Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... Monsanto is receiving the Nobel Prize for agriculture! In June 6500 genetically engineered sugar beet plants were destroyed in Oregon by unknown individuals. The sugar beets were the property of biotech giant Syngenta AG. The FBI is investigating. There's a backlash to big agriculture, consumers want to choose what they eat and how it's been grown. The 'Just label it' project is still collecting signatures, if you haven't signed their petition yet, now is a great time.
BUYER BEWARE! At the recent Grassfed Exchange Conference buyers and producers of "Grass fed" cattle defended their policy of selling steers who've been fed distillers grains and soy hulls (these aren't non-GMO or organic grains by the way. There's no reason to feed any grain to grass fed cattle!). You might be surprised who is selling this beef in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and at many co-ops in the area. At Forest Hill Farm we don't source our beef steers, we raise them. All the beef sold by Forest Hill Farm is 100% grass fed, rotationally grazed, dry aged and is raised on this farm.
If you are interested in finding out who's selling this beef? I'll send you the article, email me, you might be surprised! You might be even more surprised to find out who buys these steers and sells it as 'grass fed beef' direct to consumers.
This summer we've had a beef shortage, for that, we apologize. The demand has outpaced production. This fall we bought a few heifers from a friend who bought one of our registered Red Angus bulls, 'Combine' a couple years ago. The Heifers have outnumbered the bull calves born on the farm. The good news is the herd is growing steadily. The beef shortage will be resolved next summer.
Warmest wishes and food for thought.
Friends of the Earth has releases a new study by The Pesticide Research Institute. In the study they found that many “bee friendly” plants sold at Home Depot, Lowes, and other large garden centers contained neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids which could harm or kill bees and other pollinators. 7 of 13 sample garden plants purchased at top retailers contained these toxic compounds.
The EPA is taking action to protect bees by developing new pesticide labels that indicate ingredients that may harm bees. The new labels will have an advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. The labels will contain warnings for products containing the neonicotinoidsimidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
Here's a great TED Talk by Marla Spivak - Why Bees Are Disappearing
Omega 3 fatty acid is essential for human and animal health. It plays a vital role in boosting immunity, disease resistance, creating anti-inflammatory responses to infection, and reduces the risk of heart disease and blood clots. Leading British ruminant nutritionist Cliff Lister says, “Grass-based diets encourage lean muscle development rather than fat, meaning that grass-fed beef and lamb is typically leaner than meat produced from silage or grain-fed stock and contains a higher level of omega-3 fatty acids.”
Croatian researchers are developing a new tool to locate the estimated 250,000 mines buried in the war torn region: honey bees! Honey bees are too light to trigger the devices and they can be trained to hunt for TNT. Read more
USDA officials are investigating the discovery of Genetically engineered wheat found in Oregon. Monsanto was authorized to field test the Roundup Ready wheat in 16 states from 1998- 2005 but Monsanto withdrew it’s application in 2004. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services emphasized that this wheat doesn’t pose a food safety concern. The FDA stated that the GE wheat variety was as safe as any non-GE wheat currently on the market.
Monsanto issued this statement:
“The glyphosate-tolerance gene used in Roundup Ready wheat has a long history of safe use. The gene that was used in Roundup Ready wheat also produces the same protein that has been and is used widely in corn, soy and several other crops by millions of farmers throughout the world.”
My wise and wonderful grandmother use to say, “Right is right even if no one does it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone does it.” I think those words perfectly apply here. Just because millions of farmers world wide are using a product doesn’t mean it’s a safe or that it's a good product.
There's a new family of bacteria resistant to ALL known antibiotics. It kills nearly half of the patients infected with it. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) calls this a "nightmare" bacteria. CRE stands for Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae. It's not found in the general population, yet. One-in-24 hospitals in the United States are infected with the CRE bacteria, it's also found in nursing homes. The truly frightening progression of this bacteria is it's ability to spread resistance to other bacteria.
“These are nightmare bacteria that present a triple threat,” said Thomas Frieden, director at CDC, “They’re resistant to nearly all antibiotics. They have high mortality rates, killing half of people with serious infections. And they can spread their resistance to other bacteria.” One of the insidious behaviors of this bacteria; It's evolving. It’s “the biggest threat to patient safety in the hospital we have,” said Costi Sifri, an infectious disease physician at the University of Virginia Health System, “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anything is slowing their spread.”
Could antibiotics in animal feed have contributed to this? So far, a connection hasn't been made. In my opinion logic and common sense would lead to this conclusion. The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) urged for the banning of antibiotics in animal feed. They're also calling for stricter guidelines regarding the human use of antibiotics. The OMA in a report titled, "When Antibiotics Stop Working" explained that doctors are facing the extinction of one of the most fundamental and life-saving tools in medicine - effective antibiotics.
Seventy percent of all antibiotic consumption in the USA is used up by the farming industry - most is used in livestock feed. In livestock production antibiotics are used to promote growth, not health. Combined resistance to multiple antibiotics has been found in E. coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. When will the excessive use end?
"More than a generation has passed since FDA first recognized the potential human health consequences of feeding large quantities of antibiotics to healthy animals. Accumulating evidence shows that antibiotics are becoming less effective, while our grocery store meat is increasingly laden with drug-resistant bacteria. The FDA needs to put the American people first by ensuring that antibiotics continue to serve their primary purpose - saving human lives by combating disease."
Here at Forest Hill Farm we don't use antibiotics in feed. Cattle and sheep only eat grass. Pigs and poultry aren't fed ANY antibiotics.
If you guessed 'A' you're one smart cookie! However, both B and C are being used as cattle feed. The biggest shocker is that University scientists and veterinarians aren't admonishing these alternative feed practices, they're studying them Read more here
I tried to throw you off with the potato chips. If you guessed 'A' you're right again, kind of. These day's 'All of the above' (excluding 'A' as an answer) might be correct. Grass is very expensive, especially if it's on ground that could have gone into corn production so cheaper alternatives are being fed to cattle at an alarming rate.
Sunday, February 3, 2013 is Souper Bowl Sunday. Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday is more than the day of the big game; it’s a game changer in your community. Local churches across the country ask you to remember the hungry with a $1.00 donation. Soup kettles will be placed at participating church entrances. All the money collected goes to your local food bank. If your church would like to participate or if you are hosting a football party please feel free to register and ask guests to donate. Click the logo to register
Politically Correct NFL
The National Football League recently announced a new era. From now on, no offensive team names will be permitted. While the owners of the teams rush to change uniforms and such, the National Football League announced, yesterday, its name changes and schedules for next season:
The Washington Native Americans will host the New York Very Tall People on opening day.
Other key games include the Dallas Western-style Laborers hosting the St Louis Wild Endangered Species, the Minnesota Plundering Norsemen taking on the Green Bay Meat Industry Workers.
In week 2, there are several key matchups, highlighted by the showdown between the San Francisco Precious Metal Enthusiasts and the New Orleans Very Godly People.
The Atlanta Birds of Prey will host the Philadelphia Birds of Prey, while the Seattle Birds of Oceanic Prey will host the Phoenix Male Finches.
The Monday night game will pit the Miami Delphinus Food Fishes against the Denver Untamed Beasts of Burden.
The Cincinnati Large Bangladeshi Carnivorous Mammals will travel to Tampa Bay for a clash with the West Indies Free Looters in week 9.
Week 9 also features the Indianapolis Young Male Horses at the New England Zealous Lovers of Country.