Kristi Katess article regarding organic food contained information that was rather shocking. Consider the following statement: Non-organic cows, if you will, are often fed brace yourself manure for dinner... What source did Ms. Kates use to cite this nonsense? If taken to its furthest extent, the tortured logical absurdity of such a statement leads one to conclude that non-organic cows are like perpetual motion machines wherein they provide (ah hem, excrete) their own breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If cows indeed ate manure for dinner or any other meal, then no farmer need grow corn or hay to feed their cows. Amazing! Can you imagine the profit margin on such an animal? No overhead and all production would be a farmers dream!
Having been an agricultural loan officer for nearly 30 years, I have examined many farming operations that focus on either dairy or beef production. Never brace yourself never have I encountered any herdsman who incorporates manure into the feeding rations of their animals. I was raised on a farm and we managed a modest dairy herd until I went to serve in the Army. I observed the habits of the creatures for whose welfare we were responsible. One thing I know from direct observation is this: Cows will not eat their manure. They will eat all around a pie but will not eat into it ever.
Because Ms. Kates writes about non-organic cows in painful ignorance, one wonders if anything she has written is credible. That which may be laudable about eating organic is discredited by authors who veer from trustworthy citations and instead rely upon bombastic and shocking myths that are a disservice to the reader. Northern Express would do well to choose their contributing editors more carefully.
Ronald G. Rhoads TC
(Brace yourself for an unpleasant revelation following the next letter... -- ed.)
Cows & manure
Interesting article, although I question where some of the bizarre information came from. For example: the statement about non-organic cattle being fed manure!
My husband and I have been raising natural beef since 1997. I have never seen a cow eat manure; in fact, they will graze nowhere near a pile of manure!
Cattle that are raised in the feedlots are fed a high ration of corn and also pumped full of antibiotics to combat their bodies not being designed to process such a high dose of corn. Cows are made to eat hay -- they can handle small amounts of grain which we ration daily to marble the meat. That is why it takes so long to raise beef cattle to finish weight the natural way.
Your article sends the wrong message to people! If Kristi wants to see if cattle will eat a cowpie, I invite her to spend the day watching our herd; I guarantee she will never see one belly up to eat some manure!
Cathy McAuliff, TSR, Inc.
(Kristi Kates‘ reporting is based on a practice that was recently outlawed. Until 2004, chicken manure was mixed with cattle feed in the American West, where ranchers felt it added protein to the livestock‘s diet in the tough winter months. The Organic Consumers Association notes that the practice (along with feeding cattle blood byproducts) was outlawed by the Food and Drug Association in 2004, due to concerns over Mad Cow Disease. Google the web for “cattle, poultry manure“ to find many articles on this subject. -- ed.)
Supply & demand
I have one simple question I ask of everyone who expresses some crackpot conspiracy theory on why gas prices are high. So far no one has given me any answer at all, let alone a convincing one. So I am hoping for better from you. Here is the question:
Since in our country it is legal to charge whatever the market will bear for a product, and since when gas prices have gone up, people have continued to buy gas guzzling vehicles, and since the demand for gas continues to increase despite the prices, why dont the gas companies just keep the prices and their profits high? Why does the price always eventually go down? It doesnt just happen at election time, you know!
Nancy Brimhall via email
Attack on freedom
The ordinance to ban smoking in public places is another attempt by government and non-smokers to infringe even further on the rights of Americans to live free of government interference, as well as giving government even more control over how we choose to live our lives.
This ordinance will not only ban smoking in public places, it removes the right of small business owners to run their businesses as they see fit. No matter what the anti-smoking lobby and their cohorts would have you believe, bars, restaurants and other such businesses are not public places. They are, in fact, private businesses which are open to the public to frequent if they so choose, and if any individual chooses not to enter a private establishment, for whatever reason, that is the individuals decision to make.
Further, every time someone goes on a rampage against smoking and smokers, they always offer a range of statistics to back their argument. It should be clear that statistics, to any educated mind, can be twisted to support any argument. I could make the argument, perhaps, that 90% of drug users probably chewed gum as children.
Cause and effect? I dont think so. It seems that tobacco use is being blamed for everything from cancer to horse colic.
The statistics dont say how many smokers smoked their whole lives and never developed cancer? How many non-smokers developed lung and other cancers? How do the thousands of chemicals in our food, water, air and land affect our lungs, organs and immune systems?
According to U.S. government statistics, the second leading cause of lung cancer is radon gas. How many of these lung cancer statistics are included in smoke-related cancer deaths? How many cancers and other diseases are statistically related to environmental toxins?
I do not argue the fact that cigarettes are addictive. That much is clear and the cigarette companies have a lot to answer for, especially with regard to chemical additives and nicotine enhances to induce addiction. However, when I hear the constant rampaging against tobacco, it brings to mind the infamous film, Reefer Madness. It seems that tobacco is todays target, the latest smoke-screen to diffuse assaults on our health due to environmental toxins.
If someone prefers a non-smoking establishment, fine. That is a choice that they have the right to make. But if a bar owner decides to allow smoking in his privately owned business, that should be his right also. The same for owners of restaurants and other shops. As I understand it, unless the government starts funding these businesses, they are not public places, and no matter how the anti-smokers try to spin it, they never will be.
Joel Weberman Honor
Regarding last week‘s story on Scovies Waterfront Grille in Charlevoix, it should be noted that The JOVI Corporation (Joan and Vi Forreider) owns the restaurant.