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The End Product MATTERS to Them!

Agriculture Organic Ranching Farming Sustainable Holistic Healthy

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#1 arcadianhaven

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:32 PM

We have all seen the millions of ads and articles floating around the web space for buying local, shopping the neighborhood framers market, and supporting local businesses. I guess this post would follow in that fashion, but with maybe more of a justification rather than sales pitch.
I recently did a post that shows all the bad stuff that gets added to our food in order to “process” it etc for the masses. Most of those “necessary” additives could be done away with, if the food we purchase was grown nearby. http://www.arcadianh.../foodissues.pdf.
I visited some friends down in Yuma this past year, the area is just crawling with cattle and feed lots etc. I made the comment that “wow you must all get some good beef prices!” Astoundingly, the reply was no. All that cattle is shipped to Houston Texas to be processed etc. AMAZING! You have Phoenix 3 hours to the north that sports a 4.5 million population, Tucson to the East, and then Yuma.
How much cost is added just transporting those 1000+ pound behemoths 1300 miles, or 19 hours! WOW the fuels cost must add a fortune. Then just think, the meat is processed, and at some point, a good portion of it is then shipped back to be sold at the local market. So that cow grown 3 hours away, travels round trip 2600 miles, or 38 hours on a semi, to get to the supermarket in Phoenix!
We then wonder why all these additives are needed. If you, as a consumer, bought your meat from the local growers (which I will show you is really not more expensive) you could increase local demand, support your neighbors, and increase your health by not having all those ”necessary additives”.
With Diesel fuel running a cost, right now, at 3.67 a gallon, and let’s assume that truck is pulling 15 miles per gallon. Then we take the 26 head of cattle in that trailer (http://www.animalagr...cking Guide.pdf) and we do some simple math…..
Cost of fuel round trip, $929.00
Cost of drivers wages $600.00
Cost burden added to each head of cow $58.00 Divided by the net meat weight after processing we just added $0.12 per pound to the cost of that beef
Now transporting by rail could save some money, but considering each rail car can transport only 16 steers (http://www.nebraskah...nsportation.htm), I think the costs could average the same.
Now there are some costs not included here such as truck lease and maintenance, a decent percentage of the animals die during transit, the cost of adding all those “necessary additives”, and let’s not forget government subsidies!

“Apart from the externalized environmental costs, high-intensity feeding operations are subsidized indirectly by the federal government. This “indirect subsidy” goes primarily to corn growers — which reduces the market prices of this valuable cattle feed. Understandably, as the USDA’s 2010 overview of the cattle industry illustrates, the prices of beef follow the fluctuations in corn prices closely, so if corn is subsidized and is sold short of its true cost, corn-fed beef will also be sold more cheaply. Ironically, cattle are being fed other food-industry waste because corn is still the expensive route for fattening up beef cattle quickly. So without this indirect economic boost from the government, it is arguable that much of the cattle industry would be forced to incorporate the real costs of feed and potentially the environmental costs as well, at which point the cost to produce beef under the current system would be prohibitive.”http://sustainabilit...-marie-burcham/ Translation…Our taxes are subsidizing the large producers, thus driving their costs down, which means they have the “illusion” of being cheaper. Truth is you are paying the difference, just not at the grocer, but rather in your taxes.
I have only been discussing Meat here, but these same things happen with milk, produce, etc.
I guess my whole point here is that by us purchasing from the industrial AG businesses via our chain grocer, we are undermining our health, the environment, and the local economy. If you made it a point every time you went to your grocer, to buy 1 item from the organic produce section, or buy 1 meat product from a local farm to your area, or got some cheese or milk or eggs from a local “small” farmer, imagine the impact you could make.
Don’t support the large “industrial producers” support your neighbors, your hometown, and your state. These are the folks looking out for your well being. WHY? because they take pride in what they do, the end product MATTERS to them!
http://www.arcadianhaven.com/blog.html
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#2 ARD Farm

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:03 PM

Sort of goes along with the CSX commercial on the boob tube that falsely states a train brought it to you. Don't think so. I don't see a rail siding next to the barn. In fact, the nearest rail is about 10 miles from here.

You have to keep in mind where the infrastructure (physical plant) is for processing the meat for consumption. You don't do that in a tent and pass a USDA inspection.

Holding/confinement pens are a small part of the overall picture. It's comparable to your local elevator sending grain (via rail ot truck) to a bigger storage facility that may or may not load in bulk on barges or boats but may consolidate the grain and pass it on again, before it's actually processed.

The only time point of use processing works is on a small scale like a home garden/canning operation. It don't work on a commercial, large scale basis. Again, the physical plant scenario comes into play.

#3 deadmoose

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:53 PM

You: preacher. Me: choir. If only everyone else thought that way. Many of us do that but not enough. That is why I will never shop at Wally world.

Uneducated Democratic public doesnt know this. If they did many would change.

#4 arcadianhaven

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:06 AM

Thank you for the replies. I realize there are a lot more facts out there on this subject,and I am by no means and expert, but they are hard to come by. I scrubbed the web quite a bit just to get the ones I noted. Lots of conflicting information out there to confuse folks. I can see no good reason why a consumer should not shop the local economy for their ag products.

#5 Mike120

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 10:02 AM

Just a couple of points, most semi owners would LOVE to get 15 MPG....It's closer to 4-5 MPG.

The other point is demographics. Most people now live in cities where they are almost totally dependent on the local grocery store for food. Most food is raised and grown in large rural areas. To get economies of scale and efficencies in this type of distribution requires numerous consolidation points in the supply chain the last of which are the main wearhouse in the city that distributes to the grocery stores which in turn distributes to the end customers.

The Houston Metro Area had 5.95 million people in 2010. If all of them tried to "buy local" a LOT more fuel would be spent and those of us out here in the boondocks wouldn't be able to move our equipment from field to field with all the cars. Most grocery stores try to buy local raised/grown products but the reality is that they need a consistant supply that cannot be produced locally due to weather, spoilage, etc. Local grown is also a small percentage of their sales because the customers won't accept that anything is seasonal so food is imported to maintain the supply. Local farmers markets only serve a few customers for the same reasons.

The chemicals, antibiotics, hormons, etc are only a response to the demands of the supply chain that requires a consistent supply and a consistent quality. If you don't do it, they won't buy your product and you either change your ways or try to survive selling at a farmers market or roadside stand. If you do it their way, you can support your family, grow the farm and have something to hand down to the next generation. We are less than 3% of the population and getting smaller every day. You don't need to convince us......Try working on the other 97% who love to tell us how everything we do is cruel, causing global warming, and poisoning the environment.......and then go buy cheap, imported food at the local grocery store and complain that it's not closer to their house
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#6 Mike120

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:14 PM

Along these same lines.....The attached is an interesting read every month. Ever wonder why there is such a market for Vitamines, Amino Acids, Trace Minerals, etc? It's because the processing that much of our food goes through removes most of them and they have to be replaced or the population would "fail to thrive". Corn processing resulted in an outbreak of Pellagra years back because the Niacin was no longer bioavailable. Processing wheat into flour removes more than half of the vitamin B, 90% of vitamin E, 80% of iron and about 50% of calcium. Food producers try to add these vitamins back in, but often the unnatural sources are not as easily absorbed and digested. Lot's and lots of examples of what we've done over the years to stretch a food supply to feed an ever growing population.

While I applaud the efforts of the "back to nature" types, the various organic movements and the buy local initiatives, the sad reality is that the US cannot feed it's population without extensive food processing and imported foods. And, there are no easy answers. Even sadder, is that the majority of the population isn't aware or would even care if they knew....After all, the grocery store makes the food. Unfortunately, we can't turn back the hands of time, no matter how much we would like to.

Attached Files


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#7 cwright

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 06:45 AM

I know the place you are talking about. Welton, AZ near Yuma. Several hundred thousand head in that one lot alone.

It’s a perfect spot for a large operation. Sparsely populated, railroad sides are close by less than a mile or two. Also large amounts of high quality feed close by.

Can you imagine the complaints from a neighborhood if even a small operation was nearby?

There is a local dairy here that is small by most standards here. He milks about 150 head. The dairy has been in operation for over 50 years. Some of the land adjacent to the diary farm was sold then subdivided and a large subdivision was built. Then as people moved in they complained about the smell.

Sort of like buying a house near an airport then complain about the noise.

He has over the years been forced to spend a lot of money to control the smell for the neighbors.

Pretty soon he will be “complained” out of business and forced to sell out. Then the land will be split into subdivisions and filled with people that will complain about the high cost of food.

Developers are drooling at the opportunity.
Charles
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#8 Vol

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:22 AM

He needs to get it re-zoned for mobile homes and put a massive trailer park there and see how those subdivision folk like the trailer park folk ;).

Regards, Mike
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#9 NDVA HAYMAN

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 12:44 PM

Or a Landfill!

#10 Mike120

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:38 AM

Years ago, I had a friend who sold some property to a developer. He kept a piece with a hill on it "because he liked the high ground." Anyway, the developer built houses, the subdivision almost surounded his property and his "driveway" tied into one of the main roads of the subdivision.

Years later he decided to sell his hill and went to the developer and Home Owners Association to see if they were interested. They were not very accomodating and offered him a very low price which upset him. He went home, got an old sheet of plywood, made a sign that said "Coming Soon - Dave's Pig Farm", and posted it on his property's edge. Not too long after that, they gave him his price and everyone was happy.......

A developer bought property across the road from another friends ranch and put in a beautiful fence and entry way across the street. He mentioned to the developer how much nicer it would look if the same nice fence was on his side of the road as well. The developer declined his suggestion, but changed his mind soon after a sign advertising that a new "used auto parts" facility would be across the street from the entry to the development.

Not sure if you can still get away with stuff like that today, but I sure enjoyed it years ago. With developments coming closer to me and the price of land around here. There may be a pig farm or junk yard in my future as well.

#11 hayray

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:02 AM

obviously there is a lot of food being packaged that is un-healthy for us, just look at the obesiety epidemic and the conclusion should be that something is gone wrong. Yes, we need to start producing more locally grown, minimally processed food stuffs and end subsidies for big Ag crops like corn that produce cheap, highly processed, and unhealthy foods.

#12 deadmoose

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 11:46 PM

I hate to suggest a new tax. But... Why is Chinese stuff always so cheap? They do not have the same manufacturing restrictions we have here. Why do we as a country favor them for manufacturing our goods by not taxing them as we tax ourselves? If we tariffed imports half as much as we taxed ourselves we would all of a sudden have competitive products. And less money overseas. It seems that our current leaders want America to die as fast as possible.

#13 rjmoses

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:06 AM

I hate to suggest a new tax. But... Why is Chinese stuff always so cheap? They do not have the same manufacturing restrictions we have here. Why do we as a country favor them for manufacturing our goods by not taxing them as we tax ourselves? If we tariffed imports half as much as we taxed ourselves we would all of a sudden have competitive products. And less money overseas. It seems that our current leaders want America to die as fast as possible.


Most of the current Chinese trade laws where negotiated by Bill Clinton in 1998 in a secret trade agreement. The reasons that Chinese, and others, goods are so cheap are:

1) They do not have minimum wage laws. 50 cents a day--OK.
2) They do not have OSHA looking over the work place. Worker gets hurt--who cares!
3) They do not have the EPA watching production facilities (Find pictures of steel production in Romania--they make Pittsburg in the 50s/60s look absolutely clean.)
4) They do not have the IRS taking 40% of the average person's wages. FICA/SS/Medicare.
5) They do not have local State governments taking another 11-13% (The combined state sales and income taxes run in this range across the USA.)
6) They do not have 75,000 lawyers suing anybody and everybody for anything and everything,
7) They do not have 47% of their population taking government handouts.

On one hand, we enjoy a higher standard of a living and a better quality of life because of many of these things, like OSHA and the EPA. I LIKE the clean air/water policies and I believe that these other countries should follow the same standards if they want to export their goods to us, Air and water pollution do not know national boundaries.

On the other hand, I do not appreciate the way of governing bodies have gone overboard on what we are required to do. I believe they waste too much money trying to legislate the little guy while letting the big guy slide. Too many laws, too many policies, too many regulations, that are hamstringing Americans and demoralizing the country as a whole.

I'm all in favor of taxing the Chinese, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, etc., with a "head" tax, just like Chicago has. Then let's tax them for having too many people. Let's tax them for failing to meet EPA, OSHA, etc., regulations. And let's tax them just for looking different,

I could gone on, but its early, I haven't had my coffee and I'm crabby.

Ralph
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#14 Mike120

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:38 AM

2) They do not have OSHA looking over the work place. Worker gets hurt--who cares!


At the shipyards in Dalian, it's gotten a little better only because the Western companies have people working in there as well and don't want them hurt. They also often collect safety metrics.....One rig I was involved with had NO reported safety incidences, but sadly, seven workers committed suicide during it's construction.

#15 somedevildawg

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:41 AM

And we shoulda left the levees like they were and filled the place in with dirt, oh....sorry bit grumpy myself this am. Clinton started this whole trade bonanza with roc, after they have completely contaminated their land, they'll come looking for more.....guess where....bet it ain't Afghanistan. I'm sure all those Asian countries are watching closely. They should be, the Chinese empire is back in full force.

#16 haybaler101

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 06:30 PM

And we shoulda left the levees like they were and filled the place in with dirt, oh....sorry bit grumpy myself this am. Clinton started this whole trade bonanza with roc, after they have completely contaminated their land, they'll come looking for more.....guess where....bet it ain't Afghanistan. I'm sure all those Asian countries are watching closely. They should be, the Chinese empire is back in full force.

In case you hadn't noticed, they already own our a$$e$. All we have to do is miss a payment and they move in.

#17 rjmoses

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 07:27 PM

At the shipyards in Dalian, it's gotten a little better only because the Western companies have people working in there as well and don't want them hurt. They also often collect safety metrics.....One rig I was involved with had NO reported safety incidences, but sadly, seven workers committed suicide during it's construction.


Like I said--all too many of our governing bodies hammer the little guy and let the big guys slide!

Ralph

#18 Mike120

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:43 AM

Like I said--all too many of our governing bodies hammer the little guy and let the big guys slide!


In other countries, payments to officials are called bribes, money under the table, commissions, fees, etc. Here we call them political contributions.......and they are tax deductible.
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#19 HayBones

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:07 AM

Everybody better learn to swim really well because the only thing that could stop the direction we are headed is a major global flood! Plain and simple there are just too many people on this planet and too many major mistakes have been made during the recipe for protocol. Stiring up topics like this deeply saddens me because its painfully obvious that man kind is destroying this amazing planet.....rant over. Can one man really make a difference anymore?





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