Thursday, November 6, 2014

Exploration 6 Chandler Fullenkamp

Fresh review

Before watching the film, Fresh, I knew that factory farming and conventional farming was not good for the environment and for us humans too.  Food is the basis for everything because what we put into our bodies is what we get out.  Watching this film expanded my knowledge so I know more about about the consequences of conventional farming.   I think we should end factory farming and conventional farming techniques and go back to unconventional farming because it benefits the Earth, us and the animals.

Professor John Ikerd, an agricultural economist said, "Americans only fear inconvenience."  This is why we are resorting to chemicals, fertilizers, and unhealthy living conditions for the animals so it is easier and less labor is required for the farmers.  In some buildings on these factory farms can hold up to 118,000 chickens and for pigs, around 2400.  And these buildings are small compared to others.  Professor John Ikerd also said, " We are obsessed with productivity."  We would rather have an abundant amount of food and put anything in the ground to make that happen.   We feel like since we don't have a sufficient amount of food that we need to increase our productivity but we actually just need to go back to unconventional farming.

In the film they interview a couple who own a family farm that had to turn to conventional farming to keep up with labor and competition.  They are under a franchise with Tyson chicken so Tyson provides the feed for the chickens.  When asked what was in the feed, they responded by saying do not know what is in it.  You would think if it was healthy that they would promote what is in the feed.  Speaking of chemicals and fertilizers, they aren't even necessary for growth.  A organic farmer from Maryland, Will Allen, uses no fertilizers or chemicals on his products because he lets nature's process do all the work.  Using chemicals and fertilizers, as well as hormones, only hurts the animals and the Earth.  Over time, the chemicals deplete the soil's fertility, forcing us to use more chemicals to make it habitable.  Through out the whole film, all the farmers who don't use any chemicals had no disease in their livestock.  But the ones that do use chemicals have to kill part of their livestock just to hope to prevent it spreading to the other animals.  Not to mention that since the animals are living so close to each other in the animal compound buildings, that just makes it easier for the diseases to spread.

Russ Kremer is natural hog farmer that went from unconventional farming just like the other couple to conventional farming to keep up with the competition.  His whole herd of hogs were all diseased. He said one day one of the males hit him with its tusk and cut his knee open.  After a couple weeks, his legs got infected with the same disease as the pigs and almost died.  After that health scare, he went back to unconventional farming and hasn't looked back yet. 

The only problem with organic food is that it costs more that supermarket food. The way it goes though is that you get what you pay for. A benefit of having higher prices is that the workers get paid more, which  they deserve because they have to put in their effort to have great products.  The workers on Russ Kremer's farm get paid very well which is why he said they have a stack of applications.  He said, "Our farmers are making $14, $15 an hour with full health benefits."   

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