Friday, November 27, 2009

Food Inc. the movie

I tried to see this movie this summer but it was either sold out or not available in my area.   I finally rented it from Netflex when it came out this month.  Whenever a movie like this comes out I get such an affirmation by watching it to continue with my dreams of becoming less and less dependant on the large chain grocery stores.  

Some of the facts and interesting tidbits in the movie :

  • There are on average 47,000 products in the typical grocery store but much of that is corn based so although it seems like great variety it is, in fact, not.

  • McDonalds is the largest purchaser of pototoes.

  • Tyson is the biggest meat packing company in the history of the world.

  • It's 48 days to slaughter for chickens factory farmed in which time they never see sunlight.

  • One of the biggest predictors of obesity is a low income level.

  • One in three American  people born after 2000 will develop  early onset diabeties  
Polyface Farm was in a segment of the movie.  I've known about Polyface for sometime but I haven't been one of their customers.   I certainly live close enough....about 40 miles away and they have buying clubs in the town right next to mine that they deliver to regularly.   I finally bit the bullet and put my frugal side in my pocket and joined the ranks of being a Polyface customer.  It has been hard to accept paying the price they are getting and I might add they deserve, when you can buy what they are selling so much less expensively in a large chain grocery store but I feel it's well worth it now.  And in fact it's really not the same product either.  Not all beef is created equally.  I can't produce it all right now on my little 3 acres.  Maybe I can get close in time. It is certainly my goal.   For now I will spend the additional money for honest food that I am not yet able to produce at home. 

Rent the movie if you can.  It's worth watching.

Monday, November 23, 2009

American Guinea Hogs

Friday I drove from Virginia to Alabama to pick up our new GH boar piglet. We named him Basil. We got our 2 gilts (girls for those that don't know) a few weeks ago in Maryland. We called the girls Rosemary and Thyme. We thought a trio would be good for us.

American Guinea Hogs are listed as an endangered breed of pig by the Rare Breed Livestock Conservancy which means there are less than 200 of them. They are much smaller than other pigs, about the size of pot bellied pigs. They are normally docile and friendly and tasty so I hear. We have named them so I am sure we won't eat them but they make great little rototillers and in this horrid, rocky, spent soil I need all the help I can get.

These guys have been such fun. They are all about 3 months old. The boar is 2 weeks younger than the gilts and since he got here 2 weeks later than the girls he's low man on the totem pole for the time being. I had read they may be territorial initially with him and not let him eat near them or sleep with them but he wasn't having any part of that. He is a bit intimidated by the girls but not so much that he was going to sleep alone or miss a meal. Soon he'll be bigger than they are and smell, to the girls at least, like a boar and the hierachy will change.
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