knows that we take our health very seriously and that we have grave concerns with regards to, not only the wholesomeness of our food basket, but also the yarn that is being spun by our present day specialists and other people who should and probably do know better.
Without going into great detail here, because you can read about it all on the special website, let me state a few facts.
The number one killer in the world at the moment is not the terrorists, not the wars that are being fought everywhere.
The number one killer is the food we eat, closely followed by the air we breathe.
It is a conveniently glossed over fact that the modern diseases related to heart, stroke and cancer began their march to the top when we changed our eating habits and when we were introduced to the foods of convenience and the foods of maximum profit for the producers and manufacturers.
When animal products were replaced by vegetable oils and proteins and some of the oils re-engineered by the creation of a new -totally body foreign- fat, the hydrogenated or transfat, the epidemic really took off. Combined with the fact that we started across the board pasteurisation of milk instead of solid, prudent and responsible herdsmanship, which in effect turned milk into a pretty toxic substance for more than 3/4 of the world population, who cannot digest the milkprotein without the enzymes that used to come with it.
Most of the vegetable oils are polyunsaturated of the Omega-6 kind, of which we have far too many and which in abundance are prone to oxydize like hell and then cause havoc in our arteries. In the processed form they often are actually damaged.
When they cause havoc, our LDL goes up because it is the Low Density Lipoproteins that carry the cholesterol to the places of war in our system. They get the blame in our modern medical world, but in effect they are the ones that try to save you.
Anyway, to make a long story short : we don't trust the commercially produced animal products any more than we trust the mass produced vegetable matter.
A beef cow raised under questionable circumstances, fed a diet of grain, which does not go well with their complicated stomach system and basically makes them sick and subsequently kept on antibiotics, can hardly be expected to make for healthy food somewhere down the road.
The same holds for pigs, and poultry.
So we have high hopes that by the end of 2010and at the latest 2011 we will have our own eggs and some for sale, that will be high in Omega-3 and healthy cholesterol.
Hopefully at the same time we will have our first couple of Limousin beef cattle and our first couple of pigs. Anything that will thrive on pasture and a diet of good hay.
Limousin because it is one of the few breeds that will still completely finish on grass alone and are extremely easy 'calvers'. .
Since we have a large yard and I am slowly getting tired of useless mowing with nothing to show for and not even to be able to get everywhere with the mower, I have a feeling the pigs will do a much better job turning it into bacon and porkchops.
So we got a few weaners. Good fifty pounders who spent most of their time uprooting the whole back yard. (Behind the barn that is. And well fenced in. Guess how much fun that they had. Imagine all pigs could have that much fun.
Well, come to think of it, there appears to be a move on to more and more pigs on pasture, in Canada as well south of the border.
In our own area there are a few farmers who are trying to be as ecologically sound as possible. Haan Family Farms has been offering hay and grass raised pork for quite some time already. A regular presence on some of the Farmers' Markets in the Quinte area.
Most recent developments in the grass base industry have become very very interesting and for that we have to turn to people like dr Peter Ballerstedt who for once and for all has made clear that without ruminants life on this planet is virtually doomed to extinction http://grassbasedhealth.blogspot.ca/
Grasslands are among the largest ecosystems in the world. The proportion of the earth's land area covered by grasslands have been estimated at 3.5 billion hectares (8.6 billion acres), representing 26% of the world land area and 70% of the world agricultural area.
Forage plants are those plants eaten by animals directly as pasture, crop residue, or immature cereal crops, those cut for fodder, and conserved for later use as hay or silage. These crops vary widely in their adaptation and feed quality, but they are typically low in fat, high in fiber, and not utilizable by humans.
The symbiotic relationship between the ruminant animal and the rumen microbial population permits these mammals to thrive on a low-fat, high-fiber diet. The resulting production of high-quality protein and animal fat is a truly sustainable form of agriculture.
The discipline of diet, health and human nutrition has been profoundly influenced by those who believe that eating animal products causes various chronic diseases, and that animal agriculture harms the environment. Researchers and others holding these world views have formed incorrect conclusions from the associations perceived in dubious observational studies. This contamination of the "conventional wisdom" has also influenced the "new conventional wisdom" held within the ancestral health community. Justus von Liebig's "Law of the Minimum" from plant nutrition can be applied to human health and nutrition to evaluate claims regarding grass-fed versus grain-fed animal products.
Peter received his Ph.D. in forage production and utilization. He was the forage extension specialist at Oregon State University and is currently the forage product manager at Barenbrug USA. The combination of his forage-based livestock production system expertise with his understanding of human diet and health produced "Grass Based Health."
However for all this to work properly beef and dairy farmers have to start changing their grassland management from hihg protein (young grass) to high energy (mature grass just when it is heading out). Only then can farmers expect to more than double the stocking rate and at the same time improve soil quality