Thursday, June 25, 2009

Omnivores Dilemma

A friend of mine - we'll call him "Joe"... recommended a book. While I will avoid appearing like the Oprah's Book Club although you can call me the "Chicken Whisper"..., I think this could be a good recommendation. I have also read a few reviews and this seems to be right up our ally... Here is a quick review written by Beverly Crumpacker (I hate chuckling over some one's name - but Crumpacker slays me - what is the derivation of this name? Crumpacker? Was it Crumbpacker? Did it have to do with some one's job in Elizabethan England?) I digress...

"We've lost touch with the natural loops of farming, in which livestock and crops are connected in mutually beneficial circles. Pollan discusses the alternatives to industrial farming, but these two long (and occasionally self-indulgent) sections lack the focus and intensity -- the anger beneath the surface -- of the first. He spends a week at Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley, a farm that works with nature, rather than despite it. Salatin calls himself a grass farmer, though his farm produces cows, chickens, eggs and corn. But everything begins with the grass: The cows nibble at it at the precise moment when it's at its sweetest and are moved from pasture to pasture to keep the grass at its best height. Their droppings fertilize the grass, and the cycle is under way. There's a kind of lyrical symmetry to everything that happens on this farm. Even the final slaughtering of chickens is done quickly and humanely, in the open air. It isn't pleasant, but compared to the way cattle are fattened and slaughtered in meat industry feedlots and slaughterhouses, it is remarkably reasonable."

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