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No snake oil, please.

Countryside: I have been receiving your magazine for several years now, and have learned much from the information on those pages. If I went to college and graduated on the dean's list, yet could apply nothing I learned, did I really learn anything at all? I hope to one day put into practice the education I have received from you.

Countryside is the connective tissue between settling the land and sustaining a living from that land--the conjunctive between dirt and dinner plate. It is really not about the paper; it is the content on the paper that matters. For the quality of mentorship provided in Countryside, I wouldn't care if you printed it on a napkin, as long as you keep printing it.

Minor hyperbole aside, I would be remiss not to mention a real concern of mine, one I see echoing in the comments of other readers: there appears to be an incremental progression of content geared toward the "Mother Earth" crowd. The first Countryside publication I picked up drew me in with an article of a 9-year-old dressing out a rabbit. Now, too many articles contain words like "environmental advocacy" and "social justice." The last couple of issues contained articles by Becky Rupert in which she postulates, "alternative medicine holds a very important place in homesteading." Granted, an alternative to medicine is what homesteaders and Grandma had in mind with things such as cottonwood balm, charcoal antidotes, or even rosehip tea--not this "holistic" Kool-Aid.

A U.C. Berkeley Wellness Letter warned: "except for the ghostly molecules, homeopathic solutions may contain nothing more than water or alcohol. Thus, they are not likely to harm you. (Becky said as much.) But can they do you any good? Be wary of anybody--and any product--that promises to cure what no one else can." (U.C. Berkeley Wellness Letter, Sept. 1995, pp.4-5) "Holistic medicine" is sometimes spelled "wholistic" because it supposedly deals with the whole person: mind, body, and spirit--aha, spirit. What kind of medicine, which comes from a bottle, do you give the spirit?

Please keep our Countryside on par and free of duplicitous content--no snake oil, please.

James Day

Sikeston, Missouri

We love readers like James. The exercise we went through to create this issue--reading 44 years' worth of Countrysides--only proves James's point. While we can never replicate Jd Belanger--he was truly one of a kind--we can do our best to carry on the voice with which he started and built this magazine. And to that point, we promise never to sell snake oil, we promise. But we do promise to share all sorts of different points of view. You'll find all sorts of takes on medicine throughout our 44-year history. Truly, if there is one thing that Countryside is about, it is, "To each their own."

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Title Annotation:Country Conversation & Feedback
Author:Day, James
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 30, 2015
Previous Article:Thanks to Ryan Moore.
Next Article:GMO discussion needed.

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