It a myth..part of the big lie..”The farmer in order to remain competitive must utilize the most modern methods of production.”..Riiight.. Well, like the Cambodian Rice Farmers highlighted in a previous post this is a case of farmers saying no to chemicals and inhumane practices while becoming more profitable at the same time.
There’s an interesting New York Times Article regarding the genesis of Heritage Acres. In it they give us a peek into some of the consequences and costs associated with conventional industrial farming methods. Namely:
-The small farmer cannot readily absorb the negative fluctuations of the marketplace as the big industrial farms can. They cite one instance of a farmer selling a 250 pound hog for a case of Miller Light because “That’s what it was worth”. You obviously can’t pay the mortgage with returns like that.
-The financial costs of the conventional methods are significant..One farmer stating in 2006 that his drug and vet bills were approximately $12,000/yr.
-The standard argument that conventional is similar to a more naturally grown product is once again debunked. Based upon the especially virulent strain of bacteria living in one hog due to the consistent heavy dosing of antibiotics and the blind taste tests showing superior flavor from the more natural product.
-And there is a conscience effort to make slaughter as humane and painless as possible. (Well, I would tend to believe that they are probably more humane than conventional practices but am not entirely sold on the painless portion. And I could be wrong as this feeling is based upon no factual evidence..just a gut reaction).
This is sold among other places at Whole Foods. And a sustainable farmed product is sold there is because of consumers like the readers of this blog. People who care about their food, the environment and others.