By Gary Feldman, Great Neck Record
March 2, 2018 – Family farms all across America are being phased out of existence by mega factory farms. The biotech industry funds programs and bills so that family farms can’t afford to stay in business, also imposing extra taxes and fees upon them.
Choosing food that was raised on small regenerative farms, not concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), is crucial. Here, the animals are humanely treated, and the food they provide is safer. Regenerative agriculture is in harmony with the workings of the ecosystem, which increases biodiversity, enriches the health of the soil and improves waterways.
Look for farms whose animals are raised by organic standards and have the “humanely-raised” symbol on the package. Farmers markets, food co-ops and health-food markets are the best choice when looking to find organic.
Eggs from pasture-raised hens are also much healthier. These eggs usually have a bright-orange yolk. Dull, pale yellow yolks are a sign that the hen was caged, never allowed to forage for the food that is natural to its diet or see the light of day.
When selecting animal products, consumers should consider:
When shopping for milk, cream, cheese, eggs, meat and chicken, always opt for organic. Organic standards prohibit antibiotic use and strictly forbid GMOs in animal feed. Look for the American Grass-fed Association (AGA) symbol, although it can be difficult to find in our region. Grass-fed animals contain higher omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with lower heart disease, a stronger immune system and better brain function, giving buyers the mental edge to choose wisely.
Treating animals humanely and feeding them their natural diet is the very least humans can do, given the fact that animals are sacrificed for our consumption. Listen to your heart when shopping, and your brain will follow.
Gary Feldman is a nutrition educator and lecturer, and an instructor in the Port Washington Union Free School District Continuing Education program, was an innovator in the nutritional supplement retail industry and is a health writer in Great Neck.