As an aside to what I was mentioning yesterday about organic produce and such, there is also this issue about meat and how it is beginning to change in this country. Years ago cattle and other livestock were allowed to range freely on ranches. The reason for this had to do with space. There was plenty of grazing land fifty years ago and consumers were willing to consume meats that varied in taste, texture and tenderness as it related to were they were grown. But as always with the boom in population, the demand for meat became greater and farmers needed to find ways to up production. The problem with this change was that animals who are restricted to small areas are more prone to disease, parasites and so forth. Consequently it became common practice to use alternative methods of feeding (primarily with corn) and injecting animals with massive amounts of antibiotics to keep them healthy.
The thing is, most of these animals are well suited to free ranging if they are given the space to do so and they are also much healthier as a result. The meat from grass fed beef is high in nutrients and the meat can be very tender when harvested at the proper time. Most of the beef in this country is slaughtered in the fall, when is fact it is much more effective to slaughter grass fed beef in the spring when the grasses are full of nutrients and the animal is relaxed because it has no instinctive fear of starvation, which it might otherwise in the fall when the seasons are changing.
Ossabaw pigs for instance, which are the only pure bred hog in the united states, originate from Ossabaw Island off the coast of Georgia. They are remnants from pigs brought over from the Spaniards nearly four centuries ago. They are the only hog that has not bred with any other domestic breed and they are still a pure strain. Because of varying wheather conditions of the island, these pigs have learned to store a high fat to meant ratio to get them through lean times on the Island. There are very few of these pigs allowed to be raised on the main land united states and you have to be on a government list to obtain a breeding pair.
The bottom line is that now after all these years farmers are beginning to realize that not only are the time honored methods of ranching sound, they are in the long run preferable to the way we do things today. Not to mention the fact that the meat being sold from these types of animals carries a premium price and you can actually taste the difference in the meant. Sure we love our generic steak and pork because we are used to a certain flavor profile. But what about the wonder of knowing exactly where a animal comes from and enjoying the flavor of the range so to speak.Of course there is nothing wrong with corn finishing an animal, if fact it makes for a wonderful flavor and testure, lets just simply do it with organic corn and not the GMO stuff that is getting pushed on us.