WBEZ | Livestock http://www.wbez.org/tags/livestock Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago’s top chefs join Ald. Ed Burke to urge limits on antibiotic use http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-top-chefs-join-ald-ed-burke-urge-limits-antibiotic-use-110406 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/BURKE-photo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When you see a gathering of white coated chefs around Chicago it&rsquo;s usually as part of a food festival or some gala dinner. But Tuesday morning some of the city&rsquo;s top cooks and restaurateurs gathered at City Hall to voice their concerns about public health and the way animals are raised in this country.</p><p>They were there to support a non-binding City Council resolution to support long-stalled Congressional bills on antibiotics. Known as <a href="http://www.louise.house.gov/the-preservation-of-antibiotics-for-medical-treatment-act">PAMPTA </a>and PARA, they would stop American farmers from using certain classes of antibiotics on healthy animals. The practice is meant to promote growth and prevent disease.</p><p>The world&rsquo;s leading health authorities believe that overuse of antibiotics in hospital and farm settings is leading to the rise of &ldquo;superbugs&rdquo;, or bacterial infections that can no longer be cured with antibiotics.</p><p>Long-time Chicago restaurateur and co-founder of the <a href="http://buygreenchicago.org/">Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition</a> Ina Pinkney introduced the long list of scientists and doctors who would speak at the finance committee hearing on the resolution later that day.</p><p>But she also shared a personal story of a friend who recently gave birth to twins.</p><p>&ldquo;One baby went home and the other one was sick and they found MRSA in her nose as a nine-day-old,&rdquo; Pinkney said. &ldquo;Then you have to say that things are not OK.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports</a> that over 2 million Americans are infected by so-called superbugs each year and and more than 23,000 die.</p><p>&ldquo;The antibiotic issue is just out of control,&rdquo; said Dan <a href="https://www.sopraffina.com/dolce/homepage.htm">Rosenthal, whose restaurant group </a>owns seven Chicago eateries including Sopraffina and Ciccheti.</p><p>&ldquo;We are creating, in our industrial meat complex, the perfect environment to create antibiotic resistant bacteria...They are found in our meat and water supply and system and what happens is we get to a situation where antibiotics are no longer effective.&rdquo; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Rosenthal is so concerned over the issue that since 2012, he&#39;s sourced all 800,000 pounds of meat he serves in his restaurants each year from farms who don&rsquo;t use antibiotics on their healthy animals.</p><p>It was also Rosenthal who, last April, urged Alderman Ed Burke to introduce the proposed resolution to the City Council.</p><p>If passed tomorrow, the resolution can&rsquo;t force Congress to do anything, but Burke says it can &ldquo;call the attention of the Illinois delegation to what we believe is an important public health initiative.&rdquo;</p><p>But the measures face considerable opposition. The biggest players in the livestock industry have long resisted any mandatory restrictions.</p><p>&quot;We are opposed to those bills because we really believe they are out of date with the current Food and Drug Administration regulatory activities,&rdquo; said Illinois Pork Producer Association spokesman Tim Maier, who is based in Springfield.</p><p>He&#39;s referring to recent voluntary guidelines that prohibit using antibiotics to make animals grow faster. But preventative uses are still in a gray area and critics say the situation is much too grave to solve with voluntary guidelines. They further argue that the government doesn&rsquo;t collect enough data to know if any farmers are choosing to comply. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>But while health activists cite the rise of antibiotic resistant infections and antibiotic resistant bacteria on supermarket meat as as threat to public health, Maier says it&#39;s the restrictions proposed in the legislation that would cause a threat.</p><p>&ldquo;We think they would actually harm animal health and by extension food safety by limiting the antibiotics that are available for farmers to use when they want to treat their animals,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Denmark, which is one of the largest pork producers in the world, banned the use of non-therapeutic antibiotics in livestock in 2000. The move required some adjustments and saw some outbreaks of disease, but within a decade the World Health Organization &ldquo;found that the ban reduced human health risk without significantly harming animal health or farmers&#39; incomes,&rdquo; according to the<a href="http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2010/11/01/avoiding-antibiotic-resistance-denmarks-ban-on-growth-promoting-antibiotics-in-food-animals"> Pew Charitable Trust</a>.</p><p>So why are chefs and restaurateurs involved in this legislative discussion?</p><p>&ldquo;Because they understand that a meat supply that produces killer bacteria along with the meat is an unsustainable system and it has to be changed,&rdquo; said Rosenthal. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s why these chefs are standing up for meat raised in a sustainable fashion without antibiotics to provide a better source of supply of meat both at the restaurant level and in the grocery store.&quot;</p><p>At grocery stores like <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/quality-standards/animal-welfare-standards">Whole Foods Market, </a>meat raised without antibiotics has served the baseline standards for a few years. Jared Donisvitch oversees the butcher counter at the store&rsquo;s Lincoln Park location, where, he says, the antibiotic issue on shoppers minds.</p><p>&ldquo;It comes up fairly often with our interactions with customers,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and so we are a well-trained group here and try to help customers with any questions they have on that.&rdquo;</p><p>Representative Louise Slaughter of New York State is Congress&rsquo; only microbiologist and the sponsor of PAMPTA. Last week, she sent a letter to the Chicago City Council, saying &ldquo;It is only through local, grassroots efforts like yours that we will make a difference in public health on a national level.&quot;</p><p>If the City Council resolution passes this week, Chicago would join the ranks of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Seattle and others. But even if all the cities in the nation adopt such resolutions, they can&rsquo;t pass an act of Congress.</p><p>Still, Susan Vaughn Grooters of <a href="http://www.keepantibioticsworking.com/">Keep Antibiotics Working</a>, a nationwide coalition that aims to pass legislation to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, says the local resolutions add a new voice to the usual Congressional debates. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If we could get the groundswell from city councils across the nation to help support the federal legislation it could really help what&rsquo;s happening in DC now,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s essential that they hear from other people, not just inside the beltway in DC.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p>Burke also notes that municipal resolutions have played a part in creating national momentum on issues in the past. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;One issue that comes to mind is the effort we undertook a number of years ago to ban trans fats from food products,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Now you can&rsquo;t walk down the aisles of the grocery store without seeing notations on boxes, &lsquo;no trans fats&rsquo;.&rdquo;</p><p>The City Council is expected to vote on the resolution Wednesday afternoon.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;">&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 08:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-top-chefs-join-ald-ed-burke-urge-limits-antibiotic-use-110406 Goat and chicken lovers get together http://www.wbez.org/news/goat-and-chicken-lovers-get-together-105557 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59748968" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p><p>From the street, Carolyn Ioder&rsquo;s house on the western side of the Austin neighborhood looks pretty normal. It&rsquo;s a large off-white stucco with an American flag hanging out front and a big trampoline crammed into a fenced-in backyard.</p><p>It&rsquo;s the sounds from the garage that give it away. Inside her two-car garage, Ioder keeps one car, six goats and a small coop full of chickens. The animals live here year-round, and Ioder takes the goats to pasture daily in a vacant lot down the street. She has the owner&rsquo;s permission, and she gets water for the goats from the Chicago fire station at the end of the alley.</p><p>&ldquo;Goats are such flock animals, they like to be with each other but they&rsquo;re also extremely bossy,&rdquo; said Ioder, wrangling the goats onto leashes for their daily walk to pasture.</p><p>The occasion of this visit is the first-ever Chicago Urban Livestock Expo, to take place this Saturday at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The event, sponsored by a small coalition of urban agriculture enthusiasts, features workshops on raising bees, rabbits, chickens and goats within city (or suburban) limits.</p><p>Officially, Ioder&rsquo;s goats aren&rsquo;t livestock. They&rsquo;re pets. But Ioder does keep them as a food source.</p><p>&ldquo;In my house all the pets work,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The cats take care of the mice, the dogs scares the people that aren&rsquo;t supposed to be around, and the chickens lay eggs and the goats give milk.&rdquo;</p><p>In the summertime, the goats can yield up to two gallons of milk a day, which is a lot for a single family to deal with. Ioder&rsquo;s only had them for a couple years, so she&rsquo;s struggling to get up to speed on goat cheese production. She started with just two goats, they had twins and twins again, and now she&rsquo;s dealing with a small herd. So she may also have to <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19540560/wanted-1-goat-herder-30-goats-at-ohare-intl-airport" target="_blank">sell some off</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;Not because I want to make a profit,&rdquo; she clarified. Feeding six goats every day is a big task, and her actual yard is a scarce patch of grass.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7026_018-scr.JPG" style="height: 174px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="The garage where it all happens. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p><strong>That&rsquo;s actually allowed?</strong></p><p>There are no regulations specific to goats in Chicago, except that you&rsquo;re not allowed to slaughter them. Same goes for chickens, a more popular pet that&rsquo;s already <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/owning-chickens-scratches-controversy-95624" target="_blank">banned in some Chicago suburbs</a>.</p><p>But urban agriculture experts say no one should get into city goat or chicken farming without getting educated. The backyard pen or coop can be clean and contained, but it takes some work. And they recommend checking in with the neighbors before you welcome in a new flock or herd.</p><p>&ldquo;I have met a couple people who&rsquo;ve complained about it,&rdquo; said <a href="http://urbanchickenconsultant.wordpress.com/chicken-faqs/" target="_blank">urban chicken consultant</a> Jennie Murtoff. &ldquo;I talked to a woman [...] who was adamantly opposed to chickens. She said they were noisy and they were smelly, and she was very unhappy about her neighbor having chickens. And then she told me she was a pit bull rescuer.&rdquo;</p><p>But she says if they&rsquo;re managed right, chickens should be less of a nuisance than some dogs.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re relatively quiet. If the owners keep the pens well, which doesn&rsquo;t take a whole lot of work, there won&rsquo;t be any smell. A lot of people don&rsquo;t even realize that the chickens are in the backyard,&rdquo; Murtoff said.</p><p>Plus, good housekeeping is the key to keeping the city from cracking down, which is part of what the Expo aims to educate people about. An unregulated urban farming landscape is ideal for these passionate local foodies, and they want to have a real conversation about what that takes.</p><p>&ldquo;If people are looking for a day out with the kids at a petting zoo, this probably isn&rsquo;t the place for them,&rdquo; Murtoff said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an event for people who are seriously interested in the urban agriculture movement.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Local food systems, cute pets</strong></p><p>Murtoff stressed that getting eggs or milk from your own backyard isn&rsquo;t just a novelty. To her it&rsquo;s about having a hyperlocal source of good food, knowing where your food comes from, and maybe even saving some money.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7021_021-scr.JPG" style="height: 337px; width: 710px;" title="Carolyn Ioder's goats wonder whether microphones are edible. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" />&ldquo;Too often we think that, oh, eggs come from the supermarket,&rdquo; Murtoff said. &ldquo;And they don&rsquo;t. They come from a bird.&rdquo;</p><p>And a cool bird, too.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re just wonderful little people inside those feathered bodies,&rdquo; she added.</p><p>&ldquo;What we&rsquo;re working for is local community development of food systems,&rdquo; Ioder said.</p><p>By day, she runs a bread company and stays active in various groups working on issues of food security. And she&rsquo;s not the only goat farmer in town - a scattered number of Chicago and suburban residents keep pygmy goats, which are small enough to pass as terriers but still give milk. Chicken farmers in the Chicago area probably number in the hundreds.<br /><br />Ioder doesn&rsquo;t see her work as real farming, but she said it helps keep her connected to her roots.</p><p>&ldquo;We were the first generation, my husband and I, to be born off the farm,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>And she ran out to catch a goat who was wandering towards the CTA tracks on Lake street.</p><p>The first <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/chicagochickenenthusi/events/urban-livestock-expo" target="_blank">Chicago Urban Livestock Expo</a> takes place Saturday, February 16 from 10am to 1pm at the Garfield Park Conservatory.</p><p>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/goat-and-chicken-lovers-get-together-105557 Illinois to issue tougher regulations of large-scale livestock operations http://www.wbez.org/story/attorney/illinois-issue-tougher-regulations-large-scale-livestock-operations <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Shin Ichi_cows.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A recent federal investigation of livestock operations in Illinois has raised concerns about how well the industry is currently being monitored. An umbrella organization called Citizens for Clean Air and Water petitioned the study based on concerns with water pollution.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Danielle Diamond is an attorney with the group; she said she was pleased with the thoroughness of the EPA&rsquo;s investigation.</p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> <p class="MsoNormal">Bruce Yurdin is the director of field operations for the IEPA, he said the agency is already working to comply with the EPA&rsquo;s standards. Yurdin said the agency will make sure more animal feeding operations operate under permits. Yurdin said it will also create a statewide database to monitor those facilities.</p></p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/attorney/illinois-issue-tougher-regulations-large-scale-livestock-operations