Heritage Breeds, More than a Hot Food Trend
Heritage breeds of livestock were created to solve a historical agricultural problem, production need or developed in a specific region – just like heirloom seeds. Also like heirloom seeds, they are rare and in danger of going extinct, which leaves our regional food reproduction and food security in remote corporate hands.
Traditional & Natural
Traditional agricultural values focused on animals being vigorous and healthy, able to thrive in the local region and forage on local pasture, natural reproduction and maternal instincts, and, most of all, reasonable production expectations that favored a healthy long-lived animal.
Modern industrial agricultural production arose in the 1950’s when the creation of highly specialized animals to produce the maximum amount of “protein” in the least amount of time, with the least amount of inputs, in the least amount of space no matter the cost became the focus.
Small-scale Local Food Security
Historically, our food reproduction and genetics were in the hands of many small-scale farmers across the world, which provided immense genetic diversity for animals and plants as well as regional isolation in case of a disease outbreak or natural disaster which can easily impact the entire nation’s food supply today.
A mere handful of corporations in the entire world own the modern parent stock or “genetics” for specialized industrial food production animals. In essence, our food production and reproduction is in remote corporate hands where results to shareholders and corporate profit are the main goals, not regional food security or animal welfare.
Lost along the way to maximizing corporate profits and reducing the cost of food was the genetic diversity, natural reproduction, strong immune systems, ability to thrive on pasture, basic maternal and survival instincts, intelligence, unique quality meat/eggs/fiber/feathers and trainability offered by the old fashioned, multi-purpose locally reproducible heritage breeds.