Friday, May 28, 2010

Deals & Steals

Since Hubby got home after 8pm last night, and there was no "Costco Shopping in Lieu of Anniversary Date" (um, there was nothing in lieu of anniversary date.  Maybe someday we'll change our anniversary to February when he's not working at all?), I had to go to town today with all four lovelies.  And I'm a little bit worn out.

Last time I took them in the late afternoon to their Grandma's (when she was off work) while I shopped and picked them up to come home.  But as the weather is COLD and WET and DREARY I couldn't do anything in the garden, and was compelled to do something productive with the bulk of my day (watching 2 vats of beans soak doesn't count).

I found a gem at Costco.  Perfect for Little Artist (the bird lover) and in good time, as we've gotten very close to some swallows who think they might like to build their muddy nest above our front door (Hubby strongly disagrees with them, which is probably why they choose this time of year to try).

It's a good-sized book, and nearly 2 inches thick.  It's softcover, but with the full-color pages common in the DK books.  I've been thinking of getting a field guide or something for birds, since we have a nice collection of them around here.  The best part?  It was $22 at Costco.  Even cheaper than Amazon, and way cheaper than the $35 retail price tag.

Another blessing I ran across inadvertently was some of this salami:

I've grabbed this on clearance before, and it did okay on pizza.  The retail price for this 4 oz package?  $7.49.  Not part of my regular grocery list, ya think?  However, they were nearing their expiration date, and were marked down.  To ninety-nine cents.  So, yeah, I bought a few.  Like, ten.  What a blessing.

Also, I got a free, locally grown (if not organically...  knowing the grower, he probably feeds them the spent grain from his bathtub moonshine operation) ham.  Well, I've been helping out some friends, and they're helping us out by sharing their abundance.  So nice!!

I also ran across a bunch of baby formula in the formulation some friends use.. It was also nearing it's expiration date (I'm just loving expiration dates), and the $14 cans were marked down to just under $6.  I called her up, and picked up several for her.  [I know, *me* buy formula?  Trust me, Mama is doing all she can, and hasn't given up on nursing yet!]  I'm not sure how well the "raw liver baby formula" recipe in Nourishing Traditions would be received, but I suppose I could offer that too.  ;)  [okay, there are other homemade versions too...  less freaky ones.  Do you know anyone who has made their own baby formula?]

All in all, though it was a fairly taxing day, it was obviously not without its blessings.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

If It Weren't For Facebook...


And our cousin wishing her parents a happy anniversary...

Baby, almost 9 months.

I probably still wouldn't know Hubby and I mark 10 years today.  :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chicken Nipples

You didn't know there were such things did you?

Well, ours don't have any YET, but they're on the way.

It's my mom's fault, really.  She and my dad have been married 25 years, and decided to celebrate that in large fashion.  Of course, to qualify for "large fashion" one must have all one's relatives from far and wide show up, right?  In the middle of the busiest work time for Hubby?  In the middle of garden planting season?  Chicken season?  Turkey season?  Yes.  See how much I love her?  So we have to leave in a week or so to participate largely, fashionably (ahem), and there will be about 80 creatures needing tending here.  Forty-eight of whom will be putting away some 20-30 lbs of feed a day, to say nothing of water.

I REALLY don't like asking people to do stuff like this.  It can be hard.  Heavy.  And you might step in something.  And anyone who I would ask would need to drive to get here, and I probably couldn't bring myself to ask them to do it more than once in the four days we will be gone.

God is good, and he let me stumble upon this.  Especially this version, with the toilet float valve.  Awesome. :)  By the time this posts, I will hopefully have all the pieces ready to work with.  I got extra chicken nipples from Farmtek.  The shipping is very high even for small amounts/items, so if you need a few, drop me a line.  I ordered a couple extra. ;)

Hopefully we'll have this figured out and operational before we go, then my neighbor can just swing by long enough to see that everyone is a live and pecking.  If not, I'm not sure what she could do about it, but...

Now to figure out a mega-feeder...

Friday, May 14, 2010


Despite the wintery weather we've suffered in this past month, the "farm" side of our place is coming along.  That happens when you order your critters in March; you have no choice but to deal with them when they show up!

We ordered our standard 50 cornish cross broilers, though I'm almost ready to double that, and sell the balance.  We'll see how it goes this year, and maybe we can do that next time.  

The best part is they're over 4 weeks old now, and we have lost ONLY TWO - the one Organique squished (oh, that is so hard to write!) and another in that first couple days.  I don't know if it had to do with the organic starter or not, but I'm happy to see it.  Here they are on Thursday:

On Tuesday we picked up our three turkey poults, and a Rouen duck.  Here are the poults.  We only got 3, because we still have some turkey in the freezer.  We got the broad-breasted bronze this year:

Here is the duck.  He's cute now, but I'm not looking forward to his/her goings on in future years.  We don't plan to eat it:

Here is a handful of our hens.  We have 2 roosters, and about 20 or so hens.  The gold (buff orpington) rooster is in the foreground, and Big Ed (a light brahma) has a white body, black tail, and has his head down, above and to the left of the gold.

They're doing well laying eggs for us finally; better when we DON'T suddenly realize Organique is missing, and the mad scramble to find her finds her madly scrambling eggs in the chicken house.  But we haven't had any of those days lately.. *sigh*

Thursday, May 13, 2010


UPDATED to add: Per the comments, FRESH is NOT associated with Food, Inc.

I was able to attend a local screening of the movie FRESH last night.  It's got my hero, Joel Salatin, as well as Michael Pollan and a few others.  I don't know that it's by the Food, Inc people, but it's almost like the next step from there.  Food, Inc. is what is wrong; FRESH is how to get to a better place.

Even better?

FRESH is being screening next week in Washington DC, with Joel Salatin (and some lady.  the producer/director or whatever.  Not important. ;)) there to introduce the movie and answer questions.  Let's just say he wasn't at OUR showing...  The 'better' part is that the US Senators and Representatives have been invited.

I really want them to see it, don't you?

So I wrote to each of mine:

I am writing to ask that you attend the screening of the movie, FRESH. I was recently able to view it, and I understand it's coming to you, too! I'd be much encouraged if you would take the time to see it as well. It really speaks to the heart of a fundamental human issue.

WHEN: Friday May 21, 2010, 4:30-6:30
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building Foyer

The director and one of the farmers featured in the film will be on hand to introduce the movie and take questions. We didn't have that here in my little town. :)

Again, [Whomever], I ask that you make this a priority. For the good of us all.

Thank you,

Also, to your senators, they are looking at S 510, the "Food Safety and Modernization Act." Consider asking them to support the Tester Amendment , that would exempt small producers (like your farmer's marketers) from the burdensome regulations and requirements. Keep fresh, safe food available.

More info 

Consider doing the same or similar with your representatives/senators. You can do so from here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moral Eating

I've been posting about Joel Salatin's book, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.

I also wrote about watching Food, Inc, and was troubled by the idea that organic production models couldn't reasonably feed the world, that they just don't produce enough.

I was surprised to be struck by something in the Animal Welfare chapter at the end of Joel's book.  He actually is quoting another author, but it really has me thinking...

He begins by discussing the animal-welfare people who are very against inducing abortion in third-trimester cows for the sole reason of putting more weight on the beast (in a feedlot, where her future is to be meat, not milk).  This is obviously poor animal husbandry!  But,
"Amazingly, the people who are so concerned about abortions in the third trimester of a bovine pregnancy tend to support that action in humans.  Isn't that incredible?  It's as inconsistent as the pro-lifers eating disrespected factory farmed meat out of Costco.  I agree with Matthew Scully, author of Dominion:  The people who should be most concerned about respecting and honoring animals are the members of the religious right.  Instead these folks defend the right to abuse animals, to disrespect their chickeness and pigness.  And they even applaud their own ability to find the cheapest food.  I wonder if they think the best church comes from hiring the cheapest pastor."


Really ouch.

I've pondered this.  Why did God make animals?  Why did he make them each different?  Was it for His pleasure, as well as our benefit?  If so, if He delights in having "cattle on (a thousand) hills" and not on cement, lounging on mountains of excrement, wracked with bacteria, disease, and pain, while their very life is drawn out of them on a daily basis...  If this is how we can "afford" to drink milk...  Does this please Him?  If He gave a chicken feathers, a beak and the instinct to peck, feet and the nature to scratch in dirt.. Is He pleased if they spend their entire lives with 8 others in a 16"x16" cage, having their beak tips cut off, never seeing the light of day or breathing anything but the dust and mites and manure from thousands of others under the same roof?  Is this God's preferred way of providing "affordable" eggs and meat for His children?  Does He want us to consider this??  Are we responsible to consider where and how our dinner got to our plate?

This doesn't seem small to me.  It doesn't seem inconsequential at all.  Joel (or Matthew Scully) is right.  I've read more than one blog - operated by well-meaning stay-at-home Mamas, determined to steward God's resources responsibly, to feed their families well - who find great virtue in frugality... and haven't even looked at this perspective.  Many pursue "organic" food when possible, but even when they don't or can't, the extent of their thought seems to be, "I just pray that God will protect us from any risk..."  In light of this, that seems awfully self-focused.  When we buy that tray of 'affordable' meat, are we righteous because we didn't 'waste' money, or are we unrighteous for propping up a system that abuses people (illegal immigrants, among others), poisons water and fish and great swaths of soil, and, to use a word from the quotation, "disrespects" the very nature of the thing which we eat?  Cows don't naturally eat grain, legumes, or chicken manure (you read that right.  As of 2007 anyway, that was/is an approved practice near Joel's home).  Should this factor in to our purchasing decisions, along with pricetag and nutrition?

The other issue, the question of whether or not people would starve to death if we didn't chem-farm and feed-lot.  Joel briefly refers to this in his book.
"They really believe, like our Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Mason Carbaugh in the 1980s wrote in his annual bulletin, 'If we went to organic farming, we would just have to decide which half of the world would starve.'  These officials actually believe this.  They make statements like this and go to church and feel exceptionally good inside about protecting the world from lunatics like me.  
How did he come up with such a silly notion?  Simply.  The land grand college researches organic production this way:

  • Pick several plots of ground.

  • These plots have been used previously in research regarding herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers.  The soil is dead.

  • Identify three as the organic plots and three as conventional plots.

  • Organic plots receive no soil amendments; conventional receive full complement of fertilizer, pre-emerge weed killer, grubicides, etc.

  • Plant hybrid corn - genetically selected to require chemical fertilizer - nutrient vacuum cleaners.

  • Leave the plots to their own devices.  Organic plots get weedy.  So what.  Herbicide kills weeds in conventional.

  • Harvest corn.

  • Measure yield.  Organic pitiful; conventional excellent.

  • Extrapolate production volume over worldwide corn acreage.

  • Conclusion: Organics will kill half the world's population.
Folks, I'm not making this up.  This is exactly how the research is conducted.  Now can you see why science is not objective?  Anyone with a lick of sense understands that chemicalized soils take at least three years to detoxify.  The native soil flora and fauna take a long time to recolonize dead soil.  Notice, too, that they didn't plant hardy open pollinated corn.  And nobody cared about the nutritional quality of the corn; the only thing that mattered was volume  This is Modern Science 101, the foundation of official press releases and government-sponsored research.

If organics would kill the world half-over, then why are the 'big guys' so determined to keep neighborhood farms and farmers from feeding the people nearest them?  Have you seen what Joel Salatin produces?  Have you seen articles about what people are growing on their city lot, or their quarter acre?  Have you researched the biointensive method?  It's incredible.  And all organic.  Too, if conventional means raping and pillaging the soil and the animals, I have a hard time believing God would love the increase of people as much as He seems to.  God would not tell anyone to "fill the earth" if we had to abuse the rest of His creation to do so... would He?

I can hear people saying, "whoa now... hold on.  I have several children to feed and clothe on my husband's salary.  How exactly am I supposed to afford stuff like that?  And my moral compass may be calibrated incorrectly?!?"  I hear the same thing in my own mind.  A recent YouTube video I watched featured Daniel Salatin (Joel's son) teaching others how to cut and package chicken pieces...  The whole chicken was $3/lb, and boneless, skinless breasts were $13/lb!  I don't know how current it was, but even Azure has similar prices for such.  And I about choked.  That may be doable for a couple, or small family, but that starts getting crazy as you go up in family size.  What about the price for beef? Grains?  Veggies?  

I don't have any easy answers, but 2 things come to mind.  First, conventional food isn't really cheap.  You hear about "the Farm Bill" every year?  That spells out what the government is going to do with, to, for, about food production.  Whether they will pay Joe Smith to NOT grow wheat, etc.  You hear a farmer mention that bean prices were the same for his grandpa... How can that be?  Grandpa probably had a cheaper tractor, smaller mortgage, cheaper inputs..  How then is today's farmer even paying the property taxes?  Government "subsidies?" [There is a lot about this that I don't know.  I would love to know more about how this works, if anyone can help!]  Americans spend a smaller proportion of their income for food than ever before.  America "sells" corn or whatever to Mexico and Haiti... and the imported American stuff is EVEN CHEAPER than a local subsistence farmer can grow it for.  How else does this happen, without taxpayers propping up the industry?  So we're paying for it, just not when we write a check to the grocer.  

Another cost of today's food is in medical expenses.  Obesity is such a huge problem, we have skyrocketing rates of diabetes, heart disease (in younger and younger people), cancer, chronic diseases.  MUCH of this is the result of the daily choices people make, when it comes time to eat.  And we're lazy, and ignorant.  Even food bank recipients (often) refuse dry beans, or other higher nutrition, more effort, foodstuffs.  Most people don't see the purpose in taking time to make beans, or soup, or anything, when you can get (seemingly!) "the same thing" from a can or box or package in 1/8 of the time, with 1/12 the effort.  And in short order, they're spending how much per month on prescription medications to deal with the problems they've developed.  How 'affordable' was that food again?

I don't have any ways for you to opt out of the first hidden costs.  Tax evasion is not looked at lightly. :)  The second you have much more power over.  Not complete power mind you; things happen, certainly, but we know enough to know that some things are "bad for you" and others notsomuch.  Use that knowledge, and better your odds in that department.  Don't know?  Well, if you're reading this, you have access to a world of information.  Get some. :)

Small organic producers don't get the corporate welfare (big organic might, I don't know).  They're not picking your pocket; anything they get from you is entirely voluntary, entirely transparent.  We have to respect that at least. :)  As such, their prices are higher than that of their conventional counterparts.  A farmer, or market gardener, needs to be compensated with a living wage.  We shouldn't decry that.  If we do, what is their incentive to continue?  

But what can we do...  Is there an option outside of doubling our grocery budget?

I think so.  We eat *darn good* and have extra food stocked in the pantry and freezers, yet we *still* fall within the lowest average spending for a household our size.  How do we do it?  Well, first, we don't eat out.  Hardly ever.  The way I hear things from Dave Ramsey, that's a huge expense for some families.  I know people who, both working and both tired, eat dinner out a couple times a week or more.  Some lunches are in restaurants too.  Cutting back on this could easily free up a LOT of grocery money.  Second, we buy bulk when possible, and from buying clubs/co-ops.  This is a GREAT way to get healthy, organic foods at decent prices.  I find the best buys are (of course) on the least-processed foods.  If you're going to buy organic canned soups, they're expensive anywhere you find them.  Azure Standard is one I've mentioned more than once.  Almost anyone can raise a few laying hens, or if not, give up a $3 latte and buy a dozen or two eggs from someone local.  Grass-fed, organic beef is horrifically expensive.  At least, in my mind. :)  But buying a whole beef (or a half, or a quarter, or finding a dozen family members to split it) is much more economical.  Where do you find such a thing?  Well, the last one we bought I discovered through a local organic grocery store.  They were stocking $5/lb hamburger from a neighbor who farms organically, but I wondered if they knew of anyone else in the area that raised beef completely on pasture.  They gave me a name, and I called, and the rest is history.  That was 2 years ago, and we're about due for a refill. :)  Sometimes these stores have bulletin boards; keep an eye out there, or put up your own name and number, "in search of" grass-fed beef.  You could do the same thing at a feed store.  Probably the best place to find information right now is a farmer's market.  Ask any vendor there if they know of someone, even ask other patrons.  You can tap into a great network this way.  You might find someone raising chickens, rabbits, turkeys...  A lot of people in this area would consider bartering, and I bet that's true elsewhere.  You never know until you ask.  Personally, having someone I could call to tend these chickens when I'm gone would be worth a bird or two!  Now, who wants to share a milk cow?

This is a long post.  I thought about dividing it up, but I didn't like it that way.  One point leads to the other.  And I want to encourage you, if you were struck like I was by that first quote, that it is not a catch-22.  We trust God "to provide" right?  Is He not capable of providing in line with His own design?  Let us trust Him to provide well.  If He calls us this direction He is faithful to equip.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Further Book Thoughts

On that book, Joel Salatin's Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal.

I mentioned that both the political left and right are oppressive to Joel Salatin and others like him.  I just love this book.  Every chapter had me shaking my head, determined to be more conscious in my food-acquisition efforts.  He blasts both sides:  The big businesses who lobby for special status in a sea of burdensome regulations - or support those very regulations, knowing they're the only ones who have the ability and resources to jump through such hoops (this is applies to far more than food production, by the way), and the do-gooder environmentalist that thinks government is the answer to all the earth's ills, and in his ignorance makes things worse.  Joel gives an example of the poor agricultural practices that were polluting the Chesapeake Bay... Dairy farmers were applying their slurry to their fields on a daily basis - rain, shine, winter, summer... unless the grass was growing and thriving (spring, summer, no rain), the stuff wasn't metabolized, and would run into the Bay.  Legislation and regulation and government money provided for a great new innovation (so the environmentalists claimed), to make manure lagoons to hold the slurry.  Joel managed to eventually get an interview with one of the higher-ups in this department, and showed him how they managed to hold onto their valuable manure until the pasture was ready to receive it - and without $50,000 worth of cement and steel.  The guy admired Joel's system before explaining that there was no research money available to study something that was already working (huh?) and no grant money for the same thing.  THEN he admitted that things were actually worse for the Bay... that the lagoons allowed farmer's to hold the slurry for up to six months before dealing with it.  Which they DID - and usually only ended up taking care of the big mess during their down-time - winter.  The WORST time to do it.  Before, at least, they applied it hit-and-miss.. Some days were good.  Now none of it was being applied at the right time.  Why not repeal the whole thing?  Impossible.
"The environmentalists won a huge victory with this program.  How do you think they would look if they had to admit they'd caused more harm than good?  And do you really think I can take on the entire scientific community at Virginia Tech?  I'd be laughed out of town.  And the politicians that passed the legislation - do you t\really think they will admit they made a mistake?  They would look like fools to their constituents.  Once a program starts, no matter whether it's working or not, the inertia to keep it going is stronger than anything else."


As much as anything else, Joel writes to compel people to question everything.  If it has a government approval stamp, if the research was paid for with government money (or by someone who has an interest in the results), if a politician has an opinion on it - believe it at you own peril.

Joel challenges the "right" tendency to think bigger and faster = better, and the "left" tendency to assume that if someone is selling something, they're trying to rip you off.

He challenges the idea of "food safety" on both sides.  It shouldn't be what the fat-cats say it is, the ones willing to wine and dine the politicians who make the regulations, and it shouldn't be what the 'government = savior' camp claims, either.  Forget the paperwork, he pleads.  Forget the pages and pages of how to do this, the temperature for that, the screens and windows and drains and inspections.  Go to the end-game:  Test the darn thing.  If it tests clean, it's clean!  Who cares if it was processed in someone's kitchen, or even dunked in the toilet, if it's CLEAN.  But that's too simple.  It's apparently not "safe" even if it tests clean... Safe only equals 'jumping through all the government-decreed hoops.'  If it actually kills someone (E. coli recalls, anyone?), there was just a breakdown somewhere, that shouldn't have happened.  Ya think?  But - produce a clean product without those hoops?  Well, that can't be safe.

Both sides are corrupt, and you can't trust a thing they say.  Even if they're promoting something with good intentions, they're wrong.  Foolish.  Destructive.

He advocates for an "opt out" program (isn't that my dream world!?!).  Sign a paper absolving both the government and any producers from liability, and retake the freedom to decide what you eat on your own terms.  Take responsibility for your choices and gain the freedom to do so!

I love this guy.

More tomorrow.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

What A Book

I've been reading a book (okay, several of them, but I want to discuss one in particular) lately, and it's really one of those I wish everyone would read.  The perspective isn't one that many of us have, yet we should really all be aware of it.

It's by Joel Salatin, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal; War Stories From the Local Food Front.

Blogger's photo upload isn't working, else I'd post a picture of the book.  It's worth a look; a tank emblazoned with "USDA" has run a farmer and his wares off the road, and he stands with hands up before the chickens, pigs, and cows.

After reading of his experiences, I'd say that isn't too far off.

This is not like his 'how to' farming books, more a testament to how the system (both left and right!) oppresses 'the little guy,' the real innovators, and hinders both opportunity and progress.  Collusion with big business favors no one but big business (and their politicians) and his is a call to end this.  Everyone should read this book, whether you are into farming, food, politics, or just the American Way of life.

Many are the stories like this:  Joel would like to sell a pound of hamburger to his next-door neighbor.  But, REGULATIONS REQUIRE that such a pound of beef come from a beef slaughtered and processed at a USDA-inspected facility - father away, more expensive, staffed with dozens of illegal aliens...  So let's say he does that, and is ready to sell this (now more expensive, possibly commingled with lesser-quality animals) hamburger to the neighbor.  Wait!  You can't bring that back to the farm!  It's now a value-added product, and a farm is not a retail site, you know?  Where's your dual-lane road from the highway?  Proper signage and commercial access?  Handicapped parking?  Restrooms?  Inspected buildings?  Business license?  The list goes on and on, until the small start-up farmer, who would sell superior, local food to his neighborhood would have to put $500,000 worth of infrastructure in before selling the first T-bone steak.  No wonder the big guys, with their centralized production and processing have all the advantages.

Joel is libertarian in his philosophy here.  And I must say, after reading, I lean that way a little more now myself.  What business is it of the government's if I want to buy beef from my neighbor?  Am I not a big enough girl to choose that for myself?  Lest you think "no one really cares," read about the heavy-handed bureaucrats who have (time and time again) harassed Joel and his family about "compliance" with everything from their own milled lumber (to build their own house), chicken processing, eggs, zoning... it's unbelievable.

Joel touches on the above, calls for changes, addresses the illegal immigration issue, labor laws, housing, organic certification, taxes, bioterrorism, mad cow/bird flu, NAIS, endangered species, and more.

Read it.  Request it from your library.  Buy it and let your neighbor borrow it.

The fact that Joel, and others like him, have had the success they've had in the face of such tyranny is a testament to the product they offer, and to the character of the farmer, persevering in spite of it all.

I come away from this, somewhat surprisingly, feeling like, "I want to do that!"  I was puzzled by this, considering I was reading about ALL the roadblocks to such a thing, until I realized it was more a reaction of wanting to "opt out" of The Government's Food System.  Be done with it!  And I'm ever grateful for my little Black Marketeer who is still under-the-radar enough that I brought home a bag of "Not For Sale" labeled hamburger the other day. :)

Can you imagine?  It's not poisonous (it's fine if she were to give it to me free, or host a barbecue and feed my children with it), in fact it was processed by the same guy we hire when we buy a whole beef.  But it's illegal.  Unbelievable.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Hints & Tips

... for facebook users.

Don't post about all your (considerable) needs, the inability of the welfare system to supply them, and requests for help IF your family smokes THREE $8.50/packs of cigarettes per day.  It seems ingenuous.

Don't tell fb friends how tight the budget is if you've been posting about your lattes, your microbrews, your wines, your lunches out.  Or, if you do, at least amend it to be clear we're not talking about the "discretionary spending" budget.

Don't complain that you have no time to read, or cook, or craft if every other notice on your profile has to do with farming, jewels, or the mafia.

If you have "fuel to share," don't be surprised if I try to take you up on it.  If you keep asking for bricks and boards and help to build a bigger chicken coop, don't be surprised if I do the same, and set the work party for 7am on a Saturday.  My place.

DO post your prayer requests, silly stories, the minutia of your day.  ESPECIALLY if you're a stay at home mom, and don't leave the house for days on end.  This is fb at its best.  :)

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Am I Really So Absurd?

I'm privileged to have some great people among my friends and family.  But certainly many of them do not agree with my eating habits.  Not that they disagree, because I don't know of any that have really examined the issues, they just aren't interested.

None of us knows the future, but I'm willing to learn what I can, and choose the best I can for that future.  And from what I keep reading about genetically-modified foods, I'm going to remove myself from that experimental group.  You want to be the human lab-rat?  I'm all for choice and freedom; you go right ahead.  Me, no thanks.

From an article in the Salem-News:

...hamsters fed genetically modified (GM) foods produce grandchildren that are unable to produce fourth generation offspring.


Genetically modified foods will feed the hungry. I guess that’s one way of putting it.
You could also call it population control. Technically, the final result would be an end to world hunger. They didn’t lie.


Studies showed stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, abnormal and potentially pre-cancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshaped cell structures in the liver, pancreas and testicles, altered gene expression and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed organs, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates and higher offspring mortality as well.

And I don't know about you, but this is JUST what I needed to attempt another batch of homemade mayonnaise for this pasta salad.  I won't tell you how many batches I've destroyed, but soybean-based mayo?  I think not...