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Thursday, November 12, 2009

FOOD, Inc.





I pre-ordered this movie several months ago and finally got it in the mail. If you have not seen FOOD, Inc., you must. I have struggled all summer with raising my own meat to eat. We raised meat chickens in the spring and now again in the fall. The beef we eat comes off our place. And our pork is raised 30 miles away by a man who does a small amount every year. I still cried at the time of process and feel bad each time we eat it. I do know that what we are doing is the right thing for my family. Raising your own, in my experience, has not been a money saving experience. It costs more to feed animals well and to keep them healthy and happy. Our egg layers live in what has been coined the Chicken Taj Mahal. And as far as chickens go, I think they are happy as clams.

What I do know is this: If, as a country, we do not do something about the inhumane ways animals for food are raised and processed, we will be in bigger trouble than we already are. If school do not do something to make meals for children healthier, our kids will continue to gain weight and take on obesity oriented diseases. At what point did it become common place for an apple to cost more than a $.99 hamburger. Families are doing what they can to put food on their tables, the food industry is changing what that food is. There is a petition you can sign to change the food served in schools. Hungry For Change can be found here and is a great way to begin getting involved.

We have chosen to continue our adventure into homegrown and home raised. We will keep on doing our part at our level to have a healthier lifestyle. Those of you in cities also have options. You can join CSAs, which are Community Supported Agriculture options. You can chose to spend a little more at the grocer to buy healthier and fresher foods and leave behind some of the more convenient foods. Eventually this will cause the store buyers to stock healthier options and leave out the cruddier ones. They are only going to stock what people are purchasing. Frequenting farmer and growers markets are also a wonderful way to support the local farmer and to feed your family from local sources. So much food these days is grown in other countries. I am trying to go for a 100 mile radius. Simply keeping it within the USA is a noble approach too.

Maybe I sound like a raving maniac and maybe all of this sounds like an unreasonable attempt to take on a giant. But as a nation we took on the Tobacco industry and we won, to some degree. But it is heading in the right direction. It can be done, it just takes us caring about it at home.

21 comments:

  1. Heather,

    I agree with you, know your food. We did a CSA this year and visited the farmer market about every week buying all the yeggies we didn't grow in the garden. I've been to our food coop twice in the past two days they sell mostly locally grown produce and meat. Found a new yummy there today organic Jumbo Red Flame Raisins never knew raisins could be so good.

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  2. I love your philosophy! Keep doing what you are doing, you are an inspiration to us all!

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  3. My husband and I watched Food inc. just last night! Very good movie to watch - have you read Fast Food Nation? Some of the same people are involved, it just goes into more depth and specifics. Very good read.

    The pricing of food is definitely a major health problem in our country that direly needs to be addressed. Our purchasing priorities are just out of whack.

    An a semi-side-note, an issue my husband and I discovered and plan on tackling next spring and summer is that most food banks don't accept donations of home grown produce, meat, milk or eggs. It would be such a nice way for low-income folks to get healthy food. Food banks typically have foods that are processed, high in sodium and have low nutrition density. We both think that it is a shame to not allow donations of home-grown foods, and as we anticipate having surplus, we're going to see if we can change this in our area.

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  4. keep moving forward bos, i like it.thanks.

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  5. You go, girl. Keep inspiring the rest of us by your example. Your blog is a big reason why I want to grow some veggies of my own next year (and it's also given me the confidence that I can probably figure out how to do it).

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  6. i agree! great movie- everyone needs to see it. i feel pretty educated on the subject and i was shocked at some of the stuff i saw.

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  7. You bring up some good points, Heather. It's sad that quality food is so expensive while the average family can eat an entire meal [if you can call it that] at McDonalds for $10. But I think, at least in my neck of the woods, people are getting more vocal and changes have been coming.

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  8. I haven't seen it yet. Bit afraid to watch it actually. Will have to do it though..

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  9. It would be nice if grocery stores bought in to the locally grown idea. In the long run it would help everyone.

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  10. Heather,
    I have this on my Netflix list. I am a vegetarian, but I certainly don't think everyone else should be. That said, it's quite disturbing for me to think about the complacency most people have about where their meat comes from and how the animals are treated.
    Thank you for the very thoughtful post, and exposing your many readers to this movie.

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  11. Great post! I'm going to have to get my hands on that film. I'd love to raise our own meat at home but with living in city limits it's just not possible right now. Someday... :) For now, we just hunt for our meat and buy what we need from the local Co-op.

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  12. Kudos to you, Heather! I'm a vegetarian, so people often feel compelled to apologize to me for eating meat, especially if they raise and process it themselves. But I always point out that, given the choice, I suspect most animals would rather live and be well cared for, even if their lives are cut short, than not have the chance to live at all! I know I would. So please don't feel bad! You give your animals a great life. As you point out, it's the abuses in our so-called "system" that need to be corrected. Thank heavens we're surrounded by CSAs, farmers' markets, farm stands, and groceries that take pride in carrying locally-raised produce, eggs, meat and dairy here.---Silence

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  13. I think it's wonderful what you are doing. I know it's not easy to raise your own meat but what you are doing for your family is so incredible. My neighbor is raising a small pig this year. He is worried that his kids will get too attached and won't want him to have it slaughtered.

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  14. I have this in my Netflix queue and I am happy to tell you that there is a "long wait." I also recommend "The Future of Food" and "King Corn." We have been buying our organic grass-fed beef, organic pork and organic chickens from the local farmers in this area for the past couple of years. We have stopped buying most of our meat and eggs from the stores. The local farmers are wonderful and we are so glad, and fortunate, to have them.

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  15. Yeah, very interesting film. One of the farmers just came to a conference in Baltimore. You may enjoy his speech:
    http://tedxmidatlantic.com/live/#JoelSalatin

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  16. I wanted to know if you have eaten any of your homegrown chickens yet? I have been thinking about getting meat chickens this spring but am concerned about slaughtering them. I watched Joel Salatin's YouTube video on how he does it. I talked to a friend today about maybe her husband doing it and we could split them. I don't know if I would get too attached. I do have a rooster that I would glady dispatch of! I have been attacked one too many times.

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  17. Frenchie- We take ours to a processor a little over an hour away. I definitely could not do this if I had to do it myself. They taste very good and after all the sacrifice on their parts I will eat every last one and thank them for it as I do. The quality of home grown chicken is so far superior to anything you can get in the store. I was pleasantly suprised.

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  18. Amen! In addition to maintaining our own small veggie garden, we do try to buy locally and organically whenever we can. I used to worry about the price, but then I figured we can spend the money on good food now or spend it on doctors later! Besides, by creating the demand, we help encourage the market to move in the right direction, which should eventually bring down the cost.

    You might want to put "The Omnivore's Dilemma" on your holiday wish list -- it includes much more info about the farm shown in Food, Inc. with the happy pigs. His methods are amazing and inspiring!

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  19. My dad grew up on a dairy farm and has been a rancher and farmer for the past 40 years. Everytime he sees/reads something like Food Inc., that bashes conventional agriculture, he says the same thing: "It is full of half-truths." Keep in mind that anything that claims to be telling you the "truth" as Food Inc. does (if you haven't seen the movie, go take a look at the web site), you should automatically be skeptical. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. I'm so tired of the media bashing farmers and ranchers.

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Thank you for your ideas, suggestions or greetings. I love to hear from you and read them all.
-Heather

About This Blog

We started this blog in Feb. of 2009 to help us stay motivated and to track our progess in the garden. We live on 5 acres surrounded by Idaho farmland. We have wildlife galore and are attempting to attract more in the bird catagory. This is our journal. Welcome!

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