Friday, June 10, 2011

smart chicken...

Ran errands all morning then went visiting.  Stopped off to see a few folks downtown (east side of 118).  Nice hot day today - perfect for watching other people work.  Checked in on the Mt. McKenna container complex.  Today was the day for them to marry a 20 footer with a 40 footer.  All you need is some chain, a tractor, and brute strength to get them lined up for welding.  Picked up a baby cement mixer from "Just Me" to get me back in the game.  For some reason she hasn't named it yet so I am open to suggestions.

On the way out of Alpine yesterday, I stopped off at Blue Water Natural Foods  http://www.bluewaternf.com/.  Decided I would try some pricey organic chicken...$4.95/lb.  Grilled it up tonight and it was a lot more flavorful than the industrial chicken I have been eating.  http://www.smartchicken.com/    Now that the government is involved in the business of labeling food organic - I can't help but think the big players are gonna sway what that really means.  I read a passage in The Omnivore's Dilemma about "organic" chickens living in similar circumstances to their industrial brothers.  Federal rules say that organic chicken should have "access to the outdoors" - but most of these farms keep the doors shut until the birds are at least 5 weeks old at which point they are set in their ways and there is little chance of them venturing out into the fresh air and sunlight.  The bottom line is: unless you grow it yourself - can you really be sure what is was fed and how it was raised?  103,111,69,0,C

17 comments:

Dani said...

JW - re: name - how about Stumbled (short for it's tumbled)

zubodtoo said...

how about Chex ?like chex mix

zubodtoo said...

Man your blog and youtube vids have helped me to bring back that passion i had to go off grid . thanks I.ll be desert dwelling in Arizona. I do have a question for you . What do you think about Aquaponics ? I like the idea of Farming fish and Heathy veggies too.

captaincrunch said...

John,

If you wanted your own organic chicken, you can raise your own chickens. I have some freinds that have an elaborate chicken coop with lots of chickens. I dont know what breed of chickens they have, but if you were to get chickens, watch out for the roosters. My friends wife got chased down by the rooster (later that week, my friend and his wife, ate that rooster) 100% organic.

wickets said...

all natural organic is turning into such a fraud and the sad thing is the general public is buying into the bs hook line and sinker

Ronald Mahan said...

Those TERLINGUA RANCH BLUE QUAIL are 100 percent organic - without any government stamp! Don and I love to grill them over a hot bed of coals every fall - after the hunting season opens.

Sarah said...

Such a cute little RED mixer should have a hot name - maybe Lola.

If that's too much, Rosie would be nice for a bit of feminine influence at The Field Lab....

tffnguy said...

JAM for JuliAnne's Mixer

John Wells said...

hmmmm....I think Jam is a fine name

leilani said...

Ruh-roh. I think we all know now where he's going with this now, he's getting serious.

But is there anybody here who's read more than 2 months into the archives of this blog who believes The Pied Piper of the Trans-Pecos, Texas' very own Dr. Doolittle of the Desert, is actually going to be able to eat the chicks he's raised once they become big enough to solar fry let alone send them to the Big KFC bucket in the sky?

Maybe we should start a pool on when he goes full-vegan & changes the name of this blog to the The Field Zoo. ;-)

Ted said...

John if you like chicken a (chicken tractor)might be something for you to consider.For several reasons they interest me. Chicken manure is a good source of fertilizer probably one of the best.You can move it around.All so after watching FOOD INC it has made me more aware of what I eat.

K1MGY said...

The USDA became involved in 2002 with the "National Organic Program". It provides for three levels of certification, and leaves the actual inspections - to make sure that food producers are actually doing it correctly - in the hands of outside groups, such as organic farming organizations.

It may be argued that the USDA involvement was not because there was a call for this within the existing organic suppliers (many had a loosely knit, well established organic certification system already), but by pressure from agribusiness who wanted to get in on the action, and who could not meet the standards in place. In some cases, I think this is true - the standards are not as stringent as they were under the non-government-run system, allowing the larger producers to squeak by.

The problem now is that the pressure continues from large food producers to manipulate (adjust) the standards to allow more junk to be sold under the label. This was already done in 2006 where an appropriations bill included language allowing a number of synthetic ingredients to be used within the "Organic" label.

Fortunately the industry has yet to convince the USDA that irradiated foods, such as strawberries, are "organic", but I suspect this is just around the bend.

I followed this closely when the USDA became involved as I was helping our local organic farmers association draft proposed regulations for the USDA to adopt. A horror show is not the half of it.

As a result of this and other observations I have come to the almost 60 year conclusion that is as follows: I trust absolutely nothing this government tells me. Zero.

Keeps life a lot simpler and, by and large, things turn out exactly as my distrust predicts.

lj said...

Just a little tip on the concrete. The bags of redi-mix that you buy don't usually have enough portland in them so if you buy a bag of straight portland and add about 24ounces (I use an old metal coffee can) to each bag as you mix it, your finish product will be a lot stronger

Susie said...

Anyone who works for the USDA is easily bought off, USDA is also the organization that it responsible for checking in on puppy mills, and we all know how horribly they have been doing with those. I trust my local farmers who are doing the best they can and letting us know what and how they are producing our foods. And if would not hurt John at all to go Vegan, there once was an unfair stigma attaced to eating Vegan but now most of that is coming from people I refer to as knuckledraggers. People who still think all we ear is salad and refused to educate themselves about what is truly going on.

jandean said...

There are many types of non-carnivores. Not just vegans.

Allen Hare said...

I hope you keep us updated on that Mt. McKenna container complex. From what little we've seen so far, it is going to be very nice, and very interesting.

What a cute little mixer! Probably just right for mixing small batches for paving stones, thresholds, and the like.

I agree with you about the chicken, and organics in general. Kind of goes with this saying I heard from back in the old days. It goes something along the lines of "Never drink milk unless you know the owner of the cow".

David said...

John, my family bought just hatched chicks and raised chickens for eggs. They are supposed to be indoors with a heat lamp and plenty of clean water and food for 8 weeks. Your comment "most of these farms keep the doors shut until the birds are at least 5 weeks old at which point they are set in their ways and there is little chance of them venturing out into the fresh air and sunlight" isn't true at all and I wanted to clear that up. They shouldn't be outside that early, and once you do let them out chickens are great explorers and they are smarter than you think.

I hope one day I can do what you do, and I highly encourage you to look into raising your own chickens. It's super easy, and very very fun, and your in a perfect position to do so. You'd need to build a coop for the night, and you could let them run around during the daytime since you have no neighbors, and they always come back to the coop. And they'll eat all your of scraps.

There are two types of chicks you can buy, the egg layers or the meat chickens. The egg layers grow up to lay eggs for up to 17 years, and you don't have to kill them. Layers barely have any meat on them anyway. And you have fresh organic eggs every morning. What other pet makes you breakfast like that?