Archive for February, 2010

Florida Walmart sells antibiotic & hormone free chickens

February 2, 2010

2/3/10 – Most of our reporting on America’s Food system is extremely concerning because for the most part it is a story about natural resource and health destruction. I am therefore anxious to report that most of the chicken sold by Walmart at their superstore just below Englewood, Florida during our winter vacation on Florida’s West Coast was produced by Harvest Land of Horsham PA. This is obviously a co-op since each of our chickens have had a different farmers name on the label. The label words naturally, humanely, and cage free raised have no real meaning however antibiotic and hormone free also on the label have major health significance and most likely come from a less dense CAFO environment than typical for our area of the Delmarva Peninsula. These broilers averaged about 4 pounds and were selling for 1.47 per pound. There was a continuous supply during our 1st month of vacation which was about double the number of Perdue and Tyson Broilers which were selling in an adjacent bin for 95 cents per pound.

The eating quality of these birds is outstanding and we highly recommend. We have not been able to communicate with the company for further details but we do know that these chickens do not come from members of the Delmarva Poultry Association which is actively fighting legislation to ban antibiotics and growth hormones. It is also significant that Walmart is provided residents of Maryland’s Eastern Shore an oportunity to eat chicken which is not destroying local topsoil and is not destroying water quality in the Choptank and other Eastern shore Rivers and streams. Walmart and the buyers of these chickens should be congratulated for this.

Submitted by Donald R. Kerstetter, Trappe Landing Farm & Native Sanctuary

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Big River Documentary

February 2, 2010

12/6/09- Last night we viewed Big River the latest documentary from Producer Aaron Wolf. It starts with an interview with Iowa Farmer Chuck Piatt just after the great Midwest soil erosion disaster in Spring of 2008. He confirms that the Corn Belt has lost half its topsoil in the last 50 years. An interview with Yale professor discusses atrazine one of the dominant pesticides used in modern industrial farming and its connection along with other industrial farming chemicals to high incidence of cancer in industrial farming areas. High concentrations of atrazine were also reported in Delmarva waters by USGS in 33circular 1228. Ian and Curt then proceed downstream to the DesMoine water treatment plant which is removing high levels of nitrate particularly dangerous to young children. We eventually arrive at the Gulf where watermen are increasingly dredging up dead species which is putting them out of business. Nancy Rabalias is interviewed. You may remember that she was interviewed by PBS on increasing Gulf Hypoxia due corn/ethanol a tape of this interview can be found archived under the Water Tab. I thought it interesting that delegations of fishermen have reached out to Iowa Farmers for help in stopping the chemicals coming down the Mississippi. Wes Jackson is also interviewed in this film.

Submitted by Donald Kerstetter

USA Today-Beef Recall

February 2, 2010

12/01/09 USA Today-Why Beef Recall from Fresno did not include school lunches. The safety of our food system is now totally dependant on sample testing which only indicates the condition of a small sample. It does not tell anything about the bulk of the food and can lead to a totally false conclusion. Also in this article is a list of companies with amounts of corn fed beef they are selling to schools.

The editor’s conclusion is that only by substantially reducing the generation of pathogens in Feed Lots (CAFO’s) and in the hindgut of ruminant animals will we ever be able to control E. coli and other pathogens in our food and in our general environment. Also see Johns Hopkins report Farmacology reference #21 under pathogens.

Read the article in full:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-12-01-beef-recall-lunches_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip

Submitted by Donald Kerstetter