Posted by Reedy Fork Organic Farm on 10/14/2011 to News
"A nursing mother knows that everything she eats affects her baby. Too much broccoli gives her baby an upset stomach. Garlic bread tonight will flavor her milk tomorrow. And eating enough carrots will give the baby's stool an orange cast. The same concept is true on the farm: everything that an animal takes in - including what it breathes - goes into the meat and/or byproducts. Simply put, milk taken from a cow kept in a crowded, foul-smelling environment may have a similar ""foul"" taste. Another example is a hog that's confined to a jam-packed barn where many animals urinate and defecate. The hog breathes in ammonia from the waste, adding a strong flavor to the meat we eat. At Reedy Fork, we're very picky about what our animals eat, and that's one reason we started customizing our own organic feed. You probably already knew that our feed meets the unique nutritional requirements of your animals, but maybe you didn't realize that Reedy Fork feed ensures that your final food products taste farm fresh. So you can rest assured that certain things won't make the ingredient list for any of our feeds. That means no hormones, antibiotics or genetically modified ingredients. Many experts feel that the excessive consumption of antibiotic-tainted animal products has created a number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as superbugs. Ultimately, these superbugs undermine human health. Very few studies have been completed on the long-term effects of genetically modified feed. At the very least, it may increase allergies, but it's safe to say that its consequences won't be fully realized for years. As we customize the feed for your animals, here are a few factors we keep in mind:
- Nutritional value. The amount of protein is especially important.
- Flavor. The taste from feed passes along to eggs and meats.
- Digestibility. For example, the tannin in peas and beans has to be limited.
- Season of the year. We use different ingredients depending on the temperature outside. For instance, starches require a lot of oxygen to break down, and the oxygen causes the body to heat up. This presents a problem in the summer months.
- Availability of commodity. Weather, current events (such as the Gulf oil spill), worker availability and competition make some ingredients hard to find, and others plentiful.
- Price. The availability and competition affects how much we pay, and how much we ultimately charge for the feed. For that reason, our prices can change overnight.