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Things have been busy here at the farm as is typical at any farm most any time of the year. We’ve had our goats kid, we have been working on the ground getting ready for planting, the pigs have started to farrow. On top of this we have had a few mishaps and some around the home appliance malfunctions and this is on top of the never ending cold that I seem to have. (since end of Feb beginning of March and its not giving up)
With pigs on the mind lately I thought I’d show a few pictures I was able to get of the Tamworth’s and Old Spots to help those who may be farrowing pigs for the first time get a visual of of signs of farrowing. Emily, the more yellow of the Tamworth’s farrowed the morning that these pictures were taken. You can see that her teats have dropped and that her vulva is quite swollen. Compare this to Fran (more red of the Tamworths) Fran is also swollen. Fran farrowed two days after these picture was taken. Petunia the Gloucestershire Old Spot, also posed for this indelicate photograph. Her vulva is not puffy at all. She has some time to go before she farrows as there is no milk letdown in her teats and she is not poofy yet.
So far we have had two litters both Tamworth X GOS. The one was a terrible litter of 5, yet all were born and are still alive. This mother will get to wean them and have one more go before she is off to slaughter because its not economical to keep her if she is only going to farrow a few at a time. Plus she is just awkward with the piglets laying the wrong way for them to get to the teats. She does however have a good length and structure.
The other litter was 1 stillborn, 1 crush, and 9 alive. This is not bad and she is good mother wise, very attentive and yet friendly with us. She is a bit shorter in body length but the numbers for her make the difference for us. She has thrown good sized piglets and tends to be able to raise them well. I’m excited to see how these TamX GOS grow out as these will be our first litters of crosses.
Since I had a bit of time stuck in the house while sick, I re-listened to some of my CD’s from the PASA conference. One particularly interesting CD was Jerry Brunetti’s Talk on the healing value of food and the importance of good soils to increase nutrients and minerals in said foods.
A bit of background, “In 1999, Jerry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given as little as six months to live without aggressive chemotherapy. He instead chose a holistic path of nutrition, detoxification and immune modulation and applied his vast experience with farming and animal nutrition to his own health.”
I’ve posted a youtube link to one of his talks. I completely recommend that you have a sit down listen as you will be inspired.
Several months back we received a copy of King Corn in the mail via our Netflix membership. This was a fun and interesting documentary and we would recommend it. I checked out the website today and found that they have done some spoofs on the corn refiners association commercials that promote High Fructose Corn Syrup as a “natural” product good for your kids and your lover. Here is the original Corn Refiner’s versions.
And her is the spoof.
The original versions definitely present corn syrup as benign at best and imply if you are questioning if you should use it you are just silly.
To me the fact that the process of converting corn to corn syrup is what makes it inherently unhealthy. The process includes the use of sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid. According to Wikipedia, “Sulfur dioxide is an allergen to which some consumers are sensitive. SO2 is associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death…Concentrated hydrochloric acid (fuming hydrochloric acid) forms acidic mists. Both the mist and the solution have a corrosive effect on human tissue, with the potential to damage respiratory organs, eyes, skin, and intestines. Upon mixing hydrochloric acid with common oxidizing chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite (bleach, NaClO) or permanganate (KMnO4), the toxic gas chlorine is produced.
With the process of making the HFCS in mind, how could anyone consider it a healthy alternative. Though we have not eliminated all sources of HFCS in our diet. (Its in sooooo many processed foods) We have eliminated soda pop and sweetened drinks to start. In addition we make as much of our own foods as we can. Though there is a time element involved this does mean that we know what we are eating.
I challenge everyone to check to see if there is HFCS in any of the foods you eat this week and keep track of the percentage of foods that do vs. do not have them. Then try to lower your percentage next week.