Saturday, May 08, 2010

We're baaaack!

The girls in Millenium Park, Chicago.

We're back from the midwest and trying to squeeze a lot of Mexican fun into a little bit of time. Our tickets home are booked for June 16th, giving us a little less than six weeks to enjoy Mexico. We've started off with a bang, though, visiting our favorite taco shop, our favorite organic bistro, getting estimates for some of the work that needs to be done on our car, spending time at the beach, and playing with our puppies! Yes, they're still here. And Mama Milly, too. But, puppy number two (Rosy) went home a few minutes ago and puppy number three (CJ) goes home tonight. Mama Milly leaves next weekend for the SPCA shelter in Puerto Vallarta where she will await a home in Mexico or transport to Canada next fall. We'll hang onto puppy number four (Renegade) until we figure out whether or not we're going to adopt him! If not, we know we'll find a great home for him because he is super double cute and a really easy pup, too.


On a totally different subject, I thought I'd share this bit of an email I got from our farm today. It reminded me how lucky we are to be heading back to a place where we have such easy access to amazingly fresh, clean, honest, and happy local food! I love my farm. And I really love her catch-phrase at the end: "Buy better, eat less." Amen, sister.

Factory Farming - It Gets Worse
Cheap Food Comes at a Price...

I recently had the experience of visiting with a local farmer who was a grower for a not-to-be-named turkey producer who was bought out by another non-to-be-named turkey producer (call it company X). In the buyout, the new company X ended all of of its operations in Colorado, leaving this farmer with two barns the length of four football fields empty. He could leave the state and continue to work for company X, but his conscience won't let him despite losing a significant portion of his income. He went on to tell me about the practices of turkey company X - I didn't think my jaw could drop any further, but it just kept going.

Company X has a practice of shipping corn in from other countries because it is cheaper than purchasing corn from the US, in spite of our surplus. This foreign corn does not have to meet any standards related to pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that conventional US farmers have to meet. They can spray just about anything they want to make the corn grow faster and bigger, cheaper. This corn is eaten by the turkey and ultimately is eaten by you, the consumer.

Don't worry - it gets worse. Company X also has a practice of injecting the birds with water and filling the cavities with water just before packaging and freezing them. So, it may seem like a too-good-to-be-true price per pound, and it is, since you are also paying for a good amount of water!

When a company grows millions of turkeys, profits are made on mere pennies saved, usually to the detriment of the consumer. This goes for all CAFOs which can, and often do, feed chicken byproduct and manure to cattle, pigs and even other chickens to save a buck on grain!

The cost per pound of meat in the grocery store does not reflect the true cost of what it really takes to raise a chicken or cow, not to mention the environmental damage, animal and worker welfare and consequences to our health. As an example, it has been discovered that humans are developing resistance to the most basic of antibiotics due to the overuse of antibiotics used in factory farms to prevent diseases that occur when animals are in confined spaces.

You can be sure that at Grant Family Farms we make our animal farm transparent and never use antibiotics, nor confine our animals - we let a pig be a pig and let a chicken express her chickeness. The price you pay for organic, pastured meat from Grant Family Farms reflects the true cost of raising and caring for the animal and gives the farm a fair price. In addition you are feeding your family a much healthier alternative - animals raised on pasture are proven to have less fat, less cholesterol and more vitamins and omega-3s! Instead of "get more, pay less," I like the phrase "buy better, eat less."