Newspapers Don’t Want To Upset Their Chicken Advertisers
You know how it is folks… When your newspaper needs the revenue from advertising chicken wing sales, you can’t always publish the articles you want to.
Which is why both the Nation News and the Barbados Advocate lie when they tell you they are looking after the interests of the ordinary Bajans.
The trouble is… those newspapers lost all sense of duty to the public and became a sham where only money counts.
So here is a letter – purportedly from Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D. and Food Bio-technologist. If he didn’t send it, I’m sure he’ll let us know, so meanwhile we’ll say it is from him.
We haven’t changed one word in the body, although we have broken the article into smaller paragraphs. We have also added titles in Bold Italics again for readability.
So let’s see what Dr. Lucas has to say about the chicken monopoly on this rock and what can be done to lower food costs…
The Barbados Advocate Newspaper
Bridgetown , Barbados .
Recently, there have been calls by some persons, for the use of cassava and maize, in the production of local animal feeds as a measure in reducing costs. As the Minister of Agriculture rightly pointed out, the land acreage, as well as the ancillary requirements needed before the implementation of such activities, at this time, preclude their adoption. In any event, such a course would affect the acreage of land available, for the production of non-sugar crops for local consumption. I will now outline measures which can be adopted immediately, to reduce the cost to the consumers and farmers.
Water Added To Poultry To Increase Weight & Profits
The addition of water to locally produced poultry should be banned. I have in the past, written extensively on this topic in letters to your newspaper and have estimated that the addition of water at the ten-percent level to poultry, cost the consumers of this country, over one and a half million dollars per year. There are efforts a foot locally, to try to achieve a twenty-percent added level of water. The importation of chicken wings should be allowed and import duties on them reduced
The local feed company should be investigated, to ascertain whether or not its pricing policies are fair. As I have said on numerous occasions in your paper, the local poultry industry is a cartel and can charge the consumer what it feels like. The feed plant and the major slaughtering and rearing facilities are owned by a few persons.
Local Feed Company Partially Owned By A Company Guilty Of Price-Fixing
Additionally, the local feed plant apart from the local shareholders, is partly owned by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) company of the USA . In 1996, ADM, was fined U.S. 100 million dollars for price-fixing the cost of the amino acid lysine on the international market. It also pleaded guilty to conspiring with Ajinimoto of Japan and the Sewon Corporation of South Korea to eliminate competition ( US . Department of Justice, Financial Times 15/10/96, p1 and ibid 17/9/98). It took the action of a whistle blower, for this particular activity on ADM’s part to be discovered by the authorities
ADM was also found guilty of fixing the price of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in June 2004( New York Times, Business Section). In 2001, ADM was fined ₤10.13 million by the European Commission for conspiring with five other producers to fix the price of sodium gluconate, a food additive. On the 26th.September 2006, the European Court of First Instance, found ADM guilty of being part of a price-fixing cartel and fined the company ₤39.6 million for fixing the price of citric acid. ADM has also been investigated in Brazil and Mexico for price-fixing.
Competition Needed In Chicken Feed
It is suggested that, the importation of grain from Brazil be explored. There is a need for either another feed company locally or the importation of the raw material from other sources than the USA . According to one of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) ‘Business Daily’ programs of 2007, land is cheaper in Brazil and production costs are a lot less than in the USA. Indeed, some American farmers were moving to Brazil and farming soy and maize. It is claimed that, eventually, the price of oil will reached US$ 200 per barrel. What will the local poultry industry do then? Will the consumer be able to buy poultry? Will Government keep on with the imposition of the high common external tariff to protect an industry that really needs some competition ?
Yeast As Chicken Feed – A Great Idea!
I will now revisit the use of yeast (I have written on this before in your paper) as a viable source of protein for use in animal rations.
In a letter to the Advocate dated 7th.June 1998 I said the following: “The crux of the problem with the local poultry and livestock industries is the lack of a cheap locally produced feed. Until this matter is addressed, the local producers will always be at a comparative disadvantage.”
The most expensive input into a feed is the protein fraction. Energy can easily be provided by the use of carbohydrates such as cassava, breadfruit, potatoes and other starch and cellulose-based foods. Yeast (single cell protein) is on a dry weight basis high in proteins (about 40%). Yeast can be cultivated on a number of substrates. The substrates can be agriculture waste materials, including rinse water from fruits and vegetables, as well as paper and other cellulosic materials. Additionally, yeasts are obtained as a by-product of the fermentation of molasses in the manufacture of rum and alcohol.
The point I am making here, is that, there is no need to divert food intended for humans into the production of yeast.
I will now outline a sustainable method of producing single cell protein. Firstly, I will deal with the production of yeast as a by-product of the rum industry. Once the molasses has been diluted to the required level, ammonia sulfate added to the fermentation tank and sulfur dioxide used to suppress the level of contaminating microorganisms in the molasses substrate, the medium is then seeded with a pure-culture strain of the appropriate yeast. If the aim of the process is the production of high biomass yields, it is necessary to aerate the substrate, since aerobic conditions favors biomass production.
If production of alcohol (fermentation) is desired, then one has to use anaerobic conditions in the bio-fermentor and biomass production is lower. An impeller has to be used, ensuring uniform distribution of yeast in the medium in both instances. During growth of the yeast cells, heat is given off. The fermentation tank can be cooled down by means of water circulating in coils around the tank. Solar energy is used to cool the water in the coils and also power the impeller as well as a high-speed separator, which separates the yeast cells from the medium. Solar energy is also used to dry the yeast. A by-product of the fermentation of molasses is alcohol which is toxic to yeast cells once a threshold level is reached. There is, therefore, considerable free molasses left behind. The molasses-alcohol mixture is shunted to the fractional distillation column and alcohol and other low boiling point impurities distilled off.
The free molasses-water mix can be passed through a molecular sieve, to remove any chemical impurities as a result of the fermentation process ( acetone, lactic acid etc which may affect the growth of the yeast cells). In this case, the water in the coils used for cooling, can be used to pre-heat the hydraulic fluid of a reciprocating piston (attached to the molecular sieve) which supplies the pressure to drive the free molasses molecules through the membrane’s pores, before reentering the fermentation chamber.
A byproduct of the fermentation process is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide can be fixed using appropriate bacteria into five and six-carbon atoms (simple sugars) compounds, which can be recycled into the fermentation chamber. In other words, we are dealing with a closed system which is carbon dioxide neutral and there is no adverse effect on the environment. If cellulosic material (fiber cane) is used as the initial substrate, the enzyme cellulase is used to break down the cellulose into simple sugars, before being shunted into the fermentation chamber.
This is the basic two-step procedure that I have written about in your newspaper. A more elegant and cheaper method in the long run is the one-step method, which I have been proposing for more than twenty years and the Americans are at present working on. In this method, the gene for cellulase activity is spliced into bacteria or yeast, so that one organism is responsible for both the break down of cellulose into simple sugars and the conversion of these sugars into either yeast biomass or alcohol. Sixteen thousand acres of land are not required for the processes outlined above.
Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.