Archive for the ‘Industrial Farming’ Category

The Omnivore’s Confusion

Thursday, August 13th, 2009


If our personal dilemma is what do we eat, we have a larger collective dilemma of how do we grow what we eat.  We have trouble personally deciding what to eat and we certainly seem to be unable to agree on the best way to grow or raise our food. The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals presents a defense of industrial agriculture and a repudiation of Michael Pollan’s Polyface Farm utopia.  We love the Polyface Farm idea and in fact have found a Texas version at JuHa Ranch but we are always faced with the reality of industrial agriculture and its huge impact on our lives.  This article has created a lot of buzz on the blogs and a lot of impassioned responses.  If you are a Michael Pollan believer we are sure you can easily poke holes in the message.  Do turkeys really drown themselves in the rain?  My sources say No.  A friend of ours tells us flat out “don’t mess with Michael Pollan”.  We understand this is both an intellectual and emotional issue for many people but shouldn’t we sometimes at least hear from the other side?  Whether you agree with the message or not, it is food for thought.  Do we sometimes suffer from an omnivore’s brain food dilemma?

How Small is a Small Chicken Farm?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

If you saw the film Food Inc. you saw the dark houses required by large chicken processors.  The Illinois River watershed in eastern Oklahoma is one of the largest areas in the U.S. for producing broilers (birds raised for meat) raising more than 8 billion pounds of turkeys and chickens annually.   The Oklahoma Attorney General recently filed a lawsuit against a dozen Arkansas poultry processors accusing them of polluting the watershed with bird waste.  Farmers claim if the suit succeeds it could drive small farmers out of business.  Some of these farms are hundreds of acres with over 100,000 birds.  When does a small farm become big?  Read more here and here.