Posts tagged ‘food’

Permissible but not beneficial

We’re in the business of food. I have spoken with both consumers and other producers about every issue relating to food from GMOs to natural pork to vegetarianism. We are directly involved in production agriculture. I feed my family the same pork and beef that we sell, potentially finding its way to your table. This has shown me beyond any shadow of a doubt that food is the most personal choice in the world. gretchie pig

That choice is one that trips me. Everyday. That’s why I signed up for an online Bible study of Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave.

I’m married to a wheat farmer and I have Celiac disease, making wheat and gluten-containing grains off limits. And no, the irony does not escape me. When I read TerKeurst’s reminder that all is permissible but not beneficial, I stopped in my tracks. I’ve spent many moons avoiding a laundry list of delicious things because they were not permissible for me. Then I recognized that justifying a bowl of ice cream because I give up so many other foods is just that: permissible but not beneficial. caden football 13

It’s going to disappoint the Schwann’s man but I’m making a conscious decision to question something’s benefit to me. I can not admit that I crave ice cream more than I crave God and look in the mirror and smile. If that means that I will choose to pray rather than indulge then the benefit will be two fold.

Hogs, McDonald’s and HSUS

McDonald’s has moved to support HSUS in their quest to do away with gestation crates. http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2012/02/mcdonalds-news.html

As a hog producer, I could tell you all of the scientific evidence. In gestation crates, sows’ feed and health can be more closely monitored. In gestation crates, “bully sows” don’t beat up on other sows. In gestation crates, “bully sows” don’t overeat, resulting in piglets too large to pass the sow’s pelvis. The question posed to the pork industry has not been “can you use gestation crates?” the question has been, “Should you?”

Science and measures of production efficiency aside, I’ll tell you this. As hog producers we don’t use gestation crates. I’ll also tell you this. We have a gilt who was a victim of bully sows so we had to move her to another pen away from other sows until her due date neared and we moved her to the farrowing barn. In our pens, we’re unable to control individual feed intake. She overate, as pigs will do. I’ll also tell you this. I spent 16 hours in our farrowing barn to try to deliver her piglets. I saved one. One. The others died and we had to administer antibiotics and hope that she would recuperate and continue milking for her one piglet. She’s since recovered but as soon as we wean her, the cycle will continue.

I won’t tell you that I’m an unfailing fan of gestation crates. I can’t because we’ve not used them. But I can tell you that if you want the scoop on hog production, ask a hog producer first.