Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Sausagetarian and the Tibetan Medicine Man
Feb 11, 2014
For better or worse, the Internet gives all sorts of people a platform to tell the world what they're up to. Take the Sausagetarian, for instance, and consider this from her recent blog: "Kyle, who in his non-farm life is a massage therapist and practitioner of Tibetan medicine, kept on pointing out different highlights of June's anatomy as we disassembled her." Wait ... what?
Turns out, June was the name of the cow Kyle was butchering, which led Sara Bir – also known as the Sausagetarian – to compose a blog titled, "I love cutting up dead cows." Her blog describes in detail the act of disassembling June into skillet-sized portions, calling the activity "one of the most thrilling things a person can do." To each his own, but that claim is oh so confusing when you learn Bir is a vegetarian. Well, sort of. "For a while, I only ate meat in the form of sausage," she says. Hence the nickname Sausagetarian. So, this blog was written by a vegetarian, who loves sausage, about cutting up a cow named June with the help of a Tibetan medicine man. "But I love hot dogs," she says, "and there is no acceptable vegetarian substitute." At least we can agree with that.
Pigging Out in New Jersey
A New Jersey casino is seriously pushing the limits of bacon obsession. We agree that a little bacon makes a burger even better, but does the world really need bacon-flavored beer and lip balm? It is, however, all in good fun at the Bacon Week festival at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, one of about 30 bacon festivals around the country. Some of the strange bacon-themed items: bacon vodka, bacon cupcakes, chocolate-drizzled potato chips with bacon and bacon-flavored dental floss. "Bacon is like heaven," said Nadina Fornia, one festival attendee. "If you're going to die, die with bacon on your lips and a BLT in each hand."
A 'Kickstarter' for Cattle in Africa
Livestock are essential to food security for millions of people around the world. In Ghana, Africa, for instance, there is a deficit of 95,000 metric tons of meat annually, and owning cows is "next to being king." A US and Ghanain based firm is set to launch Farmable, which is a Crowdfunding platform that aims to create a new form of global collaborative farming called 'Crowdfarming.' It's an Internet-based program that allows anyone around the world to invest in cattle farmers in Ghana and later across the continent. The portal is expected to support farmers in Africa and other emerging markets by equipping farmers with the tools and resources necessary to fight hunger and build a sustainable food supply.
Chronic Disease Related to Income, Skin Color and Zip Code
In recent years, we've learned about food deserts, those places – usually in the urban core of large cities – where the availability of healthy food is scarce. There have been numerous efforts to change that paradigm – farmer's markets, nonprofit food distributors, etc., with marginal success. Now we're recognizing that poor eating habits and high illness rates in the urban core is the result of poverty, not the lack of good food. Common sense? Maybe. Nathanael Johnson argues, "The science on health disparities is extensive, and it suggests that chronic disease is often closely related to income, skin color, and zip code." The conclusion is that giving people greater access to fresh food isn't enough to improve their health.