Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not a recipe, but still worth your time

I posted a link to this article on my facebook page this morning, but thought I would share it here as well:

After doing a lot of reading on this subject for the past year and a half, I can say that I agree wholeheartedly with the points made in this article and hope that these goals can be accomplished in my lifetime. Many of the current methods used to produce food in our country are toxic for both our bodies and the environment and this issue really needs to be a matter of national concern rather than just some fringe movement dismissed as something only elitists and hippies care about.

To show just how messed up things are these days, I thought I would share an excerpt from an email I recently received from Christiansen Farm, a local farm from which Mike and I buy our meat. This enterprise is a truly admirable one in which animals are raised the way they should be. They sell top-quality beef, pork, and, until recently, chicken:

"...our plans [to sell chickens in 2011] have recently been squashed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF). Last winter we spoke extensively with the inspectors to find out how we could legally and safely process chickens for our customers. They helped us get set up under an exemption that allowed small farms to process their own poultry. Under this exemption, we had a young aspiring butcher process our chickens outdoors on our property following safety guidelines set forth by the department. This has worked wonderfully all year. Recently, we received a call from the department informing us that we would now have to take the live chickens to each of our customer's private property and process them on their property in order to continue under this small farm exemption. We protested their request stating that not only would it be economically unfeasible, less sanitary, and ridiculously time consuming, but that no city would allow for processing poultry in people's driveways. However, they refused to budge. Our only alternative is a costly one, which would require us to build a full blown processing facility. Even if we were able to justify such an investment the UDAF informed us that there isn't an inspector in Utah who is even certified to inspect our facility. So, for now poultry is on hold for 2011 as we explore our options.

So apparently the chicken sold in grocery stores--which comes from animals who stand in their own crap all day and get pumped full of all kinds of crazy drugs, then slaughtered using methods that are both inhumane and often unsanitary--are just fine to eat, yet chickens raised and butchered using traditional methods that farmers employed for hundreds of years are deemed unfit for consumption? Ethical issues aside, the sheer stupidity of this frustrates me.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed my moment on the soapbox. Tomorrow I'll be back to normal with a recipe for some delicious Indian food.

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