Archive for the ‘Livestock’ Category

Regenerative agriculture to reverse climate change, a documentary video

Friday, November 27th, 2015

By Catherine Haug, Nov 2015

“Healthy soils are necessary to feed the world; they are also the planet’s largest carbon sink. This task is for all of us: farmers, gardeners and food consumers. Together, we can heal the earth.” (from an Organic Consumers Association email).

While burning fossil fuels sends carbon into the atmosphere, regenerative agriculture stores carbon in the soil, for a more nutritious food supply and a healthier planet. Learn more from  a PBS documentary, “Food Forward, SOS: Save our Soils” (3). (more…)

Think twice about commercial pork

Thursday, September 17th, 2015
Pigs on the farm

Pigs on the farm

By Catherine Haug, Sept 18, 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

The photo, right, is how we imagine commercial pigs are raised, with room to roam and dig in the dirt or mud, find shade or sun, and receive adequate and appropriate food and water.

But the pork you buy in most grocery stores (especially the large grocery chains), or when you eat out, is not raised that way. I’ve included several videos below so you can see for yourself.

If you love pork, please buy from local farmers whose methods you trust, or look for Certified Humane (5) on the packaging. Also suggest your favorite restaurants source their pork from local farmers. (more…)

Livestock and predators

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

220px-Suffolk SheepBy Catherine Haug, August 25, 2015 (photo, right, from Wikipedia; link has been lost)

“What the right livestock dogs can mean for the maintenance of large predators, like the wolf, on the landscape.” (1)

Check out this 7-minute video from High Country News (1), about a family in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, who raise cattle and sheep amidst numerous predators. The key to their success is a mix of guard dog breeds, each of which plays a specific role in keeping their livestock safe and content, while preserving the wild animals in the habitat.

If the video does not appear below, the link is available in reference 1, to view in larger format. OR, to view the video in full screen, click the symbol at bottom right corner of video screen.


  1. High Country News video:

Bacterial contamination of produce, including Organic

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015


By Catherine Haug, August 21, 2015 (Photo, right, from Wikipedia)

The lifestyle blog, Take Part, featured an article today titled Your Organic Spinach Could Be More Dangerous Than Meat, by Willy Blackmore (1). At issue is contamination of vegetable crops, both Organic and conventional, primarily by contaminated animal waste (primarily from CAFOs – Confinement Animal Feeding Operations) leaching into ground water.

A classic example was a 39-state recall of E. coli-contaminated spinach a few years back, that was caused by animal waste from a nearby CAFO leaching into groundwater regularly used to water the crops. Similar recalls have involved listeria and other pathogens.

Data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) indicate food-borne illness is far more likely from produce, than for poultry, seafood, red meat, eggs or dairy (2).

What is the solution to this problem? (more…)

Would you eat this chicken?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Caged, stressed laying hens

Caged, stressed laying hens

by Catherine Haug, May 13, 2015 (Photo, right, from WSPA (5)

Includes: 1. Would you eat this chicken? 2. What about eggs?

Would you eat this chicken? If you buy chicken from your favorite supermarket, discount grocery chain, or most of the fast food chains around the country, you already are (eating this chicken).

NOTE: a popular brand in the Flathead is Foster Farms, which has several farms in Washington State. This brand utilizes the CAFO method (Confinement Animal Feeding Operation) as described in this posting. See also The EssentiiaList: Foster Farms chicken and salmonella outbreak (Oct 2013 posting).


PBS Videos: The Lexicon of Sustainability

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Chickens at feed

Chickens at feed

by Catherine Haug, March 2014 (photo, right by Keith Blaylock)

Check out a very informative and entertaining series of short videos that explores new vocabulary associated with farming, food security, and other sustainability topics. From the Lexicon of Sustainability home page:

“For the past three years we have conversed with the foremost practitioners of sustainability in food and farming. They have shared their insights and experiences… and contributed their words to our rapidly growing Lexicon of Sustainability. To spread their knowledge our photography project has grown to include short films, study guides, traveling shows, a book and lastly a website where people can add their own terms to this ever-evolving lexicon.”

Read on for more about, and links to the videos. (more…)