We've Got a New Website!
Long overdue but finally online- earlier this year Beyond Factory Farming launched our
completely redesigned website. Our cluttered and clunky former home is
now retired and in its place our renovated web digs boast a host of
fresh content and features all presented in a clean, attractive, easy
to navigate format.
Here are just a few of the additions and improvements we've made to the site:
Please take a minute to explore the new site and don't hesitate to
let us know what you think- email any comments or suggestions here.
- Our very own sustainable dictionary
packed with clear and simple definitions of many of the terms,
acronyms, and lingo common to agriculture and the sustainable food
- brand new platform and look
- an RSS feed
- a monthly reader poll
- updated multimedia content
- and many, many new and revised pages...
|Listen in on our 2008 conference|
Podcasts of our 2008 Conference Safe Food, Healthy Communities:Building a food system that works - for people, animals and the environment are now available on our website.
The purpose of our conference was to deepen understanding of livestock issues in Canada, identify and examine key issues in Ontario and Canada, and sketch out a road map for transition to socially responsible livestock production.
Click here for more information or to listen to all or any of the nine
|At The Trough debuts to rave reviews
At the Trough
- a 52-minute
documentary featuring stories that expose the destructive nature of the global
economy and, in particular, the corporate hog industry in Manitoba.
reveals how citizens fought back to regain control of their communities and
livelihoods by offering solutions to counter the industrial agricultural mode.
the reception at early screenings of the film has been very positive.
Here is a
small sampling of what people have had to say so far:
"We absolutely loved the film.
Congratulations...first class, professional...very educational and motivating
towards action and change"
"Lots of levels of emotive information, fear
and self-interest to spark concern and maybe action. Great beginning, great
ending. Lots of great stuff in between and as a farmer who depends on animals
acting in a natural manner the happiness of the pigs was obvious."
Hard copies of the documentary can be ordered
from Glen Koroluk (firstname.lastname@example.org
BFF article appears in Briarpatch food issue
the world's breadbasket to the empire's fuel tank: How the agrofuels lobby is
reshaping prairie agriculture is the title of an article penned by
BFF's Cathy Holtslander, Glen Koroluk, and Ian Lordon for Briarpatch Magazine's
first issue of 2009- entirely devoted to food politics.
Farming`s contribution to the food issue was a healthy helping of analysis into
the agrofuels industry, how it has reshaped prairie agriculture in recent
years, and what the future holds.
The piece is but
one cog in an outstanding collection of informative articles that appear in the
issue including others that tackle emerging food activism initiatives, the
dangers of genetically modified foods, the Fifth International Conference of La
Via Campesina in Maputo, Mozambique and several others.
The issue can be
viewed online at briarpatch.com. Check it out, and why not subscribe while
Rare Breeds Canada ventures out of Ontario for AGM
This year, for the first time ever, Rare Breeds Canada will hold its
Annual General Meeting outside of Ontario.
The national organization which aims
to preserve heritage breeds of farm animals from extinction will host its AGM
in Brandon, Manitoba on April 4 and will coincide with the Manitoba Royal
Winter Fair. For further details, click here.
|Do you know how to properly store meat? Here are some tips:|
When you purchase fresh meat, it should always be stored int he refrigerator in a sealed container at 4 degrees celcius until it is prepared for cooking. If you vacuum seal your fresh meat it will keep fresh for several days in the fridge. If freshness is ever in question, smell the meat and if there is any off smell discard the product.
If frozen, keep meat in the fridge to thaw overnight, or in a sink full of cold water - do not leave it sitting on the counter at room temperature. Leave the meat inits sealed vacuum package if possible to prevent the introduction of bacteria. If marinating before cooking, ensure the meat is stored in the fridge in an sealed container and that the marinade is discarded after use.
For meat that is to be stored frozen, ensure it is put into an airtight container to prevent freezer burn and prolong storage life. Some people think that brown paper/butcher's wrap is a better environmental choice over vacuum packaging but unfortunately over the past several years most butcher's wrap has been coated with a thin layer of plastic, not wax, to prevent leakage and prolong storage life. Butcher's wrap will not prevent freezer burn as it is not airtight so it may shorten the storage life of products.
Ensure that your meat is stored in a place where the temperature doesn't fluctuate very much - a deep freeze is preferable ove a fridge-freezer. If using a fridge-freezer only buy smaller quantities of meat and store it for a short time to maximize freshness as the frost thaw cycle caused by frequent opening will draw moisture out of the meat and decrease its flavour and freshness.
When freezing meat, date all packages that way, you know how long products have been in the freezer. Here are some guidelines on how long to store meat and poultry.
Lamb and Beef steaks and roasts - up to one year
Ground beef - up to four months
Pork - up to eight months
Whole poultry - up to one year
Poultry parts and whole ducks - up to six months
Leftover meat - up to two or three months
You may want to purchase fresh meat all year long but remember that this may not be possible when dealing with local, pasture-raised beef and poultry as they butcher according to their production cycles. The best time to buy meat is generally when the animals are fat/finished fresh off of the grass/pasture. This is when they are the most healthy and the most nutrient dense. This is usually early summer (chickens), late summer (ducks, lambs, and pigs), or fall (turkeys, beef, and wild game). The best thing to do if possible, is to develop a relationship with the sustainable farm family from whom you will be purchasing your meat - in other words, get to know your farmer.
|Beyond Factory Farming is a national organization promoting socially responsible livestock production
in Canada. We help communities dealing with problems caused by
factory farms and factory farm proposals. As an alternative to
industrial livestock operations, we promote livestock production that
is safe, fair and healthy for the environment, farmers, workers,
animals, neighbours, communities and consumers.
For more information about Beyond Factory Farming or any of the contents from this newsletter, please email Lisa or Ian, or visit our website.
|Two listeriosis inquiries and not one change in food safety|
At the height of the listeriosis outbreak in Maple Leaf
Foods products last year Conservative Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz offered a
poignant example of his government's cavalier attitude towards food safety by
cracking wise about "death by a thousand cold cuts".
When the outbreak was finally contained hundreds of
thousands of cold cuts were recalled, at least 20 people were dead, Maple Leaf
was out $25-million to settle legal claims against it and nobody was laughing.
In fact, the only joke was Canada's embarrassingly inadequate food safety
standards (and weakened meat inspection capacity) that the outbreak brought to
Four days before last fall's federal election Prime Minister
Stephen Harper promised to launch a full investigation into the outbreak that
would report its findings no later than March 15. Four months passed without a
word until finally, on the eve of U.S. President Barrack Obama's inauguration
day, the Harper government quietly announced former Edmonton health care
executive Sheila Weatherill would conduct an arms length investigation of the
affair and file a report to Ritz in July- four months later than he promised.
It's hardly a case of better late than never. Weatherill is
already a friend to the Conservative government- a member of the Prime
Minister's advisory committee charged with revitalizing the public service. Its
mandate includes: "Branding the public service as a trusted and innovative
institution of national importance". If her investigation concludes food safety
failures contributed to the outbreak, it will surely tarnish the brand...
But the terms of Weatherill's investigation will likely
spare her from any worry in that respect. She is forbidden to speak to the
media until after she files her report and was not given the power to hold
hearings or subpoena witnesses to testify before her. Any information she
gathers will be obtained voluntarily and behind closed doors. If she happens to
defy the odds and report something even slightly damning, the July 20th
deadline ensures it will surface when Parliament is on summer break and the
media and public are least interested. But just in case the report might aim
some egg at the face of government, Ritz is under no obligation to make her
findings public. Well, he can always entertain us with his wit.
For those genuinely concerned about improving food safety
some hope emerged last month when the House of Commons' standing committee on
agriculture and agri-foods announced it planned to conduct its own parallel
investigation of the outbreak. The committee has the power to call witnesses
and can even conduct hearings in camera to protect those testifying from
recrimination should they implicate their employers in any wrongdoing. The
committee, which does include six Conservative MPs, voted unanimously in favour
of conducting the investigation.
The committee struck a seven-member sub committee to conduct
the probe which will review government policies that give industry a greater
role in policing itself where food safety and inspection are concerned.
Committee member and Liberal agriculture critic Wayne Easter is on record
saying the committee plans to use its powers to subpoena documents related to
the outbreak that the government is refusing to release to reporters through
Access to Information legislation. (To track the Food Safety sub committee`s progress,
visit the website
Until the committee convincingly succeeds in identifying and
correcting the flaws in the food safety and inspection system consumers should
at least take a buyer beware attitude to meat produced by it. All the more
reason then to buy your meat from small local producers whose methods and products
you can trust. (For more on the listeria outbreak see beyondfactoryfarming.org
For meat that is safe, local, and sustainably raised :
We are excited to announce that we are populating the Eat Well Guide with Canadian content!
The Eat Well Guide® is a free online directory of thousands of family farms, restaurants, and other outlets for fresh, locally grown food in the US and Canada. Originally a database of sustainably-raised meat and dairy producers, its listings have expanded to include farmers' markets, CSA programs, partner organizations, water-conscious ratings and vegetarian eateries. Visitors can search by location, keyword or category to find good food, download customized guides, or plan a trip with the innovative mapping tool Eat Well Everywhere.
If you are a farmer who would like to join the directory or know of someone you would like to see on the listing, contact us at email@example.com
or clikc on the eat well guide symbol.
|Mother's Free Range Chicken Soup|
Recipe can be made with whole or half of a chicken, purchased from your local farmer.
Cover the bird with water in a large pot. If whole, place breast up in pot. If half, place bone side down. If the legs stick out, that is o.k.
Bring to a rapid boil, then turn down heat and simmer until the leg and wing easily pull away (or 170 degrees on a meat thermometer).
Remove the carcass from the liquid (which will be your stock), allow the bird to cool before pulling the meat off. Reserve the carcass for more stock making.
Chop 2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks and 1/4 - 1/2 of a large onion. Add veggies to the stock and simmer until carrots are tender.
Peal the meat and place it back in the soup. Turn the heat back to high, once boiling, add preferred amount of egg noodles and turn the heat back to low. Simmer until noodles are cooked.
Serve on cold days or when you are feeling a bit under the weather.