Sunday, April 17, 2011

Industrial Agriculture Revolution

"He crowded his cattle onto pasture sprayed with weed killers and fertilizers. When they were half grown, he shipped them in diesel-fueled trucks to huge feedlots. There they were stuffed with corn and soy--pesticide treated, of course--and implanted with synthetic hormones to make them grow faster. To prevent disease, they were given antibiotics. They were trucked again to slaughterhouses, butchered and shrink-wrapped for far-flung supermarkets. "It was the chemical solution to everything..."

"With more consumers questioning how their food is grown and organic fruits and vegetables exploding into a multibillion-dollar market, grass-finished meat and dairy look like the next food frontier. In the past five years, more than 1,000 U.S. ranchers have switched herds to an all-grass diet. Pure pasture-raised beef still represents less than 1% of the nation's supply, but sales reached some $120 million last year and are expected to increase more than 20% a year over the next decade. Upscale groceries like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's are ramping up grass-fed offerings, including imports from Australia and Uruguay. Last month the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a certified grass-fed label to provide a federal standard."


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