Quite often I am asked about why I do farming. Well, like most folks that start something new there is a story behind it. My brother was diagnosed with colon cancer. He had begun to research and was convinced that his cancer was caused by the unclean processed meat that he ingested quite often in the fast food. He would call me and tell me the things he had learned. He embarked on a clean eating journey and all seemed to be well until he ingested more of the processed unclean fast food as time upon returning to work. The cancer returned and this time it caused his demise.
Moving forward as time went on, I would continue just thinking about all that he had taught me. So I continued reading and learning. It was always intriguing to me that the junk food and process food seemed to be quite cheap but the real whole food seemed overall more expensive. The article at https://www.eatthis.com/best-worst-fast-food-chains-using-antibiotics/
shares a list of popular fast food restaurants and provides scoring. This particular article speaks of the stance of the animal antibiotic use for each of these venues. Despite the CDC stating that antibiotics should only be used for the health needs of the animal under a veterinarian care, the following is stated, “And in fact, antibiotics actually help the animals grow faster, packing on pounds so they're ready for market sooner.” This was definitely an area of concern for me being a nurse and understanding the intended use for these medications. I feel strongly that antibiotic stewardship is just as important here as it is for humans. I encourage you to take a look at the book by Eric Schlossser titled Fast Food Nation. Ronald Piana speaks of the toxic diet that many animals are fed in his article in the ASCO Post article titled “ Fast Food Nation and America’s Sick Diet”
After doing this research and learning about both sides of our food system to include care of the animal and the added injections, fillers, and chemicals prior to being served in restaurants or available for purchase at the grocery store, I felt that my response was clear. I need to grow my own meat. My husband and I were able to purchase a small 4 acre piece of property and we started our farm with the goal of producing clean meat for ourselves. My goal was to eat 80% of our own meat. We were able to reach this goal over a couple of years and have been able to create a market for others who have the same desire for clean meat but unable to grow it on their own property. In 2020 alone we increased our meat sales by close to 120%. We raised more and sold more. I encourage you to journey into looking at your own food sources a little closer. You might be surprised that meat grown naturally and in a clean manner tasted quite different than most grocery stores. Go ahead and take the challenge. Try some meat produced by one of the local small farms in your area rather than the large volume manufacturers.
If you happen to be in the Durham NC area please check out the Jireh Family Farm offerings at https://www.jirehfamilyfarm.net/