Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Bait and Switch at Whole Foods?

Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done. - Calvin E. Stowe

I think many times we complicate things up so much it makes it hard to figure out what the right thing is to do.

Take the case of Whole Foods. If you take a cruise down a few of their aisles you can't help but notice that slowly over time they have moved away from their core philosophy a bit.

Garlic from China beside the "local garlic." Grass fed, local beef from Georgia and the list goes on and on.

However now we see that around 20 to 30 percent of the products on their shelves contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). If that's not bad enough, depending on who you ask in the store, you may be told nothing in a Whole Foods store contains GMO's.

But the most telling of all is the fact that despite showing $10,107,787 in revenue as of September 2011 they have never given one dime to Proposition 37. The measure in California that would require labeling on any food product made using genetically modified organisms.

Labeling foods that contain GMO's is a common sense issue. It's not nearly as complex as folks want to make it. Simply tell me what's in my food and let me decide if I want to consume it.

Practically the rest of the world has come to this decision. It's time for the United States of America to follow suite.

Let's use some common sense thinking - Why would a company like Whole Foods who spends the bulk of their advertising dollars promoting Organic, local, healthy, natural etc. be silent on proposition 37 and the labeling of GMO laden foods?

Looks like the classic bait and switch to me, but you decide for yourself.

Until next time...

 



(Update: Whole Foods has posted a response to this video on their website including their position on Prop 37)


 

 

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Hog Farmers and Pork Lovers - Hang On!

The writing is on the wall. Meat prices in general will be trending up with pork and chicken leading the way.

The drought across the corn belt has raised grain prices to the point many farmers are unable to stay in business.

I recently saw an article on AgWeb titled Pork Producers Enter 'Survival Mode'.

The article cited a loss of $57 per pig. While many of these large farms will ride out the bad market with operating loans etc, the small farmer is going to have to make some decisions.

I realize most small, sustainable type farms don't necessarily sell at commodity prices, however the feed cost is normally higher and they are working with smaller numbers of animals.

Another article sent to me titled bacon, pork shortage 'Unavoidable' points out that as hog herds shrink across the world prices will have to go up. They went as far as saying it was possible that shelves would be bare of certain pork products and prices could double.

What does this mean to you?

If you currently buy your meat products from a small farm, prices will have to increase. I predict many small farms that have been filling hog feeders with feed from the local mill with little or no thought to the financial situation currently in play will be out of business or at the least scaling back...big time.

I have been watching the sale barns here in Ohio and it's staggering the amount of "small farm hogs" that are going through. These aren't pigs from confinement operations, these are one and two sows, half grown market hogs, feeder pigs, you name it they are leaving the farm.

That tells me pigs are going to be in short supply for the Spring of 2013.

I've said for years that the time to get better is when things are good. That's why way back when corn was under $2 a bushel here at Spring Hill Farms we were busy developing a line of pigs that weren't dependent on a feeder full of feed.

At the same time we were looking at ways to minimize our dependence on outside inputs. I'm glad we did it then and not now. For some farms, it may be too late.

Until next time....


 

 

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How is Your Chicken Raised?

 

When I first started raising pastured poultry I used the standard Cornish Cross birds that are used in commercial operations. I explain why I stopped raising them here.

Many pastured poultry farmers use these birds because they are convinced that no other bird compares. This blog on Dr Mercola's site is an interview with Joel Salatin. To me, Joel is one of the great pioneers of sustainable farming of our time.

You'll notice that Joel uses these Cornish Cross birds as well. His contention about using anything else the last time I heard him speak about it was that no other bird could be successfully raised at a profit.

For the most part that is true. However Freedom Ranger birds like we raise here at Spring Hill Farms not only can compete with the Cornish Cross, in some ways they are actually better.

Number one - They are a more active bird than Cornish Cross birds. This means the meat is firmer and has more texture than a bird that for the most part lays around and eats.

Number two - Freedom Rangers consume more green material than Cornish Cross birds hands down.

Number three - This makes for a bird that is healthier and has a better flavor profile.

My personal opinion is Joel has it figured out when it comes to the pastured poultry model but we differ on what bird is best to use.

Take a look at this blog on Dr. Mercola's site where he interviews Joel as it closely mirrors how and why we use movable shelters to raise our broilers.

If you want the best chicken you can eat that you know is healthy for you, find a farmer that uses these methods and Freedom Ranger birds . If you're around central Ohio, try Spring Hill Farms pastured poultry, you'll be glad you did!

Until next time....


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