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Sunday, May 3, 2020

Beacon Bits -- Choices

No excuses - I have more time to blog now, but I did write a post that I had to delete. It was about finding sanctuary at my church home that technically is closed, but the doors have been open for silent prayer with safe distance and music on Sunday mornings. It has been restorative during these times when I attend.

This post is about something different than my usual posts, but it is stilld about local resources within proximity to Beacon. I got inspired to write this post after watching the news last week, which showed the meat packing industry's response to re-opening at the President's request despite the dangers and risks for its workers in order to keep the food supply chain unencumbered. I was appalled at the footage on PBS related to the 'farming' of the masses of pigs for the industry to have for its pork production. They compared and contrasted it with other smaller midwest farmers that have chosen to raise fewer pigs with more ethical practices. The visual difference between pens of pigs, loin to loin, vs. two to three pigs with piglets in a pen with the chance to roam was eye opening. 

Full disclosure -- I am not vegan, nor am I vegetarian, nor would I am planning to make a decision to become meat free. In general, I eat very little meat and poultry, and rely mostly on fish, vegetables and complex carbohydrates and fruit to survive; I also believe it is in the 'right' proportion that was intended for us to eat. When I saw the TV broadcast, it was apparent that the only reason that cost of mass production vis-a-vis the consumer comes into play is twofold: (1) profit for the corporation and (2) cheaper prices for consumers so they can eat large and unhealthy amounts of meat products, which has led to one of the many risk factors for coronavirus---that is, obesity--due to fast food and unhealthy eating habits. It came full circle --- the only benefit of the large centralized meat production industry in this country is for the corporations who desire more profit and do not care for their workers. So if Cesar Chavez had his rallying call for fair wages for the migrant farmers, maybe it is time we have a reclaimed locally farmed meat economy that benefits the families and workers who are committed to their community and can be held responsible for ethical business and production practices. (I believe poultry farming has somewhat had its day to reclaim improved and ethical egg production with cage-free practices.)

I guess I can lay claim to my my family heritage related to farming here. My mother's family had a farm in Sola near Stavanger Norway and I recall their practices in 1962 when I visited. I will never forget the carrot and strawberry and milk that I, as a girl raised in Brooklyn, had to taste on that farm so long ago. The farm fed them and they were able to sustain a living by selling to local markets.  I am grateful and aware that I see the same kinds of practices are returning to our Hudson River Valley with CSAs and locally raised farm stock for our purchase. A long-time supporter of CSAs, now it's time to step it up for livestock farmers.

So this blog is about sharing my resolve to only shop for meat from local farmers who are operating with sustainable practices and who are ethically responsible; this is one choice and a response to what we all need to learn to do going forward in order to change our living habits accordingly. By doing so, I will support the local farmers and eat my small amounts of meat and poultry, which by far is healthier, and at least does not put money into the pockets of greedy owners who operate centralized meat packing industry at the expense of their employees. Higher cost is not an issue for a higher quality of meat in the just right amount of what an individual should be consuming to begin with; no super sizing needed!

Food for thought:  I have begun to do some research and offer the following suppliers for meat and poultry in the Beacon area. I am sure we will need to keep visiting their websites in order to be aware of current practices. Check back for updates and recipes related to this new source of locally raised farm stock.

Grass & Grit --
Arch River Farm -
Glynwood -

1 comment:

  1. ...and I was going to ask you to take me to McDonalds for a couple of hamburgers.