Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil
How it has changed people's lives, and how it can change yours!
by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy
When Abraham Lincoln served as president of the United States in 1862, 48 percent of the people living in the U.S. were farmers. Today, that figure is less than 2%. Along with the age of industrialization and technology we have, by and large, lost many of our community family farms and, with that loss, also the loss of many traditional farming skills. Few would argue that our food sources here in the U.S. have suffered as a result, as a consumer-driven economy seeks to support its lifestyle of ease and comfort with cheap foods produced by fewer people providing the labor back on the farms.
But there are new market trends and demands from consumers who are now placing greater value on traditional skills, and healthier food produced “the old fashioned way.” The 21st century sees a whole generation of “baby boomers” heading into their senior years, with complex health problems that did not plague their parents’ and grandparents’ generations, in spite of all the “medical advances” the 21st century brings us. Traditional ways of producing food are coming back into the spotlight, as some are questioning whether those responsible for filling the shelves of our grocery stores and supermarkets truly have our best interest in mind, or represent our core values.
In the Philippines, by contrast, about 50% of the population is still small-scale family farmers. Some would see this as a negative thing but others, like Marianita and me, see that this is actually a strength in the 21st century. My years in the Philippines showed me a way of life where people are still connected to their communities and sources of food. While mass-produced foods are undoubtedly choices available to the majority of Filipinos in the 21st century, in most places the community market still operates where one can find “native” or locally-produced foods, much the same as it has been for hundreds of years.
The alarming trend, however, in the Philippines as well as in most developing nations, is the desire to prosper as the U.S. has, and follow the way of industrialization and technology. I am certainly not anti-technology. But I do believe there is great value in traditional ways of producing food. As more people wake up to the fact that there are just certain things in nature that cannot be improved upon by man, because they follow the laws of nature set forth by the Creator, traditional ways will also reap economic value by providing a quality product to the consumer that technology cannot provide.
When Marianita revived the traditional way of making coconut oil, as you will read about in Chapter one, only a few left in her home community from her parents’ generation still knew how to produce this quality coconut oil that we named “Virgin Coconut Oil.” A massive training program had to be instituted to teach the younger generation how to produce this quality product. We were within only one generation of losing this traditional skill. A few years later now, we have shown the world what a traditional skill, producing a quality product that cannot be mass-produced, can do economically for the Philippine economy and what it can do for people’s health, as is evidenced by the more than 100 testimonies recorded in this book.
This book is the result of four years of research and feedback from thousands of people who have begun to incorporate Virgin Coconut Oil into their diet.