I recently attended a farming exposé at Be Healthy owned by my friend, Jill Chiacchia in Hamburg, NY. She and her husband Dan, a local attorney, have been natural food stalwarts in our community of Western New York.
The exposé was called, “Meat Your Farmer” and meet them we did! Since I’ve been interested in the subject of clean, drug-free, pasture fed, organic meat for decades, I already knew most of the farmers. But it’s always good to stay informed and I enjoyed a pleasant evening full of good conversation with farmers and fellow consumers and foodies.
While there, I picked up a handy guide outlining important questions that every educated shopper should ask. I’ve scaled them down and thought I’d share them with you.
Before you purchase Poultry, Hogs, Beef, Dairy and Eggs, ask the farmer:
Do you raise your livestock on pastures?
Is your livestock fed anything besides hay and grass?
How are your cows finished?
On grain? Then you’ll want to know how old the cows are when they start on grain and how long they’re
On a feedlot? Then find out how old they are when they enter the feedlot and how long they’re there. Be sure to ask how many other animals are in the feedlot at any given time, too.
Do you ever give your livestock antibiotics?
How about hormones, steroids or other growth promoters?
Next time you’re out purchasing vegetables and/or fruits, ask:
Who grows the fruits and vegetables and where is the farm located?
How big is the farm?
Does the farmer use chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers on the crops?
Is the farm a diversified operation, with many varieties of vegetables and fruits?
Does the farm grow any heirloom varieties of fruits or vegetables?
Are any of the fruits or vegetables genetically engineered varieties?
I didn’t supply the answers here because I hope you’ll note that the best sources are from those who use no pesticides, vermicides, and who also use homeopathy for the health of their animals. Often, small family farms are informed and sustainable. The animals should spend most of the day in the sunshine on pasture and if fed throughout the winter, they should have hay, not grains or as little grains as possible.
Be informed and enjoy drug-free, free-range, organic, family farm foods!