most of the things you write, but there are times you write what seems to contradict, and it is difficult to piece together your actual practice or recommendations. 

You say organic food is a waste of money, but in other articles, you’ll concede that blueberries and other foods should be organic. Are you talking about processed food organics being a waste rather than whole food organics?

 You make claims about there being not much difference from grain-fed vs grass-fed meat except for hormones. Salatin would disagree. Do you agree with him? Do you hold to the Dirty Dozen or Clean Fifteen? You love potatoes; does organic matter? Could you lay out an example-practice to follow not necessarily when eating from the land, but when you are at the grocery store or shopping online to save money? Vitamins? Supplements? Reader A.B.

Wow… it’s clear A.B. is a frequent reader. Very nice. But what’s best about these questions is that they prove A.B. is not only reading… he’s thinking.

We wish everything in life were as black and white as the world tries to make it. We’re either Republican or Democrat… pro-choice or pro-life… We believe in global warming or we’re a “denier.”

It’s the same in the food world. Either we eat organic food or we think it’s all bunk.

The truth is there’s a lot of bunk and there’s a lot of truth.


In many cases, buying organic is like lighting your hard-earned cash on fire. In many other cases, though, it’s money well-spent.

Of course, the organic crowd doesn’t want you to know that… and the Big Food crowd certainly won’t reveal its tricks (even though it’s already bought up much of the organic side of the business).

What we’re doing is revealing the truth… spreading critical Know-How.

Don’t believe the hype on one side or the other. Our Triad begs us to find trusted sources, think for ourselves… and only then will we be free.

Paying for Simple

Here’s the idea in action…

Great article about Starbucks.

I just had the same epiphany with my Medicare enrollment.

When you get to that age, Medicare sends you a helpful “booklet” outlining your choices. It is the standard 8 1/2 x 11 format, 120 pages. Good grief. I have degrees in math and economics and spent the last 20 years happily making six figures doing interesting, complex things, so I don’t think I am an idiot. But that booklet was daunting. I spent a couple hours in it, reading and flipping around, and got exactly nowhere. 

For 18 months, I paid over $500 a month for a COBRA plan instead of getting the same coverage for a couple hundred. I knew this was happening, but I procrastinated until I was forced to act. Then it took a half-hour on the phone with a specialist to have everything set up perfectly. I thought about it for a bit, realizing that the comfort of the final process was not due to its simplicity but rather to the invisibility of all the possible branches ahead, like a chess game where each move eliminates 98% of all future outcomes. Anyway, thanks for the article. – Reader C. G.

This note hits at so much of what ails us. It shows how the healthcare industry relies on us taking the path of least resistance. Insurers purposely hit us with a confusing array of options… and then charge a premium for choosing simplicity.

But it’s not just our health that’s at risk. No, the same tactics are used in the realm of retirement, food, finance… you name it.

Again, it’s why we spend so much time lifting the rocks and exposing the snakes lurking below.

It’s just as we did this week with our thoughts on the 2018 Farm Bill. We shined a light on its flaws… and yet some readers want more.

Besides gloating over the important provision you approve of, what are you doing to object to the parts you don’t? The pronounced tendency of the financial newsletter writers I’ve been reading for years to pretend to be neutral regarding politics (“My job is to make you money.”), applauding those things they like (e.g., deregulation) and taking no action on the catastrophic immorality of this vote-buying, toadying mess we have for a country is simple opportunism, and amorality is not a particularly defensible position for all the hungry so-called libertarians. Reader N. H.

What are we doing? Oh, we don’t know… let’s see.

We quit our job. We started something new. And we now spend our time entirely focused on opening the eyes of the blind.

Every morning, we get up at 4:30 and head to our keyboard. We rub our head and tap out a message that extols the virtues of our Triad. We alert tens of thousands of readers to the wrongs that surround them… and we shine a light on what’s right.

You could say we’re amoral. But we sure wouldn’t.

Keep the questions and comments flowing. Email us