To say it has been a while would be a joke not that anyone has been on tenterhooks for this.
The first part of the blog will primarily concern the farm, the second part about food particularly beef, food industry, health and any other topics that I want to rant about.
In 14 years of looking after my cattle herd on the Canard Dyke, this has been the most difficult winter yet. To get to the cattle I have been snowshoeing one kilometre each way, (more difficult if you have to carry jugs of diesel) and praying that the tractor down at the hay barn will start in sub-zero weather. Fortunately, my extensive experience with hay bale grazing on pasture in mid-winter has been a life-saver this winter. Following the long range weather has allowed me to anticipate the number of bales required until I can get there next time. The most I have put out were prior to my Argentina trip, 84 round bales in total (about 50 tons).....don't worry they were checked on regularly by Leonard on snowmobile.
The cattle are looking good, as good as any other winter, they only take shelter in the barn when it is very windy. My other stroke of good luck was taking the bulls out at the right time last year so all calves will be born on pasture from May onwards.
Check out the pictures on Facebook (Starrs Point Steers)
Finally, after 50 years the diet heart hypothesis (low fat being the holy grail for defeating cardiovascular disease) has been proven to be false. The enormity of this flawed policy and advice on public health is almost beyond comprehension. I am a physician but in my role I do not have continuing patient care responsibilities nor provide patient advise so I can look at this issue more objectively. It's a huge complex issue and will take many blog posts (yawn, yawn!).
How does this affect a cattle farmer and beef producer? The medical establishment, the food industry and government have been pushing a low fat diet for nearly 50 years and demonizing saturated fat/animal fats. Carbohydrates have expanded as a substitution or switch from dietary fat and manufactured or vegetable fat and oils as a substitute for saturated fat..
I'll continue this line of thought in my next blog. I have extracted most of my information from the following authors as well as peer reviewed scientific papers. I would particularly recommend the first three books.
Big Fat Surprise............Nina Teicholz
Deep Nutrition (Why your body needs traditional food)...Catherine Shanahan
Death by Food Pyramid.......Denise Minger
Fat Chance........Robert Lustig
Why We Get Fat.....Gary Taubes
Grain Brain......David Perlmutter
The Great Cholesterol Con....Anthony Colpo
Ignore the Awkward......Uffe Ravnskov