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Monday, May 16 2011

     Do you know your food? Where it comes from? What it ate? My Other Half and I have a running battle about food.  We raise cattle. We raise goats. We raise sheep. He refuses to eat any of the above.  Don't get me wrong - the man is not a vegetarian. Oh, perish the thought!  No, he eats meat, he just doesn't want to "know" his meat.  He would rather take cattle to the sale barn, get a nice check, and take that money to Krogers.  I, on the other hand, want to know my food. 

     I know our cows are humanely raised. I know what goes in their tummies. I know my lambs. I watch them play in the sun. I watch them get fat on pasture. I know them. The kids and I are slowly dragging their father into this line of thinking. A large part of our lives is spent producing animals that go into someone else's freezer, it's time we changed that.

     He's agreed to save a calf and butcher him ourselves. I'm saving a couple of lambs. Other Half may still refuse to eat the lambs, but the kids and grandkids will have no such inhibitions.

     I'm drinking raw milk now too. I've found a wonderful woman down the road who raises dairy cows. Now I can "know" my milk. By the way, my milk comes from Sally and Sugar. I like that.  My milk doesn't come from a plastic jug. It comes from a cow!

 I've met the cow.

 I've been to her farm.

Healthy Way Dairy - Grade A Raw Milk

 I've met her pasture mates.

 I've met the farmer who milks her.


Right to Left - Dear Friend, Dairy Farmer Irene Nelson, and her son!

 I'm totally smitten with the idea that people can buy milk on the honor system.

Put your name on the list. Put your money in the bucket. Open the fridge and pull out a big mason jar full of milk.

You can pick your cow. You can pick your date.  I know that my milk is from Sugar, who was milked May 14, in the afternoon.

I can return my mason jar next week and get another jar of milk. How cool is that?!!

     Aside from the health and ecological benefits of finding locally grown, humanely raised food, I also like the fact that I'm supporting the small farmer. Right beside the other rights in the Constitution, Americans should have the right to raise our own food. Big industry is lobbying for legislation to take away these rights, and it frightens me. I'm all for convenience, but it often comes at too high a price. Industry tells lawmakers what is in our best interest, so behind a mask of concern for public health, bit by bit, Americans are losing control of their own food. I fear a day in the future when a farmer's market will be against the law, when the very seeds we need to grow crops are so regulated that it's against the law to grow your own produce.

     That's why I'm taking a stand now, to support the small farmer, to support the small rancher, to make an effort to buy local, to make an effort to "know" my food.

For more on this I urge you to read:

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - by Barbara Kingsolver
The Omnivore's Dilemma - by Michael Pollan

An excellent video on the subject - "Food, Inc."



Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 07:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Amen Sistah! Shout it from the rooftops! I so agree. I never would have started the sheep and duck flocks if I hadn't wanted to eat them, and I eat about 10-12 eggs a week, so I definitely want to know what the hens are eating (grass and bugs!) who make my eggs.
Posted by Sharon Martin-Holm on 05/16/2011 - 08:45 PM
I am aghast when I hear the problems people encounter from Homeowner's Associations that won't even let them have a couple of chickens for eggs. Can you believe that? Ownership of chickens should be a fundamental right! After all, if you've got a few hens, you won't starve to death.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 05/17/2011 - 11:42 AM
wait there is a place where you can go to locally buy raw milk without all the added junk? I need to know where this is!!!!! I have never had raw milk but my whole life my dad who was forced to milk cows in his youth claimed it was better tasting than anything we have ever had from a store! I need to know where this is!! :)
Posted by Gin'.a on 05/17/2011 - 07:45 PM
Absolutely! There are local dairies sell milk from the cow. You get to meet the cows, see what they eat, meet the farmer, go inside the facilities, etc. We'll have to find one close to you!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 05/17/2011 - 08:17 PM
I'm with you- I like to know my food and where it came from. I can't always, since I like to eat things that don't grow around here year round (Wisconsin), but when I have the choice I take it. We raise lamb for ourselves and sell some, and have chickens for eggs. We're just planting our garden now too. Sometimes in the summer we can have a whole meal off of food grown here at our farm.
Posted by Anne on 05/18/2011 - 08:48 AM

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