Our Food Supply - Are You Concerned? - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 193771

Penny Lane

Our Food Supply - Are You Concerned? 
Sep. 5, 2010 2:17 pm 
Updated: Sep. 20, 2010 2:46 pm

First let me just say I am not a germ freak. I have eaten from street vendors world wide, without a problem.  I eat my beef rare and I have a firm belief that pork & chicken should not be over cooked. I like my eggs over easy or soft scrambled.

I am NOT a fan of processed lunch meats or ground meats.

When a package of ground beef says, Product of Canada, USA, Mexico and Chili - I am NOT buying it! - No way!

(Update:  It was brought to my attention that my statement above could be taken as a indictment  of Canadian beef.  This is not the case.  To clarify this point I am amending this blog to include additional information.
Source: Steve Klingaman: a nonprofit development consultant and nonfiction writer living in Minneapolis)

A package of ground beef can include meat from many sources, all combined into a single product. If your ground beef comes from a variety of sources, it is only as good as the weakest link — and we are talking about a long supply chain with lots of permutations.

Ask a few questions of your meat supplier.

Do they test ingredients before they are ground?
Most don't test until after the beef is combined with products from a variety of sources and ground. Some say this is due to processor fears about implicating sub-par suppliers.

Do they use fatty trimmings purchased from slaughterhouses?
Fatty trimmings are 50% fat. Who wants that in their diet? Besides, processors routinely treat the trimmings with ammonia to rid the meat of bacteria. Ugh!

Do they use meat derivatives in their ground beef?
Call it slop. Or worse. Meat derivatives are unacceptable to me.

Do they use imported beef?
Some imported beef comes from Canada. No problem there. The Canadian system is more stringent than that of the U.S. The Canadians have adopted the National Cattle Identification System using RFID ear tags to identify each individual cow before it leaves the herd. The system employs these radio frequency tags to track down problems before they get out of hand.

Beef from South America is a different story. Though U.S. inspectors go abroad for periodic checks, sometimes they find problems. In between inspections, who knows? Beef imported from South America should be tested in advance. The odds are it is not.

I do have major concerns about the processing of the foods we are eating.

Recently, with the mass hysteria of the massive egg recall I signed up with the FDA for email alerts of food recalls. My mail box started clicking like crazy. What became apparent is that it is not only eggs that we need to be concerned with. There are food recalls everyday - ones we never hear about.  (Including Pet Food)

The eggs that were contaminated with Salmonella all came from Iowa. Egg farms that are all owned and operated by the same company. What is shocking to me is that these eggs were trucked all over the United States to packing plants that package eggs for a wide range of different stores and restaurant supply firms. These contaminated eggs from Iowa traveled to Southern California to an egg packing plant in Fontana. Every egg from that packing plant had to be destroyed. Not one California egg farm tested positive for Salmonella, yet all the eggs that had been in contact with the contaminted eggs had to be recalled. What a waste!

Is it really cost effective to truck eggs from Iowa to California to a massive egg collection facility to then turn around and truck them all over the United States?

I live in an area rich with egg farms and I buy my eggs locally. I have done this for years. After the egg recall I stopped by my favorite egg ranch and they were bringing out cases and cases of eggs and loading them into peoples cars. Most restaurants & bakeries in the area were busy hunting down fresh eggs. Yet people in my neighborhood will drive right past the egg ranch to the big chain market to buy their eggs. Why don't they buy local? Is it that it means one more stop on their way home? Is it that they really don't care?

I often trade my home made bread for fresh eggs. I have actually had a few people tell me they don't want to eat the fresh eggs because the yolks are orange. Well, guess what? They are supposed to be orange! Amazing how we have come to accept pale yolks as normal.

I will let you do your own research into what Listeria, Salmonella Typhi & Salmonella are.

Personally - these alerts from the FDA have been a real eye opener for me.

(When I started writing this blog I included so many different issues that  my "blog"  started to look like a book.  LOL - I sat back and decided to pare it down to one major issue.  Although there are so many concerns - all of which we can discuss here, I needed to keep the blog short enough that people would read it and try to include enough information that people will research for themselves and form their own opinions. )

Suggested reading if you interested in learning more:

"The Omnivore's Dilemma"  by Michael Pollan
"In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto"  by Michael Pollan

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"  by Barbara Kingslover.

"Food Politics:  How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health" by Marion Nestle 

Suggested web sites to locate local farmers and Farmer's Markets.




If you are interested in getting email alerts from the FDA delivered to you check this out and sign up.


Take a quick look at some of the food recalls in recent weeks.

Paleta California Co. Announces Voluntary Recall of Frozen Mamey Paletas Because of Potential Contamination with Salmonella Typhi Tue, 31 Aug 2010 13:42:00 -0500
In response to the voluntary recall by Goya Foods, Inc. of their frozen mamey pulp, Paleta California, Co. is voluntarily recalling its 4 oz. Mamey Supreme Cream Bar (frozen fruit bars also known as “paletas”) due to a potential health risk from Salmonella Typhi. Salmonella Typhi is a bacterium that causes a life-threatening illness called typhoid fever.

itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm224494.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm224494.htm">Morningland Dairy Conducting Nationwide Voluntary Recall of All Cheese Labeled as Morningland Dairy & Ozark Hills Farm Because of Possible Health Risk Tue, 31 Aug 2010 13:37:00 -0500
Morningland Dairy of Mountain View, Missouri, is recalling 68,957 pounds of cheese because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogene and also has the potential to be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus.Morningland Dairy’s raw milk cheese is sold in the lower 48 states via mail order, retail stores, crop sharing associations, and direct delivery. The cheese is packaged in vacuum-sealed plastic packages that are sold as random weight size retail packages.

Fruiti Pops, Inc. Recalls "Fruiti Pops" Brand Mamey Frozen Fruit Bars Because of Potential Health Risk Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:52:00 -0500
In response to the voluntary recall of Goya Foods, Inc. frozen mamey pulp, Fruiti Pops, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, CA is recalling its Fruiti Pops 4 oz. Mamey frozen fruit bars due to a potential health risk from Salmonella typhi.

August 24, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223977.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223977.htm"> Azteca Linda Corp. Recalls Queso Fresco and Queso Hebra because of Possible Health Risk13 Listeria

August 23, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223747.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223747.htm"> Moark, LLC, of Fontana, California, Recalls Shell Eggs Supplied From Hillandale Farms of Iowa Because of Possible Health Risk14 Salmonella

August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223539.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223539.htm"> Milton's Baking Voluntarily Recalls 24 oz. Multi-Grain Bread in Three States For Undeclared Milk in Some Loaves15

August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223452.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223452.htm"> Hillandale Farms of Iowa Conducts Nationwide Voluntary Recall of Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk17 Salmonella

August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223760.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223760.htm"> NuCal Foods Conducts Recall of Shell Eggs Supplied from Hillandale Farms of Iowa Because of Possible Health Risk18 Salmonella

August 20, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223549.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223549.htm"> Lubersk i Inc., Initiates Voluntary Recall of Large Fresh Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk19 Salmonella

August 19, 2010 - itle="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223328.htm" href="http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm223328.htm"> COUNTRY Eggs, Inc. Initiates Voluntary Recall of Large AA Loose 15 dozen Fresh Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk21 Salmonella

Farm Fresh Carrots and Eggs.
Photo Detail
Sep. 5, 2010 2:33 pm
Yes, I do get concerned about it all (especially the chemicals), but there is a point where you could drive yourself crazy, too. We need to be aware of the news and smart in our washing habits--but even then, sometimes (especially on slow news days) these things can get out of control. Thank you for all this information, Ba'Nana!
Sep. 5, 2010 2:36 pm
I agree - it can drive you nuts. This business of shipping the eggs across the country - to sort and pack and then shipping them off again is crazy.
Sep. 5, 2010 2:37 pm
Oh goodness I am too scared to read all of your links. I just wanted to pop in and say that I LOVE your new egg picture too. Now that I have my own hens, I cannot imagine ever feeling good about store bought eggs again. YES, the yolks are orange and much richer in taste. The only beef I have with them is that they make for a bear if you are wanting hard boiled but I'll deal with it. I know exactly (well almost, my little turds will gobble up any poor insect flying by) what my girls eat and I wouldn't have it any other way. On the sad note, hubby can't have cholestrol right now and so the last of my eggs of the season are just sitting going to waste and I am having MEGA bacon withdrawls (he can't have the fat in that either). Hmm...on that note maybe he will just have to find his own dinner tonight? This girl needs some bacon and over-easy eggs :)
Sep. 5, 2010 2:41 pm
Gosh Nicole - I wish I could trade you bread for fresh eggs. My favorite sandwich is a BLT with a fried egg in it. YUM!
Sep. 5, 2010 2:43 pm
Baking Nana is that a turkey egg in your picture? I happen to have one in my fridge right now. It was given to me to play a funny joke on the husband. My new little babies were getting to the age that they should start laying any day. When they start, the eggs are real small. I snuck in the coop one night when I beat him home and positioned that giant egg just so in one of the nesting boxes. I typically gather the eggs so that was a bit tricky but I managed to pull it off and had him "discover" the giant egg. The look on his face was classic and one I'll never ever forget. He was convinced that a wild goose or something had broken into the coop through the doggie door we have for the protected area we let them loose in while we are away and laid an egg and then vanished. I have never laughed so hard in my life. When I asked him if it could possibly be a turkey egg, well the light came on and he was onto me. We still laugh about it.
Sep. 5, 2010 2:44 pm
BTW - Nicole the big egg in the picture is a turkey egg. Man are those shells hard!
Sep. 5, 2010 2:44 pm
Mmm...fried egg sandwich. Oh goodness I miss those too. Yeah, I think I will whip up something for him but I'm gonna pass and make me some bacon and eggs.
Sep. 5, 2010 2:47 pm
I hate to be cluttering up your blog but do the turkey eggs taste the same? I've been too scared to crack it for fear of what I'll find in the middle?
Sep. 5, 2010 2:51 pm
Sounds delicious to me! I tried to put the little egg in an egg cup and you couldn't see it! My grandson comes to have poached egg on toast with me every morning. He can spot a store bought egg a mile away!
Sep. 5, 2010 2:52 pm
Yes, they taste the same - they are just huge! Michael has had them poached and fried. He loves them. But darn, it's hard to crack - I had to actually cut it open!
Sep. 5, 2010 2:56 pm
SLN - love the gag with the turkey egg. Years ago my Dad worked for a hatchery and we had all kinds of birds at the farm and access to a variety of eggs. My aunt (let's just call her a bit gullible) was always an easy mark, so my Dad brought her some porcupine eggs. He gave her instructions on how to hatch them (shred some paper in a box, keep a heat lamp on them, put a small lid with water in the box, etc.) My aunt enthusiastically set about hatching her eggs. Until her son came over and asked what the heck she was doing. She told him and he said "Mom those are cockleburs!" Just to show that she had a sense of humor, my Dad got a coconut in the mail with a note saying it was an ostrich egg.
Sep. 5, 2010 2:57 pm
How cute about your grandson. I tried poached once by just cracking it into a pot of boiling water but it didn't turn out very good. I'm going to go do the float test thing on the turkey egg. I'm feeling brave now. I hope you have a great rest of the day!
Sep. 5, 2010 3:05 pm
LOL Magnolia! LOVE it!
Sep. 5, 2010 3:10 pm
I love these egg stories! Thanks so much. That really made me smile.
Sep. 5, 2010 3:20 pm
As a mom, I'm terrified! Funny- being in Iowa, my local grocery store didn't carry any of the recalled eggs! I'm on a super tight budget, but have quickly started shifting to a lot of organic items. The hormones in milk and meat make me nervous. I did score this week...Organic milk for $.99/half gallon! I bought all my daughter could drink :) My area actually just passed an ordinance that you can raise 6 hens in your backyard. Might be something to consider!
Sep. 5, 2010 3:30 pm
Boy - if I could have hens I would in a heart beat. They are sooo great and actually are really good pets. I wonder, did Iowa get the California eggs? LOL. Ground beef worries my when I see on the label product of Mexico, Chili, USA and Canada. Nope - not buying that! The milk producers around here have all made a hormone free "pledge" so even if they are not "organic" they no longer use growth hormones. :)
Sep. 5, 2010 3:31 pm
I'm hearing that more and more about milk. Hope it happens everywhere- Organic milk is usually so expensive!
Sep. 5, 2010 3:40 pm
Kathleen - I think that the pressure from the public has moved the dairies here in that direction. A friend of mine is on the CA Milk Producers board and if a dairy isn't hormone free they have a hard time selling their milk to the major suppliers. So, if they want to sell to let's say Alta Dena - they best be hormone free. :) $$$ speak volumes!
Sep. 5, 2010 3:50 pm
My dd recently in Feb got a bad case of Samella so bad that she is now lactose intolerant from it & can't eat beef or pork either. The only thing we can figure out is she eats beef & pork & I don't so around that time we went out to lunch & she had burger & fries... One sick kid for 6 months. So this made me realize alot about foods & recalls. Now she still has to watch what she eats and still find things she can't eat as we re-introduce her to food items. We don't eat out much maybe once a month and for that one day to really ruin a whole lot of things it was bad...
Sep. 5, 2010 3:57 pm
Oh Jayashiangel that is terrible. How old is she? Cross contamination is a real issue with Salmonella. Listeria is scary because it is not by cold which is why processed lunch meats are a problem. I hope she makes a full recovery.
Sep. 5, 2010 4:57 pm
Sometimes it is just a shoot! I just ate cookie dough today with eggs... Do we live or live in constant paranoia? One just never knows...
Sep. 5, 2010 4:58 pm
That was supposed to be cr@p shoot...LOL... Guess the filter thought I was talking naughty!
Sep. 5, 2010 4:59 pm
LOL - I like to lick the beaters too - my point is that I want to know that the eggs I get don't come from 5 differents States and that I can lick with confidence!
Sep. 5, 2010 5:41 pm
I used to raise chickens and eggs were a definite reason why we raised them. One day, as I was washing some eggs, a gal stopped to get some eggs and asked why I was washing them. She couldn't believe where the eggs came from! Until people quit being passive and ignorant of where their food comes from and what can go wrong during the process, the shadowy figures of our food supply will enjoy the profitability of shortcuts. We expect too much of our government agencies. The point made about the local folks passing by their local products in favor of supermarket eggs is typical ignorance of what constitutes quality and safety. I washed the eggs thoroughly because the person buying them knew where I lived and I didn't want them to come back telling me I made I made their family ill.
Sep. 5, 2010 5:56 pm
Thanks for stopping in Mike - I really appreciate your input! Can you imagine not knowing where your food comes from? The latest debate in our neighborhood is people who grow vegetables in their front yard. The man who planted beans corn - whoa....he was attacked! Code Enforcement had a fine time with him - eventually he moved. How sad. What did you wash your eggs with?
Sep. 5, 2010 6:10 pm
I get the FDA emails as well and it is crazy how many I get each day. You are right to be concerned. Very important information!
Sep. 5, 2010 6:59 pm
Baking Nana: I live in Canada so the FDA link won't be much good to me but others should appreciate and sign up for the alerts....I used to own a fast food restaurant and I at one time was allowed by the franchisor to purchase my produce from a local supplier (lettuce, tomatoes, onions). Everything had to be washed in a chemical wash to basically sanitize the produce....The franchisor decided that we needed to purchase EVERYTHING from our main food supplier so that they would know where all the produce was coming from. Our tomatoes supposedly came from Florida, but about 3 years ago there was a scare about tomatoes coming from California and we had to stop serving tomatoes on our burgers. Our tomatoes ended up rotting and as I said before our tomatoes came from Florida so why did we have to stop serving tomatoes????? I started to become suspicious of this practice because the tomatoes from my original food supplier would have been from Florida as well, probably from the same food terminal, I only would have had to make a phone call to find out where they were from. It cost us more to purchase things from the the franchises food supplier.....In this day and age it is very disturbing as to what is going on with the handling of food and the contamination, being aware and alerted is an excellent piece of knowledge. I also think that whatever you can purchase locally and organically is a good thing....When you know the farmer that grows or raises the product you eat it should give you a better feeling about it. You are fortunate to live in a state that has such a long growing season, we are not as fortunate and need to rely on your part of the world to bring it to us. Now that I say this perhaps I should still sign up for the alerts since we receive quite a bit of product from California to our grocery stores. Good blog.
Sep. 5, 2010 7:55 pm
Janet: I find it VERY disturbing that you as an owner are told where and what you can serve. To pay more for a product that comes from a main food distribution center than what you can buy independently is WRONG. We are very fortunate to live where we can grow produce year round - but then why - when I live near orange groves does our local "Big Chain" market sell oranges from Chili? When we have local growers who are struggling. Real food for thought here.
Sep. 5, 2010 8:01 pm
Oh boy and I thought I was over the edge with the whole peanut thing!! :) BN, good topic! My husband works with a man who is going back to the farm just to feed his young family because of all the things that's on this blog. It is a lot of work but they intend on raising as much as they can! I commend them for this! They intend to sell their surplus so I win big time. Fresh eggs for a $1 a cartoon(I told my husband the man should sell them for $1.50, I'm happy to pay that)and they intend to sell cow's and goat's milk. Isn't there a phrase that should apply to what and how we raise our food? Something about cleaniness... Did anyone see the conditions those hens were living in at those egg farms? Good blog Baking Nana!!!
Sep. 5, 2010 8:15 pm
I agree with you Baking Nana about produce coming from another country when basically grown in your own backyard. We have beautiful apple orchards here and one in particular used to have 40 acres of tress and decided to cut down and now only harvest 10 acres. This is because our local grocery stores can get and sell apples for less that were imported from Chile. To me this is absolutely criminal in the ethics of having enough food to feed the world....The reason our franchisor dictated is because they would get an extra cut on these items, as well as there sales percentages that we already paid. I have no respect for franchises and feel very fortunate to have been able to sell and be out of that scam. They basically hold you hostage on every aspect of your business. I understand the need for consistency and branding, but there is a darker side to the franchises.
Sep. 5, 2010 8:30 pm
"there is a darker side to the franchises." I so totally agre Janet - this is another reason when we eat out we try to go to places that are locally owned. I am glad you were able to sell when you did. So sad that local orchards are left to rot while we gladly import the very same crops! Orange County California was named such because of the abundant orchards - they are few and far between now. Where we live "was" dairy land - now the dairies have mostly left and the egg ranches won't be far behind.
Sep. 5, 2010 8:35 pm
Cat Hill - my friend who I get eggs from is trying to grow and raise all she can in her own yard - now this is quite an undertaking as she doesn't have a huge amount of land. This is a growing trend - more people are waking up to the fact that if you really want to know where your food comes from - you better become a hands on type of person.
Sep. 5, 2010 9:07 pm
Cat - I was getting egg farm eggs for about $3. a flat of 30 - it is now up to $3.50. Farm fresh eggs should be going for a whole lot more - a local farmers market sells "Happy Eggs" for $3. + a dozen. People buy them and they are worth every penny.
Sep. 5, 2010 9:46 pm
BN- I get my NORCO farm eggs at Albertson's but may just stop by the farm itself. I agree with everything you wrote. In fact, it makes me VERY angry. Keep up the GREAT work! XOXO!
Sep. 5, 2010 10:30 pm
In general I am quite concerned about food quality. It is one of the reasons why people are becoming more and more sick and diseased in this country despite our medical technologies, education, and sanitary means.
Sep. 6, 2010 4:58 am
Fresh isn't enough anymore. Fresh from where and by what process?
Sep. 6, 2010 5:20 am
The food industry has become a nightmare!
Sep. 6, 2010 5:32 am
Eggs in our grocery stores typically cost less than from the actual farmer trying to sell them at the local market. How sad is this for the farmer? It must make them wonder why they bother in the first place....MySweetCreations, I am of the mind set that processed foods and the chemicals we eat are what makes us sick. Some foods are injected with chemicals to provide a longer shelf life, this is where I believe we are messing ourselves up. If we purchase fresh and wash things well, including meat. Cook to internal temp of 165 to kill any possible bacteria, wash off all fruits and vegetables to try to get the pesticides off, it may help us a little, fresh from the farm or organic would be best. Michael Pollard is a really interesting person to listen to about this topic, if you ever get a chance to see him on TV or pick up one of his books his theories make sense. My restaurant (because franchised) required us to use a lot of seasoning salt, far too much. One hamburger had enough sodium for 3 days recommended amounts; the deep fried also made me feel badly.
Sep. 6, 2010 5:35 am
Super blog!! You really did take a lot of time to compile all that info and I appreciate it. I wish I could find farm fresh eggs here. When we lived in Gainesville my dear bf bought them from someone at work. After reading the reports for the umpteenth time I'm about to give up totally on store bought eggs (again) even if it means NO eggs. I've purchased an egg replacement product and found other substitutions for cooking/baking but usually things do not come out the same (texture, etc) so one must adjust their perception so that they can accept a subsitute. After reading that between the 2 facilities involved had 7 million hens and the workers had complained of unsanitary conditions, sick and dead hens, etc. and the inspector just turned his head I can't imagine the horrible little lives of these laying hens. No dust baths, excercise or interaction with others, it breaks my heart. Even the eggs labeled "cage free" is a scam. It just means their cages are an inch or 2 larger than the industry usually uses. There is no regulation on this label so take it with a grain of salt. The food industry is only out for the $$$.
Sep. 6, 2010 5:36 am
Oh! I love your photo!! Well done! A salute to laying hens everywhere!
Sep. 6, 2010 5:47 am
I'm also from Iowa, and my stores also didn't carry the eggs in the recall. Too funny. As for all of those other recalls listed, is it just me or are most of them involving the same bacterium? Wash your hands people!!! EWWWWWW =)
Sep. 6, 2010 6:03 am
Yes, I am concerned. I am a member of CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers.) so hear a lot behind the scenes, too. We have had our own hens for 22 years, and I can't imagine anyone being put off by a egg yolk being the correct color... ~~~~~ Anything can be contaminated at any time, but I feel more confident, as well as better about where my $'s are going, when I shop locally. My veges mostly come from local sources....or my own garden; you don't get more local than that! ---- Our meat comes from local ranches (buffalo.) etc. And what's not local is still from somewhere that I feel confident about. ~~~~~~ As for the contaminated eggs...I can't stand battery conditions anyway. All things being equal, I still wouldn't support anyone who farmed/ranched in that way.
Sep. 6, 2010 6:08 am
That should be: AN egg yolk. *sigh*
Sep. 6, 2010 6:35 am
Janet: thank you for mentioning Michael Pollard - well worth reading for sure. As for the franchised food industry - well what can I say - it is a topic for a whole blog on it's own. Thanks for stopping by.
Sep. 6, 2010 6:39 am
Lace - glad you like the photo. I, like you and PlumFairy would prefer to only have "real" eggs (as my grandson calls them) from happy hens. I do still have to buy "store" eggs but at least I know the source and the eggs haven't been trucked in from 5 different states.
Sep. 6, 2010 6:42 am
MamaKitty - it does seem that Salmonella is the cause of most of the recalls - as PlumFairy pointed out cross contamination can happen anywhere....wash your hands - wash your produce!
Sep. 6, 2010 6:48 am
PlumFairy - in our neighborhood we have a garden group - we all grow different things and trade through out the year. To be honest - the growing of vegetables instead of landscape plants is causing a bit of a problem with some of the neighbors. As for hens, we are supposed to be able to house 4 non crowing fowl - this is causing a problem too. I don't know what will come of this - but I will say that the people here who own hens are very hush - hush about it. Sad - really sad.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:03 am
Yes, that is sad. I hope that it all works out for the best.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:12 am
Baking Nana, egg washing was a four step procedure. Step 1: soak eggs in cool water for 10 minutes to loosen stuck "dirt". Step 2: Scrub with small scrub brush solution of 1 tsp bleach per gallon of warm water. Step 3: Rinse in warm water. Step 4: Refridgerate immediately.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:18 am
Thanks Mike - I did some reading on this and I think the 1 tsp of bleach per gallon is the trick - it sure doesn't take a lot of bleach to kill the bacteria. Thanks for stopping by again. :)
Sep. 6, 2010 8:04 am
As one who has dealt with Salmonella twice & other intestinal infections from contaminated restaurant or supermarket foods, I check food recall lists daily. I'm also very careful of what I eat or what I am eating from, as in plates, utensils etc. My foods can come from a store, a farm, a summer food market or a restaurant. I ask questions galore before buying. I'm sure the store clerks or wait staff dread seeing me come in the door! I'm also aware of and VERY concerned about GMO or genetically modified, genetically engineered foods. Its alarming how many foods we eat each and everyday, that we've eaten for years and trusted, are now genetically modified. Trying to find GMO labeled food though, is next to impossible as it is not required by law that they be labeled as such. Any time the subject of GMO food labeling is brought up in the US government and the Canadian governement, it is struck down. The US and Canada are two countries that should be taking the lead in this, they should be making GMO labeling manditory, but for some unknown reason they do not. Its almost like they want it hidden, swept under the rug so to speak. That leaves us, the consumers going about blindly buying foods we think are good for us, but in reality, may not be very good for us at all. Some countries have had manditory labeling on GM foods for years. The US and Canada are sorely lacking in this department. It is our right as consumers to know what kind of food we are buying and feeding our famiies. Heres a few links about GMO foods for any of you that are interested. The first two links are lists of genetically modified/engineered foods, with the second link haveing a more recent updated food list.&#10;&#10;http://opposingdigits.com/forums/about52.html&#10;&#10;http://www.ecowalkthetalk.com/blog/2010/04/27/safe-food-guide-gmo-free-food/&#10;&#10;http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/genetically-engineered-foods.htm&#10;&#10;&#10;http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/agriculture/problem/genetic-engineering/
Sep. 6, 2010 8:20 am
Oh Baking Nana.... if you only knew how many nights I lay awake pondering the strangeness of our society. I could go off on a rant, but i will just have to hold myself back because I literally get upset and outraged if I think about all these things too much. We used to live in Tulsa, and there, I could drive about 25 minutes to a dairy and get fresh milk and eggs. There were also a few meat markets that sold some local stuff, as well as OK farmers markets. We have moved to AR and I am finding it a little harder to find these things. The farmers market here is huge but only in the summer months, and I am suspicious of the origin of a lot of the produce there. I haven't found milk and eggs here yet. This is kind of one of those communities where "the store that shall not be named" is about your only option for groceries of any sort. It amazes me that the majority of the food most people eat has been processed and manipulated in some way (often multiple ways), and that we have come to accept this as the norm. We wonder why our nation is overweight but is it any wonder when chips and sodas are cheaper than artichokes and tomatoes? Our children have allergies to so many more things than our grandparents did because everything they eat has been bleached and disinfected and manipulated. Not to mention no one lets their babies just play in the dirt anymore. I had to chuckle when I read about the neighbors getting upset over front yard gardens. We have come to accept imported sod and trees and manicured shrubs over the beauty of a family growing their own food??? ok, ok, here I am getting worked up when I said I wouldn't. My dh would laugh at me right now. Its all about moderation for me here, and I do what I can, but I get a little worked up when the watermelon at the "store" that had to be trucked from Ohio and wasted all that gas is cheaper than the watermelon out of the back of the truck of the farmer from the next town over. What amazing thing would happen if the "store" bought and sold this farmers watermelons? Giving him a more profitable business, saving themselves shipping costs, and ultimately providing the public with a more flavorful, natural melon? We will probably never know. In the mean time, I will just continue to support local and fresh whenever I can, and shudder when I walk past the eggs that say "ozark farms" but really came from Iowa, drove to california, and then came all the way back to Arkansas. I will leave you with a few things incase you want to learn further. The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver is worth a read. Also the documentaries Food, Inc., King Corn, The future of food, and Fresh. I try not to drive myself crazy with them. lol. Thanks for bringing this issue to the attention of people who may not think about these things as problems. Hmmm.... perhaps its time I buy that supporting membership. I feel a blog theme coming on. Thanks again Nana.
Sep. 6, 2010 8:21 am
very interesting blog! I haven't been affected by the egg recalls here in Canada, thank goodness, but it really makes you think about the food industry. Imagine shipping eggs from Iowa to California to ultimately end up in Minnesota! surely they have hens in Minnesota? (or anywhere else in the country!) I was shocked when i saw on the news the other night, that most frozen fish from a major grocery label(I want to say Highliner, but don't quote me...it's the ones in the blue box) is caught near Russia, brought ashore, and shipped to China for the fish to be processed and flash frozen, then it's shipped back to Russia for packaging, then sent to worldwide distributors. And it looks so innocent in that familiar blue box in the grocery store freezer! Those fish files have traveled more than me! Why is this? It makes no sense! Scary, and sad.
Sep. 6, 2010 8:55 am
BN, woke up thinking about your blog and over coffee pondered this line of thought. Meat and egg products that were raised in, for lack of better term, humane conditions taste fresher and generally require less antibiotics(basing that on firsthand knowledge of a self-sustaining farm I used to visit and buy from). My train of thought followed this path-what if families today eating all this factory raised product along with questionably raised fruit & veg because there is no choice or it's cheaper, end up with immune systems slighty weakened. Then they get sick but instead of staying home and recupping it's off to the DR for antibiotics. Because again there is no choice in a two parent or single parent working household that can't afford to stay home. Since there was no natural immunity built up the next time there's an illness, off again to the DR only for stronger antibiotics. I wonder if that is why so many are having such food allergies or intolerances nowadays. Again, good blog topic!
Sep. 6, 2010 9:28 am
gourmetshand: You raise a great question about the blue box fish, and I have heard of this also, it is because it is cheaper to do anything in China (labour is cheap). This is why I will not support Wal-Mart because they are notorious for using these outlets or force companies to have products made in China or 3rd world countries to demand the best price sold back to (guess who?) us. We are supporting this nonense when we support a Wal-Mart. We need to be eliminating the processed foods, buy fresh and make it ourselves from scratch, buy from local farmers. Cat Hill: you have also raise a very good point and yes we are getting antibiotics in a lot of meat we eat, so therefore it could make sense that we cannot fight off illnesses because we continually need a stronger antibiotic for the fight. Vicious cirlce. Michael Pollard is such an interesting person to listen to because he is very knowledgeable on this subject. Perhaps google him and you will find some great information. I agree great topic!!!
Sep. 6, 2010 10:02 am
Rosepuddn, I saw the video, "The Future of Our Food" and it is sickening what the food industry has done to us! It can make me crazy if I dwell on it too much but I still feel education and knowledge is our best bet to overcome. Great topic!
Sep. 6, 2010 10:04 am
Oh, also, check out the book, "Skinny Bitch". It exposes the food industry and names names from food companies to our government officials in high positions that have defected to the food industries wreaking havoc in the court systems trying to resolve these issues. It's a short book but precise and to the point.
Sep. 6, 2010 11:20 am
Bakingnana, this was another excellent blog that you put together for all of us to read. I am very concerened where our food comes from and really try to stay away from foreign country items--which is getting more and more difficult to do since our government is not encouraging farmers to stay here and farm. I live in the Northeast and know quite a few dairy farmers who are barely making ends meet! I will talk with them and they continue to tell me about other farms who produce our veggies/fruits who are being asked by supermarkets to sell their products for cheap, then the big grocery stores sell the items for triple or quadruple the price!!!! Farmer's markets are the way to go, if you cannot do it yourself. I just planted my first garden this year, in pots because we are finally planting grass. This winter I will be planning my garden for next year and what we want to grow---I hope to do a wide variety in the ground. Also, my DH and I have already talked about getting our own chicks next year--I look forward to doing that. thanks again for the great post!
Sep. 6, 2010 11:22 am
Oh...I meant to say that I have always bought eggs from the store and over on the other side of town is a home with a hand painted sign that says "fresh eggs".....I have always wanted to stop and get some, but never got the courage to stop at this person's home--you have just reminded/encouraged me that I will be stopping there this week and helping out a local family.....thank you!
Sep. 6, 2010 11:32 am
Lots of good points made here. Yes, eggs should be deep yellow, it usually means the chicken, that laid it had a good diet. Our food supply is very important to us-especially here in the US. We are like the bread basket of the world. It's one of the things that makes us great as a nation. We no longer have the industry to call us a great nation but food is still a strong point for us. Back before the US was a super power among nations were we a strong bread basket nation. We had lots of space to grow food. The recent (last 30 years) issues we have had with food is really an out come of not buying locally. If, in times past, there were issues with contamination only a small group of people we involved, not entire sections of the Nation. People knew where their food came from and who grew it. The growers were also concerned with giving quality products to their consumers-because they might be a friend, neighbor or family member. In the US we have been so sold out by our government and large chemical/seed companies regarding the GMO food.Through GMO food,we have awful food that is low in nutrients, and is programmed to encourage diabetes and negatively affect liver function. My question??? Why is most GMO food staples??? Wheat, Corn, Rice, Sugarcane types etc. In the EU most nations will not accept GMO food. The US food sent to the EU is tested and many times rejected. Costing US farmers, small and large, millions of lost dollars. The countries with out GMO foods have few weight and health issues. The effects of medical GMO's would literally kill thousands of people and give millions more diabilitating health problems. Who needs corn with antibiotic properties? The US will be ignorant about GMO's till we have an awful mass occurance and many peoples health is affected-oh wait!!! That has already occured-in our society having large scale weight issues/diabetes/heart health. Yet we are still ignorant. We need to wise up, buy local, and plan/plant a small a garden of our own. Prepackaged food is unhealthy and ignorant to eat. (note here the difference between ignorance and stupidity is ignorance is not knowing any better). We should all ask about GMO's: ask farmers, grocers,food suppliers and legislators. Everyone who eats should get to know some small farmers. They are cool people with lots of knowledge. Cool American ideas like independance,hardwork and knowledge are found on their farms. Actually, most farmers work pretty hard-world wide. Food grown, harvested, preserved, cooked and eaten close to the source is a wise, knowledgeable and healthy choice. Movies like Food Matters, Food Inc, and King Corn tell the story of alot of food. There are lionks below. Interesting Links: Links: http://foodmatters.bravenewtheaters.com/ www.pbs.org/independentlens/kingcorn/index.html http://anaanita.wordpress.com/
Sep. 6, 2010 12:04 pm
Wow - I stepped out for a bit and you folks have been busy! Jay, Sassysouthern, GMO labeling should be manditory! Big $$$$ speak volumes when it comes to this. America's food supply is in grave danger here. Time to dig our heads out of the sand and speak up.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:11 pm
ROSEPUDDN - you are right to be concerned - keep looking you will find a supplier for those fresh eggs and milk. I also agree with you about the Farmer's Markets - my daughter stopped at a road side stand to get corn - she noticed that they had plums too - she was very excited until she saw a sticker on one of the plums "Product of Chili" Hmmm - seems they forgot to check all the plums for their stickers. So she asked if the corn was locally grown - from the corn field behind the stand - nope the owner goes to Mexico once a week and brings back a truck load. Crazy!
Sep. 6, 2010 12:14 pm
Also - wanted to thank you for mentioning Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver it is an excellent book - it should be mandatory reading.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:20 pm
Lots of good points indeed!!!! I do agree follow the $$$$ and see who is making the money. I overheard a local farmer complaining this spring about Monsanto, he was speaking to a friend of mine. His complaint-"I have to buy seed from Monsanto but nowadays I have to use twice as much chemical to "burn" the field before I plant as I used to which costs me more but I can't buy local seed just in case Monsanto's crosses with mine. They will charge me for it". I swear that is verbatium. Is that Michael Pollan instead of Pollard in the reference? Just curious cause I'm a big fan of Michael Pollan and he seems to be one of the few with some common sense and willing to speak out to the public about our food.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:22 pm
gourmetShand - you bring up a very good point about the fish. This is another crazy making adventure! I went to buy shrimp the other day - Product of Thailand was $2.00 lb cheaper than the Shrimp - Product of the USA - considering the transportation costs - WHY? Like Rose said - a local farmer should be able to sell his melons at a fair price and not be under sold by foreign imports!
Sep. 6, 2010 12:22 pm
Forgot this thought, where did all the chemical pesticides the US banned go? Some say the countries we are importing lots of our fruit and veg from. Another scary point!
Sep. 6, 2010 12:27 pm
Lace - I will look for the book "skinny Bitch" I haven't read that one. Cat - Yes it is Michael Pollan. His book the Omnivore's Dilemma, is thoughtfully written and gives a thorough explaination of where our food comes from. It is another one that should be mandatory reading.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:30 pm
Oh CAT - excellent point - I know of a man who went to China to run a marathon - He saw water trucks driving along the streets spraying want he thought was water to keep the dust in check - then he found out it is DDT. Beside the DDT - what he saw during his trip was enough to come home and throw out every canned product from China - amazing how many there were in his pantry too.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:41 pm
Daisy Mae - I am glad that I have inspired at least one person to stop and buy those fresh eggs! Excellent! I can assure you that these folk will be thrilled to have a regular customer.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:43 pm
Isn't that silly about the road side stand? We were recently on a road trip and on the way home passed through parts of georgia. I wanted peaches, but every stand we stopped at the peaches were being unloaded from big commercial boxes and they all had stickers on them. I can get those here in AR!! My dh didn't quite understand.... I finally found some, but they had still come from a big orchard about 100 miles from where I bought them. The farmers market here has quite a few local small-time farmers, but there are a few people that come with big trucks, and the produce they sell cannot be local. I refuse to believe that you can grow strawberries that big in August in AR. They shouldn't be allowed to sell that stuff at the farmers market. I had never seen anything like that in OK, but I guess it goes on a lot.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:54 pm
Cat - this business about Monsanto and their GMO seeds just really frosts me. But here again big $$$$ have bought the American food supply - strangling our farmers along the way.
Sep. 6, 2010 12:58 pm
Daisy Mae - meant to congratulate you on your garden. I used to have a big garden until hubby decided we needed a swimming pool - so the pool now sits where the garden used to be. BUT this Fall I am taking out a huge section of lawn and putting in vegetable beds. Lawns are thristy space wasters and I am reclaiming my garden space!
Sep. 6, 2010 1:16 pm
Great info and I agree with you 100%! I not only buy my eggs local but all my veggies I also get from my local organic CSA farmer...I think we all need to know where are food comes from & how it is raised! I love being able to visit my farmer and see how he raises his chickens and eggs...they are ALL happy and healthy chickens..I wish all chickens could be fed and treated as well as his are. Healthy chickens produce healthy eggs!
Sep. 6, 2010 1:47 pm
Lynnie - every time I go visit my friends chickens I am amazed at how sweet they are. I always take them treats. The chickens come running when they see my friend coming. So cute.
Sep. 6, 2010 1:47 pm
Baking Nana- I sometimes wish you really were my Nana! Then I'd have someone to ask all of my gardening and canning questions to! My own mother and grandmother are just not so helpful, as they didn't do much of either. Growing up, I insisted that I wouldn't ever live on a farm again, but God had other plans! My husband and I got married and now live on 5 acres of land, not alot, but more than a lot of people enjoy. I have had a garden the last three years, each year it has grown! My canning and freezing has also multiplied, getting better and finding new recipes each year. My sister in law lives across the driveway and just hates what we are doing on this side of the driveway. She can't believe that we put up so much food for the winter. Actually just did 10 apple pies, 8 apple crisps and a bunch of applesauce this morning. However, she is normally the first to ask for something that has been in my reserves! I too live in Iowa, actually work for "that" store in the Dairy department and had to hang signs stating that our eggs were okay. Couldn't believe that in Iowa we had good eggs, when the egg problem was in Iowa. Unsurpirsingly, when the egg thing came out, the egg prices went up! Also this spring, we grew 12 chickens for meat. What a learning experience to butcher at home! This coming spring we will do 24 chickens and 2 cows. Kinda makes me think that we should have a few egg layers too. I totally believe that my kids are eating better when I know exactly where their food came from!
Sep. 6, 2010 2:04 pm
That is so sweet! I love their personalities too....and they are all so pretty! I think all farm animals have amazing personalities and feelings as well. I hate that so many people treat livestock like property instead of living creatures with feelings and unique personalities.
Sep. 6, 2010 2:08 pm
H&Ps Mommy - I am envious of you and your 5 acres. Funny about your sister in law! Sounds like some of our neighbors - quick to scoff at the veggies and fruit trees and the first to be around in December when the tangerines ripen! If I were you, I would get yourself some egg layers - they are amazing eggs - it is like a completely different food than the store bought eggs. :) Your kids are lucky to live and eat like yours do. I am thrilled that my grandchildren not only love my home baked bread - but also know how to make it now. BTW - Iowa really must have received the California eggs! This baffles me.
Sep. 6, 2010 2:12 pm
Oh and H&P - thanks so much - I wish I had a daughter with 5 acres and a garden. :)
Sep. 6, 2010 3:44 pm
I am convinced that buying local is the best way to go when possible. Once we were allowed to take the "garbage" potatoes out of a farmer's field. They were so good and didn't rot like supermarket potatoes. Did you know that even though Idaho is known for potatoes, we buy potatoes processed in Ohio in our stores? Crazy and they are not nearly as yummy as field garbage lol
Sep. 6, 2010 3:47 pm
Mich - I hear you there. I can't believe that in Idaho you get potatoes that are from Ohio and we in CA get Idaho potatoes. Thanks for stopping in. Local is the best plan of attack!
Sep. 6, 2010 4:35 pm
Mich - there is a farmer that brings tiny red potatoes to the Ojai Farmer's market - they are so wonderful - I can boil those up - roll in butter and just pop them in my mouth. These are "real" potatoes!
Sep. 6, 2010 4:41 pm
Thank you for a wonderful article! this is a topic that is very close to my heart. For me it all started with Barbara Kingsolver's book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". Kingsolver not only writes about doing just this..but actually does it. They either grew their own, raised their own or bought from local farmers OR they just did without and the most amazing part is they got along just fine! Their goal was to do this for one year and at the end of the year were hooked and have not looked back. Our family tries to live this lifestyle to the best we can. And yes, the fresh eggs are the best and unlike most our kids turn down the store bought eggs because they are pale and look funny lol. Thanks again for the article!
Sep. 6, 2010 4:51 pm
Thanks Julie - your children are fortunate to KNOW what an egg is supposed to look & taste like! You are doing a good thing for your family!
Sep. 6, 2010 6:58 pm
That is why I'm vegan and grow my own produce.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:21 pm
I am scared when 12 yo look like they are 25 and 35 yo women are going through early menopause. I say the food that makes little girls look like bomb shell supermodels is the same food making young women go through early "rare" menopause.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:28 pm
JJrsMomma - thanks for stopping in. I commend you on your Vegan life style - I am not certain that is the answer for my family. I would be interested to know if you were raised on a Vegan diet or when you adopted it? Thanks for stopping by.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:30 pm
Yes, some bacteria suck, but you encounter many things just as bad as S. typhi whenever you walk outside. there are bugs on every inch of your skin and inside your digestive tract, dust mites on your pillow, some interesting critters on your eyebrows/lashes, crawling in yogurt/cheese; even the nether regions have their own bugs and you are probably carrying E. coli right now. We evolved with good bugs, and developed some very good defenses to ward off the bad, and the probability of catching typhoid fever in this country in this time period is very LOW, to the point where worrying about it is insane. Hell, I'm technically immunocompromised and I still eat my eggs half raw and pay no mind to food recalls and whatnot.
Sep. 6, 2010 7:36 pm
Mari - this is a great concern - I am 54 - I have a friend, my age, who went through menopause at 35. Now her daughter is 30 and showing signs of menopause. Why? who knows. Is it genetic? Dietary? BTW - the 30 year old who is dealing with early menopause at 30 is also the mother to 3 boys who are gluten intolerant. Why?
Sep. 6, 2010 8:15 pm
Sporky08 - yes there are "bugs" every where and we all live in harmony - most of the time. The problem I have is the way our food is mass produced. For an egg to travel from Iowa to California back to Michigan is nuts! Yes typhoid fever from is rare but it does happen. It would be more common without the inspections and testing by the FDA. (Typhiod fever happened to my neice - the health dept thought it was something I brought back from the Middle East - turns out it was an out dated box of Bisquick in their cabinet) Listeria infections are also rare but if I were pregnant today I would not be eating processed lunch meat.
Sep. 6, 2010 8:20 pm
BTW - Sporky - I eat my eggs half raw too, I love them that way - we shouldn't have to worry about this - not in this country - not in this day and age. Salmonella is a problem with eggs ONLY because of the way they are processed and distributed! I am not asking people to stop eating eggs - I am asking people to put the pressure on the to make our food supply safe.
Sep. 7, 2010 5:34 am
If you are only 'concerned', then you have not watched the documentary Food Inc. Only the people can change the way the food industry has taken us. It starts with protesting against the politicians who continue to do nothing. It continues with stopping ex-ceo's of food companies running the government oversight depts. What I really want immediate change on is the labeling of food. The food industry spent millions lobbying to ensure they do not have to label for cloned or engineered food. I want to be able to chose and I can only do that if I have the information on the food item. Be afraid, very afraid and then maybe people might start taking a real interest.
Sep. 7, 2010 5:44 am
Duncan: I agree it is outrageous that we don't have labeling requirements for GMO's. The latest I saw was the FDA is holding a hearing to approve genetically modified salmon. When will it stop?
Sep. 7, 2010 6:09 am
Interesting blog, thank you. I'm so glad I raise chickens, raise my own beef and have farmers markets and orchards all around me!
Sep. 7, 2010 7:23 am
Great food for thought, BN. During 2010 especially, my husband and I have been moving towards eliminating all processed foods from our diet and buying locally whenever possible and organic whenever possible. Of course, nothing ever completely eliminates the risk of contamination, but we feel it's less of a liklihood if you're picking up produce, meat, or dairy from the farmer at the farmer's market that you've come to know with a farm that's 5 miles away and has been at that market for many years. I garden as much as possible for my own produce and try to buy the rest locally. Unfortunately, living in Wisconsin, we are limited with gardening efforts. We are looking forward to moving South in a few years and are planning to garden, raise hens, and be as self-sustaining as possible. I grew up that way and can't wait to get back to it.
Sep. 7, 2010 8:03 am
I know I mentioned this above, but our food supply is one of the main reasons why we are more sick and diseased than ever in this country. People become outraged with our food supply but stand in line to get their flu shots when they are injecting even more harmful junk into their body. My point is our vaccines are even worse as far as putting harmful toxins into the body than our food. The bottomline is that it is all cumalative. Eventually for many people their bodies will no longer be able to fight and they become sick in some form or fashion whether it is cancer, autoimmune diseases, etc.
Sep. 7, 2010 9:09 am
we all should be concerned...America grows/raises everything in monocultures which are prone to disease and such. We all need to try to incorporate local foods in our diet..whether it is eggs, meat, dairy, or veggies. The food is so much better tasting and nutritionally dense. Thanks for your post! This is a major concern for America!!!
Sep. 7, 2010 9:47 am
Missy - you are very fortunate. Good for you! @ wisweetp I am glad that you and your husband are making the move away from processed foods. How nice it will be for you to return to you roots. :)
Sep. 7, 2010 9:49 am
MSC - I am sure that there must be a link between our food supply and the increasing number of people who are afflicted with autoimmune diseases, gluten intorerances and the like. It is all cumalative and eventually it will catch up to all of us.
Sep. 7, 2010 9:51 am
Here's a thought- grow a garden and raised your own hens (sans the rooster, which can be problematic and is totally unnecessary for egg production). In this way, you are contributing significantly to your own health by consuming pesticide and hormone-free products AND the zen-like peace that comes from cultivating a self-sustaining lifestyle. In the end, I believe we can drive ourselves batty when we stop and micro-manage all the dangers that surround us. Relax by finding a productive way to circumvent those things you have control over. Have an awesome day!
Sep. 7, 2010 9:52 am
shmartcookie: You are so right - not only does buying local help the local farmers and ranchers the food just plain tastes better. :) Thank you all for stopping in and sharing your experiences.
Sep. 7, 2010 9:55 am
I recently got on a "scratch" kick, meaning I threw out all of the processed food I've been feeding my kids and started making them from scratch- granola bars, pita chips, zucchini brownies, cookies, etc. My goal was to only use single ingredients, so I would know exactly what I was feeding them. I was inspired by someone on this site who used the phrase "Only eat food your great grandparents would recognize!" Then I watched Food, Inc. and started searching for local food sources. The best sites I found are www.localharvest.org, www.eatwild.com, and www.locallygrown.net. I found such great sources! Last week, I stocked my freezer with beef from a local farmer. The cow was born and raised 40 miles from here, and even processed at a local USDA inspected facility that is co-owned by the farmer! In GA, you can't buy farm-fresh milk for human consumption- it has to be labeled for "pet" use. You can bet my dogs are going to be drinking a lot of milk from the farm down the road! I've got a source for beef and pork, one for chicken, eggs and milk, and the farmers' market for fruit and veggies- now if only I could find a local flour and corn mill? :)
Sep. 7, 2010 10:22 am
I had a nice flock of free range chickens going. Then I found out that no one wanted to buy my eggs! I advertised fresh eggs at $1 a dozen. No one called. I couldn't believe it. I asked around and was told that people don't like farm eggs because some had found half grown chicks. I agree that is disgusting but I collected my eggs several times a day and took great care of my eggs. I couldn't convince anyone! I was also told that since people couldn't use food stamps was another reason. I sold all but 4 of my hens and have plenty for myself to enjoy. It's sad what our food supply is turning into. Some people will never understand.
Sep. 7, 2010 12:02 pm
Contamination of our food system is nothing new and in fact, before there were regulations, it was much worse. Sorry, but this is not a call to hysteria. Buy smarter, buy from trusted sources and stay informed.
Sep. 7, 2010 12:08 pm
Sassafras - I sold my eggs for $3.00 a dozen and marketed them to the local feed store in town who sold them for $4.50 a dozen. In addition, I had private customers as well as a nice, trendy coffee/breakfast place in downtown Portland. Who ever you asked has steered you wrong - or you just didn't ask the right kind of people. People do like farm eggs, but I would definitely only buy from someone I know and trust. I raised my hens organically and in a clean, controlled environment where they were allowed to free range. I've seen some chicken flocks.. I wouldn't want to buy those eggs either.
Sep. 7, 2010 12:14 pm
I applaud you, Baking Nana! This a great topic and you've gotten lots of great response. I'm sitting here in my pesticide and herbicide free gardens and I'm watching an amazing amount of wildlife-butterflies coming for the pollen from the herbs, flowers and "weeds"(native plants I grow); hummingbirds for the cannas and trumpet vine; all types of insects buzzing from one thing to another; even the garden snake that surprised the you know what out of me. To quote my Mom, "If we don't have clean air, clean food or clean water there won't be much left of us".
Sep. 7, 2010 12:47 pm
Got a copy of King Corn today from an aquaintance. "Inquiring minds want to know" is my motto lately. Lot's of good info on this blog.
Mrs. C 
Sep. 7, 2010 1:09 pm
Talk about food for thought! Thank you, BN, for bringing so much information and discussion. Great education. I live in the middle of dairy/orchard/corn/farm country, and I DO need to take advantage of this blessing. Thanks, everyboday!
Sep. 7, 2010 1:41 pm
Lace.... so glad you watched King Corn. I loved that documentary. Could you believe it when they had the hair tests and their diets were practically all corn??? I think about that all the time now. Drinking a cup of coffee with a little sugar and some skim milk... I wonder how much corn is in it????
Sep. 7, 2010 1:53 pm
Yes we are, so we try to buy what we don't grow ourselves from local producers. We have a great supply nearby of meat, eggs and veggies. Also, if you take a broad probiotic it will keep the many good bacteria fighting the bad guys on your behalf. If you do come into contact with a less than perfect product, you may come out the winner.
Sep. 7, 2010 3:18 pm
As a food producer from Iowa, I'd like to enter my point of view. First off, I am glad to see so many people interested in where their food comes from, and I agree whole heartedly that consumers must quit eating so much pre-packaged processed . What I would like to caution the commenters on this article on is that their perception of the food industry being the enemy is off. The food processors are simply responding to consumer demand for cheap, convenient, and safe food. Just take a walk though the grocery store and pay attention to what people are putting in their carts. We in the US have an abundance of choices when we go to the store. Whether your main concern is affordability, health-conscious, convenience, local, organic, or quality... you have a choice. Every consumer does. And this is because it is what the individual consumer has demanded. The other point I'd like to make, is that turning to the government to solve problems that have been created by an overindulgent society will not work, and the unintended consequences of messing with a free market will end up putting more farmers out of business. We farmers (of all sizes)are already regulated by the government nearly to extinction. Introducing more red tape to farmers will only make the issue of decreasing farmers and increasing farm size worse. Get the government out of the way, and you will see the farmers adapt to consumer demand. I've seen it happen time and again, legislation gets introduced with good intentions and backfires. All is does is create headaches for the farmer and job security in a hopeless bureaucratic government office. It never accomplishes what it was intended to accomplish, as farmers will find loopholes and do things simply to be in compliance, instead of focusing on what is truly good for their farm, the land, and the people who benefit from it. Farmers will also be forced to increase the size of their farms to justify the added cost and time it takes to comply with government regulations. Keeping up with changing regulations is a full time job on our farm. There is room in this world for all types of farmers, and if you prefer one method of farming over another...please vote with your wallet. You have much more power there, rather than lobbying an already too powerful government. There are pros and cons to every method of food production, please don't forget that. So, in closing, keep presenting factual information about the benefits of eating fresh produce and locally grown food. As it really is up to the individual to choose what they eat. Don't throw the already scarce farmers under the bus.
Sep. 7, 2010 3:41 pm
iafarmwife - I couldn't agree with you more! I wrote a blog - on AR called the Freezer case. You are so correct when you say the consumer votes with their $$. The government regulations are getting harder and harder for the average farmer to comply with. Which is exactly why I say "BUY LOCAL" "Support your local farmer." Thank you for your insight from someone on the front line of America's food supply.
Sep. 7, 2010 3:43 pm
If you are interested in reading The Freezer Case......http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13432715/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=168754
Sep. 7, 2010 3:55 pm
The Michael Pollan books are EXCELLENT and very informative and just plain make sense. I really love In Defense of Food. It made me start thinking about each thing I bring into my home and what we put in our mouths. Thanks for this blog. I wish I had some farms near me that I knew of!
Sep. 7, 2010 4:14 pm
SummerLynn- I just posted some links that were recommended to help locate local growers that will sell to the public. I posted them in the text of the blog. Check them out - I found several by me that I didn't know about. :)
Sep. 7, 2010 6:08 pm
iafarmwife, if I might say something to you, you make some excellent points. As far as throwing farmers under the bus, not me, I come from farming folk. Farming is hard work! And you're right voting with your wallet is the way to go but until more people demand more local fresh food and learn how to use seasonal foods and not expect strawberries in Dec., I guess we will all keep struggling along as well as we can.
Sep. 7, 2010 7:47 pm
One must also be careful of plum jam with pits as well as frozen Pilgrim cakes -- not to mention cranberry sauce made with fresh grapefruit. It's a jungle out there!
Sep. 7, 2010 7:52 pm
just a question from a non-farming person trying to learn and grow in my quest to feed my family more natural and local food...why are big farms more likely to have problems of this sort? aren't local farms just as likely to be susceptible to these bacteria? i was glad mike posted the egg wash procedure. my mom always washed all produce from the store, and i now do that too, but there's always this fear that i'm not doing enough or using the right wash product. someone mentioned washing meat too. i never thought of that. don't you kill the germs if you cook it correctly? eating the "right" way can become such a consuming pursuit!
Sep. 7, 2010 8:42 pm
Cat - so true - Strawberries in December are over priced and taste horrible but we, the purchasing public buy them. So the trend continues. Do you notice that when peaches are .49 lb they are the best! Shop local yes - shop seasonal is a must!
Sep. 7, 2010 8:47 pm
OK Rusty - not fair - I laughed so hard I choked! One must be VERY careful of those homemade gifts - that have been re-gifted or remade like the witch cake that becomes the pilgrim cake! The plum jam (full of pits) and the topper was the grapefruit pith cranberry sauce! Beware of suspect family food! LOL - you made my day. :)
Sep. 7, 2010 8:53 pm
beth3 - As for washing produce - apples, limes, lemons, tomatoes or anything that has a waxy coating should be washed in a vinegar water solution. You will see a layer of wax on the surface of the water. As for leafy greens etc - I wash it all it clear water - several times - if you want to add that teaspoon of bleach - more power to you - rinse well and rinse again and then drain. I actually do all my produce as soon as I come home - blot dry and re-bag and store.
Sep. 7, 2010 8:56 pm
The vinegar solution - one part distilled white vinegar to 3 parts water.
Sep. 7, 2010 8:59 pm
Read this about cleaning produce -------http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14540742
Sep. 7, 2010 9:10 pm
I forgot to answer your question about wasing meat Beth - yes - cooked to the proper temp and the meat is safe and washing it in water in your sink only increases your risk of cross contamination. Let me look for a reference for this.
Sep. 7, 2010 9:14 pm
From: http://www.foodchannel.com/stories/898-should-you-wash-meat-before-cooking-&#10;It&#8217;s actually fine from a safety standard to NOT wash the meat. In fact, washing it can spread unnecessary risk around in the form of cross-contamination with your kitchen accessories. The Federal Safety Inspection Service says, “There is no need to wash or rinse meat or poultry,” and offers a downloadable brochure with more information, available at by clicking here. One thing to note, however, is if meat has been in cryovack and has “wet aged,” you will want to air it out – not wash it, but open it and air it for 30 minutes prior to cooking. You may notice an unpleasant smell, but it is just the natural gases from the aging process. If you cook the meat without airing it, the smell can be retained in the finished product
Sep. 8, 2010 5:18 am
If you haven't seen the movie "Food, Inc." you may want to get it at your local Blockbuster. We have been a family farm for 80+ years and local sales sustain our family. We take care of our animals and land because they are the source of our own food. Not using chemicals, antibiotics and hormones is our choice because we don't want our children and grandchildren exposed to those unnecessary additives. It is more trouble to farm organically...we work harder and are more conscientious about our land, water, soil and our animals health because we don't want to face an emergency that requires those chemicals. Please support your local farmers. We would love to welcome you to our farm and let you see for yourself where your food comes from!
Sep. 8, 2010 5:44 am
GaCowgirl - I think you just answered Beth's question - why large corporate farms have more issues than small family run farms. Thank you so much - I really appreciate that you took the time to post.
Sep. 8, 2010 6:30 am
Beth- I think that it is a false assumption to say that larger farms have more problems with contamination. It's just that when a problem happens, it is on a larger scale. Small farms have food safety issues too, their customer base is just smaller, so an outbreak isn't as newsworthy.
Sep. 8, 2010 6:31 am
GaCowgirl- I farm conventionally and I am very careful not to say anything bad about farmers who do it differently than me. Comments such as calling chemicals antibiotics and hormones unnecessary and saying that organic farmers care more about the environment are damaging to all of agriculture. I feed my family the food we produce and we are healthy, and quite frankly, I am getting tired of being told (both directly and indirectly) that the practices our family employs are uncaring and irresponsible. We are extremely careful in our handling of chemicals, and will only use the least amounts that are effective and get the job done properly, as I am sure that you are in your handling of organic chemicals. The antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals we use on our farm help us to get more resources with less input and they are applied in accordance to strict guidelines aimed at keeping the food supply safe and healthy while maintaining the land and water's health. Now, if someone still doesn't want to buy conventionally produced food, that is their right and their choice, but we don't need to be putting down one another to sway the consumer. Give them the facts and let them make an informed choice. Some people simply don't want to buy food grown using conventional practices, and that's fine by me, and that's where organic farmers come into play. There is a way to do so without making conventional modern practices the "bad guy."
Sep. 8, 2010 6:38 am
Baking Nana- Are you aware that 98% of the farms in America are family owned? It is a myth that large corporate farms are running the show. I don't know where you are located but I would like to extend and invitation to you to visit our family-corporate-agribusiness-local-conventional-diversified-sustainable-cafo farm and learn the real story of agriculture from a first hand producer's point of view. There is a reason we do what we do, and it has everything to do with meeting the consumer's demand for food, meeting the land's demand for proper care, and meeting the animal's demand for comfort.
Sep. 8, 2010 6:59 am
iafarmwife: I am in Southern California - smack dab in what used to be the largest milk producing area in the United States - the Dairy Preserve was abandoned a few years ago and the dairies are being bought out by developers - so our area in a real mix of agriculture and suburban sprawl. The sprawl is winning - dairies are moving or simply retiring. The egg farm I frequent is family owned and I like that. Mr. Decker has been growing produce in this valley for over 50 years - he is not "Certified Organic" but like you takes very good care of his land and crops - they as a family eat what they sell. I support them whole heartedly. All of the dairies that remain here are family owned and operated - yes, they produce for specific suppliers (Alta Dena etc..) but they are not owned by those corporations. I wish I could visit your farm - I am sure that I would truly enjoy learning more about our food supply.
Sep. 8, 2010 7:08 am
Just so you know I wasn't intending for this to become a debate about organic vs non organic. To be honest I am more concerned about what happens to our food AFTER it leaves the farm. Yes, if the public would stop buying processed, preservative laden foods the markets would stop stocking them - it is a case of supply and demand.
Sep. 8, 2010 7:15 am
One more thought. I would like to salute our farmers - I know many and they, without a doubt, are the hardest working people I know. Their jobs are 24/7 - 365 days a year. Kudos to those people who work so hard to fill our tables & pantries.
Sep. 8, 2010 7:16 am
I am not at all concerned about the quality of our food supply. No one I know has ever gotten sick from anything freshly prepared. I did get sick once on something that was left out all day in a hot house with no air conditioning. What I am concerned about is having food when some disaster hits our nation. I keep hearing that everyone should have several months of food in their house as all of the grocery stores would be out of everything in a day or two. I haven't done that. However, it is a matter of survival. I can't imagine a child that looks to you for food and you have to tell him there is none. Shades of Gone With the Wind!
Sep. 8, 2010 7:19 am
I'm extremely concerned about food safety! I live in Iowa, I know people who have worked for "factory" egg farms. As if cleanliness concerns weren't the only issue here, there are also animal cruelty problems with these places. Please, I urge you all to consider buying your eggs locally, preferably from a farmer you know and trust. The only way to stop this problem is to not buy "factory" eggs! Don't even get me started on issues with meat poultry and hogs raised in confinement facilities!
Sep. 8, 2010 7:37 am
wow! what a firestorm! I buy organic, when it's cost effective. I usually buy minimally processed foods and do a lot of basics myself. But I wouldn't say I was afraid, I think we as americans sometimes take cleanliness a bit too far. I've traveled all over the world (without shots, not too smart, but I'm lazy and I don't like pain!) and I do a basic wash my hands routine. I've only gotten sick 2x, once on what was probably an oldish deep fried chicken foot in china, and once on literally hand dipped ice cream in Egypt. I got over it, and that which doesn't kill you, only makes you wish it had for a short time! Interesting comments!
Sep. 8, 2010 9:10 am
I too am concerned about the food we eat. I eat local & organic (preferably from my own garden) whenever possible. As a Canadian, I consume Canadian Beef with absolute confidence. Sadly, consumers in other parts of the world have been grossly misinformed about the safety of Canadian beef.
Sep. 8, 2010 9:26 am
Baking Nana-We don't live too far apart-I'm just down the freeway in Garden Grove. I have a Ralph's right on the corner but I would never buy eggs from there. All shipped from Iowa. I always go to Costco which is also close by to buy my eggs because they are from good old Norco! Spent most weekends of my childhood there with my Grandparents. Grandma would send me around the corner for a flat of eggs and they were so fresh and good. And oh! those double yolks. Please people please try to buy local food items whenever possible and buy what is in season. Nectarines and peaches in January from Chile just don't make any sense. We all need to be more careful about what we are feeding our families!
Sep. 8, 2010 9:27 am
Sorry-don't should have been doesn't!
Sep. 8, 2010 11:22 am
JoyceT - I was just talking about this with a friend. How self suffcient we could be if the worst were to happen. I think most of us are ill prepared.
Sep. 8, 2010 11:25 am
KBSMITH57 - thank you for your insight. You hit it right on target for me. Buying locally, preferably from a farmer you know and trust.
Sep. 8, 2010 11:25 am
OH BOY! You have a full time job just reading all of this! Sorry, I stopped reading part way through, so I hope I'm not repeating. But Food Inc. is such an eye opener, even as a farming family, our eyes were opened! Sometimes, I think people are making fun of me behind my back, but the jokes on them. I raise 2oo chickens for meat, 20 for eggs, my Dad raises the beef and we do a lot of our own vegetables and fruits, frozen and preserved. It is a lot of work, sometimes I think too much with 4 kids, but after watching Food Inc. I find myself standing in the grocery store fighting with myself to just leave the processed right where it is. The shameful thing is, they make it so cheap, if you are on a budgtet you can hardly help but buy it. I know what the farmer is getiing paid, so who's making the money here. BTW, my egg sales went up too, when that recall went out. When I say they went up, I mean anyone who came by pretty much got the eggs as they were being laid. What more could you ask for! It's time for a food revolution people, and it starts with YOU!
Sep. 8, 2010 11:30 am
Louise - I had to chuckle about the "oldish Chicken Foot" in China. I think I would have passed on that. I did get sick on my first visit to the Middle East - I lived to tell about it but I did also learn to not drink the tap water!
Sep. 8, 2010 11:39 am
socalmom - yep - those double yokers are great. I get them for my grandson. I am happy to support Norco Ranch Eggs although I am partial to Vortman's Egg Ranch too. :) Glad to support our local ranchers.
Sep. 8, 2010 11:40 am
Baking Nana, one of my dear friends owns a centennial farm here. As iafarmwife does, they farm conventionally too. We joke frequently that I'm on one end of the chemical spectrum and he is on the other. Not trying to fan fires or debates but just to say TG we live in the U.S. and have so many choices available for us to make. Plus, information available to help with those decisions.
Sep. 8, 2010 11:43 am
anharelva - thanks so much for stopping in. I know all too well that it isn't the farmers that are getting rich. As for the processed foods - they are tempting for the easy if nothing else BUT once you have eaten fresh from the chicken eggs and fresh carrots picked that morning it is a lot easier to pass on those preserative laden foods.
Sep. 8, 2010 12:08 pm
Cat - I am glad you posted. Earlier I meant to mention that when we first moved to the middle of dairy land we had our house and yard sprayed monthly - mostly to knock down the over abundant fly population. About 3 years ago - we stopped spraying...it has taken that long for the critters to move back it. Now we have lizards and lady bugs as well as the less desirable critters. Spiders are more than welcome to inhabit the garden but when they try to move into the house I have to draw the line. Hubby still begs to have the house sprayed and I keep insisting it isn't OK with me. The debate will continue in this household. :) I try to continually learn and evolve. I certainly have been given much food for thought in this blog. :)
Sep. 8, 2010 12:24 pm
Oh, Baking Nana, you are so good! Yes, with the animals that I keep, (which I did not mention the 2 4-H sheep projects,mostly cause I never plan to eat them) come the flies. I have not sprayed my home in years now. If it kills flies so easily, what must it do to the people?
Sep. 8, 2010 12:47 pm
irenemae - I want to clarify something I said within the body of the blog about buying ground beef that comes from USA, Canada, Mexico and Chili - It isn't a problem with the Canadian beef per say - I have a problem with beef from so many different sources. In terms of quality control I don't think mixing beef from so many different sources is wise. We have a couple of markets that grind their ground beef daily and they know where the beef comes from. I am still not a fan of ground meat of any variety but that is subject for another blog. :)
Sep. 8, 2010 1:39 pm
Animal, Vegetable, Miracl3 by Kingsolver changed my purchasing and eating habits forever. I listened to it on tape to expose my daugther to it as well. It's a shame that kids today have no idea how their food grows. Ask your child or grandchild to tell you how the following veggies grow. Carrots, lettuce, peaches, peanuts, potato. Here's my resolutions: No artifical flavors, colors or preservatives. Seasonal, local. No strawberries in October, etc. - except those that I bought in season and froze. I'll buy conventional from across the county before I'll buy organic from CA, Mexico, etc. Eggs and veggies from my CSA, and my local farmer's market. Beef raised on friend's pasture 3 miles from our home. Still in the market for roasting chickens. Perhaps a hog. Our bodies, when properly functioning, are designed to efficiently process the nutritents on a seasonal basis from real food. NOT food that is manufactured. The USA and this push for healthcare reform is simply treating the symptoms and not the cause. The cause of rising cases of cancer, allergies, diabetesis our food sources - not our medical care. If you look at pictures of the nations poorest populations from earlier than 1960 you'll see visions of thin, bone-skinny people. Today's vision of our poorest populations are overweight. The worst food available for overall health is the cheapest, most readily available. I'm just happy that I have choices and am free to make them for myself and my family.
Sep. 8, 2010 2:06 pm
Oregongirl: My friend Julie loaned me Animal Vegetable Miracle a couple of years ago. It is a great book - enlightening without being doom and gloom. It sounds like you have it together with your food supply. Thanks for your insight.
Sep. 8, 2010 4:07 pm
Thank you for your thoughtful article! I concur that we need to do more - each one of us - to change the status quo. Demand more from your local markets! I am alright with seeming old-fashioned, but our society, sadly, seems to be all about "progress." Progress means something totally different to me than to move away from our roots! Let's integrate with our roots people! In my city, we are allowed to keep chickens, so this is a moot point for many of my neighbors! http://www.madcitychickens.com/
Sep. 8, 2010 4:42 pm
Eating, even with all it's hazards, is still safer than driving... I agree though. Reading about all the potential foodborrne illnesses around can make you feel fearful and out of control. And maybe that's the point. There are some simple and safe solutions to that problem...eat locally, grow your own food, know your farmer and support your local economy. The other thing to bear in mind is how far we have strayed, as a culture, from knowing our foodways. In a time not so long ago, knowing what was good to eat and what was not was disseminated from one generation to the next by the elders of the community. Then, as now, eating was not always safe. And it never will be, not ever. Even when there isn't a single pathogen present, there is some risk in eating. I choose not to live in fear but to embrace good, wholesome, home-cooked food.
Mrs. Spots 
Sep. 8, 2010 5:17 pm
In Britain they have a mere handful of salmonella cases, because they inoculate the laying hens with a vaccine which had been considered but rejected by US regulators. I happen to raise happy chickens in a rural area.
Sep. 8, 2010 9:01 pm
Pokey1970 - thanks for the great website. Our Underground Chicken network needs to see this. :) You are right progress is different for each of us....I am progressing toward a more natural life style - and yes some of my friends think I am nuts!
Sep. 8, 2010 9:11 pm
justjes - We often ponder who was brave enough to eat the first artichoke - who discovered that some mushroons were delicious and other fatal. Brave people! With the knowledge we have how people line up at the fast food places is beyond me.
Sep. 8, 2010 9:18 pm
Mrs. Spots - BTW - I love the name! It reminds me of a dessert we would eat in Britain! I will have to do some reading about this vaccine for hens. I talked to the owner of my favorite egg farm and he said that they have no problem with Salmonelle - with proper hygiene and viglance they don't have a problem. (ie: no violations in 35 years) I say that is a good record! I am proud to buy and eat their eggs!
Sep. 9, 2010 12:16 am
I was watching a show about dining and travel (I forget the title) but the man was at an underground sushi bar eating RAW CHICKEN. He acknowledged that every American watching him would be horrified because the conditions our animals are kept in are just inviting filth and contamination. However, in places like Japan where the chickens are more humanely cared for, the risk of contamination is very low. Also, I had some freinds who kept pet chickens and one was 7 years old. I had no idea chickens had such a lifespan.
Sep. 9, 2010 1:01 am
Hi Baking Nana - what local ranch do you buy your eggs from? Norco? I noticed you live in Corona; I live in that Eastvale area off the 15. I didn't realize the local egg farms sold directly to the public. I'd like to pick some up one of these days:)
Sep. 9, 2010 7:11 am
Gertie - I go to Voortman's Egg Ranch 13960 Grove Ave, Ontario, CA. There is Fosters egg ranch on Archibald, also sells to the public. Have you stopped at the produce stands on Archibald? There are two of them. Also Deckers Produce Stand on Riverside Dr. west of Grove is great. Decker's is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday right now. Thanks for stopping in.
Sep. 9, 2010 11:25 am
@Oregongirl, not sure where in Oregon you live, but if you're anywhere near St. Helens, visit the Columbia County fair and sign up for the 4H Auction for beef and pork. The 4H kids hand raise their animals, with organic feed and the meat is hormone, chemical free. After your winning bid, the will send the animal out to the butcher for you and you can select your cuts with the butcher. Buy a big freezer and offer to share the meat with someone you know.
Sep. 9, 2010 11:30 am
@iafarmwife - I applaud you for standing up to the untruths being thrown about by those not familiar with the farming industry. I commend you for being proud of what you do, how you do it and dispelling the myths surrounding farming. There are those who believe a hollywood film, hook, line and sinker and never consider questioning the facts or even bothering asking a farmer. Good on you!
Sep. 9, 2010 1:15 pm
I am a farm girl, I grew up drinking raw cows milk and eating fresh eggs, and fresh beef that came from cows I probably bottle fed as babies. I have a strong desire to see my daughters grow up eating this way, I feel it is safer and healthier to know where your food comes from!!! We are blessed to live in an area where we can raise our own animals and we have our own chickens and pigs and cows, we don't have milk cows yet so we drink goat's milk that we buy from our neighbors! I feel so good knowing that what we eat is not laden with mysterious chemicals and other nastiness!
Sep. 9, 2010 1:20 pm
I share many of your concerns - but being from Alberta Canada - I take exception to your complete refusal to purchase beef from Canada! If you are referring to the "mad cow scare" of a few years ago - The media made a mountain out of a molehill and we have some of the most exceptional beef that you will find anywhere...AND the safest! This whole issue ruined many Alberta farm families by association (they had absolutely no relation to the case that was proven here). So please before you boycott Canadian beef completely - please do your homework and consider your sources!
Sep. 9, 2010 1:51 pm
newtnest - I should probably have explained within the text of the blog why I don't buy ground beef from labeled, "Product of USA, Canada, Mexico & Chili" It isn't because of the Canadian Beef it is because of the mulitple sources. Grinding beef makes it very susceptible to contamination - grinding beef from multi sources let alone mulitiple countries makes tracking and quality control extremely difficult. As most contamination occurs at the meat packing plant. Nothing against Canadian beef.
Sep. 9, 2010 1:56 pm
BTW - the only company that I know of that uses multiple source and multi country beef that I personally trust is Costco. They have their own inspectors for their meat suppliers. They operate their own tracking system - and they insist of "Choice" grade beef. For instance - I don't believe that Costco deals with Tyson chicken because Tyson does not meet their processing standards.
Sep. 9, 2010 2:36 pm
newtnest: I am amending the text of my blog to clarify my concern with ground beef. Thank you for bringing to my attention what might be taken as a criticism of Canadian beef.
Sep. 9, 2010 4:11 pm
Well, I wouldn't buy beef or other food-chain animals from Canada because of the deplorable conditions that animals are forced to live in and outdated animal cruelty laws. From Quebec's notorious puppy mills to gestation crates where animals spend their entire lives confined in standing positions, and overcrowded abattoir-bound trucks where livestock can go for days without food or water. It all happens because Canada has very outdated, ineffectual laws protecting animals and when cruelty charges are made, they are often dismissed. And before you say that the USA is no better, let me just state that while we have a long way to go as well, we have made great strides in changing the face of animal cruelty in this country and the US recognizes suffering in the animals as cruelty, where as Canada has yet to reach that consensus. We are not perfect, but why won't Canada recognize the horrors of the fur seal industry? Why won't Canada enact stricter regulations to protect horses used for hormone therapy? If anyone doubts where Canada stands on this issue, check out "No Country for Animals" or visit Twyla Francois website for the truth about Canadian Animal Cruelty: http://www.towardsfreedom.com/TributebyTwylaFrancois.html I support the slaughter of animals for food as long as it is done in a humane manner. There are MANY humane ranches and farms in Canada, but those that aren't are allowed by law not to be and are protected by antiquated laws. Sorry, it is no reflection onto Canadians. I'm sure most Canadians would be horrified and yes, it's changing and voices are being heard. But it's slow in the USA and in Canada - far too slow.
Sep. 9, 2010 4:21 pm
Very interesting blog! Glad to see so many people concerned about this. I buy all organic our vegetables, fruits, dairy, chicken, soy and corn (to avoid GMO). I make a lot food from scratch and I don’t use much canned products. I highly recommend the movie “Food Inc.”, it’s always good to learn about our food.
Sep. 9, 2010 5:02 pm
I ranch in central Texas, and have raised cattle for over 20 years. Yes... I am somewhat concerned about what's in our food! I could tell you things that would definately concern you! I believe that more people need to do their research about food and food production, and make their eating choices accordingly. We raise our own beef, so I KNOW what goes into it.
Sep. 9, 2010 5:17 pm
BellesAZ - You are entitled to your opinion - as are others. There are no untruths here - (as you implied earlier) it is all someone's "truth" Although this discussion is not about puppy mills - I understand your compassion. No - this is NOT an indictment of Canadians - or the Canadian Beef SAFETY standards. As you pointed out earlier - none of us should buy into & "believe a hollywood film, hook, line and sinker and never consider questioning the facts". That is what we are doing here. Raising awareness. This is a good thing.
Sep. 9, 2010 5:21 pm
Thanks for stopping in and commenting Fit and Healthy Mom - your name says it all - your children will thank you for it. :)
Sep. 9, 2010 5:23 pm
grukimbe & Eileen - I have dairy friends who raise their own beef cattle for the same reasons. They know what goes into their meat and the know the source. Thank you - it is nice to have our "farmers" chiming in on this topic. You are the ones on the front lines of our food supply. :)
Sep. 9, 2010 6:24 pm
Wish I could buy organic, support more local growers, had more time to grow my own stuff, and I miss my hens! Don't know if it is sad or funny about the "orange yolk" thing! Great blog.
Sep. 9, 2010 8:19 pm
Peggy - It is just food for thought. Not everyone can exclusively buy organic - not everyone can raise their own, not everyone has local suppliers. But if we can aware we can make the change happen. :) Like a previous poster said - she would rather buy local / conventional produce than organic shipped thousands of mile. Each of us needs to make those choices for our own families. There is no right or wrong way. :)
Sep. 9, 2010 8:22 pm
Oh - BTW - I caught heck this morning - No double yokers and no 'real' eggs! Just the fresh eggs from the eggs farm. They ate them but they were NOT happy egg eaters. It made me laugh. :)
Sep. 10, 2010 7:32 am
Bravo! Very well written! I am defeinintely going to do some research into where I can get meat and eggs locally where I live. I would like to add a book to your list of suggested reading if you dont' mind: "Green Barbarians" by Ellen Sandbeck. There is a great deal in there concerning the safety of the food we buy at large chain stores and the politics involved in the production and distribution of said food. You would be amazed and quite displeased, I assure you.
Sep. 10, 2010 8:49 am
I will also be stopping by a home that sells eggs. I was not "brave" enough before but this is a great thread and has got me thinking about this topic again. Thank you!
Sep. 10, 2010 10:15 am
Epona - Thanks I will check out Green Barbarians by Ellen Sandbeck. @ Haynay - I am glad that this blog encouraged you to stop and buy fresh eggs. I am sure they will be delighted to have another regular customer. Thank YOU for stopping in and leaving a comment. :)
Sep. 10, 2010 11:12 am
Great topic, BN. I love literally on the water in Long Island, NY. Makes me livid when I see my market selling tilapia farmed in China! Or shrimp farmed in Viet Nam. It makes absolutely no sense to me. No one will ever convince me it make sense to transport items like this from the other side of the world. I have also seen things in the frozen food section like diced green peppers from China. I happily pass right on by and pay a few dollars more to buy from the fishing boats at the dock, knowing exactly where my fish came from and I buy my produce and dairy from our farmer's market, paying a small bit more. Unfortunately, due to our climate, the market only operates May to November. The packaging and transportation costs us more than just dollars, we are killing the earth and possibly ourselves.
Sep. 10, 2010 12:54 pm
The sad thing is that it's a chore to plan meals these days! There's sooo many things you have to consider--is it organic? it is healthy? can I trust this company? is it processed? are the eggs from free-range chickens? is the beef grass feed or grain fed? how heavy is the carbon footprint of this product? does this product contain GMOs?--It drives me crazy! I think that it's insane that you have to research every little thing that you consume...but I feel like if you don't then you're putting yourself and your family in danger. I am a vegetarian and I even have a hard time finding food that considers all those things (my fiance is a meat-eater).
Sep. 10, 2010 4:31 pm
BigShotsMom - My father used to live near the Pacific - each afternoon he would go to the peir and buy his fish for dinner. What ever the catch each day determined his dinner. It was so very good. Tilapia from China can't compare! And why is shrimp from Vietnam or Thailand cheaper than shrimp from the USA? I would rather pay the couple of extra $$ or go without than to buy farm raised fish from Asia.
Sep. 10, 2010 4:41 pm
Veggielover - It is a bit more work but then once you know your trusted brands and suppliers it gets easier. You can't do it all in one fell swoop - it is a gradual process. I was in Sam's Club today and they had Organic Peaches. I was reading the box to determine the origin of the peaches and the guy behind me says to his wife, "Oh God, she's a label reader!" I chose my peaches and turned around and said, "Yes, I am. Do you realise that the ground beef in your cart probably comes from 4 different countries?" I walked away before he could respond. I don't think he is someone who would "get it".
Sep. 10, 2010 5:09 pm
Nana, you have some great points but convenience has made us apathetic and lazy and try as you might to beat common sense into people it seems hopeless. Maybe if enough people get sick and die (heaven forbid) people will actually pay attention. Food corporations LOVE the fact that we farm next to NOTHING for ourselves anymore. 50 years ago supermarkets were small and scarce. Now we can take our pick of 2 or 3 in one square mile.
Sep. 10, 2010 5:11 pm
I really do not purchase a lot of things at the store, since we have a small commercial farming operation, as well as raising most of our produce, nuts, eggs, and meat. However, until I retire, I am not able to keep a regular milking schedule--so I purchase dairy products. It is frustrating to purchase something from the closed cooler, bring it home, and have it be sour--after someone left it in a strange place in the store, and it was returned to the cooler. Or cheese that has an "outdate" months ahead, but has mold on the slices in less than a week's time. That said, the only time I have hot flashes is after eating store meat, so I must be reacting to hormones the commercial feed lots used.
Sep. 10, 2010 5:48 pm
Baking Nana, has anyone said anything or posted any links or possible forums for finding local produce and products in their own backyard so to speak? Surely there's a way to connect small farmer to families wishing to buy locally.
Sep. 10, 2010 6:10 pm
Cat - I did add a couple of links to the body of the blog to help people locate local growers. I found a couple around here I didn't know about. :)
Sep. 10, 2010 9:59 pm
HulaHoop - Just the other day my SIL said - imagine if the supermarkets only sold food - real food? You would have a small market like we did years ago. Hmmmm? Now there is an idea.
Sep. 10, 2010 10:03 pm
shelba - interesting observation aobout the hot flashes and store bought meat. Also those huge packages of cheese are only good that long, if they are sealed. Open then - touch them and the clock starts running. Thanks for posting.
Sep. 10, 2010 10:29 pm
shelba - interesting observation about the hot flashes and store bought meat. Also, those huge packages of cheese are only good till there expiration date - if they are sealed. Open then - touch them and the clock starts running. Thanks for posting.
Sep. 11, 2010 12:41 am
Gee, I almost feel guilty, but definitely fortunate adding to this post. While there are some questionable practices in our dairy industry, our beef and lamb industry is great -- basically all free-range and only fed out on hay in the winter. No stables or crates. We do have chicken batteries, but the public awareness has grown SO much, that unless you are a city dweller, you probably have chooks, and if not, are likely to buy or barter for free range. And, even our battery hens seem to be Salmonella free -- no one (maybe a pregnant woman) thinks much about raw eggs in food here. There has been a major uproar recently about the treatment of pigs, and a big move for people to pay attention to how the bacon they are buying was raised. Great job as usual, B'Nana! You keep keepin' us on our toes!
Sep. 11, 2010 6:59 am
As the saying goes, it's an odd reflection of our culture when there's a special store for "health food." Thank you Baking Nana for great food for thought.
Sep. 11, 2010 7:30 am
Find the website for your state Department of Agriculture--they're likely to have a list of farmers' markets and sell-from-the-farm locations in your state, probably sorted by area.
Sep. 11, 2010 8:38 am
Good EatNZ - It seems as if New Zealand is light years ahead of the US. How fortunate you are. As you said, it takes a public uproar to bring about change. How we spend our $$$ will help effect those changes.
Sep. 11, 2010 8:42 am
Rusty - Well said & thanks for stopping by. To quote Ymber Delecto: "If organic farming is the natural way, shouldn't organic produce just be called "produce" and make the pesticide-laden stuff take the burden of an adjective?"
Sep. 11, 2010 8:43 am
EclecticCook: Thank you for that information. Glad you stopped by. :)
Sep. 11, 2010 12:47 pm
I think being vegetarian is the best option. I am and I feel great!
Sep. 11, 2010 5:55 pm
littlecookinggirl - Being a vegetarian takes care of the meat issues - I am glad that it works for you - As much as I love veggies - but there is no way that I could sell that to my family.
Sep. 11, 2010 9:59 pm
Thank God for this blog!! It is of the utmost importance that consumers become aware of the corruption surrounding the food industry. Personally, I only feel safe buying organic products anymore. With these industry lobbyists working to get new and already outlawed unsafe pesticides back into our food system, I feel it is also irresponsible to support such companies. I don't know if most of you are aware, but Monsanto are the creators of Agent Orange and DDT. They have no interest in public health, whatsoever - only interest in cashflow from unsuspecting consumers. :( Everyone should know about this. It's our responsibility to make sure we don't support these companies because they are working behind the scenes to break down even more regulations as we speak.
Sep. 11, 2010 11:17 pm
LOL! B'Nana, I think it may be that NZ is light years behind, plus light years (almost) distance from the issues involved. We are just beginning to move into a more processed lifestyle, but many are shunning it. Unfortunately, the big fast food giants are well established, however, most McDonald's around Christchurch use free-range eggs!!!
Sep. 12, 2010 6:50 am
People have actually said to you that they were concerned about the "color" of orange egg yolks? Sad...There is nothing better than a farm fresh egg. I used to stay with my aunt in the summer on her farm and help her with her chickens, ducks, peasants, etc. I miss gathering eggs in the morning and making breakfast promptly with what we found. Chicken or duck, didn't matter...In fact, duck eggs are better in my opinion. My point is this: I am right there with you on supporting the local egg farms. I truly feel sorry for people who have never had the pleasure of tasting fresh eggs with the beautiful bright orange yolk!
Sep. 12, 2010 7:51 am
My husband hunts deer and wild hog so all of our ground meat comes from what he brings home, which in my opinion tastes better and we know exactly where it comes from and what it contains. Unfortunately we cannot afford to buy all organic or natural food but home grown eggs are pretty easy to come by in Texas and are usually cheaper than what you can buy in the stores.
Sep. 12, 2010 11:42 am
GE NZ - maybe being light years behind isn't such a bad thing. :)
Sep. 12, 2010 11:52 am
pkayemommy - I took a dozen fresh eggs camping with 5 other people. I made breakfast a breakfast scramble and one of the women there was really put off by the bright yellow eggs. I think she just ended up eating fruit and a muffin. Her loss!
Sep. 12, 2010 1:05 pm
wow, lots of strong opinions in this post. Well, where should I start, I guess I agree that local is often better....but....we buy locally all the time, but then you hear the farmers talking, saying this about one, saying that about the other and it makes you wonder...what is better. Just because it's local, doesn't mean it's better. Is it full of hormones, is it full of chemicals, or antibiotics? Local doesn't mean better, it could just mean local. We have been buying from the menonites and local farmers markets and local butchery, but then you hear that things aren't that great in those places. I do however know that when I buy meat from the grocery store, it doesn't sit well, I think the chemicals in there are much higher than elsewhere. All of this aswell about coming from out of country, well, how do you know it isn't higher standards, they often would not put things on the shelf unless it meets the standards of the country, that is what the FDA does, they ensure this or it should not be imported. I am starting to feel like unless you personally know the person, like relatives or it's from your own garden or your own animal, you just don't know. You have to "trust" the peopel you are buying it from. So, I guess that's my two cents.
Sep. 12, 2010 1:13 pm
Goodness...I was just looking for a good butternut squash recipe when I clicked on your blog, and look what I found! As a concerned Canadian living in Vancouver, I wanted to say thank you for bringing up some very necessary topics and creating much-needed conversation around our own responsibilities when it comes to our food choices, particularly in North America but reaching all around the world. I would like to also suggest to your readers that another fabulous book on the subject is Jane Goodall's "Harvest for Hope". Like you, Baking Nana, she is reaching out to people in an effort to make them more aware of their own power around the choices that we make, and sheds some very interesting light on the state of factory farming, organic culture and grass roots farming. Knowlede is power as we all know, and the more we share awareness through communities such as yours, the better we become equipped to deal with these important issues. Well done and thank you!
Sep. 12, 2010 1:42 pm
What we should all be concerned with is genetically modified foods which now account for 75% of typical grocery store products. The FDA is getting ready to approve GM salmon despite protests from food safety groups. There is a link between GM foods and a horrific new condition called Morgellan's disease. Facing this, a little bacteria seems the least of our concerns.
Sep. 12, 2010 3:37 pm
Kathleen and others, you should check Wal-mart for Hormone free milk...that is all they carry. I know Wally World is not always popular, but hey, when milk is nearly $4.00 a gallon (in Vermont no less!) at a regular store, and Wal-mart is coming in at $3.00 or less...you gotta do what you gotta do.
Sep. 12, 2010 3:38 pm
Imported foods are a big concern. How much of our fish is coming from highly contaminated waters? How much of our imported produce is produced with highly toxic pesticides? Processed goods made with additives and put into packaging that is far from safe...the list goes on. Even in North America we need to have concern about the amount of chemical and processing that we are exposing our food supply to. I'm all for the local food movement. The quality of our food production matters. Buy locally from producers who care about the quality of the food they grow. Your meals taste so much better!!!
Sep. 12, 2010 6:56 pm
Nicole, (sorry if this was suggested, I've only read 1/4 of the comments) have you tried bartering with your eggs? It sounds silly to a lot of people (for the same reason as orange yolks: they're not used to the concept) but it's a totally viable option. I babysit a little boy whose mom gives me eggs and in return I charge less than other people would normally. You can also sell them at a farmer's market (or just go there and barter with those selling other goods).
Sep. 13, 2010 8:30 am
bountiful-life - You make some good points - I suppose that it is best to investigate your local suppliers and find a couple you really trust. Each family will have different priorities - you just have to go with what works best for your family.
Sep. 13, 2010 8:32 am
Canadiangoodegg - I will add Jane Goodall's "Harvest for Hope". To the suggested reading list. Thanks.
Sep. 13, 2010 10:47 am
Baking Nana, Just wanted to let you know that I finally purchased my first dozen of FARM EGGS--they were delicious. I had a wonderful conversation with the farmer and told him I will be by weekly. Thank you for this great blog and motivating me to finally make the move!!! I am also reading Animal, Vegetable, Mircale by Barbara Kingsolver--this is really a very interesting book--and an eye opener for me. My next thing on my list is finding the nearest farmer's market. Wish we lived closer to one another--would love to learn the art of canning and gardening from you! thanks again!!!!
Sep. 14, 2010 6:00 am
Daisy Mae - I am so glad that you stopped to get those eggs! That is wonderful. Funny - I was just thinking of you this morning - wondering if you got your farm fresh eggs. Did you check the links I posted in the blog to find local growers? Thanks for stopping in to say hi!
Sep. 20, 2010 10:05 am
BakingNana.... I found out this weekend that our farmers market has moved across town and on tuesday nights now....so you know where I'm heading after work on tuesday!! Can't wait. Two weeks in a row--I've picked up my farm fresh eggs---I'm on a roll now. Just wanted to say that I am learning a great deal reading the Omnivore's Dilema by Michael Pollan. This book should be read by everyone----
Sep. 20, 2010 2:46 pm
Thanks Daisy - I agree - it should be mandatory reading. So glad the eggs are working out for you. :) Love those Happy Hens!
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Baking Nana

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at BakingNana.com If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site. http://bakingnana.com/contact-me/
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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