Food is not always something that you put in your mouth and eat!

Although my next post was to be a continuation of the Land of Confusion this week has been one of those weeks! Un-freaking-believable is a more apt description! Of course I’ve been completely sidetracked from talking about genetics in farming.

One of my repetitive sayings is “it never ceases to amaze me”. This usually accompanies me closing my eyes and shaking my head as if trying to clear it in order to take in the latest assault to my brain. I’ve done this a lot this week. More often than not, it takes me a couple of days to absorb “the latest” and to wrap my mind around it.

I should be of a very jaded mindset in regards to the meat and poultry industries and their relationships with government/politicians in power. I don’t discriminate when it comes to political parties – I call it as I see it.

One of the latest revelations to my brain was the release of emails between Maryland’s Governor, Martin O’Malley, and Perdue, mostly through the company’s attorney. Cozy, is a polite description. This really shouldn’t have come as a surprise because in the recesses of my mind, it was something that I already thought and something that many had speculated about.

Through a Freedom of Information request, Food and Water Watch, a Washington, DC based nonprofit organization, emails between O’Malley and a Perdue representative were obtained and released to the public. It’s interesting, informative reading and certainly lends credibility to theories as to why taxpayers in Maryland are picking up the tab for industry and its share of pollution caused by company owned chicken poop! This is one of those “indirect” subsidies that continue to prop up cheap chicken.

On another subject, and leading back to the saga of The Land of Confusion, I’ve had several conversations this week about objections to farmers using the term “pasture raised”. I discussed this in my last post, The Land of Confusion Part II and from what I gather it has ruffled feathers of some who have adulterated the term “free range”.

In my mind and in the minds of many other farmers who are practicing the method of “pasture raised” it’s a term used to inform consumers that animals are REALLY outside on pasture. The animals REALLY do eat grasses, bugs, and worms and are able to forage.

The term “pasture raised” most definitely goes above the term “free range” because some have coined the term “free range” to conjure up a picture in consumer’s mind of animals being out on lush green forage. In reality, those who’ve bastardized free range through the definition of animals only needing to have “access” to the outside created the need for farmers who actually let their animals outside and provide actual pasture, to clearly define their farming methods.

It appears to me that coining of phrases can only be used if it suits the purpose of a select few. Like it or not, this argument is something that USDA is going to have to address. The high jacking of labels for the sheer purpose of greed has been going on in the farming community for quite some time. Closing loopholes through clear definitions of what actually happens on the farm needs to happen in order for farmers who REALLY do what they say they do can be the only ones to claim the phrase or term and consumers can be assured. To further add credence to the need for this to happen can be found from several sources who’ve felt the need to search out and write about this issue. The latest comes from Rodale

It’s perfectly clear where I stand on this issue and I’m sure that we can look forward to a huge and long battle! Of course we will see a lot of wheeling and dealing during this process and the flexing of money, power, and influence.

While there were other assaults to my brain throughout the week I haven’t quite decided what to make of them so discussion will have to wait for other posts. Hopefully, the next post will get back to the subject of genetics and the effects created by them in farming and food.

Comments on: "It Never Ceases to Amaze Me!" (8)

  1. I think my favorite two are “all natural” and “cage free”…seems the USDA has allowed the standards to be watered down to the point people can just print their own labels. Makes it real hard on the ones doing it legit…just hope niche’ markets become major markets sooner rather than later. Gonna have to do it with savvy and ingenuity as the headwinds will be strong.
    And my goodness Gubner O’Malley..sounds like a dang middle school girl going to her first dance…”Does Jim like me?”..”I like him”…”Should I call him”…”What should I wear?”…what weenie he is…

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  2. Amen to that. Bastardizing meaningful words really ticks me off. If they’re so proud of their business model, own it with pride.

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  3. Anonymous said:

    Free range doesn’t mean a thing anymore. Industrial confinement farms use the label freely and use organic too. Organic is only about what they eat. these people make me sick. They have ruined what organic and free range should mean

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    • Josie said:

      “They have ruined what organic and free range should mean”…. Add in and what people think they mean. It’s a rip off. The places that sell these things go around with their nose up in the air like they are selling something special ha ha, they are getting ripped off too.

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  4. If you want to be sure what you are getting buy direct from the farmer. We started doing this after finding out that organic chickens don’t really go outside and live in great big buildings just like the regular industrial chickens do. It’s all very misleading until you go to the farm and see how things are done. We will never buy eggs from a grocery store anymore becuase you can’t count on the labels to tell the truth about the farm.

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  5. Your week of “un-freaking-believable” is interesting with just the two things you talked about – can’t wait to hear what else there is! Will you go back to it? Keep knocking on all of the doors it’s time someone did. Are you ever going to write a book?

    wcafarms is right – what a weenie O’malley is. Wonder how many others he shows such concern over?

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  6. Tom T. said:

    http://www.dailyyonder.com/wednesday-roundup-romney-and-beef/2012/05/02/3971

    From the article, you can see that Mitt Romney tapped the beef industry’s talent for his start up.

    As we continue to not enforce the economic rules of the game, the game becomes less about product and more about numbers and those who play with them.

    Our food system is financialized and there are no holds barred when the powerful politicians selling out small businesses and the rules that protect them.

    Thanks, Carol, for reminding us of the details.

    Tom T.

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  7. Everyone is in agreement here about how messed up and ruined free range and organic has gotten. No one has mentioned those who promote and sell the deception and in their own way contribute to the fraud. What about all of the very successful and prominent grocery chains that sell products that aren’t really free range? It’s all about money – greed and profit – and who cares if the consumer is mislead? Farmers who are doing things the real way get lost in the shuffle but they aren’t important or big enough to worry about. Corporations of so called free range and organic are the winners. They are no better than the industrial concentrated meat and poultry system, have “bastardized” the real thing, and promoted a myth.

    Farmers setting their selves one cut above by saying pasture raised – good for them. at least people can know that these animals really do get let out of confinement to forage.

    Like Jon asked – are you going to write a book Carole? I hope so becuase you tell the truth even if it means hurting yourself. You started with Food Inc don’t stop now.

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