Revolutionary Practices In Farming

Farming covers a very broad spectrum, including the advancements, milestones, and breakthroughs on the livestock-raising side of the industry. Nowadays, farmers and ranchers are being supported by large groups of people with different expertise in raising animals. A variety of techniques and methods have been developed throughout the years to yield the best and healthiest animals. Here are three of these practices.

Image source: lubbockonline.com

Antibiotics

Using antibiotics correctly has become a primary focus of farm owners. Veterinarians have now more than ever, taken an active role in the raising of livestock. The key here though is to use antibiotics responsibly. Over-usage of antibiotics has been proven to increase the resistance of bad bacteria in the body.

Housing

Studies have suggested that the type of housing where farm animals are located impacts greatly on the quality and quantity of meat and dairy products. Take dairy cows as an example. Farm owners have now provided them with comfortable living quarters, installing soft mattresses, and even water beds to rest on. Quarters also have cooling systems as well such as fans and sprinklers. All these allow cows to produce more milk.

Biotechnology

What once was science fiction is now a reality. Scientists have continuously developed biotechnology to help farm owners. Crops today can live through droughts and flooding, which means farm animals still have food supplies during these and most of the harsh seasons.

Image source: fwi.co.uk

Geoffrey Morell is an advocate of healthy eating. He co-founded the P.A. Bowen Farmstead with Sally Fallon Morell. All of the livestock are pasture-fed to get the highest quality meat and dairy products. To learn more about farming techniques, visit this blog.

The Importance Of Soy-free Poultry Feed

Poultry producers are also concerned that soy is a common GMO food. It could have been genetically modified to be resistant so herbicide. Even if soy in feeds helps in accelerating the growth of the chickens, a sizable part of the population tends to suffer from Vitamin E and iron deficiencies. Some also suffer from the adverse effects of manganese, which depletes their and thus increases the death rates in poultry farms.

Image source: Grassfedtraditions.com

Soy contains plant-based estrogens called isoflavones, and these come out in the fat and yolks of soy-fed animals. These estrogens are feminizing, cause hormone disruption and also disrupt thyroid function.

Going soy-free could encourage farmers to wean themselves from government subsidy and find their own poultry feed supplier. Thirty percent of poultry feeds are composed of soy and finding a replacement could be costly.

Despite this, a healthy and ethical way to raise chickens is to pasture them. Raising them to be exclusively grass-fed is possible but not enough. Healthy chickens can also be fed oats, dried alfalfa, and corn. Raising them in a pasture also gives them access to worms and insects that are their natural food. With the right alternatives, it’s possible to completely replace soy with better ingredients that would guarantee the right amount of nutrition for facilitating normal poultry growth.

Image source: Wikimedia.org

Geoffrey Morell co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation back in 1999, a nonprofit organization that specializes in researches for better meat and dairy products. In 2009, he acquired a 95-acre property and turned it into a farm that raises pasture-fed livestock and organically grown species. P.A. Bowen Farmstead provides the community with naturally grown and pasture-fed livestock and poultry products. For more information about Geoffrey’s projects, visit this page.

Weighing in On the Advantages of Pasture-based Farming

Does pasture-fed beef live up to its marketing hype?

From both an ethical and a dietary perspective, yes. Pasture raising has displayed significant advantages in farming.

Pasture-based farming is widely considered a step up from conventional farming methods by animal welfare activists who believe battery farming to be cruel and unethical due to the appalling conditions animals are forced to live in.

Applecheek-veal-calves1.jpg

Image source: humaneitarian.org

Factory farms are cramped and unsanitary and do not allow animals to behave as they would naturally. Such situation leads to breeders utilizing hormones and excessive antibiotics. In contrast, pastures are comparatively cleaner, thus making the spread of communicable diseases less likely, and allows animals to live out their lives. Antibiotic use is significantly reduced and often limited to when an animal needs veterinary attention.

Moreover, pastures have less of an issue disposing of the animals’ wastes. The wastes in the pasture are allowed to decompose to maintain its fertility.

The diet and behavior of the animals also result in a significant difference in the nutritional content of the meat, milk, and eggs derived from the animals. The meat from pasture-raised cattle, for instance, has less overall fat but has a higher percentage of omega-3 and other beneficial fatty acids, with pasture-fed meat having a more balanced ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s.

gr_efa_balance

Image source: eatwild.com

Due to regional and breed variations, the meat of grass-fed animals would taste slightly different but often comes with herbaceous, mineral-rich flavor frequently absent from factory-farm raised animals.

Geoffrey Morell‘s P.A. Bowen Farmstead raises livestock in pastures, producing high quality meat and dairy products for consumers. For more information, visit the farm’s website.

The Principles of Flavor Behind Buying Pasture-fed Animal Products

You are what you eat, or so the saying goes. However, when it comes to animal products, the consumer is often convinced of the opposite. Milk and meat would taste and feel the same no matter what you feed the animals. Right?

Wrong.

Pasture-raised animals are often allowed to roam and graze in a similar way to their wild ancestors, occasionally only eating supplementary food during winter. Due to this significant difference in diet and lifestyle, the physical composition of the animal also changes, thus affecting the texture, flavor, and nutritional content that it produces.

Applecheek-veal-calves1

Image source: humaneitarian.org

One challenge though for pasture-raised beef is that it has less overall fat compared to grain-fed beef. Still, pasture-raised meat is full of fat-soluble vitamins and CLA that helps build muscle and protects against cancer. Moreover, it is possible to get good, juicy grass-fed steaks when the right breed is used.

Other differences include the absence of antibiotics and hormones in pasture-raised animals. The regular use of antibiotics in factory farm facilities is made necessary due to the intensive nature of factory farm facilities. These substances in such concentrations could alter the quality of the meat and milk and may even be present in potentially harmful numbers due to bioaccumulation. In pastures, the use of medication is kept to a minimum and restricted to only when an animal is actually sick.

grass-fed-beef-ny-strip-lg

Image source: americangrassfedbeef.com

Another key difference is often in the condition of the tissues of the animal. Pasture-raised animals are often better exercised and thus, have tougher meats if cooked well-done.

Geoffrey Morell promotes healthy eating through the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which provides high-quality pasture-raised meat and dairy products to consumers. Visit this website for more information on his work on the farmstead.