We are all looking to improve our health. Many of us have realized that what we eat is a very important part of this.
But have you thought about what your food eats?
If we eat meat, eggs & dairy products, we are eating what the animal is eating. Has it got all the nutrients it needs? What nasties is it eating that I wouldn’t choose to eat myself?
Grain is easy to grow & store in high quantities as it has a high calorific value. It is relied upon as a feed source across the food industry. For humans and animals.
A lovely article on a study in Canada https://medicine.utoronto.ca/magazine/article/you-are-what-your-food-eats shows the benefits of eating grass raised beef compared to grain-fed. Just looking at Omega 3 & 6 – grass-fed beef has a far healthier balance than grain-fed (& the meat is said to be tastier too!).
This is where my dairy goats come in. In the dairy industry, grain is relied on as a source of high calory feed to keep weight on scrawny dairy goats. They really are a bony bunch! If you look at dairy breed cattle you will see that they too are scrawny compared to their meat-breed family.
When I started with my first few goats, I was feeding them some grain. This was conventional wisdom to keep them healthy. Dairy goats put all their energy into producing milk for their young & for us. While it is fine to be scrawny, you don’t want them to be underweight. That isn’t healthy. I never feed mielies/maize to my animals. About 90% of maize grown in South Africa is GMO.
Over time, I found that I had weaned my goats off all grain & they were looking healthy & happy.
What does this mean to us? The milk produced by a healthy herd is healthy. Because goat milk is so good for us in the first place, why not get the healthiest version possible?
What our goat herd does get to do is free-range across about 200 hectares of land. There is a range of vegetation types including Sand Fynbos, wetlands & the highly invasive Port Jackson (Acacia Saligna). It is fascinating to watch them targeting certain areas & different plant types at different times.
Our milking girls get lucerne pellets & a variety of fruit & veg each morning on the milking stand. They also get sunflower seeds which are very high in selenium that is so important to goats – & humans! All GMO-free!
Next time you buy meat, eggs & dairy products – ask yourself
Do I know what my food eats?
Do I want to eat that?