Friday, October 22, 2010

Thoughts and what's going on Part 1

Hello Everyone!  I hope that all of you are having a great week, and hopefully a very productive or rest filled weekend.
I first want to take time to thank all of you for your most kind and thoughtful words of comfort for Ya-Ya, you do not know how much it meant to me to receive your comforting words.  This really hit me very hard, and I still am going through the "I should of done this or that" bit, but each day does get better and I keep busy so as to not think too much on it.  I miss her terribly, and I have to get through this daily but it will get better.

I get news on the computer like I'm sure a lot of you all do also.  The other day, I got a news article that hit home here especially.  And I also think that it does tie into what all of us are doing, living a simple lifestyle and eating more local produce and products and fair trade.
I am located in one of several very big agricultural states in the nation.  In this article, it talked about the Big "4" packing plants for beef.  These plants are:  Tyson, Omaha Beef,  Swift, and JBS. which is an Argentina based Big Ag corporation.
JBS had taken over the Greeley CO plant after it closed several years ago.  It used to be a Monfort packing plant years ago, then Swift, then JBS.  This is funny also, as Nebraska has laws in place for having foreign companies being in Nebraska, and JBS is located in Grand Island NE, which used to be a Swift plant. Anti-trust laws?
In this article, it mentioned that beef producers are not getting good prices on beef, and that eventually the beef will be of much poorer quality in a few years to make up for the poorer prices that producers are getting.  The other fact of this article mentioning is the fact that there are only 4 plants that buy beef from all producers, thus limiting the playing field for competition in the market for ranchers and producers to get a fair price for beef.

This goes deeper than the article relates to in the fact that producers are producing beef, generally for export to over-seas markets, generally Japan, South Korea, etc.  Japan has put a halt to Nebraska beef because of BSE, which is a chronic wasting disease in the brains and spine cords of bovine species.  Japan found spinal pieces in boxed beef several years ago, and stopped the export of beef from Nebraska to Japan in one fell swoop. The other other reason is:  the economy is very devastating now as people, including me cannot afford beef.  This may seem totally off of the wall to all of you, but I live in beef country, and I cannot afford beef.  It is surprising that beef here is unaffordable to a lot of people here.  I am not sure what beef is in other areas of the country, but here, a pound of 90% lean  hamburger is $5.  A small T-bone is $15-$20 each.  An arm roast is $20.  I would be interested in what beef runs around the country.  Now, this beef is not pastured humane beef, it is  the beef that is finished in the feed lots and processed by the one of the big 4 plants.

I guess why I am talking about this is, the ability to purchase fair humane raised beef or pork or chicken, for those who do eat meat, and why it is so important to find and support local farms and ranches who do this and be able to make a decent living and bring to your table, a healthy product at a fair price to the farmer and the family and very fair to the livestock who give their lives to us.

Then this goes on also to the government, who now wants to kill the small farm or ranch, because the Big AG, Big Farm, Big Mega corporations is whining that the small producer is dipping into their big profits and making life a pain for them. I would suggest going to another blog I read, I have it listed in my blog reader list. It is A Year without Groceries, Her name is Rachel and she has a very interesting blog about being self reliant and not going to the grocery or buying groceries for a year.  She is experimenting with using only local purchased products for her family, and buying pastured, local meat.  On her blog a few days ago, she listed a number of companies who used to be small companies who cared, and are now bought by Big AG, or Big Corp and don't care about you or your families health any more.   The list will surprise you. Please read her blog for more information.

I am on a rant again, sorry. :^)

Over the weekend, I will do part 2 as this can grow into quite a large thought on food and who controls it.
I have to run errands today, so I will post sometime over the weekend, and I want all of you to think about this and give thoughts.
Till this weekend, have a great Friday, and upcoming weekend.

As Always,