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What Do World Peace and GMO Labeling Have to do With Each Other?

8 Mar

Proposition 30 – you know, that proposition that we voted against (I didn’t, just sayin)? In trying to understand why anyone would vote against that in a weird way I finally came to understand it’s the same reason we don’t have world peace. Let me explain.

I always thought when a soldier says he or she “fights for his or her country”  they meant the government as in they are fighting for those that run it.  Now I realize maybe they were fighting for what this country stands for in its papers ie. that document that says “We the People” (the Constitution) and that other one that starts with “When in the course of human events…” (that’s the Declaration by the way, I didn’t know the first paragraph). Because I have to say that I am not at all impressed at the lack of leadership from those who run any “wing” right or left, that spends it’s time failing in it’s job, acting illegally, spending my money without my approval and refusing to take a stand and demand that the “people” of this country take responsibility for themselves and get off their asses and get to work without entitlement and arrogance.  We don’t have leadership like that anymore and it seems to be linked to ignorance on our part.  We don’t seem to want to take responsibility.  We want someone else to take the fall.  We don’t demand and we don’t stand up.  It is sad and shameful.  It is unseemly if not unlawful.  I love my country and what it stands for on paper.  I am ashamed of what we have become.  Now let’s talk about what we can do about it…..

What can we do about it? – I believe the political “topics” of today “the economy, oil, gay rights, womans rights, immigration are just distractions to real issues that our government can’t solve.  Our best and brightest don’t seem to want to be in government so we are left with the average person that doesn’t know how to solve the easy issues and work on the tough long term issues.  Those long term critical issues that are complicated to work on are all linked together with one crowing jewel: World Peace.  Cliché you say?  I beg to differ. Everything else solves itself within the confines of World Peace.  We have an abundance of human intelligence that can solve every problem if we choose to understand there is an abundance of everything.  Through that acknowledgement alone the rest is just how quickly we could work together to solve our environmental issues. Why don’t we want World Peace?  Probably the same answer for why we voted against GMO labeling or Gay marriage.  We don’t want to know what it will take to get there because if we know then we can’t hide behind ignorance.  World Peace is only a decision to do the right thing.  That “right thing” we so struggle to hold on to or ignore when we want what we want.  At some point we have to acknowledge we are allowing our government to lead the world and frankly I don’t see it going down the path of Peace.  P.S.  I don’t apologize for ranting and I am always open to a conversation to learn more.  Regardless, don’t hate me.  I am a sensitive person and am known to cry.–Tara

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Why Buy Sustainable

14 Jan

ImageNo one ever should need to justify his or her choice of buying sustainably raised foods but it’s nice to have some talking points on hand. Fortunately Sustainabletable.org puts out so many great handouts including one called “Why Buy Sustainable” which we’ve summarized here with a few added insights from Petaluma’s Tara Firma Farms.

  1. Healthier. Grass-fed beef has two to six times more omega-3s than factory farmed grain-fed; not to mention sustainably farmed meats and produce rarely if ever has instances of widespread contamination due to questionable hygiene practices.
  2. More Nutritious. Sustainable means local which means fruits and vegetables spend less time getting to you from when (and where) they are harvested. Food loses nutrients once harvested so the quicker from farm to plate, the more nutritious.
  3. Tastes Better. Sustainable farms like Tara Firma Farms believe one key to better tasting meat is raising the animal in a stress free environment. Stress causes the animals to release adrenaline and endocrine which adversely affects the meat’s flavor and texture. There is a reason industrial foods are often injected with all sorts of saline solutions and vegetable oils to improve flavor and “mouth feel.”
  4. Animal Welfare. Sustainably-raised animals are treated humanely and enjoy their natural behaviors such as rooting in the dirt or pecking the ground. It’s well-documented the conditions factory farmed animals endure.
  5. Worker Welfare. on factory farms also endure dangerous conditions and low wages. Employees on sustainable farms are paid a fair wage and treated with respect.
  6. Community Welfare. Sustainable farms filter money back into the rural communities where they are based.
  7. Energy Use. Raising animals on factory farms uses large amounts of fossil fuels to harvest the crops that feed the animals, run the electricity in the barns, transport the animals, transport the food, etc.
  8. Saves Family Farms. Eating sustainably helps preserve the cultural heritage of the small independent family farmer. Since 1950 over 2 million family farms that raised hogs have disappeared. If this continues the only farms left may be factory farms.

Go to http://www.tarafirmafarms.com/ for information on Tara Firma Farms commitment to sustainable eating.

The 5 Most Popular Items at Tara Firma Farms

17 Dec

A bone-in ribeye steak

Yes you can give food for Christmas. In fact you should. Here’s why these five items are Tara Firma Farms’ most popular products according to Tara herself. Key the drumroll….

5. Ground Beef Mixed with the Pork Sausage – best sausage or burgers ever. It’s all in the 21 days dry age of the beef and spice in the pork!

4. Pork Roasts – a crock pot, 2 cups of vinegar, 4 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of ginger. Three to four hours later you’ll have a meal you will eat before anyone else gets to the table.

3. Rib Eye – because it is amazing.

2. Pork Chop – the best pork in the world, in my opinion.

1. The Bacon. It is so clean, can be spiced to your desire and we never have enough.

Soil Cycle Simplified

10 Dec

Cows grazingThe soil cycle is as follows:  Healthy soil has microbial life.  Microbial life is important as its poo feeds plants (yes, microbes poo). Plants or grasses photosynthesize carbon out of the atmosphere and put it back into the ground where it belongs (this is called carbon sequestration).  Grasses have to be growing to photosynthesize and therefore need a haircut every 2 to 3 months in order to continue to grow.  The cows, chickens and pigs do the haircutting.  If managed correctly they don’t overgraze the grass to the ground but instead only are take a top bite and then are moved to the next pasture.  This allows the grasses to recover and in doing so sequester more carbon.  The animal poo is food for the microbilal life…and back to the beginning!–Tara Smith, Founder, Tara Firma Farms

The amount of carbon that can be restored in the world’s degraded agricultural soils will directly influence global food security and climate change within our lifetime.” – Rattan Lal, director of the carbon management and sequestration centre at Ohio State University.

For more info go to:

http://www.tarafirmafarms.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TaraFirmaFarms

Gobble Pastured Turkey This Thanksgiving

14 Nov

Thanksgiving is about traditions but thankfully some traditions are meant to be phased out. This year we wish everyone could get beyond the Butterball and get a pastured turkey. Yes, it’s more expensive because your tax dollars aren’t subsidizing the costs, but it’s worth it. Many of Tara Firma Farms’ friends have been experiencing the better taste and clearer conscious that pastured chicken and beef provide.  Here are three good reasons to be gobbling pastured turkey this year too.

  1. Better for you. Pastured-raised turkeys produce conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) from the grass they eat. This fatty acid is known to fight cancer, keep arteries from getting clogged, build lean muscle and even help you lose weight. (a) In addition, pasture-raised turkeys are higher in Omega-3s, vitamin A, vitamin E and folic acid than their Butterball counterpart and they aren’t filled with antibiotics, hormones, pesticides or chemicals to kill pathogens.
  2. Better tasting. Most people don’t know what real poultry tastes like because they are so familiar with factory versions. Pastured birds don’t have the induced moisture and saltiness of their factory counterparts. They are allowed to live much longer and are much more athletic producing a firm lean meat that has a wonderful flavor.
  3. Humanely Raised and Processed: Tara Firma Farms birds see the sun every day and are free to roam on the pasture. It goes without saying that factory birds live a cramped, de-beaked life, possibly in layers of fecal matter. Factory birds endure some of the most inhumane treatment of any livestock. Even organic or free range turkeys live in questionable conditions. The USDA definition of “free-range” states “Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside.”(b). Who knows what that means? Compare that to the fresh air, exercise and free-roaming life Tara Firma Farms turkeys live every day and it’s no contest.

References

(a) http://books.google.com/books?id=su_k_WkP0KgC&dq=Conjugated+linoleic+acid+Williams&printsec=frontcover&hl=en

(b) http://www.fsis.usda.gov/fact_sheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp#4

What You Should Be Eating This Week

12 Nov

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One of the main reasons Tara started Tara Firma Farms is because she’s a huge believer in eating seasonally through a CSA program.  It’s a mind shift. Rather than thinking about what you want to eat then shopping for it, CSA members receive a box of fresh, seasonal foods and figure what do do with it. Beyond expanding your culinary creativity and without getting into the debate on the environmental impact shipping and storing food actually has, here are five great reasons for eating seasonally.

  1. It’s better for your health. It’s widely accepted that fruits and vegetables are most nutritious closest to their pick date because they lose stored organic materials as they respirate after picking. Also, food in the supermarket is there based on yield, growth rate, and ability to withstand long-distance transport.
    Unfortunately, the traits which benefit national and international produce distribution aren’t usually the ones that maximize nutritional quality. Local farmers grow for flavor, nutrition and diversity vs shipability.
  2. Eating seasonally means variety. This gives your body a better assortment of vitamins and nutrients and your palate some entertainment.
  3. It’s less expensive.
  4. Eating local foods support the local economy! Farmers get a far higher cut when they can sell direct.
  5. Tastes better. You just can’t beat fruits and vegetables that are allowed to ripen fully. When fruits and vegetables need to endure the rigors of shipping they have to be picked when they are more rugged, i.e. unripe.

3 Simple Reasons Never to Buy Vegetarian Eggs

3 Nov

You’ve seen the cartons exclaiming “vegetarian eggs” and like everyone else, you’ve tossed them in your basket thinking they were healthier for you. Well, think again. Here’s three reasons from Tara Firma Farms’ poultry expert Keating Wallau why you never should buy vegetarian eggs:

1. Chickens aren’t vegetarians. An all-vegetarian diet isn’t natural for them. That’s pretty simple. They want to be out pecking and scratching around the field for bugs, living grass and the myriad of other living things in a natural grassland.

2. For a chicken to be all vegetarian it almost always means it is contained in a coop and fed corn. We’ve all seen what those conditions are like for the birds.

3. Vegetarian chickens’ eggs are the lowest in nutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids. In fact, new research is showing that non-vegarian–pastured eggs like Tara Firma Farms produces are healthy for your heart.

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