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Radical Food

Sourdough bagels + raw cultured cream cheese =🤩

There are few things more dear to my heart than bread and cheese. Cream cheese and yogurt cheese are shockingly simple to make and are two of our favorite fresh cheeses to have on hand and one of the reasons I look forward to milking season all winter. Sourdough bread is the most magical thing to create, I love to put my starter on the kitchen table and throw often the French doors to the kitchen garden letting the spring breeze blow in and imagine all the wild yeasts that are here on the farm colonizing my starter and then when I bake with it I know that it’s Wildheart sourdough, it’s literally alive with the spirit of our farm, it’s unique and special.

Ok, soap box time... 🎤

Cream cheese is a staple in most refrigerators, but the major grocery store varieties are lifeless, nearly tasteless “cheeses” that are thickened and stabilized with additives like carrageenan and carob bean gum and heated to the point that no probiotic benefits are retained. To add insult to injury, cream cheese may also contain added preservatives that can inhibit or kill human gut microbes, compromising the immune system. Shockingly about 70% of the average American diet is composed of processed foods that contain preservatives that wreck havoc on the immune system, are pro-inflammatory, contribute to fatigue and weakness, disrupt the endocrine system, and promote obesity. Many breads, grains, nuts, and beans contain glyphosate (roundup), even non-gmo ones because it’s not just used as a herbicide, it is sprayed as a desiccant to promote even drying and allow easier harvesting with massive machinery. On top of that, most store-bought sourdough is not naturally leavened, you can think of it more as a yeast bread that has sourdough flavor added to it. It hasn’t been leavened with an active, live starter. So again, stripped of all its potential benefits.

Sorry, not going to sugar coat it. This is why food matters. This is why regenerative farming matters. It is critical to our personal health, our community health, and the health of the planet.

It feels overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Start small. Make yogurt. It just takes milk and a starter. Mix them together and let them sit for 12 hours. That simple. Now take that yogurt and hang it up in a clean dish towel over a pot to catch the whey. In the morning unwrap that package and peek inside. You’ll find a silky, creamy, fresh, spreadable cheese that’s much like cream cheese or chèvre. Sprinkle over a bit of salt and stir it in. Give it a taste. You just made cheese.

Now make a sourdough starter. It just takes a little organic flour and filtered water, it requires minimal effort and upkeep and will capture the unique wild yeasts and bacteria in your environment, transforming them into a truly personalized and unbelievably flavorful final product. In the creation of both fresh cheese and sourdough bread, the majority of time that goes into them is simply waiting, the active effort to make these things only takes a few minutes each day. It doesn’t need to be complicated.

Humans have been eating real, nutrient dense, nourishing foods since the beginning of our time here. We foraged and later farmed these foods using simple methods and tools, and a bit of common sense. We observed nature and then harnessed some of its magic to make wildly delicious things like sourdough bread and cheese and fermented vegetables and honey mead and we made the making of those things part of our daily and seasonal rhythms.

Our broken food system has programmed us to believe that these things only come processed and packaged from a store, laden with preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors that make dead food look alive to us. We have been led to believe that these foods are difficult or inconvenient to create ourselves and the mysteries and methods of traditional foods, once passed down through generations, have now been mostly lost to commercialized, industrialized, cheap mass production. In some cases we have even been taught to believe that it might be dangerous or illegal to have access to these things (raw milk, ahem).

Don’t believe it. Take back your food. Take back your health.


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