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I Have Questions and Concerns Over Pesticides In Food

 

Personally, I have genuine concerns regarding pesticides, herbicides and neurotoxins in the food supply. 

I'm certain that I'm not the only person that wants to eat clean food. I'm not perfect, I just want to pick my poison. I don't think it's appropriate to be poisoned while being fed a line of hog-wash. If I want to eat a donut with gluten and sugar, I know what I'm getting into. I'm looking at the consumption of mycotoxin and aflatoxin molds from the wheat. I can expect a potential allergic reaction to the gluten protein and I know my blood sugar will spike. All effects that are unpleasant. I don't want to be fed pesticides and mislead to believe that  it's all roses. 

I provide my household and livestock with pesticide-free food because I believe that it's my responsibility to make well informed choices and I think it's a great way to keep the livestock immune systems healthy and strong. I trust that in the end it's is better for me, my family, the animals and for you. I believe all pesticides including approved for organic applications have a long way to go before they can be considered safe. One day it's all the rave and the next it's killing mice in labs. My digestive system is made up of tiny microscopic micro-organisms. I am a living, breathing organism made up of viruses, bacterium, germs and so on and so on. Pesticides are designed to kill living organisms. How do those pesticides know the difference between good and bad organisms? I need my body as I'm still using it. I need my digestive system in tip top shape. 

 

Link to: Organic pesticides cause cancer in rats and mice - OMRI listed

I don't use pesticides in my garden. Of course, I'm not growing more than what we need. I have learned to grow a bit more than what I need because I know that the ground squirrels, ants and birds are also going to want some. My dogs and cats can only take care of the garden while they are awake and in the garden. I can not watch the garden 24 hours. I try my best. No matter how hard I try some is going to be attracting critters. I'm okay with that. I choose not to poison the critters. They are beneficial to the eco-system and the environment. I also don't want my cats and dogs getting sick or, even worse from a poisoned critter. Last year I kept 2 butternut squash on the vine just for the critters and I was so happy that the critters left the rest of the butternut alone. 

Link to: California Approves Use Of Pesticide Linked To Cancer

I understand the frustration. I get it. Life is not a bowl of roses. We do what we can and try our best. it's tough trying to keep up with everything.

 

I try to source seasonal fruit, leafy greens and vegetables from people that I know and trust. I avoid the grocery stores, farmer's markets and health food stores like the plague. Nancy grows heirloom vegetables, leafy greens and fruit. She has a greenhouse and the beds are watered using her Tilapia tank. She feeds those Tilapia her heirloom organic farm grown scraps and they digest them. The digestive matter fertilizes the beds. She also has an outdoor garden. Nancy grows herbs, fruit trees, vine and root crops. Of course, she's only growing a limited amount for her family and our small community of Rainbow Ranch Farms members. 

Suzie and her husband grow organic, heirloom Asian sweet potato/tubers (not really a potato). They come and collect our compost and manure for fertilizer. After the harvest  they bring us wholesome vines and any tubers that did not make the cut for our pigs and, they love them! I don't provide regular potatoes for my pigs. Raw potatoes contain solanine, resistant starches and lectins. These compounds can cause gastric pain, discomfort and can be very difficult to digest. Pigs have a single stomach. Their digestive systems are quite similar to humans. Many people don't do well with lectin proteins and I don't know anyone that eats raw potatoes. I would not eat raw potatoes because they can be quite traumatizing to the digestive system. Why would I feed them to my pigs? 

Steve planted an avocado tree with his father many decades ago. Steve never uses any poisons on his property or, on the avocado tree. This tree is more than just an avocado tree. It's beautiful memories and it's family. I'm so very blessed to have the pleasure of receiving wholesome avocados from Steve. It's really nice to know good people who share a similar philosophy. 

Link to: Are Organic Pesticides Risky - Organic Pesticide Is Not An Oxymoron

During the season Julia collects extra oranges and lemons from the trees in the back yard and shares the blessing of their bounty with us. Donna collects lemons from her tree and squeezes the fresh juice and bottles it for us. She also brings us extra wild caught fish. Can we agree that we don't all know people with fruit, vegetables, avocados, wild caught fish and herbs? 

I'm not saying that it's easy, I'm sharing my experiences with you in hopes of helping myself and you. I spend so much time growing old fashioned heritage livestock breeds that it makes sense for me to do my very best. I need to sourcing pesticide-free fruit, vegetables and leafy greens for my family and my livestock because I choose to make nutritious, wholesome food a priority. It's not something that every farmer or rancher could or would do. At the end of the day, this make for very costly meat, poultry and eggs. Imagine the sheer amounts of organic, heirloom, pesticide-free foods I use 8-10 tons of real food each week. Have you ever purchased organic, pesticide-free blueberries?

How much did you spend? Imagine 8 tons! That's 16,000 pounds. 

 

  • Pesticide residue. Compared with produce grown using usual (conventional) methods, organically grown produce has lower levels of pesticide residue. The safety rules for the highest levels of residue allowed on conventional produce have changed. In many cases, the levels have been lowered. Organic produce may have residue because of pesticides approved for organic farming or because of airborne pesticides from conventional farms. Link to: MayoClinic.Org

My livestock consume a seasonal diet, from pesticide-free sources. I avoid all grains. That's a different animal. Grains are not on the menu. This farm land is amazing. With enough seasonal rain the native grasses that are indigenous to this zone and climate will thrive. Sometimes we get 5 native, indigenous pastures per year and other times 4. It's always enough for the small amount of livestock that we keep. 

The chickens and turkeys enjoy hunting for critters through the taller native grasses. They love to eat the insects, bugs and grubs. Sometimes they might terrorize the small heirloom garden but, I shoo them away. Thank goodness I grow a lot of earth worms. I started growing worms more than 15 years ago and it took a long time for them to colonize the farm. The farm is abundant and the free-range heritage chickens thrive. They are my pest control. Especially for small flying insects and for creepy crawlers too.

 

 I am a beekeeper and I rescue and keep honey bees. Pesticides are so dangerous to honey bees. I feel so very thankful that I live where I'm not close to people. People up in this Desert have a respect for nature and I don't know anyone who uses pesticides. I think it's just an unspoken rule. I really don't know. There are organic JUJUBE growers and some use our manure for fertilizer and compost too. They find that a few well placed sticky traps in the trees will catch any flying insects that pose a danger to their crops. They are amazing and generous farmers. They bring our pigs any pecked, fallen or open fruits.

Glyphosate: an ingredient in  Round Up.  A pesticide widely used in many agricultural applications. Link to lawsuit

Pesticide use is dangerous to honey bees and earthworms too. We need to protect honey bees because they are essential to our local and global food supply. They are such hard workers. They literally are the #1 pollinators of our earth's  food supply. They also produce sweet, delicious and nutritious nectar (honey).  Earth worms are very important to our healthy soils. They help keep the roots of plants healthy. Worms create oxygen and air pockets in the soil. Worms also leave behind castings which are a natural rich fertilizer. Earth worm castings are so expensive if you were to buy them. They are a valuable resource. The chickens love to hunt down earth worms. Worms are a well balanced meal for chickens. They have a balanced fat to protein ratio and I think my chickens know it.

I raise free range, heritage livestock. I keep chickens, turkeys, cattle, sheep, goats and I enjoy learning new and exciting ways to keep them all healthy, safe and happy. I strive to produce the cleanest possible meats, poultry, eggs and raw honey. It's been a great journey and it continues to be fun and rewarding. I believe that pesticide-free foods nourish the bodies of livestock and in turn they nourish us. I don't feel comfortable with pesticides organic or, otherwise.

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