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Consumer Guide To Boycotting Factory Farms & CNN TV Appearance

Anytime I get to mention the #FoodBabeArmy on national television it’s a good day. 

Vani Hari CNN

(Don’t worry, I’m wearing faux fur in the picture above) 

Catch me live on CNN here:

I talk about the new FDA measure on antibiotics in meat and changes that you helped inspire at Chick-fil-A. 

 

Now that you know the new FDA measure on antibiotics is a complete joke. I thought it would be important to highlight the Organic Consumers Association‘s consumer guide to boycotting factory farms. Here’s how to choose the safest meat for you and the planet… 

Buy Direct From Farms

One of the best ways to avoid food from factory farms is to buy direct from farms. You can connect online with farmers markets, subscription-based Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), buying clubs and farms at: 

•    LocalHarvest.org 
•    RealMilk.com
•    EatWild.com 

What To Look For In Grocery Stores

When it comes to meat, milk and eggs, choosing USDA Organic is a good way to avoid the worst factory-farmed animal products in grocery stores.

But just because a product is certified organic, doesn’t guarantee that it’s 100 hundred percent free of synthetic ingredients or non-organic ingredients, nor does it guarantee the highest level of animal welfare or the best pasture standard. You have to read the labels.

If you want to know that your food comes from farms that provide the highest level of animal welfare, you’ll want to look for organic, grassfed foods that are also:

•    Animal Welfare Approved or

•    Levels 4, 5 or 5+ in the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards

For more detailed information, check out the Animal Welfare Institute’s “Consumer’s Guide to Food Labels and Animal Welfare.” 

No Legal Standard For “Pastured”

If you want nutrient-dense food from animals that are 100 percent grass-fed, you’ll want to carefully vet organic companies’ pasture claims. There is no legal standard for “pastured.” The term implies that the animal has been raised primarily outdoors, on live pasture. But the quality of a pasture can range from land that consists of a mixture of living nutritious grasses, legumes and a variety of plant species, to land that is poorly managed with respect to soil and water quality, and consists primarily of dirt and gravel, with no living plants.

Products that are American Grassfed Certified, in addition to USDA Organic, guarantee the highest pasture standards and nutrient density.

Here’s something else to remember when shopping for factory farm food alternatives. Yes, they may cost more at the checkout counter. But rather than judge the value of food as dollars-per-ounce, think of the value of food as nutrition-per-calorie. Food from factory farms might be cheaper, but not when you look at how much more nutrition you get from organic and grass-fed alternatives, or plant-based superfoods. Here’s a great list of foods ranked by nutrient density. It may surprise you!

Don’t Be A Meat-Eating Glutton

In addition to shopping for alternatives to factory farm foods, you can also help boycott factory farms by cutting back on meat. Being a healthy omnivore means eating more vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and nuts, and seeking out super-foods.  You can read more organic consumer association tips here…and I have a ton of recipes that are meat free but absolutely delicious! 

Make Some Noise People

This recent piece from Mark Bittman in the NY Times sums up exactly what we need to do: “Make some noise, people.”

We can change the world with choices and our voice!

Food Babe

P.S. If you know someone who is still buying factory farmed meat or needs a little push in the right direction, please share this guide with them! 

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66 responses to “Consumer Guide To Boycotting Factory Farms & CNN TV Appearance

  1. Do you realize that 96% of all farm are family farms? Also, that the term “factory farm” is used only by agriculture’s adversaries. I am a farmer and it really bothers me that people call us a factory farm. We raise pigs on our farm and we work with them everyday – even days we are sick and holidays. Yes, we will be taking care of them on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are not the evil empire.

    My question to you is, what is a factory farm? Is it based on size? Is it based on the type of barn we use? I am respectfully asking what you think it is since the vast majority of farms are families.

    1. I am also a farmer raising pastured livestock full time. When I hear or use the term factory farm what I am referring to is the system and psychology behind the farming techniques. A factory farm works like an assembly line, in the case of a chicken house you have long enclosed barns that you fill with chicks from the hatchery then you feed them a basic grain ration with medication and GMOs if your not organic. In a conventional operation they raise them up 7 to 8 weeks in total darkness, standing in their own filth, and then send them to a slaughter house with mechanical evisceration and assembly line style slaughter techniques, which typically end up with a decent percentage of the meat being fecal matter.
      The aim of a factory farm is to producing the most amount of meat for the smallest amount of money. The problem is that these systems do not take into account the health of the animals, their impact on the environment, quality of life of the farmer, nor the effect their food has on the end consumer.
      An alternative would be a pastured organically fed chicken operation that has the birds outside on green pasture getting plenty of fresh air, sun, bugs, and greens to supplement their diet. The stocking density is set to be a benefit to the land and with a rotation of livestock and grain production is sustainable. This system improves the environment, raises much healthier animals, and if the farmer avoids medication and GMOs they produce a food that improves the health of the consumer vs poisoning them. This system is also incredably difficult to industrialize so it leaves a margin that a family farm can live on with out selling out.
      Also factory farms if they are being run by families those families are typically enslaved to multinational corporation. The corporation owns the animals, the feed, and dictates farming techniques. The farms typically start at a million dollars to get off the ground leaving the farmer a slave to the bank and to the corporation basically as a share cropper. The only value of factory farms is very cheap meat and profit for the share holders.

      1. I don’t own a farm, we only raise what we need to stay out of the grocery store, and we still have to supplement. I can tell you what we see in 4-H. The philosophy pushed is a “large herd mentality” of monthly wormings, medicated food, etc. We don’t do things that way, but it takes a lot of effort to find someone who uses good practices, even on small family farms. They all tend to think in very narrow terms, and don’t even consider that there is an alternative. Size is definitely not an indicator of anything when it comes to finding a farm to buy from.

      2. Shane, I can only reply based on our farm where we raise pigs. You may look at our farm and think we are a factory farm. I don’t really know but I do know is our farm is not an assembly line. Our goal is to raise the healthiest pig we can. Our meat packer will only purchase healthy animals. We give pigs antibiotics only when they are sick.

        It an ideological sense, when one thinks about raising animals outside they are thinking of the sun shining, the birds singing, temperatures around 70, etc. Unfortunately, we only have a small number of days a year where those conditions exist. Pigs get sunburned and they do not sweat so keeping them cool is a challenge. Also, here in Minnesota we have very cold temperatures, snow, wind and blizzards in the winter. I can assure you they are more comfortable in barns where we can help moderate those weather conditions. Heaters in the winter, sprinklers and fans in the summer.

        I can also assure we are not enslaved to multinational companies. We are independent farmers who own our animal, as are almost all hog farmers that I know.

        While, I am glad you are a farmer and we need all types of farmers, I speak out about information that is not true. I have no problem with farmers raising animals the way you do. Let’s just talk truth.

      3. To Carol,
        I believe the reason you see so much industrial techniques being used in 4H is the same reason you see home gardeners using row cropping techniques. Its a matter of education and many people do not realize that their are other ways to raise animals. If you get your information through extension services and in some cases even veterinarians they will give you the same advice as they would give a commercial farmer.
        To Wanda,
        My views of commercial farmers are from what I see around here in the Dairy and Poultry industry primarily. I personally have no issue with administering life saving medicine to a sick animal so long as you let the medicine cycle out of the animal before butchering it. I have a HUGE problem with preemptive mass drugging livestock to compensate for a lack of humane living conditions. I agree that hogs are not pasture animals they are woodland animals and I raise mine on the edge of a forest with pasture and tree cover. I also agree it would be equally inhumane to leave your animals outside in a blizzard and I always provide a place for my animals to take shelter.
        I am glad that the farmers in your area have been able to remain independent of the system. Recently China bought up about a third of our pork industry in America so there are plenty of farmers that are not so lucky. I am with you 100% about speaking only the truth and I have not intentionally lied or misrepresented the facts. I also believe that we can not use my farming model to provide all the food for the country until we have educated many farmers on the techniques and ended the government subsidies of industrial farming which create fake prices at the supermarket. Your not mass drugging your animals and you care about humane living conditions so you sound ok to me so long as your not feeding them GMOs I wouldn’t turn down your products for my family.

    2. My definition of a factory farm is related to how the animals are treated, raised and feed. If they are confined to small, unnatural spaces, feed an unnatural diet, given unnecessary antibiotics, that to me fits the definition of a factory farm. I do not think it matters whether it is a family farm, industrialized farm, small or large. In Iowa I see plenty of hog and poultry confinement that I know are family farms. I think for me it really comes down to if the animal is allowed to live in a natural way-be outside, have space to move, eat what it would eat in the wild.

      1. My definition of a “factory farm” is farm that raises animals for large corporations and goes against nature in how they raise, feed and treat the animals. I don’t mind large, family farms but most that I have encountered have a large amount of non-family employees and it is more a corporation than a farm. This is why I prefer smaller, locally-owned farms. There are few co-ops that I buy from too but I am really picky with the co-ops I chose. Some of the factory farms that contract with big corporations have been in the news lately for abusing their animals and the owners of these farms claim they don’t know what goes on with their employees and it isn’t their fault. They also support ag-gag laws. I don’t care how big a farm is, the owners of that farm better know how the employees treat their animals! This is why I never buy meat from big chain stores and prefer to order directly from the farm. I realize that most farms in this country work their butts off and truly love their animals and I appreciate it!

      2. Thanks Alli. We do house our pigs indoors because we care for them. Our pigs were previously housed outside but we had many issues with them. Issues like sunburn, insect bites, hot pigs in the summer, cold weather, snow, blizzards, etc. These conditions were not good and we ended up with sick or dead pigs. Once we moved them indoors we could give them much better care. Not only the weather conditions, but they now had clean water and a diet designed by an animal nutritionist. Our pigs have 8 different rations (our word for recipe) during their life time. Each ration is given based on the nutritional needs of the pigs during specific growth states.

        And realistically, farmers don’t give unnecessary antibiotics. We are all under the supervision of a veterinarian. Antibiotics need to be prescribed for a specific illness for a specific time frame. And the bottom line is there is no advantage giving animals extra antibiotics – it costs money. Also, all animals are sold with antibiotics. If we EVER sold an animal with antibiotic residue, we would be done selling. Our meat packer will ban us from selling to them.

        I don’t believe we should condemn the way farmers raise their animals because we need all types of farmers. I also don’t think we should make mothers feel guilty about where they are buying their meat. We have one of the safest and healthiest meat supply in the world.

  2. I’m a vegetarian mom with a meat-loving son, so I really appreciate your help in how to buy the healthiest meat. I am teaching him that its ok to eat meat if he loves it, and also to eat his veggies and lots of other high-quality nutrient-dense foods. When he’s eating his meat and skipping the veggies, I’ll say “Eat your broccoli and rice, or you’ll never poop!” Ha!!

  3. Wow, you said that right Foodbabe, there is still a lot to do, because the more money is involved, the less people and companies tend to care about consumer’s health. I am very suspicious to the big names, but ok, they “can” get that chance to change and get rid of all the poison.
    It’s not only in the US, it’s a worldwide problem. We will keep on watching and spreading the word … and you are doing a tremendous good job in this. Thanks.

  4. Thank you for the tips and the reminder about how to best purchase meat. I love the strides being made because of people like you but I too am convinced this will only change as consuming demand it by refusing to buy food that isn’t organic. Its not just for our health, its to make a statement that will actual shift the supply. I already see it working….thanks to people like you!! Merry Christmas!!!

  5. Great interview! I would say that factory farms are farms that are raising their animals in conditions that are unhealthy. They feed their animals Genetically Modified Round Up Ready Corn/Soy/Wheat. When the animals become sick due to the compromised immune system from said feed, they inject them with anitbiotics to not be sick anymore……..
    Even the local farm where we buy our 100% grass fed meat does 2 harvestings in the year. One harvesting is done in spring & the cattle are finished on GMO grain. The other is finished entirely on grass and is harvested in the Fall. This is when you would want to look for your meat, in the fall. When spending good money on a side of meat I want to know all of the specifics.
    Save up for it, and make the plunge! Even @ $600 broken down over the course of 6 months, this is $100/mth on TRUE grass fed meat.
    Visit the farm too if you can. This also helps put things in perspective!

    1. I am a farmer and I raise mostly GMO crops. I have a hard time understanding how GMO’s have become such a terrible thing in the minds of so many. These crops have been around for about 20 years now and there is absolutely no proof that they are any less safe to consume than non-GMO crops or organic crops. A totally overlooked, huge benefit to GMO is that they are actually very good to the environment. I use far less harmful and persistent pesticides (in fact almost none)than I do on non-GMO crops. They also allow farmers to practice no-till and reduced tillage which are great for soil and air quality. The next big GMO trait that will be commercially available is drought tolerance. This trait will allow crops to be grown using far less water. Also in the near future we will be using less fertilizers thanks to another GMO trait in the works. I would never tell anybody what to eat. If you want to avoid GMO products then do so. I just think consumers should make decisions based on good information, not fear.

      1. I think the problem here is that they have NOT been tested properly before being inserted into the food supply. How could pesticides being injected INTO the grain seed be a good thing? Would you have a bowl of cereal with Roundup spritzed on it? The pesticides are the biggest problem, as well as the modification to the seed from what our bodies know as food. This causes issues in the human body wether there is a conscience admittance or not.

      2. To Melissa,
        You state emphatically that GMO crops have not been tested properly. I am assuming that you are qualified to say something like that. If so, I’d like to know what qualifies you. I am not. I’m just a farmer. I do know for a fact though that acquiring FDA and EPA approval of any product is an onerous process.
        You also say that pesticides are injected into the seed. That is absolutely not the case. Years ago scientists studied plants that were resistant to Roundup and found the gene within those plants that caused the tolerance to the herbicide. That naturally occuring gene is what’s inserted into the seed, not the herbicide. I usually spray my fields about twice a year with Roundup, early during the growing season. There are restrictions, depending on the crop, on how many days prior to harvest a farmer can treat a field with Roundup. The odds of you eating Roundup with your cereal are extremely low. I suggest you study a little about the safety of Roundup to the environment compared to some of the other herbicides that we used prior to GMO. As I said in my previous post, if you don’t feel comfortable eating GMO then, by all means, don’t. It worried me that consumers are being bombarded with anti GMO information that doesn’t really have any sound, objective science attached to it and totally disregards the very real environmental benefits these crops have provided.

    2. Hi, I prepared a little top 10 list I thought was relevant

      Top 10 Notes on Monsanto and G.M.O.’s for Earth Day

      1. It is deeply flawed to have the company that was responsible for obliterating old growth forest in Vietnam in charge of our food supply.
      2. It is 2-3 times more expensive to buy food without chemicals on it.
      3. The chemical revolution of the 1970’s was popular. It kills germs in our homes and pests on food. It is not necessary at all times under every condition.
      4. Plants are porous. They have a living cellular structure that absorb all kinds of environmental elements, including pesticides.
      5. People are porous. People have a living cellular structure that absorb all kinds of environmental elements, including pesticides.
      6. People eat plants in order to survive. Plants provide nutrients for our bodies. We don’t know everything about this process yet.
      7. This video from Smithsonian Channel, http://bit.ly/1jqIw6v, entitled ‘Do Plants Feel Pain’ highlights some plant properties that are shared by humans. Our health is dependent upon these properties and is key to cellular regeneration.
      8. It begs the question; Is there more to plant cell structure and it’s relationship to life and sustainability than Monsanto and other GMO’s, are willing to give credit for?
      9. Tongue in Cheek, Monsanto has identified and altered this genetic material: Grow Faster, Grow Bigger and Grow without natural protection from poisons like pesticides. It has been documented that this creates more pesticide resistance. How healthy are plants? Heh? I do not want to push my bodies resistance to pesticides, it is poison after all, and shows up as large tumors and cancers in lab rats.
      10. My favorite saying; Eat Organic Food or as your Grandmother said ‘Food’.

  6. Hi Vani,

    I have been subscribed for a while to your blog and have appreciated all the research and recipes that you have to offer. I must say that I do not agree with the continued support of animal products and meat in your posts. I recognize that it probably is difficult being in the public eye and going against what the majority of Americans are doing, but in terms of promoting health, meat and animal products have been shown to be very unhealthy for our bodies and have been linked to the major health problems that Americans are facing these days. I don’t think there really is a way that you can look out for animal welfare besides not engaging in eating meat or animal products at all. You also say that being a healthy omnivore includes adding more of a plant-based diet to your life…why not just cut out the unhealthy and potentially-cruel component of your diet? I think it is really important to promote health and truth and breaking the mold of what we have been taught to believe. You seem to stand by this too and that is why I am surprised that you are not promoting a plant-based lifestyle.

    1. Hello Jaxilinda,
      I could not help responding to your comment. I am an organic pastured based livestock farmer, health advocate, and environmentalist. Once upon a time I experimented with vegan and raw diets and also bought into the propaganda from the China Study a paper that was not based on any study. If your perspective is not religious in nature I would like to make a few points to why vegetarianism is bad for the environment and also will lead to a lot of dead animals as well. Also if you are not familiar with the negative health effects long term of vegetarianism there is a lot of research you can find on that subject with a simple google search.
      I am against factory farms and what they do to animals is disgusting. The problem with a vegan diet from an animal welfare perspective is that it require massive farming of annual crops unless you yourself are a permiculture farmer and as far as I am aware even that can not possibly support a vegan with out imports. As a farmer I can tell you that each time they plow one of these fields many animals will be chopped to bits to plant your veggies. They also destroy eco systems essentially mining the earth for its soil. Farming with out livestock is not sustainable because the animals are an essential part of the rejuvenating effect on the land. If you are primarily a meat eater you can likely get away with only killing one animal a year if you eat beef. If you get that beef from a grass fed pastured animal its life was likely very pleasant and environmentally beneficial. Its bad day probably started a pale of grain and then a shot that it wont even hear and a fear free and painless death.
      If you came to my farm you will find massive amounts of wild life in the pastures from rodents, squirrels, eagles, owls, coyotes, ducks, chickens, turkeys, hens, goats, rabbits, seasonally swans and geese and countless other types of wild life. I farm in a coexisting method and do not have any predation problems “except rats” due to my techniques.
      My livestock all live a life on pasture outside and are very happy as far as animals go. They live a great life and have one bad day in which they die in a less painful and scary way than any wild animal ever dies. Next door to me is a crop field that is plowed up every year. When you cross the property line there is about a two foot drop due to soil erosion. You wont find any wildlife on the field as its just barren dirt and any animals that tries to move onto that field will be killed or driven off next spring by the tractors. My point is that as a farmer I can tell you that a vegan lifestyle is in absolutely no way more humane and a simple farm visit would prove that to you.
      Shane

      1. Hi Shane – I was wondering if you could tell me more about the antibiotic programs that go along with a) industrial farming and b) agroecology methods or others. What are the differences?
        Do ALL sick animals require antibiotics, are there no other ways of treating them?

      2. Hi Andrea,
        I am not an expert at conventional farming practices as I have always farmed organically, although, I do speak with other farms from time to time that do use antibiotics. Appropriate uses of antibiotics can be necessary in the raising of larger livestock such as cattle to treat an infection. There are laws on the books that give space requirements from the administration of antibiotics and the slaughter date for human consumption or a quarantine time for dairy.

        Being an organic farmer of mostly poultry and smaller livestock I do not administer treatments for disease or infections. If animal is injured beyond the hope of survival with out drugs I put it out of its suffering. The exception is my goats as I use them only for personal consumption and they are a much larger investment. This may sound cruel to someone not involved in farming, but I put my priority on the consumers health and as most of us know there are already far to many exposures to antibiotics in our food system.

        The most dangerous use of antibiotics that I am aware of is the regular administration of them in livestock feed. It has been proven to increase gains when the animals are being fed a steady stream of antibiotics so many conventional feeds are medicated. Also the living conditions in many CAFOs are so horrible that the die off rate warrants the use to preserve these farming techniques. Personally I do not eat any of these products and would suggest that you do not either.

        Another exposure that most people are not aware of is glyphosate an herbicide which actually has selective antibiotic properties. The recent advent of GMO crops has massively increased the use of these products which no doubt saturate conventional foods. I have also heard of, but not verified a recent technique of spraying wheat fields with herbicides to finish the harvest uniformly and kill off any weeds. They time the spray so that the herbicide will have washed out before the next planting of wheat preventing the need to till.

    2. Agree! Its hard to follow and respect you when you eat meat at all. Meat is murder. I don’t even like the fake fur on the coat its a sending a message just the same. I also think you should drop the name or title of food babe. My daughter and I follow your blog and Facebook and we both agree people would take you more seriously and more would be onboard if you had a different title. This is meant to be constructive as you have potential to be a real leader and I am a big fan. I would love to see you drop animal flesh as food and promote thee vegan lifestyle. I read everything you write and collect your recipes that are plant based.

      1. I think she is doing a great job. As someone who never really put much thought into the food I put into my body, “food babe” totally changed my life. As far as meat eating goes, that’s a personal decision, for anyone.

      2. I think that being vegan is a personal choice, however, I also believe that if we were not meant to eat meat, we wouldn’t be able to digest it. The simple fact that our bodies digest it and obtain nutrients from it makes sense that it is intended to do so. I also see what you mean by how animals are killed in a cruel manner, I cant even watch animal planet when animals are hunting and killing, which is totally natural, but also heart wrenching. I believe if we are going to eat meat, we should totally respect the animals for their role in the eco system and food chain. In our world we have meat eaters and plant eaters, the plant eaters do not have teeth that can chew meat, but we do…so that says something to me. On that note, I think food babe is a great gift to people here and should keep any name she chooses, it has worked thus far. who are any of us to judge what she calls herself? We need to focus in the real issues here and that is what she is doing…

    3. @Jaxilinda & @patti newby
      Eating meat is not unhealthy. Eating meat is only unhealthy when you eat ones that’s been treated with antibiotics and the animals live in such stress that these stress hormones run through their system and when we eat the meat, we also eat the antibiotics and the stress hormones.

      Also, if we as humans were meant to be herbivores, then we would have 4 stomachs like cows or 6 stomachs like reindeers. The fact that we only have 1 stomach indicates that we do not have the capability to extract the amount of nutrients from plant based foods as efficiently as true herbivores.

      And finally, I think any one who promotes eating just plants are forgetting that plants are also living things. There was a study done in my school of two plants of the same species, side by side. The one of the left had the word EVIL on top of it and the one of the right had the word GOOD on top of it. The bystanders are then asked to say “evil” things to the plant on the left and “good” things to the plant on the right and this would be recorded with a video camera. What we could see was that the plant on the left with “EVIL” on it had dwindled in its growth whereas the plant on the right with “GOOD” on it had thrived and continued to grow beautifully. So, to say that it’s ok to kill plants and not ok to kill animals…seems like a flawed argument to me. I think the better question is always, HOW. HOW are the animals/plants treated before being killed/plucked for our consumption? What are their living conditions? and NOT whether one is worth being alive more than another.

      I’d also encourage you to watch this TED talk to see “Why is the human brain so special?” http://www.ted.com/talks/suzana_herculano_houzel_what_is_so_special_about_the_human_brain.html

      1. WOW…I could not have said that better myself. I totally agree that plants are also living and that we need to eat something living to obtain the nutrients. I have also saw similar studies on plants….Great point you made, thank you!!!

  7. At one point in time, I ate a little meat maybe twice a year. I always felt weak and groggy. Once I started eating meat, I gained strength and my fog lifted so there are some of us who really need to eat meat.

    Additionally, I started eating organic eggs and my eyes are not dry anymore. My eyes seem healthier.

    I need meat in my diet. I wish I could exist on just plants but the changes are too drastic to ignore the health benefits of meat.

  8. thanks Vani for all you do. You have changed my health and i am proud to be part of your army! Love the reciepes! Happy Holidays.

  9. Great interview on CNN. As you stated, the government is not doing nearly enough to make meat much safer but at least it’s one tiny step. Please continue to educate us and I fully support your fight for healthier food for our families.

    1. The government does not (and cannot) make your food safe. Nor should we expect it to. We have a heavily regulated food economy, but it is the incentive to continue selling food that keeps food producer from selling bad food. That and watch dogs like Food Babe.

      The most onerous regulations imposed by the FDA under Obama have been directed at organic food producers and family farms (often at the behest of larger agricultural companies).

      We all need good information and a free exchange of ideas. We do not need government thugs telling people what they can eat. Remember: the government food pyramid was a health disaster.

  10. I get my Vital Farm eggs from Whole Foods. They are organic and certified humane. Can you tell me the difference between that and animal welfare approved?

    1. Just saw your post today – don’t know if anyone has answered your question yet, but here goes:
      Certified Humane – prohibits cages, requires space to roam and perform natural behaviors, prohibits the use of animal byproducts in feed, prohibits the use of growth promoters, allows beak cutting.

      Animal Welfare Approved – Limits flock size to 500 max, requires sizable ranging and foraging access to outdoors, prohibits the use of animal byproducts in feed, prohibits forced molting, prohibits beak cutting.

      Hope this helps.

  11. I love that you are taking a stand on this… Farmers need to move on to (truly) free range animals. The reason they need to use the antibiotics in the first place is because these animals are in such close proximity and in their own fecal matter their entire lives that they get infections. Antibiotics in humans can lead to superinfections even when they are used properly, I can only imagine what is going on in these poor animals. I personally won’t experience this particular issue because I am a vegetarian but I fear for the safety of my husband and any future children we may have.

  12. Just because a farm is a farm owned by a family – doesn’t mean anything to me personally. They could probably change their processes more easily – but what matters to me is treatment of animals, use of chemicals and antibiotics, proper meat handling processes, and GMO feed. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors.

  13. If people choose to continue consuming meat, it’s wonderful that some are working to elimnate the horrors of factory farming and to expose the Green Lies that the industry puts out to make people feel-better about its environmental impact. All said, while not addressed, how can anyone who has viewed what really happens in the slaughter process think it is anything but incredibly barbaric and cruel. I’ll pass on the meat and have for 25+ healthy years…I recall those terrified faces and the inhumanity of it…that’s all it takes.

  14. Quick question. I’m wondering if it’s better to drink whole milk or skim milk? I’ve heard for years you should drink skim and now I’m hearing whole. Calories is the reason why I switched to skim but now I’m not so sure that is a good idea.

    1. I personally gave up cow milk years ago (there’s really no reason to have it…other than occasional whip and ice cream)… but given that personal preference, I would only drink raw whole milk if I did. If you need something with coffee – try nut milk, it’s awesome!

    2. I was told by a coworker that the fat is separated from ALL milk and then added back in, even to whole milk (a process that changes the nature of the protein). I looked for supporting info but was unable to find anything; I also heard that the process used to make cereal does the same?

      1. Yep you heard right! They denature the milk itself during pasturization. I really would much rather drink nut milk. But again they add all these vitamins in nut milk i’d say home-made nut milk is tbe best.

  15. what is the point of eating animals and ingesting their hormones, muscle and bodily fluids if we can get our protein, and vitamins in other sources via plants ? Animals are ego energy. shed thyself.

    1. Exactly. We do seem to be the minority here though.

      I totally stopped eating dead animals in 1972, BUT, did not put much attention on making sure I ate a complete protein, [amino acids]. Eventually, in the late 80’s, playing tennis 4 hours a day, 5 – 6 days a week, I started getting pulled muscles, [and a couple of muscle spasms. OUCH!]

      I was pulling muscles at least once every other time I played and this went on for 2+ years. I could not figure out what I was doing or not doing, to cause this.

      Someone suggested amino acid supplements. I ignored what he said, then after a few months, it HIT ME. Of course. It has to be amino acids. I started taking them and to this day, no more muscle problems. Ever.

  16. Vani, where do you stand on the slaughter of animals for meat consumption whether factory farmed or organic? Since there are alternatives.

  17. I have one farmer to name for (wanda patsche) and shane

    look up Joel Salatin and other farmers who do not get money from the government and who raise all animals the proper way. If you give your pig anti-biotic that means you are raising them in wrong conditions or are not supplementing correct foods. Pigs have their own auto-immune system, just like we do, we supplement or eat foods with probiotics.

    I really hope a younger generation of farmers will be more educated. It is farmers that feed corn to cows, when they cannot absorb grains, same with cats and dogs, that is why they get tumors, cancers etc… Look at how Joel runs his business, go out there, you will see farming can be cheap and natural. Use your resources. Do you compost? DO you put manure on your soil? Do you put burning leaves back on the soil to release oxygen for future use?

  18. I don’t get from your video (1:49) how antibiotic use makes animals fat. You didn’t sound like you really trusted what you were saying because you ended in a questioning tone and your face looked like you weren’t sure either.

    I’m a nurse. I think you were on point that the food manufacturers administer antibiotics to keep the animals from getting sick despite living in dreadful conditions…kind of like a prevention rather than a remedy for illness. I also see that prophylactic antibiotic use in animals can have an indirect affect on us b/c we will end up having the antibiotics in our systems as a result of eating these animal meats filled with antibiotics. This then in turn kills the normal bacterial flora in our system…which can be a problem b/c it can give rise to opportunistic bacteria (ie:MRSA) to take advantage of the fact that the normal flora is no longer present.

    What I’m not seeing is how using antibiotics actually makes the animals fat. Please explain more so I can see what you’re seeing that I’m not. Like, is there an ingredient inside the antibiotics that makes animals plump?

  19. Vani! How do you prepare your meat when you do eat it? I just read some research on meat becoming carcinogenic when cooked at certain temperatures. Thanks for your hard work gal!

  20. Antibiotics given to animals kill the good bacteria in the intestines so all of the food goes into weight gain instead of feeding the good bacteria. I think I learned this in a Dr Mercola article many years ago. This reason is not mentioned anywhere when talking about antibiotic use in food animals.

  21. You can’t please everyone, no matter what stance you take. But you offer options for everyone! The important thing is that you’re calling attention to practices so deeply ingrained in our food supply, we’ve been fed toxins for much longer than we realize. People need to get angry about the deceptive practices that have made it nearly impossible to completely clean up the food that reaches our tables unless we know exactly how it was produced and where it came from. It’s a huge battle, from the FDA recent renewed war on raw milk, to the promotion of the idea that GMOs create less need for pest control. You’re waking people up. My husband and I have started following your monthly food plans, and even though we ate carefully and cleanly, he’s said he feels so much better physically, more energetic, and more nourished. Doesn’t that say a lot about the work you’re doing? Thanks, Vani.

    1. I farm GMO crops. I do use far less harmful pesticides on GMO crops versus non-GMO. Roundup herbicide is actually pretty safe compared to some of the other herbicides we used prior to GMO traits. The worm resistant trait, called BT, is also available as a topically applied insecticide and it is approved for use on organic crops. Make decisions on your food choices based on good information, not fear or fear mongering I should say.

  22. Food Babe thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart for ALL the time, effort, sweat, and work that you put into keeping yourself and others healthy.
    I agree, we MUST be willing to make some noise in order to change the unhealthy food practices of our U.S. It starts with us, and our families, and then be willing to share with others and enlighten them.

  23. A large majority of the fake fur in the United States actually comes from murdered dogs that were skinned alive in China. Europe has been fighting against this for years but yet it still continues to flourish with popular brands in the US. How we allow this to happen is beyond belief, can I hear cognitive dissidence.

    While the jacket or some ones boots with synthetic fur lining may think its faux, but the reality was the Chinese brutally murder thousands of dogs daily for the skin factories that supply our fake fur jackets, shoes, boots, key chains and so on.

  24. “FoodBabeArmy”? Don’t get too full of yourself, Vani. I wish you’d drop the “Babe” part. It’s just gimmicky. But maybe that’s your angle? And I don’t know why in the world you promote eating meat, grass-fed or not. It sounds a bit hypocritical, or pandering to a certain group. Overall I like what you do though, so keep it up.

    1. OK, I think I need to respond, [not that she needs defending].

      I guess you can call the name, “Foodbabe” gimmicky, although I prefer the word “catchy”. The second I heard it, I thought it was a great name. and easy to remember.
      Imagine how many millions+ businesses, athletes, musicians, etc. etc. etc. that give themselves catchy names.

      As far as her promoting, eating meat, she should promote it, to a degree and with qualifications. I’m saying that as a 40+ year abstainer of ALL DEAD FLESH.
      I quit suddenly and it was about 2 before I no longer desired it.

      The Truth is, humans are not designed to eat meat. The fact is, not everyone can suddenly quit eating meat. It could be a very unhealthy experience. It can take many years to quit properly. It’s a habit accrued over many lifetimes. It takes time.

      The need for grounding is another reason it may be appropriate to eat meat even with a highly evolved person.

      I could go on and on with this subject, but I thought I’d throw out a few comments towards your post.

      It sounds like your don’t eat any meat, so welcome to the club and keep spreading the word.

  25. Ms. Vani,
    We all certainly appreciate your insight on healthful foods, but did you ever consider the impact of wearing too much makeup on your health? I do not intend to be mean, this is a serious question?

  26. Is it true that cows get e-coli in their systems because of the grain based diet they’re fed? This forces the producers to then pump the cows with antibiotics; outside of the fact that the cows live ankle deep in their own bacteria filled waste. If the cows are fed grass, I heard, that the e-coli in a cow’s system can be cleared up in less than a week of the cow eating a 100% grass diet. Is this true?

    1. Steve, yes it’s true. Google Dr. James Russell, Cornell, 1997 study who proved that cattle fed grass for 7 days after eating a feedlot diet of grain reduced their incident of ecoli O157:H7 by ONE THOUSAND FOLD! Ten years later the USDA and US Cattlemen’s Assoc. confirmed the results, adding that ‘it wasn’t practical.’ That’s code for Uncle Sam, if you want to reduce the incidence of death, pollution and disease by feeding grass, feel free to give us even more tax subsidies and we’ll find a way to make it ‘practical.’

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