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Urban Agriculture Promotes Food Safety And Security

September 15, 2010 by  

Urban agriculture promotes food safety and security In this era of economic uncertainty and frequent health scares due to lax government oversight of food manufacturers, some Americans may be interested in raising their own livestock and food animals.

Proponents of this approach stress the independence and self-sufficiency that it can bring about. This is especially true in times when excess government spending threatens to produce inflation, which may lead to dollar depreciation and stores running out of food as people begin to stock up on supplies.

Raising one’s own food animals is also a good way to ensure cost-effective access to fresh meats and dairy, and can protect consumers from salmonella and other food-borne illness that have been in the news recently. That is because family-raised animals eat healthy, natural feed free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other toxins that are commonly used on commercial and industrial farms.

Chickens are among the easiest to raise on urban farms, in terms of ease of care, time commitment and cost, according to

There are many informational resources, including online and paper publications, that can answer many questions that would-be farmers may have, including how to procure chicks and how to care for them at different stages of their lives. There are also non-profit organizations that support urban chicken keepers and provide networking opportunities.

Other types of animals that can be raised on urban farms include ducks, goats, rabbits and bees.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19939413-ADNFCR

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  • dan az

    I have 50 chickens and they all lay brown eggs. What I can tell you is that they are easy to maintain and low cost to feed.Hence chicken feed!
    But if you go overboard on how many you have you will be suffering from to many eggs per day like me.50 hens 50 or more eggs per day.So keep it small and you wont get tired of eating eggs morning noon and night!

    • RickSC

      Why dont you sell your extra eggs Dan? We have no problem selling ours, and in fact we make more than enough to pay for all the chicken’s food.

      • dan az

        Rick SC
        I have been giving them away to all that wants them and after they eat them they are stuck on them no one can go back to store bought after that!

    • Joe Sullivan

      Having 50 Hens can be a little money making opportunity.Up Where i live I get 2.75 to 3.00 a dozen. My chickens are free range so it dos’nt cost much to feed them. Even if you have to many. You can give some to family and friends.People who live in urban areas would do well with about six Hens.NOT ROOSTERS.AND FOR OTHERS READING THIS No you don’t need roosters to get eggs. in fact most cities will not allow Roosters in city limits

      • http://?? Joe H.

        Joe Sullivan,
        you need to check if your community will allow chickens at all!!! Most in my area will not!!

  • Harold

    This person is misinformed, A chicken does not lay more than one egg a day. It takes approx. 27 hours for a hen to make and egg. The exception is ISA Browns which can make an egg in 22 hours. The color of an egg depends on the breed. For instance Leghorns lay white eggs. ISA browns lay brown eggs etc.

    • dan az

      The only ones that are misinformed are my chickens alot of them lay two a day sorry Ill let them know about what you read and maybe I wont have as many to worry about thanks!

  • Stephen

    Permaculture is the way to independence. I think the reason there was not mass starvation when the USSR collapsed is because most of the food was coming from small 1 or 2 acre plots. That is probably not going to happen here.
    The food safety bill is going to be a nightmare for small conscientious food producers and it is going to force the majority to be dependent on unhealthy factor produced food.

    • Soldier

      There are tons of edible insects, plants, worms, etc. If you are starving to death, what would you do to survive? Insects are a good source of protein. The funny thing is, eating insects, worms, wild edible plants (if you can correctly ID the non-poison ones which is a big deal) is probably better for you than all the GMO artificial crap at 7/11. Course, I am certain grasshopper ain’t exactly as tasty as pizza…. But if your choice is 1. die 2. eat something so you don’t die, which option is superior?

      • dan az

        You are a very sick puppy but know thanks Ill pass on that and you can have mime!

    • Richard Pawley

      I think you may be referring to SB 510 which the Congress has been trying to ram through for years now. It would give the Federal Government control and regulation over every garden in America, and you would not be able to sell your surplus eggs without complying with federal regulation. It’s like the regulations that the Pelosi-Reid Health Care Bill will impose upon small businesses starting in January which will cost them an additional 16 Billion dollars to comply, and require an additional 16,000 IRS agents to keep track of (every single purchase of $600 or more per year from every business in the USA). Our increasingly fascist-like government wants to know who is buying what and from whom and if this is allowed to go into effect in January will it be long before they want to know not just what business are buyinb but what individual Americans are buying? This is not AMERICAN but even some Republicans are not going to fight to change it and this is why we must elect Tea Party Republicans and other conservatives this November and in two years. This already passed part of the health care bill will keep many business’s from expanding and drive some to an underground economy. Where do they find these people in Washington?

      Some in Congress (70 are members of the Democratic Socialists of America) don’t seem to want us to be independent and self-sufficient in even a little degree. If they can’t regulate our gardens then they will try to sneak in SB 1689 that will eventually eliminate private home ownership so they can have even more control over our lives from birth to death. This goes along with the “sustainability of housing” of the 1993 UN Accord but Congress has to pass it. This 111th Congress has got to be the worst in my lifetime and they are truly insane with greed and power to even consider such laws. THEY MUST BE REPLACED and they seem to be. For example the most anti-gun Republican in Congress, Mike Castle of Delaware has just been replaced with a Tea Party Republican, Christine O’Donnell, and there is hope that others, Democrat and Republican, elitists and those who think like Marxists can be sent home to their well earned retirement, hopefully in Cuba, which some seem to love so much. They have worked hard to “fundamentally change” our country and to install new taxes and increase old ones, and to spend all they can get their hands on, but things are looking up! Maybe we can send a bunch more of them home in November. PS. Make sure the chicken feed you buy is non-GMO. I read a report that in South Africa they fed some American chicken feed to the local chickens and they wouldn’t eat it. They hadn’t been raised on it and they knew there was something fundamentally not right about it. I recently purchased 50 pounds of organic popcorn (regular popcorn being one of the top ten most polluted foods in the USA) for $64 at the local health food store and I repackaged it in 35 jars with an 8 cent oxygen absorber in each one. I can now have organic popcorn twice a week if I want for the next four and a half years or once a week for nine years. Interesting times we live in and they are going to get a whole lot more interesting. May God bless America and all who truly care about her.

      • Kate8

        Richard, Animals won’t eat GMO food unless they are starving. And if they do, they get all kinds of digestive disorders and illnesses. Every time I go to the pet store to try to find some kind of more organic food for my cats, every person who comes in has the same problem with their pets – IBD or other digestive problems.

        There was corn in my squirrel feeder last year, and the squirrels threw it all out.

        Cattle and other livestock fed GMO grain have thin, perforated intestines, and the meat smells and tastes nasty.

        GMO fed people experience the same health problems.

  • Cribster

    Man, I wish our “leaders” would never have come back from vacation. There’s a flurry of activity out of congress, none of it good!

    Food safety action alert;

  • http://gmail i41

    With the hope change out of liberal government controlling food production, tell Congress not to idle more farm and ranch land. County and several states are trying to out law excess food or home grown food to be sold. We used to raise butcher hogs to sell to individuals. There was a small inspected butcher shop that would process the animal to customers wants. There is several producersthat will raise livestock,cattle, pigs, and fowl for city dweller to pick out and get processed.The difference between food raised as it should be not, as some wonk wants it to be. I see Big Mamee is trying to get more government control of food delivery which is but one step. So who is watching her garden or was that just another photo op. Gardening and livestock food production is not something that is for non stop week long vacationing. FYI there used to be lots of action barns and now there is very few, because of vertical intergration of 4 processors controlling food, from the owning the food from planting, birth, to prodction or growing, to finsih or grow out, and to processing to store shelves. That is vertical intergration couple with the yearly deluge of infringement independent producers. ADM, Contenntal Grain, Con-AG, CHS, and 2 others control grain sales and are loooking for a strangle hold on wheat, corn, and rice. Read the backs of food packaging. These same groups receive millions of taxpayer funds that was supposed to be for small family producers. This probably more info than anyone wants but it just another case of a few crooks getting alot of your taxpayers money given to them for doing nothing but holding out their grubby hands.

  • Kate8

    The truth is, they have to make it impossible for us to have access to healthy food and water. This is a necessary part of their population reduction plan.

    Our ABILITY to raise our own food is in question. With the determination of this Congress to outlaw all home food production (in order to comply with the WHO Codus Aliamentarius) and, of course, food storage (hoarding).

    We won’t have to all die of starvation, because the commercial food is making us sick, and the forced “treatments” will finish us off.

    Yikes. We need to stop these devils.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      I put up 54 quarts of tomatoes, 27 quarts of beans, and 15 quarts of mustard pickles this year!! Let em’ tell me I can’t do that!!

  • s c

    This is an idea whose time has come. Growing your own food is head-and-shoulders above relying on a corrupt government to pamper one’s sorry rump. Do what you have to do to be INDEPENDENT, people.
    As for the twits who love Uncle Scam and his “special” ways, please line up to wait for handouts from Uncle Scam. Don’t grow your own food. TRUST in Uncle Scam to take care of you. Those of you who live in population centers, let us know when your absolute belief in Uncle Scam starts to waver (it won’t be long now). Sleep well, progressives, if you can.

  • Dave

    We have 25 leghorns but they are not laying yet. In about 3 weeks they will be old enough to start laying. Feed costs are about $1/day and that is feed from the feed mill. Once they are fully mature I will give them oats and wheat to suppliment the laying rations.We also let them graze a lot, they seem to prefer grass over almost anything.

    Leghorns average around 300 eggs per year, per chicken, if you control the lighting in the winter. I won’t bother as we will get at least a doz. per day even in the winter. The hatchery also gave us 3 turkey chicks for $1 each. They are 8 weeks old now so should be ready by Chistmas. Chickens require so little work I don’t know why more people are not getting into them. 6 chickens could be fed easily with fresh table scraps, supplimented with a bit of grain and oyster shells. I bet it would not cost more than a $1 a week to keep them.

    • eddie47d

      Many communities had banned all farm animals (except horses:)but that is starting to change back;at least for chickens and bee keepers.We have too “re-learn” self sufficiency with plants and animals.

      • Dave

        They tried to start that crap here as well. The back lash from constituents showed they would be unemployed after the next election if the laws were passed. You would be amazed how much attention politicians pay to letters from the public.

  • eddie47d

    More doublespeak from the Livingston news desk. First he says there is lax government oversight,(which I think is true. Then he always promotes less government which cuts these budgets which leads to less government oversight. In the next paragraph he says there is excess government spending.(true). Which he means he wants less government but wants the government to do more to watch over the health and safety of Americans. You can’t have it both ways Bob! I say hooray for the small farmer,organics and range free foods.The liberals have been promoting and supporting these facets for a very long time. Although liberals and conservatives have been working their back yard gardens since -forever.It was the hippie -back to the land movement in the 60′s that sparked renewed interest in organic. They were laughed at and the battle for range free foods is still on going albeit a very good fight for the health of this nation. Whose winning? Big Corporate farms,Monsanto and other chemical companies and also cattle factory ranches. The beef industry has been pumping hormones into cattle for over 50 years. I see the need for mass production of farm animals but their close living conditions are quite unhealthy.

    • Dave

      Actually it is the “liberal” juristicions that oppose small farming, at least in Canada. Alberta is conservative and there you can have 300 laying hens and 1000 broilers without any permit. B.C., which is the Canadian equal of California, allows a maximum of 50 birds period.

      Statist regimes LIKE large government regulated business and deplore independant unregulated production of anything. Look how much Tyson Foods has grown in the last year.

      • Mike In MI

        Dave – Yah, look at TYSON.

        Back in the nineties they laid a bunch of eggs in Bill Clinton’s basket. Suddenly there were a flurry of rles and laws that put a bunch of small producers and Tyson’s competition out of business. (Can you imagine such a thing!?!) I expect they also supplied Hillary’s husband with more than a few chicks, too – but, I digress. From worst to first for Tyson…almost over night.
        Tyson…ho-o-lee crap…their whole story mirrors what has made this country become a vestige of what it was and could be. But, I’ll bet Tyson’s HQ is always draped in the flag and expressions of what great people the Tysons were/are. It would be fitting if they got some of their own bad chickens and go out all crooked and gagging like they’ve done to America. They deserve a BIG dose.

        • Dave

          The dairy industry is pretty much a monopoly as well now with just a few huge players. These megacorps could care less what party is in power as they have huge influence on the media [due to their advertising budgets] the universities and research councils [through grants and funding] It only takes a few phone calls to whip up a frenzy against percieved threat to their monopoly.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          If you or someone you know buys one of the family packs of leg quarters from the grocers that is from tyson, tell them to check out how much fat is added to the package to get it up to weight!! We bought a ten pound pack to break up into smaller packs and there was over 3/4 of a pound of loose chicken fat in the pack that brought it up to the ten pound weight. We called them on it and they sent us a coupon for another bag!!

  • eddie47d

    What about private industries G M O ‘s? What about these G E’s (genetically engineered) salmon.

    • ValDM

      Frankenfoods have been around for more than 15 years. If you’re eating conventionally grown food, you’re getting Frankenfoods. GMO tomatoes, strawberries, green beans have all been targets for grocery stores. As for salmon, if you eat wild caught Pacific salmon, you are doing better than the average food consumer. If you’re eating farm-raised fish of any identity, may as well quit that. Eating farm raised fish is equal to eating the fattiest piece of beef you can lay your hands on. Eat wild caught fish, grass fed beef and lamb, and free range chicken.

      • ValDM

        I forgot one thing. Stay away from Soy. Soy has been touted and being a good source for protein replacement for vegans. Any soy product that is not fermented (miso, tofu, soy sauce or tamari is dangerous; especially soy milk. The 2 biggest producers of soy are Monsanto and DuPont. Are you willing to help make these Megalopolies richer? When and if you can, go to and see if you can’t make better choices in you food purchases.

  • Kate8

    The government is planning to slaughter all livestock in America, in the name of “food safety”. This is about this new bill they have waiting in Congress.

    All of these outbreaks of e coli, salmonella, etc. are all contrived to justify the takeover of our food supply by government. Their purpose is to destroy the small farmer in America, and that includes the “backyard” farmer.

    This is serious, people. They are planning another false flag involving our food, namely livestock, and all the healthy animals will be destroyed as well.

    We’d better get a grip soon, because this runaway train is picking up speed.

    • Mike In MI

      Everybody – While you’re protecting the animals…

      Hide your sons and daughters. Bill Clinton and a bunch of his buds want your daughters. Barney’s coming after the rest.

    • Joe Sullivan

      You know Kate i was thinking that you were one of those misinformed left wing kooks. Until i read it myself. I live on a farm upstate N.Y.I have Holstein cows and oxen. Raised for my enjoyment. So are my chickens.They are my pets And ill tell you what. I and i know my neighbors would fight till the last breath , anyone who tried to take that right from us. Yes that constitutional right to private property!

      • Kate8

        Joe, I’ve been accused of being a right-wing kook, but never have I been mistaken for being left before! LOL.

        The sad thing is, when you try to tell folks about all the insanity going on with our Congress et al, they DO think your nuts. It just sounds tooooooo absurd and over the top.

        Unfortunately, the truth is more bizarre than anything I could make up.

        BTW, surely you know they are also trying to outlaw even backyard gardens, in the name of ‘food safety’, don’t you? And it gets much worse.

      • dan az

        Joe sullivan
        this site exposes what and why the govenment is doing what they are.check it out!

        • Kate8

          dan az, thanks for the site. I saved it and will check it out.

  • Kate8

    There are several good articles related to this food bill on

  • eddie47d

    What about private industries G M O ‘s? Now they have G E’s (genetically engineered) salmon. In 2004 AquaBounty Tecnologies has been working on mutant Atlantic salmon. They take the DNA from Pacific salmon + an eelpout and put it into an Atlantic salmon. They will be hatched on Prince Edwards Island and then flown to Panama for growth. There they will be put in inland tanks somewhat like chicken farms. Maturity for these fish will be 16-18 months instead of 30 months for a normal salmon.All these modified fish will be females who can’t reproduce but will produce male sperm. This sperm will be taken back and used to fertilize other Atlantic salmon. These new fish also have a new set of chromosomes ;3 instead of 2. They will also be born in cold salt water but raised in warm fresh water. So far they have a 17% deformity rate compared to 1 1/2 % for a normal salmon. They are not in the market yet but their label will say produced in Panama.

    • http://?? Joe H.

      I spent a year in the canal zone and I wouldn’t eat anything raised in their waters!!!

  • http://gmail i41

    Beef production doesn’t use diestestrbol as implants on livestock when they are growing. That stopped in the 80′s. Canada uses antibotics that have been outlawed for decades in their livestock. But the big 4 slaughter houses control all livestock entering the processing plants. Live cattle are shipped in to the USA and warehouse to control market prices the small feeders get, usually from $100- $400 a hd. With the packer owning , controlling, and manually controlling prices from start to finish, the consumers take what is offered.It goes against the 1920 Stockyard and Packers Act. But most consumers don’t have a clue or give a rtat’s bladder about it. It goes back to FDR and his avowed communist Sec. of Ag. plan was to have government decide what should be planted, what could be harvest, and the price people would get. In the late 60′s it was a choice to get out for producers if they wanted to from under Agriculture Soil Conservation Services deciding what owners could plant or do with their own land. Now the puke agencies are using wonks planning if owners should plant grains, hay, or pay people to do nothing but let weeds and wildlife grow. If all the millions of acres that have been idle, wed for decades and probably decades more were left to the owners either figurehow to pay the costs with out taxpayers funds, it would employee 5 people for every 80 acres of current idle taxpayer covered land. This has been happening to force more people to cities and give government control over food production and land use. The socialist democrats are always in favor of corralling people in pens and force feeding what some dork like Big Mamee thinks is best for you. Chickens were vertial intergrated in the 60′s, the 80′s seen hogs get vertically intergrated, and now the big push is for beef production. Dairy is controlled by federal milk and cheese buying programs, or unions or corporations. I don’t think the urban people will ever wake up or give a damn until it is too late. The preppy persona clowns are conditioned to think manual is for the dumb people and working with your hands and mind worthless or beneath the college idoits. Just ask in any gathering how many people could kill and process their food, or even grind their own flour? You will be lucky to find 15% of the people willing to do that, even in rural areas. The pusified food comes from the store is taught in the schools or only eat vegan style. Do away with the damn 400 billion dollar farm programs!

    • Dave


      That is the best post on this subject I have seen here! Thanks.

  • paul

    In lafayette ind. some people tried to get passed a law that would let you have pet chickens ..less than five, but no deal people said that the chickens would stink etc.

    • Kate8

      paul, when I was a kid in a rural town, my dad raised chickens, rabbits, fruit trees, berries and a huge vegetable garden, all on 1/3 acre. He kept it clean and I do not remember any smell problem.

      In fact, many people in our town raised chickens, horses, cows and all, and I remember the air being fresher than what we have now.

  • http://gmail i41

    Dave, thank you, I live for agriculture and food production. I get so disgusted with people who keep letting agencies control their lives and how stupid federal elected officals from ag production states are. These representives are in letting a few comglomerates contol food production and all the 2nd class food being allowed in to the USA. If Dept of Ag with Dept of Ed were abolished tomorrow several hundreds of billions of taxpayers dollars could be saved. When I read people wiggin out over GMO foods, the reason the crops produce more and better food is gentic cross breeding , which creates plants that fungus and bacteria cann’t harm or kill you. Ergut or a smut is what caused the mind altering condition of the Salem trials, all grains have a procivity for smut at certain growing conditions. a mold on corn can kill the animal if i is on the feed, the bs about the eggs that caused salomenalla, trying to blame it on the feed, what crap. Chicken have samenella in their flesh, which is why it must be cooked well done, all mammals including humans have it in their guts. When hamburger gets recalled it is because of the mixing of scraps or trimmings from all over and gets lumped together, ground up and packaged and shipped all over. While local stores used to process swinging halves, and make their own hamburger on the spot. if you consumers or producers would let you state local and federal elected officals what government meddling is making everyone made. The next to go will be farmers markets.

    • Kate8

      i41, I beg to differ on your stance on GMO. You spout the prevailing propaganda, but it just isn’t so. Do some research into how these things are actually created, and you’ll understand why they are dangerous to our health and the health of the planet.

      The plant genes are spliced with others that are toxic to humans and animals, they are spliced with viruses and other pathogens, and with pesticides. Of course they are resistant to pests – they are toxic to other living things. Note the instances of bees and other insects found dead around GMO crop fields.

      Livestock fed with GMO grain have weak, perforated intestines. I have a friend who owns a small slaugherhouse, and he says when he opens them up and sees and smells the meat, he refuses to process it.

      As I stated before, animals won’t willingly eat GMO feed. There is a reason for this. They instinctively know it is bad.

      • dan az

        that makes sense have you noticed there are no bees!

  • Genevie Digeorgio

    The difficulty using Private label rights items is most people fail to make use of it in the right way. These people really should either put it to use to find ideas for themes to write about or perhaps entirely re-write it or spin it up and subsequently set his or her own name into it.


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