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What's the BIG DEAL with GMO?

Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 7 June 2024…

Hey Y’all!

Good evening and happy Fast-Jet Friday from Air2Ground Farms AND Air2Ground Meats! The fast jets today are the Mighty-Mighty F-15E Strike eagle, both flying low in Wales this week. The weather has been warm and dry but there is some rain in the forecast. The creek is dry and we’re ready for some rain. I’ll talk you through the pics and give the farm updates with each. The top two pics are the pure Berkshire piglets. There are 11 of them and they are doing very well. They love their fermented GMO-free feed and are very excited to get it when we feed them twice a day. They will be here on the farm for the next 5 months or so until they make the trip to freezer camp towards the end of October. We may keep back one of the guilts to add to our breeder stock. Speaking of which, they too are doing very well. All of the females should be bred with the first piglets arriving in the mid-August timeframe and continuing through mid-October. The next pic is the flerd, our combined beef herd and ewe flock. They are on the pastures we are currently most proud of since when we bought this land they were sedge and scrub and now are pastures supporting the flerd. We are still at 4 calves in the herd and all are doing well. The ewes and lambs are also doing well, for the most part. A couple of them are struggling with parasites (this is the worst time of year) but most of them are doing great. The next pic is of the rams, who are in a paddock all to themselves and, as you can see, are fat and happy. Below the rams is our new Air2Ground Meats logo. We are making progress with opening the storefront in Ava. We moved in 1 freezer so far, with at least 3 more to follow next week. We spent one afternoon cleaning the walls and floors. The landlord said it was clean…but not to us. It’s still looking like we’ll be able to get things together to open this month. Until the store opens, we’re still splitting up and doing two Saturday farmers markets (although we aren’t going to be at the Ava market tomorrow). Last week, I went to the Ava market and had an interesting conversation.

While standing at my booth, minding my own business, a lady approached. Excited for a possible sale, I started the conversation by giving a warm “Good morning!” After looking at my setup for a moment she begrudgingly mumbled “What if I want GMOs?” A bit taken back, I just looked at her for a moment. “I’m sorry…what?” Again she mumbled, “I SAID, what if I want GMOs?” Now understanding what I was dealing with, I quickly determined she wasn’t interested in our products and hurried her along. As I described that interaction to Shelley she said we should discuss GMO in the blog! So, here goes. The story of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) begins in the 1970s when scientists first discovered how to transfer genes between organisms. By the 1980s, the first genetically modified crops were created. These early GMOs were designed to be more resistant to pests, diseases, and harsh environmental conditions, promising increased yields and reduced need for chemical pesticides. It sounded like a farmer’s dream come true. By the 1990s, GMO crops began to hit the market. The Flavr Savr tomato was the first commercially grown genetically modified food approved for human consumption in the United States. It wasn’t long before other GMO crops followed suit, including corn, soybeans, and cotton. These crops were engineered for traits like herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Fast forward to today, and the landscape of American agriculture has transformed dramatically. According to the USDA, around 92% of corn, 94% of soybeans, and 96% of cotton grown in the United States are GMO varieties. These crops dominate the market, largely because they offer higher yields and lower costs for farmers. One of the key components of many GMO crops is their resistance to glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide marketed most famously as Roundup. Glyphosate resistant crops allow farmers to spray their fields liberally to kill weeds without harming the crops. However, this widespread use has raised significant health concerns. Recent studies have linked glyphosate exposure to a range of health issues. A landmark 2015 study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." This classification was based on evidence showing that glyphosate can cause cancer in lab animals and possibly in humans, but the concerns don't stop at direct exposure. Research has shown that glyphosate can make its way through the food chain. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology found glyphosate residues in a variety of food products. Another study from 2017 in the journal Food Chemistry detected glyphosate in grains, suggesting that it can persist through the food processing stages. There’s also growing evidence that glyphosate residues can be found in meat! Animals fed GMO grains may accumulate glyphosate in their tissues, which then gets passed on to consumers. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Research found detectable levels of glyphosate in the urine of dairy cows, indicating that the herbicide does, in fact, enter the animal’s system. At Air2Ground Farms, we take these concerns seriously. Our commitment to providing the best for ourselves and our community means we avoid glyphosate altogether…no sprays on our pastures. All of our animals that will go in someone’s freezer – from our grass-only beef to our pasture-raised chickens and GMO-free Berkshire pigs – are raised on natural grass, and the lamb, pork, and chicken also get some GMO-free feed. We believe that the health of our animals directly impacts the health of our customers—We are what they eat! By choosing GMO-free feed, we not only ensure the quality and safety of our products but also support sustainable farming practices that protect our environment. We understand that the journey of food from farm to table is one of trust, and we are dedicated to maintaining that trust with transparency and integrity.

Sunday’s video was in the kitchen while we made Keto tostadas. They tasted amazing! I recommend you give it a try, even if you aren’t keto!

Thursday’s podcast was us discussing the concept of cheat days on the keto diet. It’s probably not interesting to those of you that aren’t keto but will resonate with those of you who are.


Psycho & Shelley

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Jun 08
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Outstanding, as usual.

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