Friday, December 21:
Last Saturday we visited the Streit Double-J herd share dairy in southwestern Ohio. It was a fact-finding mission, an opportunity to see someone else’s micro-dairy and ponder their methods. It gave us much food for thought. Mr. and Mrs. Streit were very gracious and gave us a long two hours of advice, information, and encouragement.
When did the American farmer so lose sympathy with his animals that confinement operations became possible? How did we come to believe that a cow confined to a concrete-floored stall and fed machine-harvested forage, grain, and even processed chicken-house litter, was as good as a cow loose in a grass pasture? How could anyone convince us that milk from the former animal was identical with milk from the latter?
The fact is, most people don’t image their food alive and growing; for them food is a processed product that comes into being in its packaging. And the methods for producing it, which the consumer knows nothing of and seldom tries to imagine, are determined wholly by considerations of enormous scale and unlimited profitability.
If they can figure out how to process the contents of stadium wastebaskets into something that looks and smells like food, they will begin to make it, and the American omnivore will buy it and eat it.