Why We Should Use Soy-Free Animal Feeds

The frank answer as to why soy is very popular as animal feed is that it’s cheap. It’s not about nutrition: soy is just a toasted, fiber by-product of the vegetable industry. Soybeans are processed to extract the oil for inexpensive cooking use.

Most animals now being fed soy-based feeds won’t even touch soy in the wild, because by instinct they know that it’s not meant to eaten. Raw soybeans are toxic, and the plant itself is considered poisonous.

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A lot of essential nutrients vital for our farm animals’ health are lost in processed soy, leading to Vitamin E, zinc, and iron deficiencies. Soy likewise contains harmful, toxic levels of manganese and aluminum. It is also loaded with “anti-nutrients,” natural toxins that interfere with the digestion of protein, as well as isoflavone, a type of phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens can lead to breast cancer and cause infertility.

And while eating soy is bad enough both for our animals and us, the sadder thing is that about 90% of soy currently being produced in developed countries like the USA is genetically modified, containing pesticides and other bacteria that are not meant for consumption.

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If we are indeed what we eat, then by extension we should ensure that we give our livestock and poultry only healthy and natural feeds.

Back in 1999, the nonprofit organization Weston A. Price Foundation was co-founded by Geoffrey Morell. The foundation spends its efforts researching the best food source for farm animals. In 2009, Morell acquired a 95-acre property and turned it into present-day P.A. Bowen Farmstead..

The Dangers Of Using Antibiotics In Farms

Livestock are very much like people. The more antibiotics they receive in their system, the more resistant they become to drugs.

A number of disturbing facts have been discovered in farms throughout history. For example, strains that have become resistant to drugs could be passed not just from animal to animal, but also from humans to animals. These same diseases can also be transmitted to humans upon ingesting the meat or the milk of infected livestock. And the waste material excreted by infected livestock can also contaminate the environment.

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There have been studies showing that the antibiotics used in farms, and ultimately in food production, are roughly the same as the amount used in people. Sometimes, even more antibiotics are used in farms. In the United States, over 70 percent of the antibiotics used for people are also given to livestock.

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It has been projected that the use of antibiotics will continue to grow because of two factors: higher profits for Big Pharma and the ever-increasing world population (which translates to more people eating). It has been suggested that farmers switch to the managed intensive rotational grazing system, or the MIRG system, which requires less antibiotics.

Geoffrey Morell founded PA Bowen Farmstead. He shares with people the healthy way of eating, and with other farmers, a safer way of farming. Find out more about farming by checking out the official website.

The Advantages Of Installing An Apiary In The Farm

For centuries, beekeeping has been practiced by apiarists for its many benefits. Most of them do it for the produce, especially honey, which is also called liquid gold.

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Before sugar became today’s primary sweetener, honey held that distinction generations ago. Recently, as the negative effects of refined sugar have been coming to light, consumers have alternatively switched to honey as a sweetener. Even the byproducts of creating honey, such as beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly, have found use in the medicinal field.

But farmers have also used beekeeping because it provides an effective boost for their farms or gardens. Honeybees are one of the best pollinators because not only are they efficient in transferring pollens from one plant to another but they do not cause nuisance like other pollinators, such as carpenter bees or other insects.

Pollination is an essential process in raising vegetables and fruits because they allow the female reproductive organs of a plant to receive pollens from the male counterparts. Through this, fertilization and the whole reproductive process takes place, ensuring a bountiful farm or garden.

There are also plants that can self-pollinate but introducing honeybees to the ecosystem increase their production.

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Furthermore, beekeeping promotes and ensures an organic way of farming because pesticides that are commonly used in traditional farming harm bees, and other insects that pollinate, are eliminated.

Geoffrey Morell is part owner of the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a farm that specializes in producing high-quality meat and dairy products by raising pasture-fed livestock. The farm also offers tours and classes, including a beginner’s beekeeping workshop. Visit this website for more information.

Pesticide Alternatives For a Healthier Farm

People are becoming more and more health conscious nowadays. They are increasingly interested in what they eat. For vegetables, many health buffs have grown sensitive to the presence of “additives,” specifically pesticides. Most pesticides are usually frowned upon due to their chemical nature. Here are some alternatives to using pesticides that farmers could consider:

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Crop Rotation

Growing different types of crops in an area in a seasonal pattern not only reduces the need for pesticide, it also protects the farm from soil erosion, while boosting soil fertility, and ultimately the yield. This is also a good way to preserve nutrients that would otherwise be depleted if the same crops were planted over and over.

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Organic Farming

This is fairly new compared to other methods. Organic farming is in constant development, but it has a proven track record. The philosophy is that organic fertilizers such as compost, manure, and bone meal provide more nutrients than regular farming. It is often used in conjunction with crop rotation. Although biological pest control is recommended, the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is not. Genetically modified organisms, plant growth regulators, sewage sludge, hormones, as well as livestock antibiotics are also not allowed during the process of organic farming. Organic farming has continually developed, and continues to be defined by novel methods.

Geoffrey Morell co-owns the P.A. Bowen Farmstead with Sally Fallon Morell. Follow this link for more information on the farm’s products and methods.

Rocking The Roquefort: Opening Up To Blue Cheese

Roquefort — it is at once a village in France and a species of fungus (Penicillium roqueforti). But it is most celebrated as a cheese, specifically, the dreaded blue that divides the opinion of gourmands. You either love or hate it, but there’s no two ways to see its health benefits.

Refined palates punctuate meals with a spread of cheeses, accompanied by select wines (preferably rosé). This explains the savory aspect of trying out blue cheese and its regional and global variations at least once. It goes with certain dishes like salads, or as an afterthought to a fine steak.

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Image source : PABowenFarmstead.com

Depending on provenance, combined with the manufacturing and aging process, Roquefort brings to the table anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to ingredients in the process of fermentation. This redounds to cardiovascular health.

But there’s more merit to Roquefort derived from the milk of grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and sheep. The ruminants’ feed in the pasturage, comprised of naturally grown grass and other herbs, facilitates the transfer of essential nutrients through the arising cheese: vitamins such as A, D, K2, and E, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Moreover, such organic methods elude preservatives, GMOs, and artificial chemicals such as coloring agents.

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Image source : Cheese.com

Consumption of blue cheese need not be so intimidating and faint-inducing all the time. Depending on the degree they have perfected their own manufacturing processes, cheese manufacturers can control the aroma and flavor from the resulting blue marbling. This is a sight to behold but can assault olfaction when the creamy character of the resulting cheese is neglected.

The best way to take up the Roquefort challenge is to find a cheese manufacturer enjoying fine word of mouth.

Geoffrey Morell and Sally Fallon Morell are the owners of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which is dedicated to raising grass-based livestock and producing artisan cheese. The farm produces the award-winning Prince George Blue Cheese, produced from Penicillium roqueforti mold culture, Celtic sea salt, and organic rennet. It is a calm and creamy blue cheese to start with. For more information on the other cheeses produced by P.A. Bowen, visit its website.

Reversing the Effects of Climate Change Through Managed Grazing

Climate change is a serious issue that must be addressed. Various industries are now looking for ways to reverse the disastrous consequences of this phenomenon., which include more droughts and intense heat waves, altered rainfall patterns, and rising sea levels.

In the farming sector, experts have discovered managed grazing as a potential solution against barren patches of land.

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Image source: Climate.nasa.gov

Overgrazing has been a problem in the past. Unmanaged pastures contributed to desertification in many parts of the world. Biologist Allan Savory suggested that a viable way to stop overgrazing is through holistic management of livestock. Contrary to common belief, large herds should graze barren grasslands. This will give the land a protective layer that binds the carbon in the ground while allowing it to return to its healthy state.

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Image source: Phys.org

Aside from preserving the land, grass-eating animals will also become healthier. Managed grazing can help in returning the earth to the normal levels of greenhouse gas emissions. If farms adapt to a managed grazing system, they will contribute to keeping future generations safe from the adverse effects of environmental damage.

Geoffrey Morell values naturally grown livestock. Livestock grow up healthier when raised the natural way, making them a better source of nutrients for the community. People can purchase his organic meat and dairy products in his farm, P.A. Bowen Farmstead, and other select farmer’s markets. Visit this website for more information.

Conserving Resources: How Farmers can Save on Water

Water is a crucial element in both raising livestock and growing crops. In fact, farms are some of the largest water consumers. A principal need on most farms is the animals’ water supply and for irrigation to water a wide range of crops. Ensuring a reliable and sufficient flow of water into these areas is key to achieving food security and meeting sanitary requirements.

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However, because of global warming, droughts are becoming more frequent and unusually strong weather changes are increasingly turning into a norm. The reservoirs are now getting less stable, and freshwater shortages are becoming more severe—even in tropical regions. All these contribute to poor yields, low-quality agricultural output, and even famine for hogs, cattle, and poultry. If enough time passes, farms will soon wither and die out. With these, it is high time that farmers start employing practices that would not only save his plants and animals but the freshwater water supply itself as well.

One way the farmer can conserve water is through the removal of phreatophytes. Examples of phreatophytes are Russian olive, tamarisk, willows, and cottonwood. These plants consume a significant amount of the soil’s moisture. By removing them, more water will be available for the more important crops. The U.S. Geological Survey also suggests the use of low-energy spray irrigation. It involves gently spraying water very close to the ground. With this method, irrigation efficiency would jump from 60 percent to 90 percent as compared to that with traditional spray irrigation.

When it comes to raising animals, however, limiting the amount of water the animals drink is not the way to go. Conservation practices are needed to help in maintaining ample supply. These include paying attention when filling tubs or tanks, diverting wash water from a clean-in-place (CIP) system to a storage tank, fixing leaks, and rinsing small equipment in a sink or bucket, rather than with running water.

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Geoffrey Morell focuses on growing organic species and in making farms, particularly those that raise livestock, more sustainable. For more insights into responsible farming, click here.