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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
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    2,600

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    +1 to GLC

    One comment which I read once but struck me is "treat all meat like a caviar." What he meant was, treat it as an expensive delicacy to be enjoyed in small quantity. Afterall, there is no such thing as cheap meat. It's heavily subsidized by your tax.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    208
    I cringe every time I drive up the interstate here, passing hog confinements every dozen miles. Factory farming and processing is one of the most horrific jobs. Imagine being surrounded by so much pain and suffering, of both the human and animal variety. Those are not the well paid and sought after jobs of the mid 20th century.

    I'm vegan for animal rights, human rights, and the health of the planet. While the only livestock I ever own will be rescued from such horrific operations, it is heartening to hear other people think of livestock as living things that don't deserve the appalling conditions they are stuck in. I really do think we vote with our dollars (almost more so than with our votes) so I can only hope the non-factory-farmed meat standards can come up a little.

    Right now the USDA sanctioned 'free-range' only regards poultry, so any free-range pigs, eggs, cows - that's all marketing. Similarly 'natural' can be whatever the producers want it to be. Hopefully other certifiers, like Oregon Tilth, will become more common for livestock like they have for other products. They seem to have much higher standards than the USDA regulations.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lake Superior in the summer; southern WI the rest of the year
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by Atlas View Post
    Right now the USDA sanctioned 'free-range' only regards poultry, so any free-range pigs, eggs, cows - that's all marketing. Similarly 'natural' can be whatever the producers want it to be. Hopefully other certifiers, like Oregon Tilth, will become more common for livestock like they have for other products. They seem to have much higher standards than the USDA regulations.
    Free-range is NOT all marketing if you follow the basic guidelines outlined in Jo Robinson's book and website www.eatwild.com:
    • buy locally
    • visit the farm before you buy
    • talk with the farmers about their practices
    I'm married to a farmer and I live in a farming community. Some farmers treat their animals far worse than they treat their machines. Others treat them with respect and concern.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    directly from USDA definition of free range free roaming Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.

    The key point here is that poultry has access to the outside generally understood to be three feet by three feet chunk of dirt outside a poultry house which houses 20,000+ birds. Birds don't have to go out there. They were allowed access!

    My girls peck for earwigs, other bugs, table scraps and supplemented with chicken feed. Not the other way around.

    As for CAFO, they are just awful!! nothing humane about that.

    Tiva, you are right some farmers are really bad about animal husbandry others are really good. Like everything else, there are those who are respectful to the animals, polyfarm guy is an example and there are those who are really bad.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    208
    Quote Originally Posted by tiva View Post
    Some farmers treat their animals far worse than they treat their machines. Others treat them with respect and concern.
    I know many farmers too and I believe some genuinely respect their animals. I was just saying that according to the USDA free-range only applies to poultry, so there is no knowing what free-range means on anything else. And like Smilingcat pointed out, free-range isn't the open farm yard most people envision when they see the words on the label. I'm sure there are producers who are indeed free-range, but there are also ones who pervert its meaning. I would love it if everyone who ate meat went to the farms and met the people and the animals that make it possible, but most people don't. They read labels. And labels are not always as accurate as we'd like them to be.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    507
    One thing I love about NZ is that all beef and lamb is free range grass feed. We have the space and the animals get to live a relatively normal life roaming around, interacting with each other and being outside.

    Recently some big farming company wanted to introduce shed dairy farming in the South Island. Their arguement was that the South Island is cold (it snows in winter) and being inside is better for the animals. However they still wouldn't be outside in the summer.

    Thankfully there was a huge out cry- NZ has never had huge factory shed farming for dairy and it would impact on our marketing that we are free range for our cows and sheep and the government has managed to put a stop to it.

    Pigs and chickens are a bit of a different matter but free range is becoming more and more popular.

    One farming method I probably do agree with would be fish farming. Natural fish populations are pretty much depleted and to be able to keep on eating fish I think raising fingerlings to adulthood in a safe, non-polluting manner is the way to go. Maybe we could even release fish into the wild as well.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,632
    The problem with farmed fish (I'm thinking in particular salmon) is that they aren't eating their normal diet, they're crowded and much more stressed than their wild cousins. This means they're much more vulnerable to parasites and disease (and roaming jellyfish swarms), and they're fed dyes to give their flesh that pink color.
    I don't know about other fish like tilapia, though.

    Now I feel like I can't eat anything again. :|
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
    http://wholecog.wordpress.com/

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  8. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,131
    Quote Originally Posted by Owlie View Post
    ...they aren't eating their normal diet, they're crowded and much more stressed than their wild cousins. This means they're much more vulnerable to parasites and disease...:|
    Because of this they are also regularly given antibiotics. And they are know to infect local populations of fish further threatening their survival. Most marine wildlife conservation societies recommend steering away from farmed fish for this reason, especially if they're grown in open nets or cages. There are some exceptions, but again it depends on knowing where the seafood is coming from, the farming practices of the farmers, and the regional legislation that protects the local waterways.


    http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/c.../sfw_gear.aspx
    http://www.greenerchoices.org/produc...duct=fishfarms
    http://www.surfrider.org/files/aquac...e%20report.pdf
    http://www.oceanconservancy.org/site...ticle&id=14083


    Sustainable seafood guides:
    http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/c.../download.aspx
    http://www.oceanfutures.org/action/s...seafood-guides
    Last edited by sgtiger; 07-18-2010 at 09:47 AM.
    Everything in moderation, including moderation.

    2007 Rodriguez Adventure/B72
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  9. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,057
    As a vegetarian mostly for environmental reasons, I get frustrated when someone does the, "but you will eat fish, right?" Uh....no. Environmentally speaking, pretty darn bad, particularly, as SGTiger stated, if it is farmed.

    That said, I've been keeping an eye on some of the work on closed-circuit fish farming case studies. They're taking old warehouses and creating closed environments for freshwater fish that include water-treatment via plants, including herbs and salad greens.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    One comment which I read once but struck me is "treat all meat like a caviar." What he meant was, treat it as an expensive delicacy to be enjoyed in small quantity. Afterall, there is no such thing as cheap meat. It's heavily subsidized by your tax.
    Treating meat as "precious" when eating a small amount, is a good approach/attitude.

    I confess that we cannot afford to buy organic. But I only eat meat 3-4 times per month or less. He eats meat even less frequent.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    9

    Smile Wow

    OMG - like minds! I've just "converted" my husband to the slow food mindset. We read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilema, saw Food, Inc, read Salatin's Everything I want to do is Illegal. Also Temple Grandin's books are enlightening.
    Central Florida is a very hard place to find fresh local food (odd, we have the longest growing season in the US). The number of markets swelled but has since subsided - they have them during the week and don't veryify the food is not re-sale. There's also a resistance to the organic/natural movement (I guess they envision stoned hippies dancing around). People at work assume I'm a vegetarian because I like fresh vegetables and have a yard-garden. And coworkers brag, really and for real brag, about not eating vegetables (and then wonder why they get sick, gain weight, etc). On our quarter acre suburban lot we grow loquats, peaches, collards, tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, stevia, lavendar, bell pepprs, hot peppers - and more. Many plants are worked into our landscaping and the yard looks really nice. We might add chickens (no rooster).
    Local, non-processed food just TASTES better. I'm so thankful that my husband and I can afford good food. It can be expensive, but many places are lowering their prices (Crone's Cradle in Citra, has very affordable veggies, eggs, etc).
    I'd really love to get kids turned on to farming and growing things. I feel like the next generations are missing this essential survival skill.
    Along with safe cycling, of course
    Last edited by SaNdEe; 07-18-2010 at 03:02 PM.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    The quiet side of CT
    Posts
    164
    If anyone is looking to source local, pastured/grass fed/free range meat- check out www.eatwild.com .

 

 

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