Monday, 27 May 2013

Day 30 - What is in The Meat we Eat

William von Schneidau, an intrepid butcher in Seattle, is giving a whole new meaning to "potbelly pig."

Lately, he's been feeding marijuana refuse to the pigs he turns into prosciutto for BB Ranch, his butcher shop in the city's famous Pike Place Market.

The stems, leaves and root bulbs von Schneidau recoups from , a medical marijuana dispensary, don't season the meat, he says. But the meat from the first few "pot pigs" he's butchered has been "redder and more savory" than what he usually works with, he says.

Still, von Schneidau's creative reuse of a local waste product is part of a larger trend of small farmers looking for new, free sources of livestock feed, especially since prices for corn and soy have been on the rise.

In addition to the pot refuse, von Schneidau has linked up ranchers and farmers in the region with a vodka distillery and with vegetable vendors at Pike Place Market who have waste that would otherwise end up as compost or in the landfill.

NPR goes on to say:

"Scientists at the European Union Food Safety Authority looked into the safety of using hemp, a plant that's a close relative of marijuana, in feed for dairy cows. When the cows were fed hemp plants, enough THC made its way into their milk that the scientists recommended prohibiting its use. (However, feeding the cows hemp seeds was just fine, they found.)"

Ok. Just to start… WTF!?!?!?! It’s fascinating that this is disgusting but also reasonable – meaning that for the farmers to save money it is reasonable to look for any way to save money to stay in business, as farmers, like all of us, have to make money to survive.

The Disgusting point in all of this is that the farmers have to be pushed into feeding their animals things like WEED just to save money for the survival of their families!

Looking at this article makes me realize how difficult it must be for some people to support their families financially for them to consider doing something as unimaginable as feeding their animals weed to save money and make the meat "redder and more savoury". 

The current Capitalistic system endorses such methods as it improves efficiency and increases profits – in most cases. To use another example: On the farm we tried to farm our own chickens for a while through using the foods that the “big companies” use – meaning the foods that are full of hormones and so-on. What those chickens’ bodies went through was terrible. Most of them couldn’t walk or at least not very much and the ones that could would sometimes have broken legs just from carrying their own weight. The bodies picked up fat really fast and they were sometimes the size of full grown chickens by the time they were around 8 weeks old. The chickens that grow up normally on our farm take around 4 – 6 months to be fully grown in size. That means that the bone structure of the chickens that we fed the broiler food (that is what the food was called) was still in its early stages of development, but the weight of those chickens was the same – or more in most cases – of the fully adult farm chickens that we had on the farm. We stopped that experiment very quickly once we saw what was happening.

In the chicken industry the average age of chickens when they go for processing – before being sent to the stores for selling – are around 6 weeks old. This is done so as to increase profits and reduce costs, as the chickens live for such a short time that they eat less and because of this the company wouldn’t need to buy as much food. The longer they live the more they eat, so let’s make them full grown at 6 weeks to save money and increase profits.

If you see this as something that needs to change then join us for discussion at:

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