7 Steps to Build Immunity

A Note From Founder Andy Snyder: Our good friend Joel Salatin is known as the world’s most famous farmer. As a self-described “Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer,” he isn’t one to mince words or hold back because it’s not “politically correct.” And after his thoughts on the coronavirus caught the attention of one of the major media outlets, he didn’t back down. He has some strong words for how we can come out of this crisis… and it has nothing to do with the government. Let us know your thoughts on what he has to say here.


I recently did a post on my blog (Musings From the Lunatic Farmer), titled “I Want Coronavirus!

It created quite a stir, including a LOT of pushback and vitriol… and resulted in a big story in The Washington Post.

The basic pitch was that I’m healthy and preach immune function. I’d rather have the virus now and get it over with than wait until I’m 80.

I want exposure sooner rather than later… because I trust my immunity-building recipe to protect me.

And I’d like to share it with you today.

Laying Blame

In our current culture of victimhood, society blames a bogeyman far away and awaits government help.

To be sure, blaming the Chinese wild, wet markets of Wuhan – which also incubated the dreaded SARS outbreak a decade ago – is helpful in establishing first cause.

Cramming wild animals in cages in horrific conditions concentrated with humans is about as anti-nature as you can get. That now two exotic viruses developed from the arrogance and filth should surprise no one.

When will humans learn that nature has rules and we violate them at our own peril? Perhaps the world should boycott China until it agrees to pay reparations for the whole thing.

But we have to deal with the reality of the virus. It’s a fast-evolving story, changing literally by the day.

Rather than point fingers – as enjoyable as that may be – how about focusing on what we can do, personally, to immunize ourselves from this virus?

Seven Steps to Stay Healthy

I wish just one of those public health officials standing behind President Trump at his daily briefings would step up to the microphone and say, “The best defensive position against this is a vibrant, robust immune system. Let’s spend one week on a national initiative to bolster our immune systems.”

That can never happen because personal responsibility is obsolete.

But what if in some magical moment, we as a society decided on this course of action? What protocols do we know that would strengthen immunity?

Here are some that I believe are critical to staying healthy.

1. Forgiveness. I thought long and hard about what to title this first emotional, mental and spiritual principle and decided on forgiveness as perhaps the ultimate representative in this sphere. From spousal to familial to workplace to political arena, vitriol and vengeance extract incalculable life energy. A subset of this is envy, which Solomon said rots your bones.

Stephen Covey’s iconic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People encourages us to quit feeling responsible about things we can’t change. You can never make another person change. The only thing you can change is your response to that person.

We literally eat ourselves up inside when we hold on to grievances. Forgiveness is not for others… it’s to free us from the shackles of hatred and injustice.

This includes how you feel about Trump, Bernie and “the Squad.”

2. Hydration. You don’t have to read very far into the physical self-help literature to discover that almost all of us are dehydrated. We don’t drink enough water, even though our bodies are primarily walking water.

Many reasons exist for this shortage. One is simply that urban water doesn’t taste good. Investing in a filter to get good-tasting water could be the best thing you do this year for your health.

A second reason is that as we’ve moved away from physical labor, we don’t sweat as much, diminishing the body’s natural craving for water replenishment.

Water is the liquid of choice here, not soft drinks. Kombucha, yes.

3. Sleep. Americans don’t sleep enough… we all know that. Yet we routinely stay up until 11 or midnight and try to survive on six or seven hours of sleep. Our body goes into survival mode and again bleeds off precious energy that could go to immune function. The fact that any bar is open past 11 indicates a profound disregard for sleep.

How about for a week we all go to bed by 10 p.m. and commit to getting eight hours of sleep? Goodness, for this week of trial and compensation, how about we sleep for nine hours? Just getting away from the media and electronics for that long would do our bodies untold good.

4. No junk food. As I was reading articles describing grocery trends during the early days of the pandemic hysteria, I was disheartened to learn that the first empty supermarket shelves contained junk food – candy, chips, crackers, breakfast cereal… factory chicken, fake meat, homogenized milk.

It’s all junk.

At least only purchase things with a pronounceable ingredient label. If it was available before 1900, it’s probably okay. Thankfully, hot dogs were introduced at the 1890 World’s Fair. (Whew!) But get real hot dogs, like we make here at Polyface Farms. (Subtle marketing, there.)

Instead of junk food, eat real food that you prepare in your kitchen.

Eat with your family, around a table, where you pass dishes like people did in the olden days. Food grazing isolates us in our own homes.

Get nutrient-dense food from nonindustrial farms. These farms have compost piles, pastured livestock, multi-speciation and sell directly to consumers.

5. Microbiome enhancement. Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve been inviting folks out to our farm to walk barefoot in the pastures, stick their noses in chicken feathers and roll around on compost.

Rather than rubbing antimicrobials on my hands, I’d rather stick them in a bucket of compost.

Almost all bacteria, nematodes and microscopic beings are good. The trick is to build a habitat in which the good guys can destroy the bad guys. Sterility destroys the good guys.

Vegetation and animals literally fill the unseen universe with different species… inhaling them feeds vibrant life into our bodies. That’s not contamination; it’s a robust relationship.

6. Exercise. Sitting in your house all day eating chips and watching Netflix is not a recipe for health. Michelle Obama was right: “Let’s Move!”

Doing something meaningful, like gardening and construction, adds a stimulating dimension to exercise. Useful projects are more fun and soul filling.

Call your farmer and see if you could go out and chop some multiflora rose or thistles. Dig some fence post holes. Haul in some firewood. Dig a ditch.

Lots of work is begging to be done in the countryside. Since you can’t go to Disney, get connected with your foodscape instead.

7. Laugh. The news media thrives on sensationalism. If that’s all you’re feeding your intellect, you’ll get paranoid, worried and paralyzed with fear.

Turn it off.

Put on some Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Andy Griffith. Don Knotts remains one of the funniest guys to ever live, don’t you think?

The best thing that could happen for our society right now is for all media outlets to do one hour of news a day and then switch to comedy for the other 23. If we all laughed for two days, I guarantee you we’d be healthier.

What you feed your mind comes out in your body.

This may not be a comprehensive list, but wouldn’t it be cool if the country’s health officials promoted this recipe as a response?

Imagine what investing all our energy and money in such a plan would yield.

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