Joel Salatin, an alternative farmer and owner of Polyface, Inc., recently was the featured speaker as part of Ouachita Baptist University’s Nell Mondy Lecture Series. Salatin presented his lecture titled “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” Feb. 3.
The lecture focused on society’s shift from “simple” to “complicated,” citing society’s need for immediate results. “It’s not all about today,” Salatin argued. “Not everything has to be fixed today or even in a season.”
Salatin also pointed to most people’s lack of familiarity with earth’s natural resources. “He mentioned that many people living today do not know where the food purchased at the grocery store grows or even how it is grown,” said Dr. Detri Brech, professor of dietetics. “He emphasized the importance of having real-life experiences with food.”
“There’s a difference between a real tomato and a plastic grocery store tomato,” Salatin said. “Why do we keep eating the fake, plastic tomatoes? It’s not right.”
Instead, Salatin proposed that individuals become more responsible in the way we live. By tending one’s own garden or raising one’s own chickens in the backyard, “we learn about the good we eat,” he said.
Salatin is a full-time alternative farmer for Polyface, Inc. – known as “The Farm of Many Faces” in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. According to its website, Polyface, Inc. “services more than 5,000 families, 10 retail outlets and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs.” The Salatin family farm has been featured in numerous media outlets including National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Gourmet and ABC World News.
Salatin’s work “is relevant to our campus, community and world,” Brech said. “His message is to use the resources we have to protect the environment.” She added that he seeks to “inspire us to be better caretakers of the earth.”
Salatin earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Bob Jones University and has since authored eight books, including “Pastured Poultry Profits: Net $25,000 In 6 Months On 20 Acres”; “Holy Cows and Hog Heaven: The Food Buyer’s Guide to Farm Friendly Food”; “The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer”; and “Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People and a Better World.”
The Nell Mondy Lecture Series, coordinated by OBU’s J.D. Patterson School of Natural Sciences, focuses primarily on the fields of chemistry, food science and nutrition. “The purpose of the lectures is to enrich the learning experience of students, faculty and other professionals through providing speakers from diverse geographic and educational backgrounds,” explained Dr. Sara Hubbard, assistant professor of chemistry.
The Nell Mondy Lecture Series Endowment was established in 1991 by late Ouachita alumna Dr. Nell Mondy. Dr. Mondy was a worldwide consultant on food chemistry and nutrition and served as professor of nutritional sciences, food science and toxicology at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.
For more information, contact Dr. Detri Brech at email@example.com or (870) 245-5543.
By Taylor Tomlinson