Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where's the beef?

That is a good question this morning.  I was up early and drinking my tea and listening to the morning radio as I usually do.  I can't take the morning news on TV, and I like the quiet and the morning air and I do not want to start my day off listening to the world's problems and the US's problems  that I cannot solve.

I was bowled over by a news segment that was talking about a Iowa State fair winner, a steer that made Grand Champion this year and come to find out, it was a clone of a previous winner in 2008 I believe they said.  I just about fell over.  Well, for one, this was a 4-H steer, and the 4-H council has no rules on how to handle cloned livestock.  I was thinking, ok, if we have one Grand Champion winner in the state fair, what is to stop moving these clones into the food chain at your local grocery store or mega store.  And there are no rules for this type of livestock in the food safety issues that are currently going on now with the egg recall and other food issues that affect us all.

I am careful where I get my food.  I talk to my farmer's market vendors to find and purchase produce and my meat, I do not eat a lot of meat.  I am in a household where being a vegetarian is hard, I do, cook quite a bit of vegetarian dishes, as being on a very poverty-based income, I cannot afford meat.  I do a lot of bartering, and barter my meat purchases with some of my herb mixtures, and fresh herbs and some produce I grow myself.  This is how I do it, as living on less than $8000 a year, you have to be quite creative and you throw nothing away.  I know people who live on half of that and they do very well.

I guess what got to me was the fact that now I am quite sure that the clones are in the food chains and we do not know about it, and they are being processed into our food system and here we are munching away.
I also want my readers to go to the New York Times newspaper.  Please do a search on an article that was run in December 09, about a product from the beef industry that is being put into your hamburger and your children's hamburger at school in the school lunch programs, and in mega grocery chains hamburger.  This article will gross you out, and maybe make you mad enough to take a stand.  Please search "Pink Slime" article, and it should be the first article that pops up in the Times search box.  Also, try to find the DVD, Food Inc, and this pink slime product is mentioned also.
This stuff is gross, and your children are eating it.  It comes from the low end of slaughter houses and used to be used in pet food, it is now being incorporated into YOUR food.  Take a stand and do something about it. Please go to and search "pink slime".

Anyway, off of the soap box.  I am dehydrating a lot of produce, I am still drying leeks, and I am now starting on  cherry tomatoes, and peppers.  I did my vegetable boullion the other day and it turned out well.
I have had a lot of requests for the vegetable boullion, and I will post this on the weekend, when I have more time, I will post this on my recipe page.  I am still trying to figure out adding new pages to my blog, and I have several recipes I would like to post.  I will work on this for all of you.

I will do some more tomatoes also.  I am just taking the skins off and putting these with some onion and garlic and canning them until I can use them, then I will process them as I need them into sauce or salsa.  I am just getting too many at too quick of time, and I can't keep up, so this is what I am doing.  I dehydrate the cherry tomatoes and keep them in a large 1/2 gal Ball jar and put these in the freezer, and I also put some into olive oil and some herbs for sun dried tomatoes and place these in small pint canning jars  and process these for a few minutes in a boiling water bath for about 15 minutes and then these are ready to be used.

So I quess today's moral is, be aware where you food is coming from.  I know that all of us cannot chose where some of our food comes from, but I urge you to ask, and be more aware of food as a whole.  Eat in season, and if you are able to have a farmer's market in you community or have farms where you can go to, ask about fresh meat and how it is processed.  This is very important and gives you control over your food.  The powers that be are not concerned about your health, they are concerned about the all mighty dollar, and since we are in a economic disaster, this will only get worse, and people can only afford so much.

I also do not want to offend my vegetarian readers.  But where I live, this is the center of agriculture, and a liveihood that I cannot control nor interfere with.  I believe in a substainable agriculture process and support humane and substainable farms.  So please, no comments about no meat, and all the other hype that goes with this.  There is nothing I can do to control farms, farmers, and the hugh mega-corporations that control this area.  I am just a very small fish in a very large pond.

So I wish all a very productive day and rest of the week, again, I will try to post some recipes and I am going to start going into depth, my dehydrating that I do.  I think that this is an ideal way to process food and it is quite addicting and fun to do, so I wish all of you a great rest of the week and I will talk to all you later.

Have a great and wonderful day.


  1. How I agree with you on this one. Apparently cloned beef is ALREADY in the British food chain, but it's OK, don't worry, it won't hurt you . . . Like heck. I want the choice to say no thank you . . . We are fortunate to get our lamb off the farm - I wish we could source our beef locally too, in small enough portions to afford it!

    I think your principal is right - better meat, and less of it, and know where it has come from.

    Excellent post, and provocative. Oh - and I make my own burgers, no pink slime ones in THIS house!

  2. The food thing - so scary.

    I really admire all you do with bartering and selling at the farmer's market.

    I would love to hear more about how you make ends meet on a tight budget.

    You mentioned your thyroid problems. I don't know how you get so much done with your health issues. You are my hero! I wish I could be that productive.

    Have a great day!