Friday, October 08, 2010

What's safe to eat?

It's a round-about trip that led me to this question.  It all began when I went to look at a few Jersey heifers I saw on Craigslist for sale.
A lady named Jennifer showed me the animals they were selling, and I chose Bonnie; it was a very good choice, by the way, even though I paid far more for her than I've ever paid for a cow.  I won't be paying that much ever again, either; but for that one time, it was worth it.
When Jennifer and I exchanged a couple of emails, I noticed her email address ended in "@hiddenhillsfarm". Because I'm a curious person, I googled Hidden Hills Farm at Smithville and found their website.   I spent quite a bit of time reading their "frequently asked questions".  One thing that puzzled me was their adamant refusal to feed their dairy cows anything except grass or hay; I couldn't imagine milking a cow without bribing her into the stanchion with a can of sweet feed, corn, or some sort of grain.  And besides, what's the purpose?
Recently I saw that they are experimenting with raising Large Black hogs, an old-time breed.  The hogs they raise at Hidden Hills are, like the cattle, fed no grain.  They graze and receive milk and table scraps; they are given no soy, corn, or wheat.
I can't imagine raising a hog without corn.  And what's wrong with corn, anyhow?
I suppose I could have emailed Jennifer and asked, but I figured eventually I'd find out, and indeed I did.
Tango, a blogger in Virginia that I discovered on the sidebar of a blogger in Oregon (told you this was all round-about), posted a video one day on her blog that gave me a clue about the reason for all this avoidance of grains.





Oh, now I get it:  It's about genetically altered grains!  Sometimes it takes a kid to explain things in a way that makes us listen.  
Go ahead and poke around at the Hidden Hills website.  Best I can tell, for $125 a week (you have to join and pay for a years membership) you get meat, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, milk, and more.  I'd love to see a picture of one weeks items for one family, just to know how much food you get for that price.  If you're one of my local readers, this may be something that interests you.  You can also "friend" Hidden Hills Farm on Facebook.  
Of course, I have my own free food, so I won't be joining; I only allow myself $70 per week to spend for our groceries.  
I'm still not sure what I think about the dangers of genetically altered food, but then, I use saccharine to sweeten our tea.  I still feed Bonnie a can of sweet feed before I milk her.  I use Sevin dust in my garden.  After all, Daddy used to dust his potatoes with DDT; what's a little poison amongst friends?  
Oh, Tango?  Thanks for this video!  I love the kid.  

7 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Organically grown foods seem to be the way to go. Like your garden there. Who knew they were making things so difficult for us. Corn is no longer what we thought it was. It's way too much for my mind to handle.

michaele said...

Bonnie's milk will taste lots better with that sweet feed.
Interesting post.

Anonymous said...

Donna,
I love that I can come to your site for a regular little dose of some all too often missing common sense.

Leilani Lee said...

There was a very interesting documentary on cows on PBS (I think) some time ago that discussed feeding cows only the sorts of food they would find in nature if they were "wild animals." Corn, regardless of whether it was genetically engineered or not, although some seed grains would be part of their natural diet on the plains, for example, corn would not, nor would soy beans or some of the high protein food they are fed in feed lots. One of the reasons why they have to pump feed lot beef full of antibiotics is that they are chronically sick from eating food they really aren't designed to eat. I am sure it doesn't hurt Bonnie to get some sweet feed. I'm just sayin...

Anita said...

I don't know if I'm less confused or more confused. :)

I watched the video as I rolled balls of cookie dough and covered them in white sugar. Can't wait until they're out of the oven!

Okay, so the kid would shake his finger at me.

Glad I stopped by. :)

small farm girl said...

Donna, we have been feeding our cattle grass only for at least 12 years. The meat might taste a little different than what your use to, but I know what's in their food. lol. I've been trying to go gmo free for a few years now. Yes, sometimes it seems impossible. But, I truley believe in it.

Tango said...

You are welcome, Donna.

I've been gmo free for almost a year now. It's made a lot of health problems go away and I feel awesome!