Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Livestock and Pets
Tavascarow

Panorama tonight (23/05) Antibiotic Crisis

BBC 1, 20.30. Antibiotics crisis.
Quote:
Growing resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics is one of the biggest public health threats of modern times, with the potential to cause 80,000 deaths in the UK over the next 20 years. Experts say the use of a range of NHS 'last-resort' antibiotics in farming is risking the lives of future patients. Tom Heap asks if the commercial pressure to produce cheap meat and poultry is fuelling the rise of superbugs and meets the patients for whom the drugs have already stopped working.
Hairyloon

I hear that next series they plan a study of ursine defecatory habits.
john of wessex

It seems to me that its a far bigger worry that Terrorism............
Tavascarow

It seems to me that its a far bigger worry that Terrorism............
In the sense of how many lives it could & is affecting I agree with you.
It seems to me the masses are so easily led or afraid to face the real problems. Easier to tar Muslims as the boogie man than change their lifestyle.
The husband of a friend had a routine operation on his ankle many years ago & contracted MRSA.
Constant medical interventions, then amputation of the foot, followed by amputation below the knee, & eventually the whole leg.
It killed him in the end (or he gave in) & IMHO a horrible way to spend your last few years of life.
Rob R

It seems to me that its a far bigger worry that Terrorism............
In the sense of how many lives it could & is affecting I agree with you.
It seems to me the masses are so easily led or afraid to face the real problems.

Not to mention how public health & environmental advice has heavily influenced perceptions. Chicken is booming, everyone thinks it is healthier and better for the planet so we're eating more. I thought about this as I passed our neighbours new broiler shed going up this afternoon.
dpack

even the best broiler sheds make me very uneasy.

a well run broiler is very efficient in costs and health but welfare cannot be of a very high standard in such a system.
the bird density and huge numbers are very much at odds with a natural flock size and natural social structures of young and juvenile birds which i recon must stress even the strains of birds specifically bred for such a system.the only way i can imagine how the birds must feel is to remember the tube in rush hour, after a couple of months of that non stop while eating as much fortified wheetabix as i could i would be more than ready to put my own feet in the loops and head towards the electrified water.
Rob R

the only way i can imagine how the birds must feel is to remember the tube in rush hour, after a couple of months of that non stop while eating as much fortified wheetabix as i could i would be more than ready to put my own feet in the loops and head towards the electrified water.

So true
dpack

the problem of systematic antibiotic use in meat rearing is probably only solvable if consumers are prepared (or forced ) to pay for the extra costs of less intensively raised flesh.

forced might happen by legislation but it might happen that the antibiotics dont work against the critter germs as well as human ones(they are often the same)which would also force less intensive stock raising

big pharma is desperately hunting new antibiotics but finding and developing them faster than bugs evolve seems unlikely especially if the bugs have a lot of low level challenges such as adding antibiotics to feed which sooner rather than later one will shrug off and carry on.
Rob R

the problem of systematic antibiotic use in meat rearing is probably only solvable if consumers are prepared (or forced ) to pay for the extra costs of less intensively raised flesh.

The way things are going people will be forced to pay more for all foods otherwise it won't be produced.
dpack

the secondary effect of antibiotic use in agriculture Tavascarow

One comparison I'd like to see is the numbers of drug resistant medical admissions per capita between the UK, the USA & somewhere like India where I imagine antibiotic use in livestock husbandry is minimal. Rob R

The real danger is underdosing. India is a particular hotspot of antimicrobial resistance and it's wrong to assume that excessive use of antibiotics leads to resistance as it's more about appropriate use. A country that uses less is more likely to be breeding resistance than a country that uses appropriate amounts. Tavascarow

The real danger is underdosing. India is a particular hotspot of antimicrobial resistance and it's wrong to assume that excessive use of antibiotics leads to resistance as it's more about appropriate use. A country that uses less is more likely to be breeding resistance than a country that uses appropriate amounts. I've learnt something.
That makes sense. One of the reasons the doctor always tells you to finish the course. Smile
The comparison would still be useful IMHO.
dpack

if any bugs survive they are the resistant ones.if the first antibiotic does not full kill all of them it is very important to use another to get the ones resistant to the first.the take the full course is the first line of preventing resistant survivors and future problems.

underdosing is a recipe for resistance among any survivors (and applies to the bugs and their hosts if they survive) as is improper disposal of casualties that did not respond to treatment.

with continuous dosing at low levels there is a high probability that a resistant bug will emerge as the head of a line of resistant bugs.
dpack

a pretty good overview of the issues Tavascarow

Yet the government are asking doctors to prescribe less antibiotics. Which they have done. Far exceeding the requested 1%. Antibiotic prescriptions have dropped by 7%.
But what's the point of that when antibiotic use in livestock husbandry, particularly in the pig & poultry industries is rife.
& in America beef as well, as it's used as a growth promoter over there.
That's where the real reductions in use should be.
& unlike going organic or giving up those products, there's no benefits once those resistant bugs are circulating in the human sphere through human to human contact.
You can have the healthiest diet in the world but if the majority are still over consuming antibiotics from Doctors & through their food the risk is still high.
Rob R

That's why I'm always saying that the eat less meat message is too simplistic. Killing off organic beef consumption is only helping the chicken boom. It's dangerous and it's being done in the name of sustainability. That is very, very wrong. Tavascarow

We have had that argument too many times already & it's thread drift. Wink
I personally think the main reason people eat more pork & chicken now & less lamb & beef is more about economics than health & the environment.
I'd guess organic chicken & pig farmers are struggling more than you. As they are competing against vastly cheaper factory farmed food & their feed vastly dearer than organic beef & sheep.
Rob R

We have had that argument too many times already & it's thread drift. Wink
I personally think the main reason people eat more pork & chicken now & less lamb & beef is more about economics than health & the environment.

Oh thank **** for that, I've been making that point and didn't think anyone was listening. The issues are all interconnected

I'd guess organic chicken & pig farmers are struggling more than you. As they are competing against vastly cheaper factory farmed food & their feed vastly dearer than organic beef & sheep.

But on the other hand people are eating vastly more pork and chicken (55.6% of all meat) than beef & other grazing meats (26%), and both the latter are on a downward trend of overall production (-11% & -44% respectively) compared to the former which have gone up (+25% & +478%). (figures from Nat Geo)

That's why the eat less meat thing is codswallop - we all know Tesco makes vastly more money than the corner shop, despite higher prices in the latter, because Tesco is shifting more stuff. And any business (or whole sector) can last longer with negative profit than it can with negative cashflow.

You may dismiss this as thread drift but I actually think it is right on point - unless you address the real reasons behind a problem, you're never going to address the problem & the situation is just going to get worse.
dpack

pile it high,rear it intensively and sell it relatively cheap is often going to be the way folk who shop by price want it .

the amounts of chook n pork sold are directly related to the lower prices compared to pre intensive methods

iirc during the change from rationing and a few farmyard birds to intensive chook raising in the uk 1950's the number of table birds went from about 5 mil (a bit over half a kilo per year per person) and mostly consumed by the chook keepers families to around 80 mil over a couple of years in the first shed production and by 1960 to far far more.that was pre antibiotic feed and 50000 birds to a shed and the current rate of production with birds at 2 a kilo which is cheaper than a lot of veg or half decent bread.

to maintain that scale at that price requires antibiotic feed so tis either antibiotic use or pricey chooks which most proles wont/cant pay for.
Rob R

It's not just price though, public health information has been in favour of chicken as a 'healthier' alternative to beef for years now. You can offer chicken at a higher price than beef and people will buy it - Tesco chicken is the same price or more expensive than some of our beef. Tavascarow

But the profit margin on that chicken is pennies.
When Tesco where offering two birds for a fiver there was 1p profit for the supplier per bird (according to HFW).
Eating less will impact those low profit high output producers more than smaller, less intensive, low input farmers like yourself.
Because they rely on vulume not quality to make their living.
Encouraging eating more will just encourage more producers to intensify.
Meaning there will be more antibiotic meat on the market not less.
Ty Gwyn

The profit margin on intensive poultry is small,but HFW does exaggerate some what,lol. Rob R

But the profit margin on that chicken is pennies.
When Tesco where offering two birds for a fiver there was 1p profit for the supplier per bird (according to HFW).
Eating less will impact those low profit high output producers more than smaller, less intensive, low input farmers like yourself.
Because they rely on vulume not quality to make their living.
Encouraging eating more will just encourage more producers to intensify.
Meaning there will be more antibiotic meat on the market not less.

No, you've got it so wrong. Even if your profit is pennies, sell enough and you can keep paying the bills and riding the low points. If you rely upon selling an expensive product (lets face it, noone who ever advocates the eat less meat message ever produces the figures to back it up, otherwise we'd have a blueprint to work to) you're much more vulnerable to blip in the economy than a high volume, high turnover operation.

Eating less favours a high volume retailer such as Tesco more than it benefits me - if you're eating a small amount of meat every week you're better off in Tesco, because not only will they sell you a single slice of ham, but they also have all the other non-meat products that you'd replace it with (which are also much higher margin than any meat).

I have never said we need to encourage people to eat more of the stuff, more organic and grassfed, certainly, but overall the same amount would be ample. If you specify eating more but sustainably produced then you will always be limited by what can be produced. If demand exceeds supply then the price will rise, but if it turns out that sustainable ag can produce enough then we don't need to cut down. The important thing is the interim transition period - if the sustainable producer can't survive in that period then the only thing left to eat less of will be the antibiotic chicken.

As you said above, economics decides how much people can afford to eat, we don't need to encourage rich people to spend even less by buying less. At the same time, encouraging people to eat more [grassfed] beef can only help reduce the amount of meat [chicken] being consumed because it is generally more expensive.

I am one of those producers who should be benefitting from this 'eat less' scenario you describe, but I'm telling you it's wrong because the one group of people who keep my business going on a day to day basis are following the paleo-esque diets - they are eating more good quality meat, not less.

Low input is not no input, I met a farmer a few weeks ago who could control his chicken house from his mobile phone and had started a second business to fill his time. Whereas I am tied to checking and moving my cows on a daily basis, retailing and marketing, etc., etc., it all takes time. His position looked like a very attractive prospect to me and if I was more sensible I would have invested in an intensive poultry unit and just do the grassfed beef as a hobby.
Tavascarow



No, you've got it so wrong. Even if your profit is pennies, sell enough and you can keep paying the bills and riding the low points. Fluctuations yes.
But if the population starts eating less meat consistently it will impact the high volume low profit producer before you.
If demand drops production will have to drop as well.
You can keep a bullock on grass or silage for a week or two if there's a drop in price & it wont cost you much.
But a broiler producer can't.
Broiler & intensive pork systems runs like clockwork.
There is very little wriggle room.
So if supply exceeds demand over an extended period their only option is to reduce production.
Rob R



No, you've got it so wrong. Even if your profit is pennies, sell enough and you can keep paying the bills and riding the low points. Fluctuations yes.
But if the population starts eating less meat consistently it will impact the high volume low profit producer before you.
If demand drops production will have to drop as well.
You can keep a bullock on grass or silage for a week or two if there's a drop in price & it wont cost you much.
But a broiler producer can't.
Broiler & intensive pork systems runs like clockwork.
There is very little wriggle room.
So if supply exceeds demand over an extended period their only option is to reduce production.

How does that differ whether you are a broiler or beef producer? A bullock for an extra couple of weeks will cost another 16 [all figures are approximate for illustrative purposes], unless you sell twice as many after a couple of weeks then you've got an extra one hanging around, taking up an extra space over winter. Assuming you have the spare space and silage for it that's another 184 in building space, so it's cost you an extra 200 up front, some of which you might get back if you expand, but you can't do that if your market is contracting. If you're a 1000 down on the sale of the animal that's a total of 1200 less money in the bank. If you make 10k for your efforts usually that's 12% of your income gone.

Like I keep saying, my customers, on the whole, are eating more meat - without them I wouldn't even be here to benefit from this theoretical future situation. Thankfully they are bucking the trend because without them we'd be history.

The people who are most likely to respond to this eat less message are people like you & I, already making the more ethical choices, not the McDonalds regular who, even if they do cut down, are paying the same price for the veggie burger as the Big Mac. As such it is, rather than helping, disproportionately harming businesses like mine, which can only make it easier for the intensive guys to prosper.
Rob R

Getting back on topic, Tesco is responding and the article has some interesting stats. More veggies in the country should, according to your logic, mean less intensive [antibiotic] farming... Tavascarow



No, you've got it so wrong. Even if your profit is pennies, sell enough and you can keep paying the bills and riding the low points. Fluctuations yes.
But if the population starts eating less meat consistently it will impact the high volume low profit producer before you.
If demand drops production will have to drop as well.
You can keep a bullock on grass or silage for a week or two if there's a drop in price & it wont cost you much.
But a broiler producer can't.
Broiler & intensive pork systems runs like clockwork.
There is very little wriggle room.
So if supply exceeds demand over an extended period their only option is to reduce production.

How does that differ whether you are a broiler or beef producer? Ultimately it wont.
If supply exceeds demand production will have to drop or prices drop to encourage more consumption.
& as the whole farming industry is already working at near or below break even levels there's only one option.
But an intensive low profit system like the majority of poultry, pork & feedlot beef/zero grazed dairy will be hit more than a low input more extensive system like yours.
Their investment in infrastructure (Often with borrowed money) is greater. Their cost of production with bought in concentrate feeds & fertilizers are much higher, & their profit margins per unit much lower (At least in the case of pork & poultry).
So the impact on the unsustainable, poorer quality, more environmentally damaging systems will be greater.

You are farming sustainably. & I'm pleased your customers keep coming back. & I want to see more farms like yours not fewer.
But the industry as a whole is unsustainable, damaging to the environment & as stated in this report increasing risks to human health.
Rob R

The biggest problem we have is people/organisations telling us what our problems are & not listening. Tavascarow

The biggest problem we have is people/organisations telling us what our problems are & not listening.
Pot & kettle springs to mind.
Wink
dpack

colostin resistant via plasmids

extra long linky for bagpuss Wink
Tavascarow

You & I both come from farming families & know farmers well.
They are (& I generalise) a very conservative bunch.
Small c not Capital C although probably the majority are politically Conservative too.
There are a generation below us that are more environmentally conscious & would love to work in the industry.
But because of the way farming has "progressed" since WW2 farms have become bigger with fewer farmers & land values have soared.
There are fewer tenancies available & the ones that are there tend to go to those already connected to the industry.
The industry they see isn't the one they want to work for & they can't afford the finance to enter another way.
IMHO the only way that generation will get into the industry & have an impact will be if the bigger non sustainable producers start feeling the pinch.
It's already happening.
I know of a dairy farmer farther down the county that instead of becoming more intensive to try & keep up has reduced his herd. Taken land out of production & now lets the land as allotments.
It's thriving & I'm sure he has a long waiting list.
Rob R

You've glossed over the financials rather. Diversification isn't always an answer, it's a distraction at best and one commonly used. Access to land isn't that big an issue where I am, and more is becoming available as the baby boomer generation reach retirement. But once you've got land you need the earning capacity to pay for it & maintain it, and that's why farms get bigger, to spread fixed costs. As I've said before I've turned land down before today because I don't have enough animals to graze it. As more people diversify the market there becomes more & more saturated too because the supply is not the limiting factor. Tavascarow

You've glossed over the financials rather. Diversification isn't always an answer, it's a distraction at best and one commonly used. Access to land isn't that big an issue where I am, and more is becoming available as the baby boomer generation reach retirement. But once you've got land you need the earning capacity to pay for it & maintain it, and that's why farms get bigger, to spread fixed costs. As I've said before I've turned land down before today because I don't have enough animals to graze it. As more people diversify the market there becomes more & more saturated too because the supply is not the limiting factor. I'm not promoting diversification.
Diversification is usually income earning but does little to maintain or increase food security.
Although keeping your farm wildlife & habitat diverse & converting your barns to holiday lets helps the environment.
The example I used was deliberate because the farmer is probably earning as much if not more from letting to allotmenteers as he did from his cattle.
& probably with less bureaucracy & other related headaches.
Those allotments are diverse & very productive.
Saving families food bills & taking income from big retail.
They know exactly how the food has been grown. Something most shoppers can't say.
& it's building a community on the land.
Democratisation of food production without legislative land reform.
It's a win win situation.
& there is no reason why it can't be done on different scales.
Rob R

Yes, allotments can be a great way to diversify, but what has this got to do with antibiotics use in agriculture? Tavascarow

Yes, allotments can be a great way to diversify, but what has this got to do with antibiotics use in agriculture? If people are allowed to grow & rear their own pork & poultry antibiotic use in those animals will be a fraction of that used in factory farms in my humble opinion. Rob R

Yes, allotments can be a great way to diversify, but what has this got to do with antibiotics use in agriculture? If people are allowed to grow & rear their own pork & poultry antibiotic use in those animals will be a fraction of that used in factory farms in my humble opinion.

True, but who is not 'allowed' to keep their own pork & poultry?
Ty Gwyn

The majority of the UK population. Rob R

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Hairyloon

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Not allowed at my house, nor at my allotment. It is not always the case, but it's not uncommon.
Rob R

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Not allowed at my house, nor at my allotment. It is not always the case, but it's not uncommon.

It's not you the person that's not allowed them, though, more the place. Would you have some if it was allowed?
Hairyloon

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Not allowed at my house, nor at my allotment. It is not always the case, but it's not uncommon.

It's not you the person that's not allowed them, though, more the place. Would you have some if it was allowed?
I would if I could, but I am too often not home. The point though is that many, if not most people are in a place where they cannot keep pigs.
Rob R

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Not allowed at my house, nor at my allotment. It is not always the case, but it's not uncommon.

It's not you the person that's not allowed them, though, more the place. Would you have some if it was allowed?
I would if I could, but I am too often not home. The point though is that many, if not most people are in a place where they cannot keep pigs.

The point is that it is that way because most people don't want to. There are loads of properties near me at which you can keep poultry or pigs, but still very few people do.
dpack

i prefer the sounds and smells of pigs n chooks to those of cars,the neighbours should have multiple asbo's and several social workers but they are too middle class kids and the stink of the fat balls in the drains by the take away.

we dont have space for chooks let alone pigs... yet.

dispersement of food production would decrease the industrial use of antibiotics and have other benefits but also has the increased risk of pandemic style pestilence(bird flu springs to mind although it has often been related to intensive production)

going back to antibiotic resistant bugs and the big pharma approach to a solution they are missing out on the knowledge of millennia in that they seek a patent rather than something that works.
paracelsus was a star but there are many examples from pre galen times and the knowledge of the witchdoctor,wise woman,shaman, local medic,farmer,horse trainer,etc etc (delete as appropriate) often includes natural antibiotic remedies.just for example frankincense based ointments are pretty good at staphs and a variety of other nasty bugs,couch grass roots are ace for c,perfrinrgens etc etc etc .
by using that pharmacy the problem can often be cured before one is dealing with systemic sepsis of tissues or the whole organism.
globally there must be many plants and compounds of plant mixes that could deal with the problems big pharma have both cured and created.
Tavascarow

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Not allowed at my house, nor at my allotment. It is not always the case, but it's not uncommon.

It's not you the person that's not allowed them, though, more the place. Would you have some if it was allowed?
I would if I could, but I am too often not home. The point though is that many, if not most people are in a place where they cannot keep pigs.

The point is that it is that way because most people don't want to. There are loads of properties near me at which you can keep poultry or pigs, but still very few people do. Suburban properties?
I'm not talking about a Maoist Green revolution where the masses have to work the land.
& I'm not saying everyone would want to.
But there are a lot who live in shoebox sized houses with postage stamp gardens.
Who if they kept a trio of hens would probably get antisocial complaints from neighbours.
People who haven't got enough money to buy or rent a property in the sticks with a big garden.
They live in areas where councils are selling allotments for development to keep social services afloat & if you put your name on the waiting list you've more chance of dying of old age before you get a 'lotty.
Farmers are struggling as you keep saying.
This is one way they can diversify & help decentralise food production & improve human & environmental health.
Rob R

The majority of the UK population.

Only if they have a court order preventing you from keeping those animals. The majority of people don't keep them, mainly because they don't want to.
Not allowed at my house, nor at my allotment. It is not always the case, but it's not uncommon.

It's not you the person that's not allowed them, though, more the place. Would you have some if it was allowed?
I would if I could, but I am too often not home. The point though is that many, if not most people are in a place where they cannot keep pigs.

The point is that it is that way because most people don't want to. There are loads of properties near me at which you can keep poultry or pigs, but still very few people do. Suburban properties?
I'm not talking about a Maoist Green revolution where the masses have to work the land.
& I'm not saying everyone would want to.
But there are a lot who live in shoebox sized houses with postage stamp gardens.
Who if they kept a trio of hens would probably get antisocial complaints from neighbours.
People who haven't got enough money to buy or rent a property in the sticks with a big garden.
They live in areas where councils are selling allotments for development to keep social services afloat & if you put your name on the waiting list you've more chance of dying of old age before you get a 'lotty.
Farmers are struggling as you keep saying.
This is one way they can diversify & help decentralise food production & improve human & environmental health.

If they are on the fringes of a large urban settlement - most farmers aren't. While it is something with merit as a diversification project it's not one that's in high enough demand for anyone except those close to urban areas with adequate access. As a means of addressing antibiotics in farming it's just a distraction from the debate.

Countryfile at the weekend highlighted the problem of increased wages making vegetable production in the UK uneconomic. They also revealed figures that showed most people wanted to support British produce, providing it didn't cost any more. These are huge hurdles that can only push food production further from our shores, but we're still being told to eat our five a day (which, I believe, only 30% of us do at the moment).
Rob R

Personally I think the expectation that food must be so cheap that it's production must be subsidised by holiday cottages, allotments or anything else you care to mention is really missing the point. If you can do something else with your land that makes more money, there isn't actually a need for food production in that equation. Tavascarow



If they are on the fringes of a large urban settlement - most farmers aren't. While it is something with merit as a diversification project it's not one that's in high enough demand for anyone except those close to urban areas with adequate access. As a means of addressing antibiotics in farming it's just a distraction from the debate. You only have to look at allotment waiting lists to see there is a high demand.
As to proximity to urbanity you are right, but there are few farms in the UK that are more than twenty minutes or half an hours drive from a town & many families make a weekend trip to the countryside to visit farm shops or pick fruit.
I see no difference between that & tending & harvesting their own fruit & vegetables.
Keeping livestock requires more time but a group could work a rota or share.
I've seen the rent private allotments are charging & it's many more times the average council rentals.
Yet they have no problem filling the plots.
There is demand there.
I'm not saying it's the answer to antibiotic over use in farming.
It's a positive addition.
Education of consumers & tighter regulation of antibiotic use in livestock will have a greater effect but that will have to come from the top down & the top still think telling Doctors to prescribe less is the answer whilst ignoring the prime issues.
Encouraging people to grow their own food is part of the education.
But for it to grow the land has to be available.
Hairyloon

The point is that it is that way because most people don't want to. There are loads of properties near me at which you can keep poultry or pigs, but still very few people do.
Well I cant: they are too far away.
Rob R

The point is that it is that way because most people don't want to. There are loads of properties near me at which you can keep poultry or pigs, but still very few people do.
Well I cant: they are too far away.

Well, quite, which is why I can't fathom why we're talking about it. Even if you're 20 mins away it's still potentially an extra 2hrs onto your daily routine to tend pigs or hens, already a marginal activity. As per usual though we've moved into discussing abstract concepts rather than the figures.
Tavascarow

Says he who loves to drift into "all we need to do is eat more meat." Laughing
Like I said earlier pot & kettle. Wink
Educating consumers to the differences between good & crap food is a part of the journey.
& one that's necessary if we are to move forward.
That I know we agree on.
A beef or sheep farmer of your ilk with sixteen allotments on a spare acre would probably get sixteen new customers buying your sustainably reared meat instead of buying their meat from Tesco.
Rob R

Says he who loves to drift into "all we need to do is eat more meat." Laughing
Like I said earlier pot & kettle. Wink


I did not say that.
Ty Gwyn

A beef or sheep farmer of your ilk with sixteen allotments on a spare acre would probably get sixteen new customers buying your sustainably reared meat instead of buying their meat from Tesco.
_________________
That I agree 100% with,if one farm`s close enough to a big town.
Rob R

A beef or sheep farmer of your ilk with sixteen allotments on a spare acre would probably get sixteen new customers buying your sustainably reared meat instead of buying their meat from Tesco.
_________________
That I agree 100% with,if one farm`s close enough to a big town.

Me too. If you own the right type of land and can satisfy planning it's a good idea.
Nick

Given that councils are obliged, in theory, to provide allotments, I'd guess they'd welcome anything that relieves the pressure. Hairyloon

Given that councils are obliged, in theory, to provide allotments, I'd guess they'd welcome anything that relieves the pressure.
They are only obliged in theory. In practice there is rarely anybody affected by the failure who knows how to enforce the obligation.
Nick

The National Allotment Society are currently pursuing cases on behalf of around 200,000 people on waiting lists. I can't be arsed to look up 'rarely' but then looking stuff up to back up opinions is pretty rare across the board. Rob R

The National Allotment Society are currently pursuing cases on behalf of around 200,000 people on waiting lists. I can't be arsed to look up 'rarely' but then looking stuff up to back up opinions is pretty rare across the board.

If I had a fiver for every time someone tells me what I should be doing based on zero research, I'd have no need to work.
Tavascarow

Says he who loves to drift into "all we need to do is eat more meat." Laughing
Like I said earlier pot & kettle. Wink


I did not say that.
I was generalising about your posts in other threads not this one specifically. & it was said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Wink

A beef or sheep farmer of your ilk with sixteen allotments on a spare acre would probably get sixteen new customers buying your sustainably reared meat instead of buying their meat from Tesco.
_________________
That I agree 100% with,if one farm`s close enough to a big town.
Especially when it's barbecue season.
Nothing like a cold beer & a good barbecue on the allotment with your mates after a days gardening. Smile
Nick

But selling a handful of steaks when it's sunny is not the way to approach that. That's the way to spend a fortune setting up a business and then blaming everyone else when you've two staff burning cash on a rainy bank holiday weekend. Rob R

But selling a handful of steaks when it's sunny is not the way to approach that. That's the way to spend a fortune setting up a business and then blaming everyone else when you've two staff burning cash on a rainy bank holiday weekend.

Yep.
Rob R

Says he who loves to drift into "all we need to do is eat more meat." Laughing
Like I said earlier pot & kettle. Wink


I did not say that.
I was generalising about your posts in other threads not this one specifically. & it was said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Wink

I've never said that though, my position has always been that we need to eat more less intensive meat, and not tar all meat with the same brush.
Tavascarow

But selling a handful of steaks when it's sunny is not the way to approach that. That's the way to spend a fortune setting up a business and then blaming everyone else when you've two staff burning cash on a rainy bank holiday weekend. If you've a freezer full of chops & sausages you don't need to employ someone to sell them.
How often do farmers take a day off? There's nearly always someone at home.
Hairyloon

The National Allotment Society are currently pursuing cases on behalf of around 200,000 people on waiting lists. I can't be arsed to look up 'rarely' but then looking stuff up to back up opinions is pretty rare across the board.
Then there's been a massive rise in allotment popularity in the last five years or so: there was only 90,000 or so on waiting lists back in 2011.
http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/nov/10/allotments-rents-waiting-list
Nick

Yep. The first line of your source says demand is soaring. Congratulations. Nick

But selling a handful of steaks when it's sunny is not the way to approach that. That's the way to spend a fortune setting up a business and then blaming everyone else when you've two staff burning cash on a rainy bank holiday weekend. If you've a freezer full of chops & sausages you don't need to employ someone to sell them.
How often do farmers take a day off? There's nearly always someone at home.

You think having some chops in the freezer becomes chops on the bbq with no one selling them? There's no organisational, marketing, stock controlling or admin overhead? That frozen chops are useful when you want a hot meal in half an hour? That farmers have nothing better to do than kick about serving randomised visits from customers?


I'd suggest a better way would be to push meat packs to your allotment customers and on hot weekends, actually run a bbq yourself. Control and contain it, and keep all the profit.

We may have digressed.
Tavascarow

But selling a handful of steaks when it's sunny is not the way to approach that. That's the way to spend a fortune setting up a business and then blaming everyone else when you've two staff burning cash on a rainy bank holiday weekend. If you've a freezer full of chops & sausages you don't need to employ someone to sell them.
How often do farmers take a day off? There's nearly always someone at home.

You think having some chops in the freezer becomes chops on the bbq with no one selling them? There's no organisational, marketing, stock controlling or admin overhead? That frozen chops are useful when you want a hot meal in half an hour? That farmers have nothing better to do than kick about serving randomised visits from customers?



I'd suggest a better way would be to push meat packs to your allotment customers and on hot weekends, actually run a bbq yourself. Control and contain it, and keep all the profit.

We may have digressed. Whatever. Marketing isn't my thing.
But you can't deny the potential for increasing your customer base.

The demand is there. It's increasing & it would help more people understand the differences between good & not so good food.
& also help bridge the wide cultural gap between farmers & consumers.
Bringing farmers back into the community.
Big retail stops this.
Nick

No, I'd agree 100%. Rob R

I'm not exactly following your logic here though, why is it not OK to tell people they need to eat more sustainable meat, but it's fine to offer it as street food in a more convenient form that makes it easier for them to eat more? (and still possibly go home and eat Tesco chicken) Tavascarow

I'm not exactly following your logic here though, why is it not OK to tell people they need to eat more sustainable meat, but it's fine to offer it as street food in a more convenient form that makes it easier for them to eat more? (and still possibly go home and eat Tesco chicken) I've always been a supporter of all sustainable food production.
Western society "as a whole" needs to eat less meat for the sake of the planets biodiversity & the climate.
& as this thread proves to reduce the prevalence of antibiotic resistant microbes.
But I've never said your methods are wrong.
Healthy food comes in all forms from your grass reared beef & lamb to the fresh salad on an organic allotment to the wild watercress I'm about to harvest for soup tonight.
Saying eat more sustainable meat whilst ignoring the rest is wrong IMHO.
Rob R

I'm not exactly following your logic here though, why is it not OK to tell people they need to eat more sustainable meat, but it's fine to offer it as street food in a more convenient form that makes it easier for them to eat more? (and still possibly go home and eat Tesco chicken) I've always been a supporter of all sustainable food production.
Western society "as a whole" needs to eat less meat for the sake of the planets biodiversity & the climate.
& as this thread proves to reduce the prevalence of antibiotic resistant microbes.
But I've never said your methods are wrong.
Healthy food comes in all forms from your grass reared beef & lamb to the fresh salad on an organic allotment to the wild watercress I'm about to harvest for soup tonight.
Saying eat more sustainable meat whilst ignoring the rest is wrong IMHO.

I don't ignore the rest, and I don't believe we need to eat less as a whole, providing my methods were applied more widely we could produce vastly more. The one limiting factor on producing more this way is the size of the market.

Whether you or I are wrong is irrelevant though, as I don't advocate eating anything other than that which can be sustainably produced so you are in no danger of exceeding that amount. However, if farmers like me aren't encouraged to produce more there is absolutely no incentive for other farmers to follow. In fact I'm more likely to follow them because I need to make a living.

Diversification, if you have all the resources available, may be a good way to make money out of 'spare' assets, but that doesn't help sustainable food production, especially if you don't have those spare resources available. Of course you could set yourself up to buy those assets but then the organic farm becomes a second priority and really unnecessary.

As a farmer the eat less idea is soul destroying when you've gone to all the efforts to do exactly as you are told you should be doing only for your product to be regarded as something we shouldn't be producing at all. Fair enough if you're average joe public don't want to buy it, afterall they don't realise how important it is, but for conservationists and animal welfarists to, basically, say the same thing, only from a different angle, seems counterproductive. The only viable way forward for the farmer is to join the masses, or move away from farming.
Tavascarow

Sustainability also has to take account of climate impact. The same number of ruminants will still be producing large quantities of methane.
Every industry is having to make concessions & changes. Farming should get some breaks because of food security but it still need to make changes.

Getting back to antibiotic resistance.
With higher producing cows & greater stresses in their lives mastitis incidence has increased.
I know there's a withdrawl period but I'm sure I read somewhere antibiotics are being found in milk samples increasingly.
Pasteurisation should deal with the majority I imagine as will cooking with meat.
But an area of concern.
Treating animals like factories is never going to work.
Rob R

Sustainability also has to take account of climate impact. The same number of ruminants will still be producing large quantities of methane.
Every industry is having to make concessions & changes. Farming should get some breaks because of food security but it still need to make changes.

Getting back to antibiotic resistance.
With higher producing cows & greater stresses in their lives mastitis incidence has increased.
I know there's a withdrawl period but I'm sure I read somewhere antibiotics are being found in milk samples increasingly.
Pasteurisation should deal with the majority I imagine as will cooking with meat.
But an area of concern.
Treating animals like factories is never going to work.

Your points are conflicting. Higher producing cows reduces their methane output and has allowed us to produce more with fewer animals.

However, the GHG emissions from livestock have largely been quoted as the overblown estimates and inconsistent calculations from Livestock's Long Shadow. Although we've increased the number of domestic ruminants on the planet, most figures do not take account of wild ruminants. It's a huge and very well presented smokescreen to take the heat off the fossil fuel industry, for which the cultivated landscape relies heavily upon.

Animals don't create or destroy carbon, it's either coming from the atmosphere, soil or fossil fuels. If you're building soils (regen ag) and using only organic growing methods you must be taking the carbon from the atmosphere and putting it into the soil. Given the loss of carbon from our soils, mainly through drainage and cultivation, it's a travesty that animals cop the blame while soil and fossil carbon is ignored. On the plus side our depleted soils represent huge potential for potential carbon storage.

As far as antibiotics in milk goes things have never been better. Back in my family's days of producing milk it took several days to detect antibiotics in the lab and your money was docked if you were found to be over. Now they test the milk before it even goes onto the tanker and refuse to take it if it's over the minimum.
Tavascarow



Your points are conflicting. Higher producing cows reduces their methane output and has allowed us to produce more with fewer animals.

However, the GHG emissions from livestock have largely been quoted as the overblown estimates and inconsistent calculations from Livestock's Long Shadow. Although we've increased the number of domestic ruminants on the planet, most figures do not take account of wild ruminants. It's a huge and very well presented smokescreen to take the heat off the fossil fuel industry, for which the cultivated landscape relies heavily upon.

Animals don't create or destroy carbon, it's either coming from the atmosphere, soil or fossil fuels. If you're building soils (regen ag) and using only organic growing methods you must be taking the carbon from the atmosphere and putting it into the soil. Given the loss of carbon from our soils, mainly through drainage and cultivation, it's a travesty that animals cop the blame while soil and fossil carbon is ignored. On the plus side our depleted soils represent huge potential for potential carbon storage.

As far as antibiotics in milk goes things have never been better. Back in my family's days of producing milk it took several days to detect antibiotics in the lab and your money was docked if you were found to be over. Now they test the milk before it even goes onto the tanker and refuse to take it if it's over the minimum.
I know there's research that says corn fed intensive cattle give off less emisions than extensive grass reared but I don't think it takes into account of emmisions from growing their food or the emmisions from their waste management.

You have quoted that wild ruminants aren't being considered but wild ruminant numbers are small due to habitat loss & hunting.
The days of bison as far as the eye can see are long gone.

It's twenty years since I had anything to do with dairy so know little of current rules & practise.
I assume they test each tanker before discharge at the factory as well?
I've been buying organic milk for a couple of years. Antibiotic use on organic dairy farms are a lot more stringent.

Edited to say less not more. It was a long night.
Rob R

Maybe it's different in Yorkshire but I've never known anyone to overuse antibiotics in dairying, most are scared stiff of getting any money docked in fines and having the cost of the antibiotics in the first place. The bigger problem with the bigger dairies is staff who mess up and let antibiotic milk go in the tank and not own up to it.

When I talk about wild ruminants that's exactly what I mean - there used to be loads, and now there are few, so the difference has been made up for by cattle. Instead of measuring just the output of modern cattle, we should be measuring the difference between that and methane produced by the former vast herds of ruminants. And measure we should be doing, relying on estimates doesn't account for basic maths and the rule that you can't destroy or create carbon - all emissions come, originally, from fossil reserves, soils or the atmosphere. We just need to ensure that we're taking as little as possible from the former and taking as much as possible from the latter, and putting a bit back into the soil.
dpack

if i understand the situation correctly most agricultural antibiotic use is either on a treat a problem basis which seems reasonable or in some intensive systems ab's are part of the routine to prevent problems which is perhaps less reasonable on several grounds not least of which anything less than a 100%kill is a recipe for resistant bugs and doing this on a mass scale in millions of units and billions of birds,pigs etc there are many chances for a less than total wipeout.

direct selection in humans is a factor but in medicine say out of 50000 ,500 folk get a "curative "dose of antibiotics in a week and only a say 50 underdose but in a broiler shed all 50000 test beds get dosed(or underdosed as a "preventative")
tis a numbers game and the numbers are on the bugs side in industrial agricultural systematic antibiotic use.
Tavascarow

Maybe it's different in Yorkshire but I've never known anyone to overuse antibiotics in dairying, most are scared stiff of getting any money docked in fines and having the cost of the antibiotics in the first place. The bigger problem with the bigger dairies is staff who mess up and let antibiotic milk go in the tank and not own up to it.

When I talk about wild ruminants that's exactly what I mean - there used to be loads, and now there are few, so the difference has been made up for by cattle. Instead of measuring just the output of modern cattle, we should be measuring the difference between that and methane produced by the former vast herds of ruminants. And measure we should be doing, relying on estimates doesn't account for basic maths and the rule that you can't destroy or create carbon - all emissions come, originally, from fossil reserves, soils or the atmosphere. We just need to ensure that we're taking as little as possible from the former and taking as much as possible from the latter, and putting a bit back into the soil. The wild ruminants have also been replaced by the industrial revolution. Not just cattle. All aspects of industry including farming need to make concessions or changes to have a hope of containing carbon.
Farming should get some breaks for food security reasons. But there are many areas that are currently unsustainable, environmentally damaging & in most instances keeps others in profit more than that of the farmers.
I'm not anti farming I'm anti industrial intensive farming.
There's plenty of evidence that my fears are justified.
Antibiotic resistant bugs being one of them.
Tavascarow

if i understand the situation correctly most agricultural antibiotic use is either on a treat a problem basis which seems reasonable or in some intensive systems ab's are part of the routine to prevent problems which is perhaps less reasonable on several grounds not least of which anything less than a 100%kill is a recipe for resistant bugs and doing this on a mass scale in millions of units and billions of birds,pigs etc there are many chances for a less than total wipeout.
I wasn't saying dairy farmers use antibiotics indiscriminately.
But higher producing cows & more stressful intensive management systems probably means mastitis incidence is higher.
I agree the routine use in the pig & poultry industry are the main areas of concern.
Rob R

Maybe it's different in Yorkshire but I've never known anyone to overuse antibiotics in dairying, most are scared stiff of getting any money docked in fines and having the cost of the antibiotics in the first place. The bigger problem with the bigger dairies is staff who mess up and let antibiotic milk go in the tank and not own up to it.

When I talk about wild ruminants that's exactly what I mean - there used to be loads, and now there are few, so the difference has been made up for by cattle. Instead of measuring just the output of modern cattle, we should be measuring the difference between that and methane produced by the former vast herds of ruminants. And measure we should be doing, relying on estimates doesn't account for basic maths and the rule that you can't destroy or create carbon - all emissions come, originally, from fossil reserves, soils or the atmosphere. We just need to ensure that we're taking as little as possible from the former and taking as much as possible from the latter, and putting a bit back into the soil. The wild ruminants have also been replaced by the industrial revolution. Not just cattle. All aspects of industry including farming need to make concessions or changes to have a hope of containing carbon.
Farming should get some breaks for food security reasons. But there are many areas that are currently unsustainable, environmentally damaging & in most instances keeps others in profit more than that of the farmers.
I'm not anti farming I'm anti industrial intensive farming.
There's plenty of evidence that my fears are justified.
Antibiotic resistant bugs being one of them.

And I'm not against the concept of eating less "meat", providing it isn't to the deteriment of the environment and animals, as the current message is. The Chatham House report is one such example of a dumbed down message because they think the public can't handle the truth (they state that in the report itself). The danger of sending simple messages about complex problems is that the public think the problem is simple.

Simple messages bring about change, but it has to be the right change or all we end up with is less of the intensively-farmed meat rather than less-intensively farmed meat, and more intensively-farmed veg.
Tavascarow

& then there's the other side of the debate.
The fact modern life has become very sterile.
How many inner city kids get to play in the soil?
How many work surfaces get sprayed with antibacterials every day?
How many patients being prescribed antibiotics would need them if they "cultured" their own resistance instead?
Don't wash your hands!
Rob R

Human growth promoters. Rob R

But selling a handful of steaks when it's sunny is not the way to approach that. That's the way to spend a fortune setting up a business and then blaming everyone else when you've two staff burning cash on a rainy bank holiday weekend. If you've a freezer full of chops & sausages you don't need to employ someone to sell them.
How often do farmers take a day off? There's nearly always someone at home.

Today I was working 50 yards up the yard loading hurdles into a trailer and someone left a message because there was 'noone around'. Being at home is not enough on a farm, people are expecting the kind of service they get in s shop.
Hairyloon

Today I was working 50 yards up the yard loading hurdles into a trailer and someone left a message because there was 'noone around'. Being at home is not enough on a farm, people are expecting the kind of service they get in s shop.
That's not entirely fair. Is 50 yards out of sight and earshot?
Meaning could they see or hear you from, for want of a better word I will call your shop-front?
People who don't know can reasonably believe that farms are hazardous places that they ought not be wandering about on: unless you have left some clues as to what a customer should do, then you have to expect them to be clueless.
Rob R

Today I was working 50 yards up the yard loading hurdles into a trailer and someone left a message because there was 'noone around'. Being at home is not enough on a farm, people are expecting the kind of service they get in s shop.
That's not entirely fair. Is 50 yards out of sight and earshot?
Meaning could they see or hear you from, for want of a better word I will call your shop-front?
People who don't know can reasonably believe that farms are hazardous places that they ought not be wandering about on: unless you have left some clues as to what a customer should do, then you have to expect them to be clueless.

The note attached to the door said to ring the mobile, but they rang the landline. It doesn't really matter though, but just illustrates the point that being at home on a farm is not the same as being ready to serve customers. Especially when you consider that being 'at home's can be a 30 minute walk/drive away.
dpack

on a back to the plot theme i woke up thinking that "agricultural"antibiotic use and the potential for selecting bugs for resistance in "farm animals" is perhaps missing a major factor in that "farm animals" in this context should include intensively farmed prawns which require antibiotics in the feed to thrive in the ponds.
as the water is changed any antibiotics not absorbed by the prawns or denatured in the water/food flakes will become diluted in the "run off"liquor which provides the perfect conditions for underdosing any bugs and selecting for resistance in the local environment.

there have been issues raised re antibiotic residues in such prawns but perhaps the above is a far greater problem.
Rob R

there have been issues raised re antibiotic residues in such prawns but perhaps the above is a far greater problem.

Good point. Well put.
dpack

a quick google indicates that fish farms are also using antibiotics (and various other biocides) as normal practice to protect their stock) which will have similar issues to prawns.

the dilution factor in an aquatic system is perhaps an aspect that has been under assessed for the effect on resistance,it is a small step from tolerance to resistance in a bacterial species and dilute challenges are far more effective selection tools than concentrated ones.

a few places have banned such methods but the reasoning seems to have been based on the potential harm of residues in the fish and environmental damage to the area where the fish farm is located rather than on resistant bugs.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Livestock and Pets
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home