Daydream I agree with everything you've said here. Jswan I agree with a lot of what you've said too!
Bluey and G-I understand your perspective that you've presented here though I don't usually agree with it nor do I think it's all true.
What I think is that everyone should have a choice. Don't like what you see at the farmers market, keep on driving and go to the grocery store. Don't like what you see wrapped in plastic and sitting in chicken blood at the grocery store? Go to the farmers market. Educate yourself in the safety and health and ramifications of any choice you make, especially if you're shopping for kids.
I don't think it's right that the general population gets guided toward mass produced food by regulations and politics when it is not everyone's choice or decision. I think it is INSANE to depend on industrialized Food to survive. I don't sleep well at night if we don't have enough food to get by for months. The freezer has venison and vegetables and huckleberries, the milk goat is on the porch, the rabbits are in their hutches, the chickens are laying, we buy anasazi beans in Dove Creek AZ from the farm by the 20 lb. bag, soon the cows will calve and we'll be back in butter, cheese, milk, cream, yogurt and ice cream. We have a local apiary up the road that trades for eggs, we have a local meat processor, we really try to be as self-sufficient as possible but I still go to the grocery store and get my good olive oil and wine and coffee... I'm just not entirely dependent on it.
I think people should have the choice on the milk (or anything else) and I think it should be easier for responsible people like say...ME :) to sell our milk to the people that want to buy it. I don't mind inspections, regulations, someone checking up on me-but the standards are industrial, nothing I can build in my home or barn. It's meant to pinch people like me out. If it was really that unsafe to go out and milk the cow and drink the milk at least one person I know would have already been sick from it. I know literally scores of people that drink fresh raw milk on a daily basis... for years, decades. Nobody is sick... I don't worry about the milk any more than I worry about unwashed fruit or vegies or mass produced hamburger from the grocery store.
Choices, I think it's about making choices available for the people that do want to choose from small producers and local producers.
And to clarify, I actually don't think raw milk is majikal stuff, it's just easier and ours is handled safely and properly. I'm not a "raw" milk fanatic, it's just how we have ours.
well, Bluey does explain very well to the est of the world who has never set foot into a barn why Old McDonald's business model does not fly in modern times.
Most who live in urban areas have lost touch with where food comes from and have many times excess income to follow follies.
Daydream and Swany also conribute important pieces t the puzzle.
While alone, there might be holes in what they are saying, pulled together they petty much encompass what should be known by the consumer, from all angles, the mainstream market to avoid starvation, to the specialty market that DDB covers, to the red tape that supports or suppresses either.
We would do well to listen to them.
Swany for President, DDB can be vice, Bluey secretary od state! ;)
Where do you get that I am against regional food production?:confused:
Originally Posted by Daydream Believer
There is and always has been local/regional food production.
What we have done is supplement this with much more from other sources.
Why are so many against that and putting regional/local production in a pedestal?
To me, THAT is absurd.
By the way, the USDA has many, many programs to help local producers.
Go check with them, don't go by hearsay of how bad they are and only want big producers to thrive.:no:
I voted already JSwan for president before, will vote for her again.:)
Originally Posted by Alagirl
As for any cabinet position for me, no way, I don't play well with others.:p
I haven't read Folks This Aint Normal Yet, but will have to see if I can find it on the Kindle to borrow.
I am glad you are of a tempered mindset. I just get frustrated because I think that we can't keep going either way in an extreme. An all organic situation or the way we mass produce food. Both are just skewed to a large degree.
And good news folks--I did my part today and your beef supply is once again happy (here) at least for today re ECO157:H7--both the organics and the mass produced stuff. ;)
If only labeling and education were more accepted though...But how dare we propose someone actually have to THINK before DOING for once. :)
FWIW--I did undergraduate research with antibiotic resistance of E coli & Salmonella in dairy calves fed medicated, probiotic, and regular calf milk replacer. Curiously, all had antibiotic resistant strains of E. coli & Salmonella. I don't know how/when this evolved over the time frame or any actual ramifications on them as adult cattle, but I thought this was very interesting. I wish I had the time/support/$ to see what other calf groups are like when some are being fed medicated milk replacer (as is normal in many dairies to help reduce scours/bacterial enteritis).
I also have to say, I think it's cool that so many people are passionate and engaged in their community and are thinking multiple ways on this. Easier than just raw milk is evil or pasteurized milk is trying to keep the man down.
Originally Posted by Daydream Believer
I didn't say they didn't exist. I said they don's exist in sufficient numbers and can't feed 30 million people with fresh, locally grown food in January. Especially not from upstate NY (where the major Jan. crop is show ;)).
Originally Posted by grayarabpony
Unless, of course, Global Warming really ramps up! :lol:
I seriously doubt you could feed NYC with locally produced food any time of year....
Originally Posted by Guilherme
Well supported and yet the losses continue? What do we do? Subsidize local farm production? I mean more than we already do? If the market won't reward these people for their efforts why should we try and create some sort of "extra-market" mechanism that will? And, again, tell me how this is going to work during the 3-6 months (even in the area around D.C.) where production on a large scale of crops is impossible due to weather!!!!!
Originally Posted by JSwan
The hard truth is that we are an urban country. Few of the city slickers know or care about rural issues. We, in their eyes, are a bunch rubes. "Country mice" that don't have the good sense to knock the shit off our shoes and live the life of the Manhattan (or Georgetown) sophisticate. Or, more correctly, pseudo-sophisticate.
I'm a believer in evolution. In all its myriad forms. The ag. system we have today is not the "quarter section family farm." That has not been the reality since probably shortly after WWI. Indeed the Great Depression actually begins in the early '20s with the slow implosion of agricultural prosperity due to overproduction, a byproduct of WWI. By the time the Market tanked in '29 banks had been on the ropes for years due to farm foreclosures. When Big Government rewrote the rules during the New Deal they thought they were preserving family agriculture but they weren't. WWII put the last nails in that coffin. Now we live in the world of industrial agriculture. That has permitted 10% to feed 90%. That has permitted us to become the wealthiest society to ever grace the face of the Earth. Is that "wrong?" I express no opinion on that. But it is what it is. All the reminiscing about "family farms" and such is just nostalgia. Nostalgia makes a lousy base for public policy.
But, hey, public policy on both sides of the aisle nowadays seems to be based upon myth and legend than reality.
Or, put another way, the thought that "I reject your reality and substitute my own" is funny when Adam Savage says it; it's less so when it comes from highly placed public officials.
It's called infrastructure.
It's like shoring up the foundation of the house over putting in granite counter tops.
Fixing the sewage system in town before planting flowering pear trees...
Currently the system does not support the small outfit.
The regulations are stifling, ways to adhere to them are few and far between.
The urban population does not see nor understand the issue, chances they Ok funds to fix it are nill to nothing - like the need to overhaul the ugly things under ground...
And there, i thought that a dystopian country vs city scenario was far fetched...we might yet see it....
with a nod to the Superbowl commercial for Dodge trucks...
G your world seems small and sad... I am very glad that I live in a different world than you do. I do still know small time farmers and ranchers and I am still desperately trying to keep them going because I think they hold more intrinsic value than any industrialized machine that makes Food.
Not a plant in DC, Guilherme. The rural counties near there are restoring infrastructure.
You simply do not know what you are talking about. Sorry. You don't. Perhaps you should just enjoy your retirement and leave rural planning to people who know what they're doing. I don't deal in myths and legends, and I'm no idealist who thinks cows frolic in green pastures and then leap onto our dinner plates. And I certainly don't think food comes from the grocery store.
This is business. A healthy rural economy. You're not a part of that planning process in my region, and I am. You say it cannot be done, and yet people are doing it. Sorry if that rubs you the wrong way but you don't get to decide how profitable a farmer is permitted to be.
Guilherme...JSwan lives near Wash DC and is involved in policy making decisions for her area. She's a real mover and shaker and not just playing one on the internet. She also raises delicious grass fed beef...I know...I bought half a beef from her a few years ago. She's also been a mentor to help me in my start up business.
As for subsidizing local farms...I've never heard of that. I'm sure there are some gov't programs as Bluey pointed out but I don't know anyone in my circle of farmer acquaintances...and I know quite a few after 3 years of multiple farmer's markets.... who receives any gov't subsidies. If you research that topic, you'll see the vast majority of the gov't money goes to row crop growers and corporations...thus the term "corporate welfare."
You and I differ in our visions. I see a country trying hard to get back to it's rural roots. I meet these city slickers all the time and have had many come to my farm and pick up a chick or pet a horse or gather eggs. People want to reconnect to the land and to the farmer. We can try to limit their access or we can facilitate it and each action will have a very different effect. I believe we are not going to have a choice..we must reconnect at some point either willingly or under duress. I think the sooner we do it the better for people and the better for farmers. Just my opinion..we all have one.
Bluey I wasn't accusing you of being against regional food but I simply did not understand your rationale for why it is a bad idea to further develop those systems. Sorry if I misunderstood you point and I'm listening if you want to try to explain it again.
Cowboymom...were we separated at birth? Long lost sisters. I love your posts and you and I think much a like. I also can, preserve, and raise most of my food now. I love it...not going back if I can help it!
You are 100% correct in your assessment that the regulations are not about food safety but about limiting market access. Read Joel's book...the one I mentioned earlier...and he really builds a very strong case on that point.
Maybe this can explain some of what we are discussing better:
---Of course, there are always trade-offs to be made. Organic products cost more to put on the shelves because they generally require more cultivation by hand, which in turn drives up labor costs that invariably are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Conversely, conventionally grown crops produced on an industrial scale have created a reliable, affordable food supply that proportionately has left fewer hungry people in America than virtually anywhere else in the world. Given the booming global population, there's obviously a balance to be struck between industrial and small-scale farming."---
A balance of production methods.
The USDA has many programs for starting farmers, all sizes.
Don't take my word for it, I have told you this before, go check it out yourself.
I know, I am part of our local office and get their regular releases all the time.
Our taxes at work, insulting to call what they do "corporate welfare".:no:
I agree completely...somewhere in the middle is the answer. We simply have to work to find it. I hope you like the book. He gets a bit preachy at times but he makes some astute points and he's got a good sense of humor. I certainly don't agree with all his points either (as someone mentioned earlier) but his perspective is interesting and his ideas make you think.
Originally Posted by starrunner
Not to mention proposing that people take responsibility for their actions and choices.
Originally Posted by starrunner
That is interesting. Could it have been environmental contamination? Perhaps the people caring for the calves were contaminating the non medicated calves by hygiene or even just that they themselves were contaminated?
Originally Posted by starrunner
Originally Posted by starrunner
Reading this thread has been very enlightening, and makes me grateful that I live in a state and place where I have tested raw milk available, custom meat packing available and the contacts to know where to acquire what I consider healthy local food. I guess I didn't really even realize others didn't have the same resources available to them.
I don't know why folks are getting hung up on "organic". It's not as if every farmer engaging in direct sales is certified organic. Every operation is different; many of the farmers with field crops - commodity crops - are just expanding their existing operation to take advantage of opportunities in direct sales of certain products. They're just diversifying. (in my region)
I buy my feeders from a friend who also sells directly to Whole Foods. Safe, inspected meat from a farmer hundreds of miles closer to the consumer. The farmer makes more money, and the consumer gets a safe product.
I fail to see what's wrong with that. The key is to provide an inspected, legal product to the consumer. From a planning perspective, a goal is to ensure there is a healthy, diverse rural economy that is responsive to the needs of the residents and business owners.
Me, too. I can buy raw milk (cow or goat) off the shelf in the local co-op and have a choice of CSAs for local veggies, and many people raise grassfed beef locally. I'm thankful to have these choices.
Originally Posted by Simkie
Create a market demand and someone will try to fill it.
Organic, natural, grass fed, raw, whatever consumers want, that someone will find a way to sell them.
Here we have one special market, ethnic market, mostly from South of the border, that has their own produce demands, different kinds of produce stores and butcher shops.
Some of that is above board, some is kind of black market.
There are all kinds of niche markets out there, but as that article explained, a balance has to be found so there is enough for everyone and that will take all kinds of production methods, the more general ones that work on volume and the niche ones for specialty markets.
Originally Posted by Bluey
however, the niche market is less likely to be filled from the place 200 miles away from the nearest settlement.
Although, it has become common place to ship these things around the world, which somewhat defeats the purpose, no?
It's like this:
You live in the middle of nowhere, you likely won't have a successful lesson program, because there are only a few people who will be your student.
On the same token, trying to become the next huge breeding success when you only have a small farmette in the clutches of urban sprawl is equally redundant.
The problem is that we need more ways to get the choices to be practical.
Gee, us retired folk should just confine ourselves to our rocking chairs? How utterly generous of you.
Originally Posted by JSwan
You stated that "But there is no reason a farmer near Washington DC is forced to sell his cattle at auction - when he could have it cut and packaged and eaten in Washington DC (emphasis provided) and keep the profit." I may be retired, but I can still read.
You say you've made progress? How many local slaughter plants have you seen established (in D.C. or anywhere else)? That would be a practical measure of progress that even us small, sad folks could recognize.
You commented on a vast flow of wealth out of your region. I asked you specifically about that. You didn't answer. Tell us about your progress in addressing this flow. Be specific, here.
If you become specific and responsive you won't have to engage in ad hominem, hey? By the way, this is directed at the other anti-ageist zealots, too.
Do you believe in evolution? If so then to understand what you have now you have to understand what went before. Few folks here are more interested in history than I am. I know what went before and how it lead to what we have now. The proposals to "re-create infrastructure" are attempts to turn back the clock. Sometimes that's a good idea, but sometimes it's not.
And yes, as a "small farmer" I get a subsidy. In TN if you're "green belt" (agricultural or forest) you get about a 50% reduction in property taxes. I understand that this is common in many states. I don't know about VA, but I'd bet that there are benefits in the tax system for "farmers."
And still no one has explained to me how you're going to feed 30-40 million people even with the "enhanced infrastructure." No one has explained you they're going to overcome meteorology, zoning rules, PETA, HSUS, breathless TV news coverage of how animals are slaughtered, the real estate industry, and the various Laws of Supply and Demand.
If you build it they might come, but they might still all go to Walmart.
That's the view from my sad, little world. ;)