This statement stands true weather you’re a human being, a chicken or an earthworm! The things we put into our bodies have an effect on us, physically ad mentally. And with us human beings at top of our food chain we have the privilege of access to lots of different foods that influence our well being. Plants, fungi, animals, and water are all part of our varying diets, and all of these foods have intakes and diets of their own to help them grow, just as we use them to eventually help us grow.
For some of us in Nova Scotia we have an incredible amount of control over the way we raise the food we eat, and what goes into producing that brown egg, or that piece of spinach. It’s important to recognize where our food is coming from. If that piece of spinach we are eating was grown in a poor soil environment, meaning it needed a lot of human inputs, in term of human-made fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides to grow. It will not be able to give your body the full spectrum of nutrience a green is capable of. This is simply because it was not able to get the base layer of nutrience it needed from it’s environment. The beginning of it’s food chain was not able to supply the amount of nutrience it needed to grow. So how is it going to pass on energy it did not have from the get go? Let’s compare that to a piece of spinach that was able to use the healthy bacteria and readily available nutrience in a healthy soil environment. That spinach had energy readily available to it, converting some of that into energy that can be consumed by you or me, when the time comes to chow down on some spinach!
Our bodies are important structures that should be fed foods that are good for us. But do we recognize this as true for other living things like plants and animals that will eventually end up as our food? They too need to live healthy lives so that when their energy is finally passed onto us, it is done in the most clean and healthy form possible. If you are eating animals fed foods that you yourself would not consider safe for consumption, what is the point in consuming that animal, “you are what you eat” right?
At TapRoot we think about this all the time. It is one of the fundamental reasons we farm organically and why we raise our animals on pasture. As farmer Josh says, “The animals at TapRoot Farms are on pasture because that’s where animals need to be, on the soil!” As vegetable and livestock farmers it is not only fair to the animals to be able to live healthy lives but
“It’s very beneficial to the soil to have the animals eating, and foraging on the grass. There is a symbiotic relationship between animals and soil and the biology. On our farm the animals are a big part of recycling the nutrients in our fields. They eat the grass and ruminate, and if they are not ruminating animals, their food passes through and essential nutrients from their digestive systems comes out the other end more available for the grass or the vegetables to grow!”
We feel proud when we sell our meat and there is as much benefit to you eating our pork, chicken or beef as there is to our farm for having raised those animals out in fresh air on the soil.
Having our pigs and cows out on pasture, or our chickens, running free range on the farm, is just one of the ways we ensure resilience in our bodies and on our farm. We also supplement their grass and vegetable scrap diets with NON GMO grain and soy feed from Purina. Sourcing non GMO grain is extremely important to us. Josh says, “we aren’t really sure about the health risk to the animals (when using GMO seeds), and so we avoid the potential risk.” And in terms of using GMO seeds or grains, “we don’t like that the GMO seeds are patented. They are basically Frankenstein seeds. You can’t reuse them and we like the practice of seed saving, and the continued use of seeds!”
Raising our animals in this way means that when we bring our meat to market it has a higher cost, than other meats you may find at the store. There is also higher nutritional value, flavour and a holistic understanding of the meat you’re buying. There is really no other way we would farm, we are animals lovers, we are omnivores and we enjoy eating meat, especially when we know were it comes from and how it was raised. Understanding the system that fuels “You are what you eat” encourages us to farm in a way that is good for our bodies the Earth and all of the plants and animals who share it.
You can find our pasture raised, non GMO meat in the Freezer at Noggins Corner Farm Markets, and offered as a share in our weekly CSA.