Thursday, February 08, 2007

A Few More Things About Food

1)... No, not true. Cows see very little grass nowadays in their lives. They get them on corn as fast as they can, which speeds up their lifespan, gets them really fat, and allows you to slaughter them within 14 months.

2)The problem with this system, or one of the problems with this system, is that cows are not evolved to digest corn. It creates all sorts of problems for them. The rumen is designed for grass. And corn is just too rich, too starchy. So as soon as you introduce corn, the animal is liable to get sick.

3)It creates a whole [host] of changes to the animal. So you have to essentially teach them how to eat corn. You teach their bodies to adjust. And this is done in something called the backgrounding pen at the ranch, which is kind of the prep school for the feedlot. Here's where you teach them how to eat corn.

4)You start giving them antibiotics, because as soon as you give them corn, you've disturbed their digestion, and they're apt to get sick, so you then have to give them drugs. That's how you get in this whole cycle of drugs and meat. By feeding them what they're not equipped to eat well, we then go down this path of technological fixes, and the first is the antibiotics. Once they start eating the [corn], they're more vulnerable. They're stressed, so they're more vulnerable to all the different diseases cows get. But specifically they get bloat, which is just a horrible thing to happen. They stop ruminating.
5) Michael Pollan

6) Organic farmer is back!

7) Wild Food video clips

8) Whole Foods responds to Michael Pollans book The Omnivore's DillemaBecause of our success and growth, Whole Foods Market attracts a lot of praise, comparison and, sometimes, hostility — along with the occasional puzzling ethical or moral judgment. As a retail business that operates at a level of transparency far exceeding that of almost any other business of its size, I find this curious but figure that these judgments are a by-product of our success. Your book focuses on several points, either by implication or actual statement that I find troublesome in terms of their accuracy. I want to provide you with additional background on these points and provide you with the names of Whole Foods Market spokespersons who can assist with any research materials or clarification that you may need in the future.

I regret that you did not engage in any serious research about how Whole Foods Market actually does business or you would have discovered that we support local and small farm food production all over the United States as well as in other parts of the world. Whole Foods Market, despite its size, does not operate as a typical monolithic corporation such as Wal-Mart (with which you associate Whole Foods Market several times in your book). Our company continues to operate on a decentralized model wherein each of our 11 regions, as well as each store, has a high level of autonomy. Differences in product offerings, suppliers, and seasonal availability result in a significant variation of items on our shelves from region to region and even store to store within the same city. However, our strict quality standards, the highest in the industry, are observed with every supplier and retail outlet. In other words, you may find a variation in the types and kinds of products, but each has been screened by our rigorous quality standards.
Whole Foods Blog and here.

9) Sustainable Table

10) Food and Design

11) Grass-fed Basics

12) Grass=fed Revolution

13) Peak Oil News


Amy Ruttan said...

Ya, it's kind of nasty when you think what's done to livestock.

Hope it's not too cold where you are 'cause this week it's been -32 degrees celcius. IN TORONTO!

Happy TT.

Buttercup said...

I had no idea that it was a problem to feed cows corn rather than grass, but I suppose it makes a lot of sense. Then there's all the problems with mixing in pieces of dead cows into their feed. It's revolting. I don't eat meat largely b/c of how livestock are treated in the U.S. I think there is a lesser of evils and that is feeding them grass and letting them roam freely. Killing them is problematic for me, but it's more human to do it outside the context of a slaughterhouse, in my opinion.

Chickadee said...

Wow, I didn't know cows were fed corn. What a shame.

Have you seen Pet Promise? I'm feeding that to my cats. The chicken and cows they use are free range and aren't injected with antibiotics or hormones.

My 13 is up.


give the cows grass man! make em stoned n they'll never know what's comin'

Ben said...

You just reminded me how much I a) love steak and b) love corn.

Probably not what you intended, but hell, I'm a creature of habit. Think I'll have a looksie around your blog just the same.

Gardenia said...

Great post again - hmmmm - do I see parallels in human diet and getting sick? I think so. During my trip, I saw lots of cows happily grazing (native grasses) in New Mexico - was pretty cool - I would have liked to had a couple of months to hunker down in Las Vegas, New Mexico and explore!

Cows were (are?) also fed other cows, including cow brains, (don't know about now though) and that's where that horrible disease came from (Mad Cow Disease) - so I read.

Yay. Home. Yay. Now to set up computer & art area.

Wandering Coyote said...

Hey Candy,

I'm trying something new: the Friday Fib. You know, to go along with Thurs. Thirteen and Wordless Wed. Come visit and let me know what you think.