Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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USDA - Beef is Tender But What Else?

Picture The USDA has announced it's new 'tenderness' program designed to help consumers choose a good piece of beef.

The new USDA program allows beef companies to label products as "USDA tender" or "USDA very tender" if they are certified to make those claims.

Cargill will be rolling this out in the near future since they are certified to be able to do so.

While I've read a few articles about the whole issue, my take on it is a bit different.

Touting how tender a piece of beef might be is keying in on what consumers are duped with continuously. 

It's like the words 'extra creamy filling inside' on a box of junk food.

Yep - there probably is extra creamy filling inside.

The question is should you be eating it in the first place?

These type of labels are nothing more than emphasizing the taste or experience of a product while ignoring and totally playing down the real issues.

Does it contain GMO's?

Where was it made or grown?

I use these two examples because they are both being hotly contested in various parts of the country.

Maybe I'm wrong but I haven't heard any ground swell of complaints about how we need our beef products labeled for tenderness.

It's another case of attaching a solution to a problem that nobody but big biz knew was a problem.

Until next time..


 

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You Have the Right to Know - Unless You Live in the U.S.

 

 


 

Practically every industrialized country in the world has demanded that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's) be labeled if they are in your food. Many countries don't even allow them in the country. China has refused our GMO corn more than once.

The United States government has steadfastly refused to address the issue. The great thing about America? We can demand our rights be honored at the ballet box.

That is exactly what's going on California this November with Prop 37. It is a measure to require food companies to disclose if they have used genetically modified ingredients in their products.

Of course the biotech companies know if food companies have to disclose this many people will choose not to buy the product.

They claim such things as it will drive the cost of food up and other scare tactics. They have outspent the supporters of Prop 37 by millions of dollars.

To me it's no different than food companies placing the ingredients on the label and won't cost anymore either.

Imagine if food companies didn't have to list High Fructose Corn syrup or MSG on the label.

This is no different.

If you are not familiar with the facts about GMO's go to Institute for Responsible Technology website and learn more...your health depends on it.


Prop 37 could very well be the "straw that broke the camels back" this election year. Other states could soon follow suite and we would know what's in our food.


Until next time....

Spring Hill Farms


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Contamination - That's YOUR Problem

I have a really nice Tamworth Boar here at Spring Hill Farms. I let him run loose and he does what boars do…..he finds sows and makes babies!

He relies on his sight, hearing, and sense of smell to locate sows that are ready for his advances. His sense of smell must be really good because he finds sows down the road on other farms and makes babies there too!

My neighbor hates Tamworth pigs. He has worked for years to develop what he calls a nice line of Hampshire pigs.

For some reason he thinks my boar coming down and making Tamworth x Hampshire piglets is an intrusion. He doesn't want my genetics contaminating the genetics he's developing. He has went as far as saying my boar is trespassing! Hey I try to contain him but I can't control the wind for crying out loud.

I think he should admit he's using my genetics (which are clearly superior) and give me the pigs. If he breeds those babies my boar made he has stolen my genetics. Unless he wants to pay me what I say those genetic are worth.

Even if we can't come to an agreement he should at least admit that it's not posing a threat to the local environment or human health.

Hey this is America. Free enterprise allows me to let my boar run loose and spread his genetics.

How do you like my story so far?

I bet you're thinking I've lost my mind!

You see that's exactly what's happening with genetically modified (GMO) corn. We are in real danger of it contaminating the entire corn crop in the United States.

Did you know traces of GMO contamination has been found in Mexico's native corn varieties?

If  companies want to develop GMO crops that's fine. Keep them in a hermetically sealed environment that guarantees it won't contaminate other folk's crops who don't want it, don't believe it is safe, and certainly don't want to eat it knowingly.

It's time to educate ourselves about genetic engineering. Take some time and do the research, find out what's really going and make an educated decision. Practically every other developed country in the world has done just that, and they said 'no thanks.'

Until next time…  
 
 

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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One of the World's most Destructive Do-Gooders?

Dr. Mercola has once again brought to light another controversial look at what is driving the "Gentically Modified Foods Can Save the World" agenda.

My opinion is much like his in that the research I have looked at isn't based on sound science. Just the fact that there is major resistance from pro GMO companies to label foods containing Genetically modified organisms makes it clear they know the general public would opt out of eating them if they knew they were in so many foods in the grocery store.

 It's a clear case of if we don't know what we are eating everything is fine. It's sort of like saying as long as food kills you slowly over time what's the big deal?

 Read Dr. Mercola's article here


 

 
 

Coming to a Grocery Near You - Pesticide Laden Corn

PictureOne of the many reasons I oppose the use of genetically modified corn is one of the modified traits is to make it resistant to pesticides.

To me it only stands to reason that if you know the poison won't kill your corn you would be more apt to use plenty enough to kill the weeds.

If you end up with some weed pressure when the corn is up high but still able to drag a boom sprayer through it, why not spray poison again? After all it can't kill the corn plants they are genetically resistant. And if you're the seed modifier why not make the seed resistant to the poison you sell?

Great ideas from strictly a marketing standpoint.

But common sense tells me I don't want to eat food that has been hosed down with pesticides maybe more than once.

The latest: Monsanto’s new GMO corn, intended for the frozen and/or canned corn market. This experimental corn will not be labeled, so consumers cannot know when they may be eating a GMO food that contains a toxic pesticide in every bite

Let the food giants know you don't want to eat pesticide laden corn.
Go to The Center For Food Safety and click the "Take Action" button.


till next time...


 

 
 

Can GM Crops Feed the World?

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One of the justifications for the use of genetically engineered crops is that it can eradicate world hunger. Clearly, the production of adequate food supply is a noble goal, but the supposition that we can achieve this goal through the use of GM crops is seriously flawed.

"The largest study in the world that dealt with this, which included about 400 scientists, was assembled by the United Nations and the World Bank into something called the IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development). After a long set of studies that were peer-reviewed, portions were sent around and I received elements of the final report," Dr. Bereano says.

"The IAASTD found little evidence to support a conclusion that genetic engineering or modern biotech are well suited to meet the needs of small scale and subsistence farmers who were of course feeding huge numbers of people, especially in the Third World where hunger is so evident."

He also accurately points out that we have hunger right here in the US, despite our grain surpluses and despite the fact that we use genetic engineering more than any other country. Food production and hunger is not necessarily a simple one-to-one equation. There's also the issue of not having enough money to buy the food that is readily available!

Additionally, GM crops sure aren't less expensive than conventional!

On the contrary, GM seeds are getting increasingly expensive, as are the prerequisite pesticides—not to mention the fact that farmers are forced to buy new GM seeds every year, opposed to saving the best seeds for the next planting, which has been done since the beginning of agriculture. The increased expense of farming with GM seeds has likely already caused more than 180,000 Indian farmers to commit suicide when faced with insurmountable debt, failed crops, and no money to buy new seed.

Not surprisingly, Monsanto and the United States, along with a couple of other countries refused to sign off on the final report that was ultimately issued by the UN…

On the other hand, studies have repeatedly confirmed that farming methods that promote healthy soils and biodiversity can dramatically increase production and yield. For example, as recently as March 8, the United Nations issued a press release with the headline: Eco-Farming Can Double Food Production in 10 Years.

It states:

"Small-scale farmers can double food production within 10 years in critical regions by using ecological methods,a new U.N. report shows. Based on an extensive review of the recent scientific literature, the study calls for a fundamental shift towards agroecology as a way to boost food production and improve the situation of the poorest.

"To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available," says Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report. "Today's scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live -- especially in unfavorable environments."

Agroecology applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems that can help put an end to food crises and address climate-change and poverty challenges. It enhances soils productivity and protects the crops against pests by relying on the natural environment such as beneficial trees, plants, animals and insects.

"To date, agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80% in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116% for all African projects," De Schutter says…

"We won't solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations. The solution lies in supporting small-scale farmers' knowledge and experimentation, and in raising incomes of smallholders so as to contribute to rural development."

Best of all, these agro-ecological approaches do not pose any danger to the environment or to human health whatsoever—quite the contrary!

So, wouldn't it make sense to focus on the safest, most beneficial, and most effective methods of food production instead of dabbling around with unproven high-risk technology that may or may not provide any benefit whatsoever to anyone besides the patent holders?

Unfortunately, the fact this isn't happening is a testament to the immense power of the biotech industry, led by Monsanto, whose corporate officials rotate in and out of the White House administration, the FDA and other regulatory agencies. Read the full article here.


Comments: Here at Spring Hill Farms we have never bought into the theory that genetically modified foods can be the answer to feeding the world. 400 scientists came to the same conclusion. A huge thanks to Dr Mercola for sharing this information.


 

 
 

More Evidence: On the Edge of a Food Shortage.

I recently posted I felt food and grain prices would remain high throughout 2011 and beyond.

Reading Lester Brown's book, WORLD ON THE EDGE he points out some interesting statistics about grain. You can read them in the document posted on my site.

While I'm not doing a book review here, I will say the book has some good points, however some of Brown's ideology about the world cooperating on some of these issues is looking through rose colored glasses.

When reading books or listening to others ideas I try to keep an open mind, at the same time, I try to use the sense of an old cow, eat the hay and spit out the sticks! 

The main point I want to bring out is Brown isn't necessarily against genetically modified seeds, but he doesn't seem to think they are the big magic bullet that many would want you to believe. As far as I can tell his reasons are fairly sound.

Which brings me to my next point. Ray Bowman was recently asked on Consumer Ag connection about the future of agriculture he said "Frightening" he then pointed to our young people as a possible source for answers although he pointed out that there isn't nearly as many young men and women interested in farming today as when he was young.

The segment ended with Pam Fretwell asking him if he thought they would "be allowed to do what was needed" to solve world hunger. Since this radio program focuses on mainstream agriculture I'm sure they are getting ready to talk about bio-tech answers for world hunger.

And so as the debate heats up, you can bet one of the answers coming from mainstream Ag is more and better genetically modified seeds, better chemicals, more bushels per acre etc. 

My thoughts are you better plant a garden this year and find a local small farmer so you can stock up.

Until next time...
 
 
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