Co-creators and sisters Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson share their unique and approachable diet with fans and healthy eaters in this, their first cookbook. This collection of 60 set-it and forget-it recipes aims to support a variety of wellness goals for optimal health. A vegan cookbook like you've never seen before — bursting with fun, color, zesty personality, and a bold flair for design. The Yoga Kitchen teaches you that by eating holistic recipes you can nourish your mind, strengthen your body, and bring more balance into your life.
All the recipes are vegetarian and glutenfree, allowing you to improve your health, build your inner core, increase your energy Learn More. Vegan 0 Review s Add Your Review. Tempted to try your hand at vegan food but don't know where to start? Or even just to make meat-free Monday a regular thing? Long gone are the days of vegan food being dull and worthy: Vegan is bold, vibrant and gorgeous. The emphasis in Gaz's tempting vegan recipes i Learn More. The Yoga Kitchen Plan is a soulful journey towards finding your best, most authentic self where a quiet mind and overall sense of calm is the ultimate goal.
NA Learn More. Showcasing the heartland dishes we all love made vegetarian, this cookbook provides a literal and visual feast of creative, generous cooking that's born in the traditions of the Midwest but transcends geographic boundaries. This collection of dessert recipes is so delicious no one will know they are gluten-free! With 75 recipes for naturally gluten-free desserts, author Nicole Spiridakis uses a wide range of non-wheat flours to finesse the balance between decadent and dietary. Bradly Jacobs to explain which foods are beneficial and why and to share 65 delicious, simple inflammation-busting recipes.
Veganism has been steadily moving toward the mainstream as more and more people become aware of its many benefits. Even burger-loving omnivores are realizing that adding more plant-based foods to their diet is good for their health and the environment. Big Vegan satisfies both the casual meat eater and the dedicated herbivore with more than delicious, easy-to-prepare vegan recipes covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pure Vegan proves that embracing a vegan lifestyle can be stylish and beautiful via 70 recipes that are both plant-based and indulgent.
Cooks of all skill levels will love these recipes for simple sides, breakfasts, dinners, and healthful desserts that make the most of fresh, accessible produce, from memory-boosting blackberries to antimicrobial chili peppers to vitamin A—rich watermelon. Finally, a cookbook that includes gluten-free recipes for pizza crust, bagels, and all of the other wheat-laden staples folks miss most after eliminating gluten from their diets.
Here author Jeanne Sauvage proves that gluten-free should never be anything less than delicious. Whether d Learn More. Hundreds of millions of people live with medical conditions that require lowering sodium intake—heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, and diabetes, to name a few—and research shows most of us would be healthier if we consumed less salt. What could be a challenge becomes an opportunity in Low-So Good , a beautifully photographed guide about living a rich life with a low-sodium diet.
Fresh, approachable recipes for all occasions—including drinks, of course—deliver a number of benefits that boost immunity, strengthen memory, lift moods, support digestive health, and more! In Happy Food, Bettina Campolucci Bordi shares a collection of easy and delicious plant-based recipes that anyone can incorporate into their busy life. The line between abundance and disaster is becoming thinner and thinner. Disease pathogens and their crop hosts, like all other predators and prey, are in a constant evolutionary dance with each other, changing and improving without cease as one evolves a slight edge over its opponent, only to have the opponent respond to this challenge by developing its own edge.
Thus the rabbit and fox both get faster over the generations, as their most successful offspring pass on more genes for speediness. Humans develop new and stronger medicines against our bacterial predators, while the bacteria continue to evolve antibiotic- resistant strains of themselves. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Plant diseases can attack their host plants in slightly new ways each season, encouraged by changes in prevailing conditions of climate.
This is where genetic variability becomes important. Some of its many different genes are likely to come in handy, in a pinch. The loss of that mongrel vigor puts food systems at risk. History has regularly proven it drastically unwise for a population to depend on just a few varieties for the majority of its sustenance. The Irish once depended on a single potato, until the potato famine rewrote history and truncated many family trees. We now depend similarly on a few corn and soybean strains for the majority of calories both animal and vegetable eaten by U.
But we let other vegetables drop from the menu without putting up much of a fight. In my observed experience, boys in high school cafeterias treat salad exactly as if it were a feminine hygiene product, and almost nobody touches the green beans. Broccoli was famously condemned in the s from the highest office in the land. Corn is a vegetable, right? Good, because on average we re consuming Mom is losing, no doubt, because our vegetables have come to lack two features of interest: nutrition and flavor. Storage and transport take predictable tolls on the volatile plant compounds that subtly add up to taste and food value.
Breeding to increase shelf life also has tended to decrease palatability. Humans can be fairly ridiculous animals. Flavor in food is a novelty that seems to keep customers coming back.
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Seeds are living units, not museum pieces; in jars on a shelf their viability declines with age. Diane and Kent thought it seemed wise to move seed collections into real gardens. The Seed Savers' Yearbook makes available to its members the seeds of about twice as many vegetable varieties as are offered by all U. Thanks to these and other devotees, the diversity of food crops is now on the rise in the United States. Its Ark of Taste initiatives catalog and publicize forgotten foods—a Greek fava bean grown only on the island of Santorini, for instance, or the last indigenous breed of Irish cattle.
Less than ten years after its launch, the Italian Ark has swelled to hold some five hundred products. The consumer becomes a link in this conservation chain by seeking out the places where heirloom vegetables are sold, taking them home, whacking them up with knives, and learning to incorporate their exceptional tastes into personal and family expectations. It is not silver. It starts early, produces for months, looks like a bouquet when you cut it, and is happily eaten by my kids. They swear the different colors taste different, and in younger days were known to have blindfolded color-taste contests.
Children are, of course, presumed to hate greens, so assiduously that a cartoon character with spinach-driven strength was invented to inspire them. Even poor Popeye only gets miserably soppy-looking stuff out of a can. Maybe sucking it in through his pipe gives it extra flavor. Overcooking turns it nearly black.
As all good things must come to an end, the leafy-greens season closes when the plant gets a cue from the thermometer—85 degrees seems to do it for most varieties. The botanical term is bolting. And like any adolescent, the bolting lettuce plant has volatile chemicals coursing through its body; in the case of lettuce, the plant is manufacturing a burst of sesquiterpene lactones, the compounds that make a broken lettuce stem ooze milky white sap, and which render it suddenly so potently, spit- it-out bitter. These compounds are a family trait of the lettuce clan, accounting for the spicy tang of endives, arugula, and radicchio, while the pale icebergs have had most of these chemicals bred out of them along with most of their nutrients.
This is the emerald season of spinach, kale, endive, and baby lettuces. We lumber out of hibernation and stuff our mouths with leaves, like deer, or tree sloths. Like the earth-enraptured primates we once were, and could learn to be all over again. This is the opening act of real live food.
By the time the lettuce starts to go flowery and embittered, who cares? We ll have fresh broccoli by then. When you see stuffed bunnies dangling from the crab apple trees, the good-time months have started to roll. College kids pop caffeine pills to stay up all night writing papers, while our parents are at home popping sleeping pills to prevent unwelcome all- nighters. We can take pills for headaches, stomachaches, sinus pressure, and cold symptoms, so we can still go to work sick. Both vitamin pills and vegetables are loaded with essential nutrients, but not in the same combinations.
Spinach is a good source of both vitamin C and iron. As it happens, vitamin C boosts iron absorption, allowing the body to take in more of it than if the mineral were introduced alone. Human bodies and their complex digestive chemistry evolved over millennia in response to all the different foods—mostly plants—they raised or gathered from the land surrounding them. They may have died young from snakebite or blunt trauma, but they did not have diet-related illnesses like heart disease and Type II diabetes that are prevalent in our society now, even in some young- adults and children. Eating a wide variety of different plant chemicals is a very good idea, according to research from the American Society for Nutritional Sciences.
A head of broccoli contains more than a thousand. Multivitamins are obviously a clunky substitute for the countless subtle combinations of phytochemicals and enzymes that whole foods contain. One way to think of these pills might be as emergency medication for lifestyle-induced malnutrition. Peanut butter and spinach sandwiches? Leafy greens, like all plants, advertise their nutritional value through color: dark green or red leaves with a zesty tang bring more antioxidants to your table. Here are some recipes that bring out the best in dark, leafy greens. These are staple meals for our family in the season when greens are coming up in our garden by the bushel.
Olive oil—a few tablespoons 1 medium onion, chopped, and garlic to taste Saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a wide skillet until lightly golden. Uncover, stir well, then use the back of a spoon to make depressions in the cooked leaves, circling the pan like numbers on a clock. Cover pan again and allow eggs to poach for 3 to 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve over rice. Download these and all Animal, Vegetable, Miracle recipes at www. It does, they all do. Virtually all nonanimal foods we eat come from flowering plants. Exceptions are mushrooms, seaweeds, and pine nuts. They are the desert cacti and the tundra scrub. It only stands to reason that we would eat them. Flowering plants come in packages as different as an oak tree and a violet, but they all have a basic life history in common.
From that union comes the blessed event, babies made, in the form of seeds cradled inside some form of fruit. Among the plants known as annuals, this life history is accomplished all in a single growing season, commonly starting with spring and ending with frost. The plant waits out the winter in the form of a seed, safely protected from weather, biding its time until conditions are right for starting over again. The vegetables we eat may be leaves, buds, fruits, or seeds, but each comes to us from some point along this same continuum, the code all annual plants must live by. To recover an intuitive sense of what will he in season throughout the year, picture a season of foods unfolding as if from one single plant.
Take a minute to study this creation—an imaginary plant that bears over the course of one growing season a cornucopia of all the different vegetable products we can harvest. We ll call it a vegetannual. Small leaves appear, then bigger leaves. As the plant grows up into the sunshine and the days grow longer, flower buds will appear, followed by small green fruits. As days shorten into the autumn, these mature into hard-shelled fruits with appreciable seeds inside. Finally, as the days grow cool, the vegetannual may hoard the sugars its leaves have made, pulling them down into a storage unit of some kind: a tuber, bulb, or root.
So goes the year. Then more mature heads of leaves and flower heads: cabbage, romaine, broccoli, and cauliflower May—June. Then more mature, colorfully ripened fruits: beefsteak tomatoes, eggplants, red and yellow peppers late July—August. Last come the root crops, and so ends the produce parade. A few, like onions and carrots, are attempting to be biennials, but we ll ignore that for now. Each plant part we eat must come in its turn—leaves, buds, flowers, green fruits, ripe fruits, hard fruits—because that is the necessary order of things for an annual plant.
Some minor deviations and a bit of overlap are allowed, but in general, picturing an imaginary vegetannual plant is a pretty reliable guide to what will be in season, wherever you live. Chile is also a possibility. Waiting for a watermelon is harder. This may be the closest thing we have right now to a distinctive national cuisine.
Or the WTO, is more like it. Most of that is not measured in money, but in untallied debts that will be paid by our children in the currency of extinctions, economic unravel- ings, and global climate change. If you're picturing Farmer Juan and his family gratefully wiping sweat from their brows when you buy that Ecuadoran banana, picture this instead: the CEO of Dole Inc. Much money is made in the global reshuffling of food, but the main beneficiaries are processors, brokers, shippers, supermarkets, and oil companies.
Those who do stay in farm work are likely to end up not as farm owners, but as labor on plantations owned by multinationals. They may find themselves working in direct conflict with local subsistence. The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners.
Our culture is not unacquainted with the idea of food as a spiritually loaded commodity. Guests with high blood pressure may add a fourth. Is it such a stretch, then, to make moral national company that has burned countless acres of Amazon rain forest to grow soy for export, destroying indigenous populations. While passing bargains on to consumers, this pits farmers in one country against those in another, in a downward wage spiral. Product quality is somewhat irrelevant.
Farming is similar. In every country on earth, the most humane scenario for farmers is likely to be feeding those who live nearby—if international markets would allow them to do it. If you care about farmers, let the potatoes stay home. For more information visit: www.
They could be up for review. Transporting a single calorie of a perishable fresh fruit from California to New York takes about 87 calories worth of fuel. Pardon me while I ask someone else to draft my energy budget. Maybe the world would likewise become more hospitable to diners who are queasy about fuel- guzzling foods, if that preference had a name. Seasonal- tarians? Local eaters, Homeys? The engaging strategy of the Slowies their logo is a snail is to celebrate what we have, standing up for the pleasures that seasonal eating can bring.
Consider the frustration of the man who wrote in this complaint to a food columnist: having studied the new food pyramid brought to us by the U. Our dietary guidelines come to us without a roadmap. Concentrating on local foods means thinking of fruit invariably as the product of an orchard, and a winter squash as the fruit of an early-winter farm. The green spaces surrounding your town stay green, and farmers who live nearby get to grow more food next year, for you. It begins with rethinking a position that is only superficially about deprivation. Citizens of frosty worlds unite, and think about marching past the off-season fruits: you have nothing to lose but mealy, juiceless, rock-hard and refusing to ripen.
The place they chose, he reasoned, would be the most sheltered spot in the hollow. That was where he built his house, with clapboard sides, a steep tin roof, and a broad front porch made of river rock. The milled door frames and stair rails he ordered from Sears, Roebuck. He built the house for his new bride, Lizzie, and the children they would raise here—eleven in all— during the half-century to come. In the s those children put the home place up for sale. All were elderly now, and none was in a position to move back to the family farm and fix up the home place.
They decided to let it go out of the family. Steven walked into this picture, and a deal with fate was sealed. The Webbs unfailingly invite us to their family reunions. The place is locally famous, it turns out. Sanford Webb was a visionary and a tinkerer who worked as a civil engineer for the railroad but also was the first in the neighborhood—or even this end of the state—to innovate such things as household electricity, a grain mill turned by an internal combustion engine, and indoor food refrigeration.
We still use a version of this in our kitchen for no-electricity refrigeration. Creativity ran in the family. These inventive brothers later founded a regional commercial airline, Piedmont Air, and paid their kid sister Neta a dime a day to come down and sweep off the runway before each landing. Sanford was also forward-thinking in the ways of horticulture.
Webb proposed to his neighbors the idea of buying named varieties of fruit trees, already grafted onto root stock, that would bear predictably and true. For every sixteen trees Mr. Webb sold, he received one to plant himself. The lilacs, mock oranges, and roses of Sharon he brought home for Lizzie still bloom around our house. So does a small, frost-hardy citrus tree called a trifoliate orange, a curiosity that has nearly gone extinct in the era of grocery-store oranges.
We know of only one nursery that still sells them. The man was passionate about fruit trees. They were fairly enthused to hear it. We still call it the Milk Gap, though no cows use it now. A farm has its practical geography; when you tell someone to go close the gate, she needs to know whether you mean the Milk Gap gate or the barn lot gate. Old Charley was a billy goat that belonged to the Webbs some seventy years ago. In the customary manner of billy goats, he stank. What grows there sells for upward of twenty dollars a pound in city markets: the most prized delicacy that ever comes to our table.
The mountainsides of our farm stand thickly wooded with poplar, beech, and oak. Two generations ago they were clear pastures, grazed by livestock or plowed for crops. This used to be a tobacco farm. Our tobacco patch was on top, for the better sun. Barring the devastations of mining or the soil disaster of clear-cut logging, this terrain can often recover its wildness within the span of a human lifetime.
Delicate tobacco seedlings have to be started in sheltered beds, then set by hand into the field and kept weed-free. Once mature, the whole plant is cut, speared with a sharp stick, and the entire crop painstakingly hung to dry in voluminous, high-roofed, well-ventilated barns.
Once the fragile leaves are air-cured to dark brown, they must be stripped by hand from the stalk, baled, and taken to the auction house. On the flat, wide farms of Iowa one person with a tractor can grow enough corn to feed more than a hundred people. But in the tucked-away valleys of Appalachia it takes many hands to make just one living, and only if they work at growing a high-priced product. For this reason, while the small family farm has transformed elsewhere, it has survived as a way of life in the hurley belt.
Tobacco even sets the date of graduation, since the end and beginning of the school year must accommodate spring setting time and fall cutting. This was the context of my childhood: I grew up in a tobacco county. Nobody in my family smoked except for my grandmother, who had one cigarette per afternoon, whether she needed it or not, until the day in her ninth decade when she undertook to quit. But we knew what tobacco meant to our lives.
It paid our schoolteachers and blacktopped our roads. It was the sweet scent of the barn loft where I hid out and read books on summer afternoons; it was the brown powder that clung to our jeans after an afternoon of playing in old outbuildings. It was the reason my first date had to end early on a Friday night: he had to get up early on Saturday to work the tobacco. For my classmates who went to college, it was tobacco that sent them. Me too, since my family could not have stayed solvent without other family economies that relied on tobacco.
From that society 1 sallied out into a world where, to my surprise, farmer was widely presumed synonymous with hee-haw, and tobacco was the new smallpox. And yes, it takes chemicals to keep the blue mold off the crop. And it sends people to college. It makes house payments, buys shoes, and pays doctor bills. It allows people to live with their families and shake hands with their neighbors in one of the greenest, kindest places in all this world. Tobacco is slowly going extinct as a U.
What is family farming worth? As of now, most will have to. Federal price supports, which have safeguarded the tobacco livelihood since the Depression, officially ended in No clear winner has yet emerged. When 1 was in high school, the family of one of my best friends tried growing bell peppers, the latest big idea of the era.
In my county, two of the best tobacco-transition experiments to date are organic vegetables and sustainable lumber. The logs are milled into lumber, kiln-dried, and sold to regional buyers seeking alternatives to rain-forest teak or clear-cut redwood. No farmer earns a whole livelihood from this, but the family farm has a tradition of cobbling together solvency from many crops.
Experimental programs like these, though new and small, are notable for the way they turn a certain economic paradigm on its head. Which are more economically productive, small family farms or big industrial farms? If so, small farms win on that score too, hands down. Small-farm profits are more likely to be sustained over time, too, since these farmers tend to be better stewards of the land, using fewer chemical inputs, causing less soil erosion, maintaining more wildlife habitat. Supermarkets prefer not to bother with boxes of vegetables if they can buy truckloads. Small operators have to be both grower and marketer, selling their products one bushel at a time.
They're doing everything right, they just need customers. Food preference surveys show that a majority of food shoppers are willing to pay more for food grown locally on small family farms. The next step, following up that preference with real buying habits, could make or break the American tradition of farming.
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Loggers or owls? People or green spaces? Rut farming at its best optimizes both economic and environmental health at the same time. A strategy that maximizes either one at the cost of the other is a fair working definition of bad farming. After a profoundly land-altering hiatus, the idea may be regaining its former shine. The people of southern Appalachia have a long folk tradition of using our woodlands creatively and knowing them intimately.
These hills have other secrets. One of them is a small, feisty cousin of garlic known as the ramp. The emergence of ramps elicits joyous, stinky ramp festivals throughout the region. Ginseng, another Appalachian botanical curiosity, is hunted and dug up for its roots, which sell for enormous prices to consumers on the other side of the world. A Molly Mooch is a morel. Their distinctive tall caps are cupped and wrinkled in a giraffish pattern unique to their kind.
Wild mushrooms are among the few foods North Americans still eat that must be hunted and gathered. Some fungi are farmed, but exotics like the morel defy all attempts at domestication. In my early days of Molly Mooching, I could stand with my boots touching one without spotting it until it was pointed out to me.
Whatever the secret, the Molly Mooches do know it, because they tend to show up in the same spot year after year. We know that only because our friends who grew up on this farm showed us where to look. This is the kind of knowledge that gets lost if people have to leave their land. They are memory banks, human symbionts with their ground. My family is now charged with keeping the secret history of a goat, a place, and a mushroom. Morels emerge here on the first warm day after a good, soaking mid-April rain.
This April our larder was notably empty, partly 1 suppose for just this reason—to force us to pay attention to things like the morels. Mushroom ethics mandate the mesh collecting bag, so the spores can scatter as you carry home your loot. No loot was carried that day. We really knew it was still too cold. But we were more than usually motivated, so on Tuesday in only slightly nicer weather, Steven headed out again.
I was mending a broken leg that spring and could not yet navigate the steep, slick mountainside, so 1 was consigned to the wifely role of waiting for Man the Hunter to return. On Wednesday he went out again, and came back through the kitchen door with a conspicuous air of conquest. Triumphantly he held up his mesh bag: a few dozen fawn-colored, earthy, perfect morels. By the weekend there would be more, enough to share with our neighbors. Had I been worried that cutting the industrial umbilicus would leave us to starve?
Give me this deprivation, any old day of the week. On Saturday the weather was still cold and windy. We decided for their sakes that the wind had dried the ground enough for us to till the potato patch with the tractor. We hoed out three deep rows, each about seventy feet long, in which to drop our seed potatoes. Two onions per week seemed reasonable. The earliest plantings are onions, potatoes, peas, and the cole crops broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are all the same genus and species. Broccoli buds will start to pop up above their leaves in the last cool days of May.
In the same weather, snap peas twine up their trellises lightning fast and set their pods. Along with rosy new potatoes and green onions pulled early from bed, these will be the first garden proceeds, with asparagus, cold-hardy spinach, and other salad greens. Especially in the Northeast, market gardeners are also savvy about stretching the season with cold frames, so these treasures can fill their stalls very early, in limited quantities that will go to the early risers.
Grocery-store- habituated shoppers may only have eyes for the Fourth-of-July-fireworks kind of garden bounty: big, blowsy tomatoes, eggplants, and summer squash. This may sound dramatic, but fruit is my favorite food. I was forced to get creative. The first step, shopping, is actually easier. No wailing kids or annoying tabloids omigod.
Just wonderful, fresh things to eat.
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As the seasons change, different fruits and vegetables come and go, so as a shopper you learn a get-it-while-you-can mentality. Are these overpriced? Are they going to mold the minute I get them home?
I drove home daydreaming about the creations I could cook up with my loot. This presents opportunities to get inventive in the kitchen and try new things, like stuffed zucchini. Two things that are impossible to get tired of are asparagus and morels, because neither one stays around long enough. Download this and all Animal, Vegetable, Miracle recipes at www.
Latest in the line of my estimable mail associates was Postmistress Anne, manager of all things postal in our little town—these things taking place within a building about the size of a two-car garage. Anne and her colleagues insisted the pleasure was all theirs. Were lucky we still have a P. Such surprising gifts come to me through the U. So did, he felt, President Carter. Class projects. Paintings of imaginary people. Not here. They all just grinned when Lily and I came in.
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Ho-hum, just an ordinary day at our P. Lily bent over the bee cages, peering at the trembling masses of worker bees humming against the wire mesh sides of the boxes. Lily picked it up and started crooning like a new mother. Because we knew the chicks were coming this morning, 1 had allowed her to stay home from school to wait for the call. I'd lifted each one out of the box and they hit the ground running, ready to explore the newspaper-lined crate I'd set up in the garage.
Right away they set about pecking at every newsprint comma and period they could find. These peeps were hungry, which meant they were born two days earlier. This adaptation comes in handy for birds like chickens and turkeys that have to get up and walk right away, following Mom around to look for something edible. Other baby birds live in a nest for the first weeks, waiting for a parent to bring takeout. Some of the less gifted pushed the food aside so they could keep pecking at the attractive newsprint dots.
They are born, in fact, knowing a good deal of the nothing a turkey brain will ever really grasp, but at this stage their witlessness was lovable. I picked up each one and dipped its tiny beak into the water. From time to time one of the babies would be overtaken by the urge for a power nap. Staggering like a drunk under the warm glow of the brooder lamp, it would shut its eyes and keel over, feet and tiny winglets sprawled out flat.
More siblings keeled onto the pile, while others climbed over the fuzzy tumble in a frantic race to nowhere. When they imprinted on me as Mama and rushed happily to greet me whenever I appeared, I just felt that much more like Cruella DeVil. Inevitably, though, all adorable toddlers turn into something else. As time took its course, turkey nature itself would nudge us toward the task of moving them from barnyard to the deep freeze. These babies were not pets.
You can leave the killing to others and pretend it never happened, or you can look it in the eye and know it. Our goal was to establish a breeding flock. These were some special turkeys. Of the million turkeys Americans consume each year, more than 99 percent of them are a single breed: the Broad-Breasted White, a quick- fattening monster bred specifically for the industrial-scale setting.
These are the big lugs so famously dumb, they can drown by looking up at the rain. Friends of mine swear they have seen this happen. Docile lethargy works better, and helps them pack on the pounds. To some extent, this trend holds for all animals bred for confinement. For turkeys, the scheme that gave them an extremely breast-heavy body and ultra-rapid growth has also left them with a combination of deformity and idiocy that renders them unable to have turkey sex. Poor turkeys. So how do we get more of them? Well you might ask.
All the special qualities of heirloom vegetables are found in heirloom breeds of domestic animals too: superior disease resistance, legendary flavors, and scarcity, as modern breeds take over the market. Hundreds of old-time varieties of hoof stock and poultry, it turns out, are on the brink of extinction. The Price of Life Industrial animal food production has one goal: to convert creatures into meat. These intensively managed factory farms are called concentrated animal feeding operations CAFOs. Opponents raise three basic complaints: first, the treatment of animals.
If you can envision one thousand chickens in your bathroom, in cages stacked to the ceiling, you're honestly getting the picture. Actually, a six-foot- by-eight-foot room could house 1, A second complaint is pollution. So many animals in a small space put huge volumes of excrement into that small space, creating obvious waste storage and water quality problems.
CAFO animals in the United States produce about six times the volume of fecal matter of all humans on our planet. A third issue is health. Confined animals are physically stressed, and are routinely given antibiotics in their feed to ward off disease. The antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that grow in these conditions are a significant new threat to humans. Currently, 98 percent of chickens in the United States are produced by large corporations. If you have an opportunity to buy some of that other 2 percent, a truly free-range chicken from a local farmer, it will cost a little more.
So what's the going price these days for compassion, clean water, and the public health? Many heritage breeds are adapted to specific climates. Among draft animals, let us not forget the American Mammoth Jack Ass. We decided to join the small club of people who are maintaining breeding flocks of heritage turkeys—birds whose endearing traits include the capacity to do their own breeding, all by themselves. We picked the last one.
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They are handsome and famously tasty, but for me it was also a matter of rooting for the home team. Fewer than two thousand Bourbon Reds now remain in breeding flocks. It struck me as a patriotic calling that 1 should help spare this American breed from extinction. So we jumped on that wagon, hoping to have our rare birds and eat them too.
The day of their promised arrival had been circled on her calendar for many months: April 23, my babies due! She started keeping her first small laying flock as a first-grader, back in Tucson where the coop had to be fortified against coyotes and bobcats. The part of our move to Virginia that Lily most dreaded, in fact, was saying good-bye to her girls. The friends who adopted them are kind enough to keep us posted on their health, welfare, and egg production. We prepared her for the move by promising she could start all over again once we got to the farm.
It would be a better place for chickens with abundant green pasture for a real free-range flock, not just a handful of penned layers. Say no more. She was off to her room to do some calculations. Lily is the sole member of our family with gifts in the entrepreneurial direction. Soon she was back with a notebook under her arm. How can I convey her fondness for chickens? I made the mistake of pointing out that it was just a chicken. If I love my chickens six, I love you seven. What you sell is your decision.
In the time-honored tradition of parents, I stalled. The entrepreneurial gene apparently skips generations. Lily got out her notebook and started asking questions. When it comes to mares and geldings, she knows the score. You know. Like our daddies. What does an animal like that cost, she inquired? Start on. Show related SlideShares at end.
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