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Tag: farms

Fast food is cheap. Pay $2.00 and you get a huge burrito at Taco Bell. For a $1.99 you get a BK Topper Deluxe burger. Virtually every fast food joint has a value, dollar, or $0.99 menu. Poor families often eat at places like McDonald’s because where else can you spend $12 and feed a family of 4? On the flip side, “healthy” food has bad rap for being expensive, and to be fair, it often is. But does it have to be?

In response to cheap, fast food, Slow Food started the $5 Slow Food Challenge. They challenged people across the USA to make meal for less than $5.00 per person and to take this pledge:

“I pledge to share a fresh, healthy meal that costs less than $5 — because slow food shouldn’t have to cost more than fast food.”

Slow Food chose $5 since that is the typical cost of a fast food meal when you include an “entree, ” side and a drink (think burgers, fries and a Coke).  When I told my friends that I was participating in the challenge, virtually no one I talked to had heard of Slow Food. I was surprised since this global organization started in Italy in the late 80′s; a counter to the rise of fast food and fast life. In addition to addressing the disappearance of local food traditions, Slow Food seeks to “…renew people’s interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.” Noble cause, lofty goal, especially considering the popularity of fast food.
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Bragg apple cider vinegar drinks

120 acres of Goleta soil in a beautiful valley. Rows of parsley, rosemary, butternut squash, and spinach. Mature walnut trees loaded with chartreuse, nut-bearing bulbs. White trunks peaking out from the apple orchard. Flanked by a running stream and native chaparral. As eyes move up and to the North, the sloping hill boasts newly planted fruit trees. It is organic, experimental, and new.
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On Wednesday, consumer advocacy groups filed a lawsuit against the FDA for their failure to address the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed. Factory farms  include antibiotics and antimicrobial drugs in animal feed to fight against the myriad of illnesses that cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys suffer from as a result of their CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) lifestyle (horrendous living conditions, restriction of natural behaviors, use of  unnatural feed and growth hormones). The antibiotics can also help increase production in food-producing animals which is an obvious plus for farmers. The major concern with this practice is that humans and animals will eventually become resistant to these drugs and then they will no longer be effective when they are really needed. The FDA itself has acknowledged that non-therapeutic use of antibiotics contributes to antimicrobial resistance in humans and has urged the meat industry to phase out antibiotics in feed. The FDA issued a draft guidance for the industry and recommends “judicious use” be applied. Specifically, the “FDA recommends that all antimicrobial drugs for animals and people be used only when necessary and appropriate.”
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Senator Jon Tester sponsored an amendment to the food safety bill (S. 510) to protect small, local food processors and producers. Watch the video to see the reasons why you should support the amendment to S. 510.

Summary of Tester Amendment:

Retail Food Establishments:
In the 2002 Bioterrorism Act, Congress required that all facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food must register with FDA, but it exempted from that requirement “retail food establishments.” FDA defined the term at 21 CFR 1.227(b)(11). For purposes of the definition, the Tester amendment would require FDA to clarify that “direct sales” of food to consumers includes sales that occur other than where the food was manufactured, such as at a roadside stand or farmers’ market.

Qualified Exemptions:
Facilities:

  • Food facilities would qualify for an exemption from the preventive control/HACCP provisions in section 103 of S. 510 under certain conditions: (1) they are either a “very small business” as defined by FDA in rulemaking; or (2) the average annual monetary value of all food sold by the facility during the previous 3 year period was less than $500,000, but only so long as the majority of the food sold by that facility was sold directly to consumers, restaurants, or grocery stores (as opposed to 3rd party food brokers) and were in the same state where the facility sold the food or within 275 miles of the facility.
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This short 6 minute video is INFORM‘s newest in their intriguing The Secret Life video series. The video focuses on the impact today’s beef production has on the environment and what you can do to help.

If you purchase local, grass-fed beef for your family, leave us a comment with your city and name of the farm/beef. Let’s spread the word and give these farmers a shout out!