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Archive for October, 2010

Time

To every thing there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace;

What profit has worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

  –  Ecclesiastes 3:1-13

Sometimes I’m a very slow learner. *sigh*

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Okay, I’ve long known that I didn’t particularly like the way poultry is raised for eggs and meat, but then I got reading Joel Salatin’s Pastured Poultry Profits and read this interesting little insight into the processing of the meat itself:

Mechanical evisceration breaks open intestines and pours fecal material over the carcass, inside the body cavity, and contaminnates the birds. Large chill tanks often have several inches of fecal sludgei n the bottom. In fact, about 9 percent of the weight on department-store chicken is fecal soup. The soft muscle tissue is more conducive to insoaking, and the carcass sponges up the fecal-contaminated chill water. Of course, this adds to the carcass weight, but certainly does not contribute any to the health of consumers.

This filth is why birds receive as many as 40 chlorine baths – how much of that permeates the meat? And now the Food and Drug Administration has approved irradiation of chicken to control Salmonella and other bacteria that are a direct result of high-speed automated processing. Irradiation reduces vitamin C levels and reduces the nutrients in the meat. Processing is an inherently filthy thing. And the larger, the faster, the more automated the swystem, the more filthy it is.
– excerpt from Pastured Poultry Profits, p. 10, by Joel Salatin

Mm, tasty. So not only is it raised in crowded, generally unsanitary conditions and given all sorts of antibiotics because of the unnatural surroundings, then it’s contaminated – fecal matter or chlorine, mmm.

Salatin goes on to talk about a comparison given to him for his pastured poultry versus conventionally-raised poultry:

The first time a professional barbecued several hundred halves of our chicken for a field day, he was was astounded at the difference. He said flatly, “Look, chicken is chicken.” But then he made a startling discovery. He said that carcass weight normally drops 20 percent during the cooking process. Ours lost only 9 percent. In all the thousands of birds he’d cooked, he’d never experienced anything like it.

Interestingly, research suggests that conventional chicken, because it lacks muscle tone (the meat is soft and mushy rather than firm and solid) insoaks a substantial amount of water from the chill tanks in a commercial processing plant. In fact, a figure bandied about is that up to 10 percent of the retail meat counter weight of conventional chicken is water from the chill tanks. If that is true, it is certainly coincidentally close to the 11 percent difference between teh cooking loss on our birds and conventional ones. If it’s not true, the difference simply substantiates the “grease drippings” difference and lends more credence to the notion that altering production models can completely alter the quality of the meat, milk or eggs.

Chills tanks often have a layer of fecal sludge on the bottom because of the volume of carcasses and the bits and pieces of excrement that were not washed off during processing. This water insoak, therefore, has an accompanying fecal contamination level. Is it any wonder the poultry industry wants to irradiate poultry? Furthermore, the industry is fighting proposals to mandate air chillin instead of water chilling. If the 10 percent figure is accurate, it’s easy to see why the industry opposes air chillin: the retail weights would drop significantly.
– excerpt from Pastured Poultry Profits, p. 16, by Joel Salatin

Yeah, that really instills confidence. It got me thinking, though… the pastured poultry you see available through websites like Local Harvest might seem more expensive, but actually… if commercial chicken has so much “water weight” that you cook off anyway, the price is much closer, because less of the pastured poultry cooks off. Not to mention the health benefits of the way it’s raised.

Not to get on a “health food” rant here, but those excerpts just had me a little grossed out, and I thought I’d share the knowledge…

Edited to add:
For those of you who want to look into the alternatives to store-bought meat, you can visit websites like Eat Wild and Local Harvest. Eat Wild has a state-by-state directory for grass-fed meats, whereas Local Harvest is a broader directory of farm markets, CSAs, small farms, and co-ops that you can search via zip code. Hope this helps!

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I am alive. Really. I just haven’t blogged in a particularly long time. Ehm. Yeah. The only reason I’m blogging right now is that I’ve been doing less of the whole “keeping my head down” thing lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading up on vaccinations. Maybe it’s because one’s mind does screwy things when one is pregnant. (Oh, yeah. Since I last blogged? Got engaged. Got married. Got pregnant. Go me!) Maybe I’m just restless. Frankly, at the moment, I just feel plain twitchy.

There I was, quietly perusing Google Reader, and I came across this post by TNFarmgirl about her herbal medicine classes, and I thought, “Hm. I really want to take something along those lines sometime.” And then I noticed this sentence:

With the changes in health care and the fact that our President has quietly signed an executive order that takes steps to place America under the Codex program of Europe – herbal medicines and vitamins may become impossible to get except through your doctor.  

This, of course, made me go, “Huh?” So I did a Google search for executive order Codex. I’ll admit, I’m a little disconcerted by what I’ve found. None of it is… concrete. Heck, the thing ends with the following statement:

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

That should put me at ease, I guess, but really, it doesn’t. I don’t like this section:

“Section 6 (g) contains specific plans to ensure that all prevention programs outside the Department of Health and Human Services are based on the science-based guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under subsection (d) of this section.”

I know, it sounds innocent enough. But consider what this blog post at Surviving the Middle Class Crash has to say about that section:

In other words, ALL prevention programs, even those outside of the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services, must align with CDC guidelines, which are “science-based.” What do we take for prevention? Herbs and vitamins. Herbs that you grow in your backyard and vitamins that are not approved by your doctor do not fall under these “science-based” guidelines, and are not allowed. Therefore, this will effectively open the door to outlawing ALL disease prevention practices that use herbs and vitamins not prescribed by a doctor, and implement CODEX ALIMENTARIUS right here in the good old U.S.A. Thank you, Semra Orhon Hughes, for the heads up! 

Consider, further, what this person commented about what Europe already has:

The U.K. is already under Codex:

http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/regulation/Codexbranch/

Vitamins and herbs, under Codex, are considered toxic substances and should be under strict regulation.

“Many European nations are already in compliance. Until 1996, the average German citizen could buy 500 mg vitamin C tablets – or, 400 I.U. capsules of vitamin E. Today, the highest dosage of vitamin C available without a prescription is 200 mg. Vitamin E is available in 45 I.U. doses.

In Norway, citizens can purchase 2.4 mg of vitamin B1, 2.8 mg of B2, 4.2 mg of B6, and 32 mg of niacin. Any dosage for these vitamins that exceed this level requires a prescription.

In Canada, any herb making health improvement claims is classified as a drug. In Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC) has said if an herb is medicinal, it is medicine and should be sold as a drug.

The original proposals for the food code came from Germany. They were made by a panel sponsored by three giant drug companies: Hoechst, Bayer and BASF. These companies resulted from the disbandment of I.G. Farben after World War II.” (http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=30144)

We are marching towards this agenda, and if something isn’t done soon, we will lose our right to purchase doses of vitamins higher than what a hamster needs to survive other than from the local pharma with a doc’s perscription.

Logically, what you say makes perfect sense. However, a government that classifies GMOs as both substantially equivalent and patently unique at the same time does not function on logic.

I need to do some more reading, but at this point, I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. By itself, it could mean nothing. But when you consider all of the other things this government is doing… well, I just don’t like it. I do not like it in a house, I do not like it with a mouse.

(Done with the Seuss now, honest.)

Call me paranoid, I don’t care. I still don’t like it.

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