Holy Cow Farm Fresh Newsletter - 1/11/2018!
In this newsletter, you'll find the following:
- On The Farm
- What did YOU say?
- Delivery Dates!
- Food for Thought:
- US Government Waters Down Organic Label
- GMO Apples Now Being Sold
On the Farm
Winter on the farm can be quite a challenge, but also a time of rejuvenation. The holidays zoom by while you blink, then bam! It's cold! Well except for today.
But on the up side, there are less animals to care for in the winter, since the meat chickens and the turkeys are seasonal. Outside work on the farm is literally sun-up to sun-down. So with shorter day length, it is nice to have everyone in and eating dinner at a "normal" hour. That gives us a little more time to unwind too at the end of the day. It is also a time of detailed planning for the year and beyond. Excitement and ideas create lots of discussion around the table. In the winter, we also sharpen up on our farming skills with lots of good education through books, classes, and seminars. It is a time of hope for the upcoming days of adventure.
Out of all of the animals, the cows enjoy the cool weather the most. Just yesterday, the younger calves were playing "king of the mountain" on the mulch pile at the edge of the pasture. In the pasture, the cows graze on, heads down. In just months, the mama cows will be expecting their calves, and a new generation of bovines will begin.
The pigs are growing nicely. In the cold times, they burrow down in straw in the pig shelter. But, when the sun shines, they literally run around as if they are playing tag together. With the cold or warm, they do not lose their natural sense of being pigs.
As you may know, the egg-laying chickens have went on strike many times this winter. With the last strike during the negative temperature weather. I can't blame them. It wouldn't want to lay an egg when it was that cold out either. Lord willing, they will eventually lay eggs. But until then, we will just let them be free to do as they please. They have enjoyed this warmer weather the last few days.
With the help of some amazing neighbors, friends, family, and customers, out processing facility building project has made more progress. The roof is on, with steel and all! The holidays and cold weather slowed us down. But, next on the agenda is steel roofing on the inside processing room and installing windows and doors. The wood boiler is up and going, so there will be heat available through the floors. It's a slow process, but a good one. Can't wait to tell you how it progresses and share with you some of our plans and ideas for the year.
Thank you so much for joining us on this amazing farming adventure!
What Did YOU Say?
Here's What YOU are saying:
"Beef, Pork, Chicken & Eggs like nature intended them. Ranger chickens taste nothin' like store bought. Plus, you know what they have been fed and where processed (hint: NOT in China!) Highly recommend." 5-Star Facebook Review Kurt Fiech
"Amazing food and service from an amazing family! Thanks for all you do." 5-Star Facebook Review
Do you have a testimonial for us? Just shoot us an email. This farming stuff can be hard stuff, so we love your encouragement!
Ordering Windows are OPEN!!
Time to buy the farm fresh meats that you will use to provide healthy and delicious meals to your family all month long.
Deliveries to VALPARAISO--
Thursday, February 1st
Deliveries to LAFAYETTE, WEST LAFAYETTE, ZIONSVILLE & CARMEL--
Friday, February 2nd
Food For Thought:
US Government Waters Down Organic Label
The organic movement started with "back to nature" farmers organizing to label premium food products that were guaranteed to be meet higher production standards.
Central to the concept were live healthy soils, natural (rather than synthetic) amendments and sprays, plus animals raised outdoors in conditions that were in keeping with their natures. It also included rigorous verification that accepted standards were being met.
Over the past two decades, sales of "USDA Certified Organic" products have grown very rapidly, year after year. Organic is becoming a $50 billion business. That growth, coupled with the premium price these products carry, has attracted the interest of big business.
The very techniques and attention to detail needed to create the higher grade products do not lend themselves to mass production. Consequently, corporations have been using their considerable influence with the USDA to lower and relax organic standards.
Unfortunately, they have been very successful and today, many certified organic products are premium in price only.
The latest insult occurred in late October. The National Organic Standards Board officially voted 8 to 7 in favor of allowing hydroponic products to carry the organic label. For several years now, some certifiers have been allowing organic labeling for hydroponic fruits and vegetables, because it wasn't specifically forbidden.
To put this in perspective, in 2010, the board voted 12 to 1 to oppose the idea, since the founding organic declaration include the words "healthy soil". To get around that, the industry is now replacing the words "hydroponic production" with "container production"!
Now there can be no argument against organic soil-less production. Without question, certified organic fruits and vegetable will increasingly be coming from containers in industrial scale facilities, not from real farms.
It doesn't end there. There are "organic" chicken CAFO's with 200,000 birds crammed into a building with no real access to outdoors.
There are "organic" dairy CAFO's with 15,000 cows on land that couldn't possibly meet the required grazing rules. But when the annual inspection is scheduled in advance rather than by surprise, the appearance is maintained and organic certification is renewed with a wink.
The certified organic industry, created and nurtured by small farmers producing exceptional food products, has been largely taken over by big business. The only way that could happen was by lowering production standards and relaxing the verification process. All it took was enough influence ($$$) in Washington.
The bottom line is that the organic label can no longer be trusted unless you know the farmer behind it. Organic or not, local farmers that meet YOUR production standards are the best way to go. Know your farmer, know your food.
GMO Apples Now Being Sold
About 400 stores in the Midwest are now starting to sell GMO "Arctic" apples. They are engineered to resist browning when cut or bitten and exposed to air.
At this point, three are have been approved for sale by the US Department of Agriculture - Arctic Golden, Arctic Granny and Arctic Fuji.
Most people recognize that GMO crops have been engineered to make them easier to grow due to their unnatural resistance to herbicides and pests. That's of no benefit to consumers, while the genetic modifications and the higher use of chemical sprays clearly adds potential health risks.
As a result, the farming and food industries have done their best to hide GMO ingredients. Supermarket customers already have massive GMO exposure in store products, but without clear labels, it remains a guessing game.
What makes these apples different is that they are the first GMO products designed to offer "consumers" a benefit. Still, they will not be clearly labeled as GMO's. Instead, a QR code that can be read with a cell phone will be provided to inform alert shoppers who take the time to scan it.
How well these non-browning apples sell will send a signal to other designer food companies. If there is strong demand, then you can expect many more "enhanced" GMO products to be developed and submitted for approval. On the other hand, if consumers recognize and avoid them, a much slower approach can be expected.
The problem is that, like so many other things related to food in particular, most people pay little attention to the details. They are busy in their own lives and often make food decisions based on cost and convenience rather than in-depth knowledge.
In doing so, they are sometimes voting with their wallets for things they might otherwise prefer to discourage. That's a shame because good health is a cornerstone to happiness, and nutrition is a cornerstone for good health.
(Not to Claim the Fame---The Previous two articles provided by our farmer newsletter service. )
Thanks so much for joining us on this amazing farming adventure! God Bless You All!
Your Blessed & Thankful Farmers,
Paul and Joanne Mosher =)