Exmoor Skyline

Avoiding Soya

We believe it is key for environmental health to avoid crops such as soya and palm. These are both linked to deforestation and high transport costs as they are not able to be grown in this country in scale. Read more below for detailed reasoning.

We have made a commitment to ensure our website is completely soya and palm free. This includes all of our pantry products, and ensuring any of the meat produce we sell, that the animals did not have soya in their diets. Soya and Palm, are linked to mass deforestation and destruction of habitats. Their production methods mean farmland becomes exhausted and requires heavy man-made inputs to remain prodYou can read in much greater detail below why this is so important. 

 Animal feed importance - Avoiding Soya, Palm and Animal protein


 

Avoiding Soya

 

It is of the utmost importance that we source feeds for animals responsibly for the current environment and land. Cows sheep and goats can grow, and manage without extra feed. Pigs and in particular chickens will become too inefficient at growing using just the natural food off the pastures, they can be supplement with UK crops such as wheat and barley. Soya, Palm and Animal derived feeds are three things we avoid.

Soya in feed for livestock is often used due to the high protein content and relative cheap price. Using these feeds would be a quick and easy way to grow animals, however we believe it is not the best way for these reasons . Soya has been correlated to contribute to mass deforestation on a global scale for it's growth. It cannot be grown in the UK so also contributes to excessive air miles needed for it's transport. 

 

Feed based off what a Chicken may naturally find for example, grass, insects, worms and seeds for example is the best food. A natural diet while adding some UK based food that can be naturally grown here bumps up the efficiency to end up with animals that reach their full potential.

Soya used in other foods for direct human consumption are often avoided for the same high food mile and deforestation issues. However in modern day we have plenty of substitutes that can be UK grown such as soya lecithin that can easily be replaced with sunflower lecithin.

 

Avoiding Animal based feeds

 

But we also look into the history and chemical status of the areas of where the feed comes from, pigs and chickens can be fed with animal by-products such as fish meal. This is banned for ruminants such as Cows and sheep, however some factory style farms still use this method for pork and chicken production. Fishmeal is used as it is very digestible and contains a level of high quality protein. However we believe this should be avoided partly for safety reasons, it is an unnatural diet and is often high in heavy metals found in fish, particularly fish that would not be safe for human consumption.

For example, after World War Two, canisters with approximately 17,000 tons of the organophosphate nerve gases sarin and tabun, 14,0000 tons of phosgene, 120,0000 tons of mustard gas, as well as other waste munitions, white phosphors etc. and propellants such as nitro glycerine were removed from Queniborough and other ordnance and storage depots, these were then shipped out and dumped along fault lines such as Beaufort dyke, under the irish and north seas, these areas have since been intensively trawled for the provision of fish protein for both human and livestock consumption in the UK. The gradual corrosion these canisters by the salty sea water and mechanical damage due to the laying of cables on the sea bed, led to reports of munitions leaking into the open seas , fishermen have suffered acute intoxication as a result indicating the start of a wide scale contamination of the local marine food chain.

 

Corroding canisters containing white phosphorus and mustard gas munition have been washed up on Irish and UK beaches since the late 1980s. Phosphorus represents one of the nucleating agents that can seed metal protein crystals in biological tissues, related to tumour cell growth. This is a fine example of why to eat meat we have to be extremely scrupulous of where their feed has come from, fish meal used in these animal feeds could affect the animals negatively potentially contaminating meat sources.

 

UK Government analyses of sea bed sediment and the "edible" portion of the fish has been unable to identify the parent compounds of the particular types of chemical munitions that were dumped in these seas, this study however failed to analyse the samples for specific metabolites that are known to degrade via alkaline hydrolysis from these types of chemical ordnance. Thousands of tons of "inedible" fish were bio concentrated into animal feeds, this was banned in 1988. Non-ruminants such as pigs and chickens can still be fed this however under UK regulations, the use is controlled to check farms and ensure there is no risk of cross contaminations into animals that it would be illegal to be fed this.

Potentially there is risk of consuming meat from animals fed with contaminated "inedible" fish meal. To pinpoint the areas of high risk fish is highly difficult, however it is unnatural to be feeding pigs and chickens a diet like this, neither animal would eat these in the wild. So the best step we decided is to avoid it altogether.

 

Unfortunately, The EU have lifted the ban recently on feeding animal by-products "The proposed change in legislation allows processed animal protein (PAPs) from pigs to be used in poultry feed, and from poultry to be used in pig feed." [*2]. 

Less bio concentrate of fish-meal is used today, as a replacement, Soya and Palm are used with their high protein content, this now being something damaging to the environment, but less risk to human health. Sometimes soya free chicken contains this waste fish-meal in areas of the US as an advertising ploy. So as wholesale we need to avoid all of these things. Locally and responsibly grown ingredients are needed.

 

Traceability of not just the animals, but their feed is incredibly Important, so we can sell it with confidence in the product. 

[*2] PigProgress - EU lifts ban on animal by-products in pig feed