Rearing animals for food vs food production …

A couple of weeks ago I went to see Food Inc at the cinema, see trailer here, and I’ve not been the same since!  I would say that I am quite a well informed person when it comes to food but this truly opened my eyes and blew me away.  Now I know it’s based in America and not NZ but still the warning is there.

For those of you who don’t know about it, it’s a film/doco/expose about the food production industry in the States.  The book was written before the film, which I’ve not read yet, but it would be along the same lines as Supersize Me. 

I was only a young girl when I first saw a battery farm and not long after I became vegetarian.  Although I do eat meat again now I am very aware of where it comes from and what goes into it, and especially so since I have had children. 

So my new quest is to find some good organic meat local to us.  Not so easy as it may sound.  I have noticed since I’ve returned to NZ that although the ‘organic movement’ is here it’s not easily available everywhere and sometimes the cost really is prohibitive.  It was with real excitement that we set out this morning to an Open Day at Pasture Poultry.  We get these free range, organic eggs at our local supermarket and they are delicious so a chance to go and see where they come from was greeted with open arms.

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The couple who run the farm, John and Pauline Blaikie, were so friendly and answered our myriad questions!  When we walked down to the chicken house it was through a field with cows and their calves, sheep and their lambs and chickens all in it.  Both the cattle and sheep are also raised organically and it was gobsmacking to hear that the lamb is exported to the UK to Waitrose, one of the higher end supermarkets owned by John Lewis.  Here we were standing in a paddock in the back blocks of the Rangitikei region and the lamb surrounding us will be bought by the well-to-do folk shopping in Waitrose!!!!!

So the girls were able to collect some still warm eggs from the chickens and then hand fed two lambs.  It was really was a great morning, which made up for all the grumblings in the car on the way there (by girls and husband alike – are we there yet?!!!!).

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So if you happen to be in the Rangitikei or Manawatu region next weekend then maybe you’d like to pop in.  Another Open Day is being held on Sunday 22 November and you can register your interest by e-mailing blaikiejp@farmside.co.nz.

So my search has started rather well – no doubt I’l be posting more about this topic which is very close to my heart! x

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