Farm Traveler 2.0

Hello there!  Long time no see.

You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Great things come to those who wait.”  It’s true for a lot of things in life and is about to be true for our followers.  Farm Traveler 2.0 is about to kick off this year and we could not be more excited.  During our brief, kinda super long hiatus, we realized our content was few and far between, without much meat on the bones.  Well that all changes now.

Thanks to some new management (a wife with some serious motivational skills) this year we plan to amp up our production and release a steady stream of content that will better educate you and your family on food production.

In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Facebook and our new Instagram.

Stay tuned for more thanks for sticking by us.  See you next week!

– T

Hurricane Harvey’s effect on Texas Agriculture

If you’ve been seen any bit of news this week, you are most likely aware that parts of Southeastern Texas are being hit by Hurricane Harvey.  Over the past few days, Houston has received more rainfall that Seatle has all year.  And Seattle, the rain capital of the United States, has set a record this year with the most rain on record.  With the flood, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced due to evacuations and flood damage to their homes.  As the storm slowly passes, aid from across the country has started to come in like that of the Cajun Navy, Lousiana Fish and Wildlife and what seems like everyone in the South that owns a boat.  But one aspect of Texas that some people have forgotten about that is being greatly affected by the hurricane is the agriculture industry.

Texas is the agricultural backbone of the United States leading the country in farmland, beef cattle and just the all around “Ag vibe”.  You might have seen on Facebook or other news sites, but farmers and ranchers have been evacuating their livestock since before the storm made landfall.  One video even displayed a cattle drive taking place on city streets complete with police escorts.  Thousands of animals have been displaced from their homes and been relocated to farms or ranches out of the dangerous storm zones.  These animals are the livelihood of the farmers and ranchers in Texas who not only have to worry about their livestock but also the safety of their families.  We can’t even begin to imagine the pressure they are facing.

But like the great state of Texas, these people are strong and resilient.  They will recover from this storm albeit a few scratches and some broken fences.  Below we have listed some links in case you would like to donate.  The links are for the American Red Cross and the Texas Star Fund, which was created to assist farmers in natural disasters such as this.

American Red Cross

Texas STAR Fund

Also, check out Agriculture.com’s coverage of some social media images and videos of farmers and ranchers doing their best to keep their livestock and farms safe during the storm.

Agricultre.com Covers Hurricane Harvey’s effect on livestock

A Pro GMO documentary?

Podcasts are a new addiction of mine.  Driving to work or going on a long road trip can be much more entertaining while listening to Mike Rowe’s “The way I heard it” or even The Nerdist Podcasts.  One such podcast that came with a pleasant surprise was an episode of StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson (your personal astrophysicist) and his take on a documentary called, Food Evolution.  In the podcast, Neil chats with the documentary director as well as a food scientist on many issues surrounding GMOs.  And surprisingly, they all spoke very highly of the science behind GMOs.  I will be sure to drop a link to the podcast below, be sure to give it a listen the next time you run errands around town.

Some key points made by the podcast:

  • The term “Genetically Modified Organism” encompasses much more than plant varieties developed in a laboratory.
  • Scientific consensus is that GMOs pose no threat to health – instead focus should be on sustainable agriculture practices.
  • GMO’s have helped save populations in lower developed countries whose food supply is their main source of income.  An example being Uganda and their banana blight.
  • Technically Organic Produce can include GMO varieties.

Be sure to check out the StarTalk Radio Podcast mentioned above  – StarTalk Radio Podcast – https://www.startalkradio.net/show/understanding-gmos-future-food/

 

The documentary seems to cover many issues surrounding GMOs: Are GMOs harmful? Are they ruining the planet? Is organic produce healthier than GMOs?  Check out a trailer below!

Food Evolution Trailer

The trailer looks great, right?  Besides the person who stated, “I trust social media before I do doctors, the FDA, ….”  Please, never be as naive as her.  Do your research and only trust credible sources, aka NOT your social media feed.  If you are trusting your “followers” more than you trust a doctor, you may need to log off for a while and reevaluate your life choices.   

I haven’t had a chance to watch the documentary yet but certainly plan to.  Be on the look out for an article on it in the coming weeks.  It looks like a well developed film!

 

Still not convinced?  Agree or disagree with anything you heard?  Let us know, we look forward to continuing this discussion with you!

 

Thanks for stopping by!  See you next time.

-T

With a little help from our friends

Thinking of The Beatles hit “With a little help from my friends”?  Then you have great taste in music.  This lyric rings true for us here at Farm Traveler because we are looking for a little help from our friends, which just happen to be you!

While our team is hard at work scouting out locations and building relationships with people in the agriculture industry across Florida, we need your help in broadening our horizons.

If you or someone you know works in the agriculture industry as a farmer, rancher, scientist, etc., please feel free to contact us or share our story so we can get in touch with anyone and everyone that might me willing to work with us.  We plan to visit and learn from as many people as possible so we can better inform consumers about their food.

Thank you so much for your help and we can’t wait to show you what we have planned!

You may contact us at farmtravelerseries@gmail.com or on our Facebook page.

 

See you soon!

-The Farm Traveler Team

Growth Hormones in Chicken?

You know that feeling of ordering chicken nuggets from McDonald’s?  You place your order, drive up to pay, and drive to the second window to receive your nugget goodness.  It’s a good day.

Well almost any TV commercial or Facebook post you see about chicken is saying “Stay away form chickens with antibiotics!” or “Our chicken is always growth hormone free!”  Needless to say, we have a thing or two to say about that.

The Poultry Industry is basically any bird raised for consumption: chickens, turkey, duck, etc.  Your meat birds are called Broilers/Fryers and birds used for egg laying are called Laying birds (duh).  Today we will focus on Broiler birds and if they are raised with growth hormones.  We will save antibiotics, free-range and cage-free chickens for another time.

Image result for are chickens raised with hormones

Now you may have seen the above picture before that shows how chickens have grown over the last few decades.  Some people automatically associate this with growth hormones even though the FDA made growth hormones illegal on U.S. poultry in 1960.  The growth in these chickens is a result of selective breeding, where we can take chickens with the best traits (feed conversion, weight, growth rate) and use those as parents to produce offspring with the same desired traits.  This is what has been done to produce the broilers we use today.

Now lets say we did use growth hormones on chickens, how would they be administered?  Check out what The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension has to say on this:

2. Growth hormones must be injected to work.
They do not work when added in the feed or
water. If fed, hormones are digested into their
basic amino acids which destroy their function as
hormones. The only way to maintain their action
as a growth­stimulating steroid is to inject them
into each bird almost daily.

So growth hormones can’t be added to feed, therefore must be given by injection.  One of my old professors from the University of Florida, who was a Poultry Scientist (so he pretty much was THE expert on all things poultry) told us how inefficient it would be to give chickens shots, yet alone shots of growth hormones.  He stated that to give all the chickens in the U.S. a shot, assuming it took a skilled vet 1 second to administer it, would take 9 years.  9 years to give shots to just the chickens we have today.  9 whole years.  Seems pretty inefficient, right?  Yet another reason poultry are never given growth hormones.

Ever see a label for chicken that says “Raise without antibiotics/growth hormones”?  Labels that have this are required by law to have an additional section that states that no hormones are used in the production of any poultry.

Hopefully, this post will help ease your fear about growth hormones in your chicken, because there is none.  If you would like to know more please feel free to check out our sources below.

Wanna learn more?  Disagree with something we said?  Leave us a comment.  We would love to hear from you!

Sources

https://www.bestfoodfacts.org/farm-raised-chickens-hormones-antibiotics/

https://thetruthaboutag.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/the-truth-about-hormone-free-chickens/

Chickopedia: What Consumers Need to Know

Click to access FSA-8007.pdf

Click to access nass-poultry-stats-factsheet.pdf

The one about our beginnings…

Hello and welcome to the first Farm Traveler blog post.

Our ultimate plan, besides world domination, is to show you exactly how your food is produced, in an unbiased fashion that is free of “fake news”.  On our website, Facebook, and YouTube channel, we will bring you content that will better inform you and your family about the food you eat.  Is organic food actually healthier for you?  Are GMOs bad?  Are there high levels of hormones in dairy milk?  Is gluten actually unhealthy?  These are some examples of the questions we plan on answering.  If you have any suggestions on topics we should cover let us know in the comments section!  We look forward to starting this journey with you.

See you soon!