Why You Should Purchase Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products Directly From A Farmer You Know

Last year the Weston A. Price Foundation launched its 50% Campaign, urging consumers to purchase at least 50 percent of their food directly from farmers and artisan processors. This helps build a local food system, creates food security and ensures prosperity for our farmers. But there are many other reasons to avoid industrial meat and obtain the animal products you need directly from a farmer you know.

Purchase directly from a farmer you know

ARSENIC:  Did you know that 70 percent of chickens in the U.S. receive feed containing arsenic? The FDA allows an arsenic-based drug called nitarsone in chicken feed. Arsenic-containing compounds were first approved for commercial use in medicated animal feed in the 1940s in order to promote faster growth in poultry and increased feed efficiency–in other words, the chickens get fatter without eating as much. The poultry industry claims that the arsenic fed to their birds has no adverse health effects on the consumer because the kind of arsenic used in feed additives is “organic” arsenic. However, recent studies have found that organic arsenic has the ability to convert to inorganic arsenic in animal tissue, the animal tissue that you eat.  Even if the arsenic remains in organic form, it may have the same effect on people that it has on chickens—causing them to gain weight even when eating less.

DISEASE: In July of 2020, the USDA accepted a petition from the National Chicken Council to allow slaughterhouses to process birds infected with avian leukosis. The infection causes a condition similar to cancer, leading to malignant tumors and lesions. Whether the condition can be passed on to humans is unclear, but eating diseased chicken does not seem like a good thing to do under any circumstances.

MYCOTOXINS: A 2019 study of one thousand conventional corn samples found that 92 percent were contaminated with one or more mycotoxins.  These fungal poisons can cause breathing problems, lung inflammation, fever and burning sensations, and serious conditions like cancer, fibromyalgia, heart problems, and lupus–and even mental deficiencies. If they are in the animal feed, they’ll end up in the muscles of the animals. Make sure your farmer is using organic feed or, even better, avoiding corn altogether.

RACTOPAMINE: This drug, mostly given to pigs, promotes lean muscle growth (at the expense of fat). Due to safety concerns, about one hundred sixty nations ban or restrict the use of this drug, including Russia, China and all countries in the European Union. But in the U.S., an estimated 60 percent to 80 percent of pigs receive ractopamine in their feed.  Ractopamine belongs to a class of drugs called beta-agonists, which were developed to treat asthma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ractopamine for use on pigs after just one human health study–an evaluation of six young, healthy men, one of whom dropped out because his heart began racing and pounding abnormally. In addition to cardiovascular effects, ractopamine has been linked behavioral changes, and nervousness in humans and pigs. Babies born to rats fed ractopamine developed cleft palates, protruding tongues, short limbs, missing digits, open eyelids and enlarged hearts. In pigs, ractopamine causes them to collapse and become “downers,” that is, animals too sick or injured to walk.

SOY ISOFLAVONES: These estrogen-like compounds will show up in the meat, milk and eggs of animals fed soy—which means any animal raised in the industrial system. Best to find a farmer who uses no soy at all—but at least pasture feeding will reduce the amount of soy that animals like chickens, pigs and dairy cows receive.  Pastured beef production requires neither corn nor soy.

ANTIBIOTICS: Livestock (cows, pigs, chicken and even fish) receive antibiotics, not only to treat or prevent illness, but also to encourage rapid growth. Of course, people ingest these drugs when they eat antibiotic-treated meat, eggs and  milk, with the now well-known result of antibiotic resistance—not to mention disruption of gut flora.  Worldwide, an estimated 73 percent of antibiotics are consumed by farm animals; global antibiotic use is estimated to increase 67 percent from 2010 to 2030. Europe banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion purposes in 2006, and the use of sub-therapeutic doses of medically important antibiotics in animal feed and water to promote growth and improve feed efficiency became illegal in the United States in 2017. However, use of antibiotics in animal feed is huge in developing countries, especially China, and since we no longer have Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), it’s hard to avoid such antibiotic-laced products when you buy your animal foods in the supermarket. Federal law forbids the use of antibiotics in dairy cows, but the test used to detect antibiotics (called the SNAP test) only picks up about five of more than two dozen antibiotics in use.

Since in America we tend to eat animal foods every day, the load of toxins from supermarket meat, eggs and dairy products can be very high and the effects profound, especially in growing children.

The solution? Purchase your meat, eggs and dairy products directly from a local farmer, one who practices pasture feeding and who uses non-medicated feed (preferably soy-free). In the process of protecting your family, you will also be supporting independent, conscientious farmers and a robust local economy.

Author: Sally Fallon Morell

Sally Fallon Morell is best known as the author of Nourishing Traditions®: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels.

11 thoughts on “Why You Should Purchase Meat, Eggs, and Dairy Products Directly From A Farmer You Know”

  1. Arsenic was also used in the pesticide for sugar production, and actually was the real cause of polio in the early 1900’s, NOT from a virus. Thank you Sally for this research on commercial farming and the poisons used to feed these unfortunate animals, and the risks to the people eating them.

  2. Hello Sally.
    About protein, what if légumes are not tolerated and how much animal protein source is best to avoid kidney or other organs damages?
    Thanks for all !

    1. Hi Penelope, if you are needing to avoid kidney damage, I’d limit protein intake to about 10 percent of total calories. Raw milk and gently cooked meat with broth are good ways to get your protein. Avoid all microwaved food–microwaving creates kidney toxins–and another food I would avoid is commercial ice cream, which contains anti-freeze, a real problem for the kidneys. (Fine to eat ice cream, just make your own!)


      1. Thanks so much for your answer !
        So more carbs and fats I Guess ?

        Dairy are not tolerated. What could you advise for this ?

        And is Gelatin made from grass fed cows ok to add ?
        Also about kasha grain (roasted buckwheat ) how can we properly prepare it as it roasted yet ?
        Thanks for all your Help ..

        Be blessed,


  3. I’m a farmer and I’m wondering if you have or know of a feed mix for pigs and chickens that doesn’t contain soy and/or corn. What would you replace the corn with? And what would you suggest as a soy replacement? Generally I hear fish meal but it can give the meat such a horrible taste of overused. It’s also often argued that roasted soy beans don’t have negative affects like those mentioned in your article. Is there any truth to that? My husband and I have been anted to use soy free, corn free feed but haven’t been able to find a solution let alone anyone who feeds soy/corn free.

    1. You can get soy-free (and corn-free) feed from New Country Organics (used to be Countryside Organics) in Virginia.

      However, to save costs and to make sure we know exactly what our animals are getting, we grind our own feed. We buy the grains whole and grind and mix the feed about once a week.

      Here is the recipe for our layers and broilers:
      1/3 Organic Field Peas (replacement for soy)
      1/3 Organic Sorghum Seed (replacement for corn)
      1/3 Organic Barley
      6% Fish Meal
      4% Aragonite (natural source of calcium)
      3% Fertrell Poultry Nutri-Balancer
      This is soaked in water with some organic raw apple cider vinegar overnight.

      The recipe for the pigs is similar. Our pigs also get whey from cheese making and spent brewers grains from a local beer maker.

  4. This is a great article! Unfortunately, our large family cannot afford to buy meats from our local farms. I instead buy the organs and bones and make broths or grind the organs with conventional meats to make it healthier.

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