The Hijacking of the American Food System ain't new, it just continues to get a helluva lot worse.
White Oak Pastures has been a leader in illuminating the role meat production plays in climate change for years. But recently, we've been hearing that industrialized agriculture products made in a lab are the going to be future of meat. Fake meat companies like to say that they are a better choice for the environment, but at White Oak Pastures, we've been busy fact-checking their impossible claims. Most recently, on an episode of CNN Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Will Harris destroyed the myth that they are benefiting future generations, pointing out that the trendy plant-based proteins are contributing to climate change while our grassfed cattle help reverse it.
The power of animal impact: a side by side comparison of grazed versus ungrazed pasture
Once upon a time, there was an industrial commodity farmer who had two sons.
The father and his two sons worked together to produce corn and soybeans in a monoculture. They rotated the two crops year after year on their land, with the fields either dedicated to corn, or to soybeans. This sort of farming practice is called a Monoculture, and it flies in the face of the Natural Systems under which Our Earth evolved. Nature Abhors a Monoculture.
There's a little strip of land down here in Bluffton that we call "The Bluffton Ridge". It's about 15 miles long, and just a few hundred yards wide. It's where the Appalachian Mountains have gone underground, and combined with the coastal plains weather, where about 52 inches of rainfall pretty evenly throughout the year, this uneroded, incredibly rich mountain soil can provide aplenty. This little strip of land has an extraordinary history.
If most consumers knew what I know, they would buy their food directly from a farm.
There are a lot of good reasons to know where your food comes from. The most obvious is that its not a good idea to put anything in your mouth unless you know where it has been.
There are also health, safety, and nutritional concerns. Consumers understand these, and they are certainly important, but there is another whole dimension that I don't think most consumers have contemplated: Consumers literally shape the world with their food dollars.
If White Oak Pastures is known for cattle, it's because cattle are our star grazers. Ruminants can cover a lot of ground, and they are the powerhouses behind our managed grazing practices. So how do we use the animal impact of cattle in our holistic land management strategy?
This is part three of a three-part series on how White Oak Pastures uses animal impact to regenerate land that was previously industrially row-cropped into productive, pastured savannah.
Hogs are known for their big animal impact. Pigs are omnivores - and nobody eats like an omnivore. Just think about how wide-ranging our own diet is! At White Oak Pastures, we use the animal impact of pigs to regenerate land and keep our soil and pastures healthy. So how do hogs fit into our planned grazing strategy?
This is part two of a three-part video series on how White Oak Pastures uses animal impact to holistically regenerate land that was previously industrially row-cropped into productive, pastured savannah.
Did you know it's National Egg Day? We're not exactly sure how to celebrate, but we think we'll probably cook up some pastured eggs our favorite way for breakfast (Sunny side up? Scrambled? Poached? Hard boiled? Hard to decide, so we might make them all).
National Egg Day, of course, makes us think about our birds and everyone who works with them at White Oak Pastures. Our pastured poultry staff is the largest field crew on the farm - with good reason.
At White Oak Pastures, we are home to many different species of livestock, but we raise five species of poultry alone: chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and guinea. While, logistically, this can be challenging, leveraging multiple species is central to our land management strategy - because they all have different impact on our pastures.
Scientists tell us that the planet that we live on was once a lifeless rock, spinning around the sun. It would have been black, and brown, and gray, with a poisonous atmosphere. It would have been incredibly hot on one side, with the water vaporized, and incredibly cold on the other side, with the water frozen solid. And, again, lifeless. [think about the pictures that we see of the surface of Mars, or the moon].
Somehow life began. I won't debate on how that occurred, but the fact that we are here makes it inarguable that it did begin. And that was the beginning of many complex and interrelated cycles that transformed the earth from a lifeless rock.
Look for White Oak Pastures Eggs in your local Whole Foods Market in the Atlanta area!