Monday, January 31, 2011

Project Genesis- Food for Thought....Thought for Food.

Although I don't like to think too hard about where our meat comes from and the process of getting it to plate, I do think long and hard about how our meat is grown and the welfare of livestock.
Starting with beef, there are a few simple facts.  Cows eat grass.  Grass is their natural food source.  For generations cows have eaten grass or hay.  Their digestive system is perfectly designed to eat grass, digest it and produce milk or meat.  
Over the last decade, largely subsidized by the government to support the pharmaceutical industry, keep corn a steady commodity, and to lower the price of beef, cows now eat corn as their staple food.
A cow can't digest corn properly.  They get a build up of acid requiring drugs and infections requiring antibiotics.  In the past, a cow could spend its life wandering a field, laying in grass, and doing what they do.  Eating grass and fertilising the land with their droppings. 
Cows are often kept now in massive "Feed Lots".  Shoulder to shoulder, standing on concrete or metal grates with cesspools of excrement underneath their feet that causes illness and more antibiotics.  Each day they consume their daily allowance of corn.  Corn grown in fields sprayed with pesticides that robs the soil of nutrients that needs to be added back with fertilizers. 

To me, an animal raised for food deserves to be raised in a habitat "natural" to it's species, with dignity and respect and care.  My commitment for Project Genesis this month is to find a good local source of grass fed beef.  How hard can that be?

If you wish to read more about our food sources and the dilemma of our agricultural system, I recommend this book.  The Omnivore's Dilemma. by Michael Pollan.  Not an easy read, but a must read.
Also, here is a very interesting blog post about Goat cheese and the dilemma of male goats from



  1. You are absolutely right! If we buy more healthy food, the prices will go down..If we all demanded it of our grocers, we would be heard. No to mention what is right for the animals! If we all just make the effort, change can occur.

    Going to the library website to request the book....

    Thank you!


  2. Chania,

    I am so close to being a vegetarian. I can hardly stand the treatment of animals

    ...on a different and cheering note...

    do come and enter my amazing Giveaway from Splenderosa!

    Art by Karena

  3. I have been a vegie since I was 15 for this very reason. Man has no right to treat any animal this way. It is just not moral.

  4. Makes you wonder why humans eat so much grain - isn't is toxic to our systems as well? I believe the traditional food pyramid was created in the '70s to support the corn & wheat industry. Hmmm, food for thought why we sit in the docters waiting room to discuss our obesity/diabetes maybe?
    Mrs BC

  5. Have you seen the movie..Food Inc? Gotta see it.

  6. Humans evolved early on to be able to eat grains (seeds) and nuts. You are right, cows have not. Cows eating corn also results in large amounts of methane gas emissions adding to the greenhouse effect. Put them back on grass and their contribution to the problem drops immensely. This is in addition to all the chemicals we get from the corn, the hormones we eat that were given to the cows to make them grow faster and the unknown effect of eating cows that ate genetically modified corn.

  7. A great big Thank You for posting this! We only eat grass fed beef or Bison when we eat meat which isn't very often. And it must be hormone free too! I also don't buy any meat that is from foreign countries where they have no or less regulations than we do here in the states. We have been looking into Organic Pairie but because we don't eat meat that often we hesitate.
    You might want to check out what is going on with Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds too. Our food sources are in peril.~Ames

  8. Over 30 years ago, I did think long and hard about meat, where it comes from and how it gets to my plate.
    And then I stopped eating it.
    I can only say that (knock wood) I am (according to all my doctors over the years) surprisingly healthy and youthful ... the youthful part is just good luck and genes imo.
    ( my husband and both children are non-meat eaters also)
    About food pyramids... who made those up ? some doctor in the '50's ? Since things change so fast from day to day in the world/medical/healthy industry, I try to ignore all of the "old stand-bys" when it comes to things like those pyramids. :)

  9. I'm not surprised that cows can't digest corn - apparently humans can't really either! It's always so frustrating to hear about what's being done to our food system.

  10. Thanks for sharing this Chania. My sentiments exactly about why things have changed as far as raising animals for food (not to mention various other things in the food industry).
    When you do find a good source of grass fed beef could you share it? The source,not the beef.

  11. Chania I totally agree with everything that you're saying. Our cows always went out to grass. I used to have to get up at 5.30 am to round them up for milking. They used to have to be kept in during the winter months when the weather was bad but then they were fed hay and cattle cake. I loathe factory farming!

  12. Chania I love that you did a post on this! At my house you will only find grass fed only beef, we drive 2 hours each way to get it once a month at Whole Foods. We also go to a special butcher whenever we can to pick up pasture raised chicken and pork. We haven't eaten transfats in over 3 years and we eat only organic everything whenever possible. I may not look like I eat healthy, because I have adrenal and thyroid issues, but I shudder to think about what I would look like if I ate what "science" as produced over the last 50 years!

    Kat :)

  13. i eat very little meat, but hubby loves is unfortunate that grass fed beef is so much more expensive! your goal is admirable. love the photos especially the first one.


I love to read each and every comment and are thrilled that you take the time to send one. Thank you so much. Chania