More and more people are demanding food transparency from their farmers and supermarkets; however, pro-GMO advocates are meeting these demands with resistance. While we have won some food-labeling battles, it is still important for consumers to understand what they are eating and where it comes from. The people at the Non-GMO Project Verification Program are here to help!
Least-cost formulated feed is a feed formula that is both technically nutritionally complete and with a minimum ingredient cost. This keeps the feed at a low cost, and since feed accounts for over 65% of total production costs, this can be a tempting purchase.
Direct-fed microbials (probiotics) are dietary supplements that contain live bacteria, which aim to increase the populations of good bacteria in the intestinal tract of the animal. Direct-fed microbials are beneficial in that they have competitive exclusion properties — “good” bacteria compete with “bad” bacteria for binding sites and nutrients in the gut, theoretically always keeping the balance in favor of the beneficial bacteria. Many probiotic species are also capable of secreting substances that are harmful to many pathogenic bacteria and/or altering the environment in such a way that the pathogenic bacteria are unable to survive. Direct-fed microbials are great additions to a daily diet, but are especially helpful early in an animal’s life, during times of stress, and following any medical treatments.
Mycotoxins are toxic chemicals produced by fungi, which typically contaminate crops. Mycotoxins can be fatal to both animals and humans at very small concentrations, usually parts per million or parts per billion. The fungi and molds that produce these chemicals are often times undetectable by the human eye and nose and feedstuffs should undergo mycotoxin testing to determine the presence or absence of the fungi.
A recent study published in the Journal of Small Ruminant Research, the official journal of the International Goat Association, suggests that feeding GMO soy products to goats have negative effects on nutrient availability and milk components. The article (found here) is titled Genetically modified soybean in a goat diet: Influence on kid performance, and I have broken it down for you below.
Monsanto is a household name in the agriculture community for its array of chemicals that were designed to safeguard crops from all the natural elements that could prohibit their growth. In theory, it sounds like a fantastic idea. Combat the pests that make farmers’ lives even more difficult, improve crop yields, and protect the earth. That’s all well and good if it had actually worked out that way.
There are some pretty solid reasons to avoid GMOs in your food and in the food of your livestock. Here is what you should know.
We talk a great deal about GMOs, what they mean for public health, how to avoid them, etc., but we never seem to discuss how GMO crops are made. For those who are concerned with eating natural, this process may be a bit of a shock, as although the ingredients are derived from nature, there’s nothing nature-based about the process. Understanding how genetically modified crops are made is likely to affect how individuals judge the whole GMO debate.
Many will argue that GMOs are contrary to nature, and it’s a pretty difficult claim to dispute. Splicing genes and injecting certain genes into a completely different species seems like quite a strange thing to do. We like to think that nature has been working out the kinks, and we shouldn’t be interfering in the process. What seems to be up for debate, however, is whether or not GMOs are infringing on farmer’ constitutional rights.
The war against GMO crops has been raging for some time now, but it hasn’t put Monsanto out of business yet. There are still plenty of farmers who choose GMO when they set out to buy seed, but why is that? As the non-GMO movement is steadily growing, it’s important to take a deeper look at the other side of this fight and understand their point of view as well. Let’s take a look.