Monday, December 3, 2012

Exploration #12

Fresh was a very interesting documentary that I enjoyed. I enjoyed seeing how our farming system use to be and the problems that have been caused by new age farming. I also admire the one farmer who drives his chickens around to where the cattle have grazed. A direct quote that stuck out to me was “as long as it tastes and looks good…” This is honestly true amongst many people. Our minds think in a way that if something looks good then what could be the problem with it. I also enjoyed watching the big African American who had the grow house with warms and fish to fertilized his plants and break down recycled food.
Exploration 12
I feel like movie we watched showed us all how little most of us know about the food we eat on a daily basis. when they interviewed the farmer that had is farm in the city it was amazing to see what he could farm in the little amount of land he had and how he used other companies waste to produce new products on his farm and help them grow. i think its just amazing to see the different types of farms there are and how they are able to stay the same when the big companies are trying to run them out.

exploration 12

Hannah Loper
English 1110.03
Mike Lohre
                                                            exploration 12
In the film we watched called Fresh showed us how organic foods are healthier and better for our bodies, rather than the cheap food. In the film it interviewed many organic famers and showed how there produce is made. there was a part in the film where they were talking large crates of chicks and just throwing them down carelessly. this amazed  me because those farmers are making their living off those animals and they dont even care about them, and pretty much just sees them as a dollar bill. Some american famers feed their cows with the remains of other dead cows so that they get beefier and get heavier faster. this is unsanitary to me and very disturbing, that should not be aloud. this film was extremly educational and i really learned alot from it.

Exploration 12

Fresh gave us a glimpse behind the curtains of our nations industrialized agricultural sector and presented many reasons on why it's dangerous.  The damage to the environment is a very important factor to me when I consider conventional agriculture.  I feel that as a farmer you should know the land and how to care for it.  "Part of our responsibility as stewards of the Earth is to respect the design of nature". It's ignorant to think as the land as just property, especially when livelihood depends on it.  I'm interested to see if there is any legislature that is against this system of farming. No doubt that there would be heavy opposition to it on account of how much influence industry has with our leaders.

Exploration 12

One of my favorite quotes from the documentary Fresh is "American fear only one thing, inconvenience." I believe the most important is how they feed each other their own kind because they are dead. I believe I need to know more of why they feed each other their own kind. I know it saves on food but how could they kill animals to sell to us and feed the leftovers to themselves. The documentary just opened my eyes to what they have done and how they save on food. But is it really helping to feed each other their own kind and with all the virtues? I know they don't inject the shots needed for the animal care so is it really health for them to sell the animals for meat? All these questions have me wondering about the type of animals I need and is it really healthy for my parents and I to eat them. I found Will Allen greenhouse very effectively. All the plants he grows, he eats them and recycles the water within each other.

Exploration 12

Fresh reminds me of watching Super Size Me, obviously in the direct opposite direction but it takes someone to do something dramatic as killing off all of your pigs and starting over, or ordering McDonalds every day to show that the path were on is the wrong one. Fresh was extremely inspirational showing that the one man stopped raising cattle the wrong way and actually saved $14,000, which is remarkable  Even if this man did not make as much money as before when he was pumping them with steroids i would bet that he came out making the same amount of money as before but now in a healthy humane way. I really enjoyed seeing the one man rotate the cattle and chickens, I have never seen this before and doing so every thing gained from it. The cattle had fresh grass, the chickens were eating healthy in the grass just like a free roaming chicken would, and the farmer is prospering greatly off of healthy livestock. I believe it was this man that said "Find something that works and continue to use it." I completely agree with this quote because he has found that something and he looks and seems happy with his farm. I would classify this man as a true farmer that is in for the animals heath more than just the money.

Exploration 12

The idea that the farm industry has turned into making money instead of feeding quality food to people is ridiculous. Corporate farms care more about making profit than the well-being of the people who eat their products. The film showed that we need to down size our farms and have free-range live stock. Not live-stock that is crammed together 10,000 deep and disease filled. The film made me think about the types of meat and other farm products I choose to eat. I would like to know more about how much a free-range farms makes versus a commercial farm. One of the quotes that stuck out the most while watching the film was "American's fear only one thing: inconvenience." Which is utterly true.
It seems that often times what is most profitable to company, may not be what is most profitable to society. This is a idea that is prevalent in the documentary Fresh. Spraying pesticides over tons of crops may preserve and grow more produce, but it is also unnatural and unhealthy for the consumers. The easy way out is not always the best way. Not only this but foods that are grown naturally without the use of pesticides and other chemicals to support growth taste better. If for no other reason that would be enough. I once had the pleasure of eating some organically grown snap peas, and I can honestly say that is one of the few times I actually really enjoyed vegetables rather than just forcing them down my throat to escape flack from my mother.
As far as the treatment of animals go, I do think there has to be some standard. However, I also think that this isn't as important. I mean is throwing chickens on the ground going to harm the produce of raw chicken? I doubt it. Besides the fact remains that farmers are in effect, breeding these creatures to kill. What's the point of being extremely kind and gentle to a creature you're going to chop off the head of with an axe and eat for dinner? If there's some actual physical evidence for why the product would be better with more humane treatment of animals I figure why not? But the fact remains that animals are not humans so why should be treat them like they are? There's probably a happy medium somewhere between torturing baby cows and sending your dog to a hotel with room service and a 60" LCD television for them to watch that we as a society should be aiming for.

 “Every decision we make at the supermarket – what we grow, what we eat – is creating a different future for the land, the farmers, for the diversity of our crops, for the health of our bodies and communities.”

This quote was interesting to me because it explains how much control we have over the future of our agriculture and the effect it has on society.

Exploration 12

Watching this film, there are many ideas that seem to be important in it. One idea that stands out to me is using only grown on farm material instead of buying corporate material which has all those bad unhealthy stuff in it. I think this is important because it gives the food they make more of a freshness instead of a weak un-fresh food. Who really wants to eat something that ate another animal. I would like to know more on how farmers get away with doing the wrong thing and think that is okay to treat not only the animals on the farm this way but also the people who end up eating it weeks later after buy it from a store. Said at the start of the film "all our economy cares about is more cheap stuff" in a sense this is true but it's not the correct thing to be doing.

Exploration 12

I think this documentary shared a lot of great information about farms and the importance of food being fresh, healthier, and not using pesticides which helps by making the food healthier for us and more organic. Many times food will have hormones in it to make the food bigger and also it will have stuff in it to better preserve the food item that is being consumed. This documentary showed that all of that stuff isn't necessary. It's better for our body to intake natural and organic things rather than man made and one of the farmers even stated that in the documentary. I think that this was important information to know because often i catch myself going to the store and for example if i look at the watermelons i think hmm, which one looks the biggest. This film helped me change my way of thought because now i know that the watermelon could of been filled with hormones to make it look "bigger" when in reality the smallest one could be the best because it's all natural. I think some information that we might need to know more about is the upkeep. For example, does the upkeep on an organic farm take much more work than a farm that just throws fertilizer and pesticides down and hope for the best? I think that could be looked into a little more with further research. However, the direct quote that I chose from the film was "men fear one thing, inconvenience." I think this quote is very true. With our world today we have everything at the click of a button whether it be smart phones, blue tooth's, etc. If something is at an  inconvenience for us we wont go out of our way to get it. Our society is almost in a sense kind of spoiled. thats why I felt like this quote stood out to me the most.

Sojourner Truth: English Extra Credit Poem

Sojourner Truth
My name is Isabella but you can call me truth,
born on the Hardenbergh plantation without a word of English.
13 brothers and sisters in upstate New York speaking deutches,
Sold to a new master at age nine never to return to my kind.
Sold with a fold of sheep for one hundred dollars.
Is that all I’m worth to you my light skinned brothers?
Wipped, embarrassed, harassed, and abused “more,” my oppressor roars without refuse.
I pray allowed when scared and confused asking the Good Lord to come and renew.
This life hasn’t been all it’s cracked up to be, how could you understand unless you have lived inside of me?
This malice and hate I have been shown won’t keep this passion inside of me from growin’.
I’ll travel across this land of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness speaking truthfully of slavery, abolition, salvation and women’s rights until I see the light.
Ain’t I a woman deserving of respect what does it take for a little bit of courtesy, I’ve done my time in the field earnestly.
Time to put the sythe down and raise up this myth of everyone being equal enjoying liberty.
When my day comes I want to be remembered not as an outlaw or criminal but one who stands for the freedom of all.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Exploration 12: Response to Fresh

There were many ideas that were important. I believe that the most important one would have to be the downscaling of farms. Going back to more of a family farm feel and getting rid of the factory farms. One reason I believe this is important is that it is "Our duty to respect the design of nature." This means letting the animals eat grass and be out in a field not in buildings. We need to go back to the roots of agriculture. I also believe that the manufacturing process should be more like "Good Nature Family Farms." This, I believe, would give us a higher quality and a healthier product.

            One thing that I would like to know more about, however, is the steps that have been taken towards achieving more of this agricultural roots system. If I were to research more about this topic, it would be the steps that are or have been taken to create a healthier environment for these animals. I believe that large scale farms can achieve success even with a more grass roots approach.

Exploration 12

             I feel that the line from the beginning of the documentary sums up the root cause of the problem discussed throughout the film. That is “American’s fear only one thing, inconvenience.” This reason is why we are raising animals and crops the way we are. It is easier. But is it really? Now we are fighting diseases and have to constantly be treating for these diseases. It might have started out as being easier by raising the animals and crops in a large group, and not using a variety of them, but that is just causing diseases, weeds and bugs to adapt to what we are doing and become much stronger. Nature doesn’t like monocultures. It likes when a variety of animals and crops are grown together, not all the same kind. An example of this is the Mad Cow disease, which never existed before we started raising cows all together in a feedlot.
            Fresh also points out that many people do not even know what they are eating, and how that food got to their plate. There are companies that have most of the control of the food chain, and they have part in it from the seed all the way until it makes it to the plate. This just seems like it could cause a huge problem in the years to come.
            I feel that this documentary has opened my eyes a lot to what is going on. I feel that we need to work to correct this, by doing more research on how monocultures cause problems, and ways that we can reverse these problems.

Exploration 12

Fresh is an interesting documentary about where food comes from. From the video this one guys makes a very interesting point by stating that "American fear one think... inconvenience". Which is a true and funny thought. Americans are always on the go, sure sometimes the direction their going may be a wrong direction when it comes to what they eat. It was shocking to see how some of the animals were being treated. The shot of the farm hands literally throwing the chicks onto the ground seemed ruthless and unemotional. On the other hand I thought it was very crafty of that one guy to make a green house in the middle of a big city, and have people take some fresh produce and some compost home with them. I think that is very important to be able to know how to grow your own food. Mainly because it is a valuable resource if anything were to happen to you. I think that some more in depth research should go into finding what really does happen at big farms that mass produce animals. I know a little about how to grow my own crops, but I am no where near capable enough to grow enough produce to feed the nation.

Exploration 12

In the documentary, Fresh a guy said all our economy cares about is “more cheap stuff, more and more cheap stuff.” After watching this documentary I know I am not one of those people who just cares about cheap stuff.  Many parts of this documentary disgusted me but also inspired me. Seeing the nasty and harsh conditions the animals we eat live in inspires me to someday attempt to run a small farm. I have been interested in farming for quite a while but have not found a way to make it a fiscally responsible move since I would be starting from scratch. Yet after watching this, there seems to be a need for better farming tactics before the majority of our nation’s food becomes poison which makes money a less significant factor. Anyway, this movie also brought forth a couple of questions I feel need to be asked. What stores sell food that is naturally grown or raised? The video made a comment that if all farms grew the vegetables and raised the meat in a natural way it could produce enough food. The question is; if these methods are so much healthier and can produce enough food then why are major farms not doing it this way? This to me just does not make much sense because even if there would be less food being produced it would not cause the businesses to loss money; lower supply would simply cause higher prices which would even itself out over time. 

Exploration 12

Some of the ideas that I found most important while watching Fresh, were the lack of knowledge in regards to the food we eat, Americans obsession with cheap convenience, and another case of big business vs. small business.
The first two ideas mentioned go hand in hand.  In order to satiate our desire for cheap, convenient food, these industrial farms go to great lengths to mass produce these food products.  “Part of our responsibility as stewards of the Earth is to respect the design of nature.”  I am pretty sure that packing live-stock into extremely cramped conditions was not the design of nature. I was alarmed by the amount of medication used to treat these animals in order for them to survive in these “monocultures”.  I was even more disturbed to hear that a lot of diseases we fear when preparing our food were the result of factory farming and their insistence on non-traditional farming techniques. Anything to pad the bottom line, right? I cannot say that I will make sweeping changes to my diet, but after watching Fresh I feel like I owe it to myself and my family to at least re-evaluate it.   

It is a shame to see economies of scale creep into our lives on our dinner plates.  However, anyone who has ever taken an economics class knows that big business will almost always justify the means by the end product.  The end product in this case being convenient, inexpensive food.  Although sad, it is not surprising that these industrial farms have taken the same models used to produce general merchandise and applied it to the farming industry.  It was refreshing to see that these smaller farmers have counter acted the comparative advantage of industrial farms by forming co-ops.  Perhaps it is our duty as consumers to support these healthier food products even if it means paying a little more at the register.  As suggested in the movie, if it is not paid at the register, it will be paid somewhere.
My final thought is how much I enjoyed hearing the smaller farmers discuss the differences in their products.  While they informed you of the dangers of producing and consuming mass quantities of live-stock, they seemed more interested in championing their methods rather than condemning industrial farming.  It was nice to see people so passionate about what they do.

Exploration Number 12: Fresh

Cattle Grazing in a Green Pasture

In class this past Wednesday we took some time to watch a documentary on Fresh, which focuses on the industrialization of the farming industry through the eyes of current participants, consumers, analysts and many more. I learned a lot through this documentary and my eyes were opened to this whole other dimension that I spend little time even considering in day to day life. I live in such a day and age and in such a country that I'm never in want of anything, food especially. How accessible is our food in this day and age, hardly any of us need to put forth any effort to satisfy our hunger. What I learned here is that there is a lot more behind the McDonald's burger I chose to eat than what may meet the eye. I found it especially discouraging to see how the animals where treated not out of respect of their uniqueness and value but as profit and convenience, thus many animals lead very sad and manipulative lives. Also, if we continue down this road of abusing this rich land and the animals God has given us we will reap what we sow if we don't change the way we do things. Judgement for our actions is already being carried out upon us as crises over the spread of diseases, and unhealthy food sky rocket. These poor creatures of this earth live miserable and agonizing lives which we continue to ignore.

But, we see that some farmers are choosing to do the right thing and go back to the basics. They take good care of the land and treat the animals with respect and do whats right for them by giving them clean living environments, proper sustenance, as well as greater pastures to roam on. When we step back and let the God inspired nature run its course things work so much better than when man steps in and tries to improve something that the Almighty has ordained. Beyond this, I see the need for me to learn more about what I can do to help support such farmers as stated above who are doing the right thing in how they cultivate the land. I will certainly look into such organizations and local farm markets.

"Americans fear only one thing: inconveince. All we do is want, want, want."

How powerful are these words. And sadly they are so prevalent in my very own life! Too often I take for granted all the blessings that God has poured out into not only my life, but on this country. But, let us not rest assured in all our past success but look at ourselves right now and take an honest criticism of what we do and how we can improve. Lest we forget that God will not continue to bless us if we keep leading lives that are counter to who He is and what He expects from us.