(About Me)

Jill Nienhiser and her stoned friend
[Jill and her stoned friend. By Jill Nienhiser for Farm Food Blog.]

This post is a little snapshot of who I am and how I came to be writing Farm Food Blog. I’m a consultant, an actor, the webmaster for the Weston A. Price Foundation, and a small town kid who remembers how her grandparents ate.

I’ve been interested in health and nutrition for over 12 years and that’s led to a love affair with real food from small, sustainable farms, and that’s finally led to this blog.

I grew up in a small town with a generally better than Standard American Diet (SAD). My mother cooked a fair bit. We did get breakfast cereal, some convenience foods, and occasional soda, but there were plenty of meats including liver regularly, eggs, milk, and vegetables. I was robustly healthy and fit until I went to college and then I gained 40 pounds my freshman year (a combination of suddenly getting no exercise and having a cafeteria full of junk food available to me three times a day…plus late night pizzas, and of course, beer). That led to attempting low fat dieting and later low carb dieting without much success.


I got into farm food in about 2000 when my housemate and I were on the Atkins diet, again, and I remarked, “Wouldn’t it be great if eating the food the earth provided would keep us healthy and fit?” She told me “Oh, you should read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.” I had not heard of that book, but looked it up on Amazon and put it on my Christmas list. My sister gave it to me and for the whole of my week back home with the family over the holidays, I had my nose in that book. I just devoured it. If you don’t have it, order it now. You need it. (Click on the image to get it at my Amazon store.)

What I loved about Nourishing Traditions (NT) was that it all just made so much sense. People have been eating what the earth provided and have been essentially healthy for millennia (shorter lifespan was mostly due to the higher infant mortality rate–if you made it to ten, you had a good chance at a pretty long life). We have adapted to the food available, just like plants and other animals adapt to their ecological niche. What we did in the 20th century is completely change the way humans eat by completely changing the food, and we paid the price in dental decay, crooked teeth, allergies, chronic illnesses (asthma, arthritis, lupus, etc.), metabolic disorders (diabetes, obesity, heart disease), cancer, and infertility. NT explained how people traditionally ate and why, and why modern attempts to make food available more cheaply, more conveniently, and profitably have come at the expense of nutrition.

In the back of NT was information on Sally’s nonprofit, the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF). I looked up the website, westonaprice.org, and found tons of great information, and that they were having their 2nd annual conference that spring, in Washington DC. So I signed up to go, and at the conference, I signed up to get my first real farm food, raw milk. (I highly recommend going to a WAPF conference if you can. They are so informative and so fun, AND you will never eat better in your life. I have been to all the conferences except the first one that I didn’t know about, and the San Francisco conference during which time I was in acting school and working full time and couldn’t get away.) Read more about the Weston A. Price Foundation here (and find out who Weston A. Price was).

A little later I contacted Sally offering to help with the WAPF websites, westonaprice.org and realmilk.com (which helps people find raw milk), which at that time had no search engines, little to no search engine optimization, and lacked other features I felt it should have to help people find the sites and navigate their wealth of info. Her college-aged son had been maintaining the site for her in his scarce spare time, and they were both happy to turn it over to me. So I’ve been the WAPF webmaster since 2001. I’ve read nearly every article (and comment) on both sites, and there are nearly 2,000 as of this writing.

By day, I am a consultant for Mind & Media (mindandmedia.com), a communication consulting and media development company. By night, I am fast asleep. In those hours between work and sleep, however (evenings and weekends), I cram a lot of other things in, like acting, gardening, cooking, lactofermenting, reading, maintaining the WAPF websites, biking, playing with my cat Eddie, and hanging with my best friend Dane.

 

11 thoughts on “About–The Blogger

  • June 24, 2011 at 5:14 am
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    Thank You Very Much, Jill, for your wonderful presence in WAPF-land!
    I really appreciate your webmaster support!

    Long Live Farm Food!

    Chef Jem
    California

  • June 24, 2011 at 6:39 am
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    Thanks Chef Jem!

  • July 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm
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    Hey Jill!!
    Nice blog/site!! I subscribed via RSS so I won’t miss a post! Keep up the good work:)

    FeliceSkye

  • July 14, 2011 at 11:32 pm
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    Hi Jill,

    Love the blog. Thanks for writing!

  • July 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm
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    Thanks Karl. See you tomorrow night!

  • July 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm
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    Oh, and thank you too, Felice. Having trouble keeping up with my comments already. That’s excellent! :)

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  • December 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm
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    What is happening with the acting? What acting school? My daughter went to Cornish College of the Arts. She is now a Psychologist for Kaiser in San Francisco. I guess keep the day job, lol.
    I manage a farmers market here in the southwest of new mexico and deal with these issues first hand during the season. We promote local grown organic grow principles. Sadly ranching of the past is on the ropes and as it goes out we are trying to get the valley back into more produce production.
    I also notice your last name. I haven’t looked on the family tree but wouldn’t be at all surprised to see you on it somewhere in the past. I’ll have to check that out. Almost all the names Newhouse, nienhaus, neuhouse, nienhouse, nienhiser etc started with the same immigrants to New York. Have fun with this Jill.

  • December 16, 2011 at 10:40 am
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    Hi Steve, my dad has traced the genealogy back to Germany (Buer and Melle area near Hanover). His grandfather changed the spelling from Neinhuser or something like that (with umlaut over the u) to Nienhiser because there were other Neinhusers in the area (rural Missouri) who weren’t related and he wanted to distinguish between the families.

    I studied theatre at Northwestern but changed to a general communications major. A few years ago I did a two-year program at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Washington DC. I have been in a few things since but for now my focus is on launching my blog and getting it monetized to further my farm food freedom activism. So I’m not auditioning as aggressively as necessary to really get some work.

    Thanks for reading and good luck with your endeavors in NM. I did one term of grad school at the Santa Fe campus of St. John’s College (and the rest of the program in Annapolis). Lovely place.

  • December 17, 2011 at 1:51 pm
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    Great post! Great information about raw milk and farming practice!
    Jane

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