By Contributing Author: Sharon A. See
Most produce, meat, and poultry products you find in the grocery store unless labeled otherwise, are grown, raised or produced by what's known as “Big Ag” and or Factory Farming operations. Big Ag operations are huge commercial farms that typically grow one crop over and over again. The sole purpose is high yield, not high quality or nutritional value. This style of crop management can lead to over-farming of the land which depletes the soil. Huge amounts of pesticides, herbicides and chemically based fertilizers are used. Here you will also find a very high rate of GMO use.
Factory farming is the industrialized production of livestock. These animals are raised in deplorable and inhumane environments. These filthy, unsanitary conditions require the constant use of antibiotics. The animals are also injected with or fed growth hormones to enhance the rate of growth so they can be brought to market in shorter periods of time than the natural growth cycle would allow. These practices produce some of the most chemical-laden and unhealthy food products in our food supply. All the chemicals, antibiotics and hormones the animals ingest are passed along to the consumer of the meat, milk, eggs and other food products made from these animals.
This article originally appeared in the Waterbury, CT Republican-American.
Truelove Farms, operated by former English instructor Tom Truelove, is one of 24 farms from 14 states selected to receive a fund-a-farmer grant from the Illinois-based Food Animal Concerns Trust—an organization that aims to improve the welfare of farm animals. It’s a financial boost that will help expand Truelove’s operation just six years into his new career. It was a love of literature that delivered the 33-year old Truelove “through the back door,” to a love of farming. He was smitten by the poetic, environmental and romantic notion of sustainable agriculture offered by authors such as Wendell Berry, who writes about how big agribusiness is turning food manufacturing into a profit machine that creates unhealthy food. Truelove said he was inspired to venture into the science of nurturing food.
The Monroe Farmers' Market is open June–October and offers fresh, locally-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods and hand-crafted specialty foods to Connecticut locals.