Animal Feed is Going Gourmet

pigs, farmers, antibiotics, health, With the rising concern of GMO's, animal health, and the effects of the food we are consuming at record numbers, I believe everyone has a concern about the foods that we digest. In the times of numerous restaurants opening up every day, and the constant want of a 24-hour restaurant, food is being produced faster and faster, even if it's not the safest. Farmers are taking notice of their animals and switching up things for the better, not just for the animal, but for the customer as well. Gourmet animal feed is now the topic of conversation, and farmers are designing specialty feed for their animal's health and enjoyment.

Russ Kremer, a pig farmer from Missouri hasn't purchased animal feed in over 30 yrs due to producing his own feed for his pigs. Kremer, the inspiration behind the add for Chipotle in 2011, grazes his pigs in a pasture and feeds them grains and legumes that he grows or buys from another farmer. Although it costs extra time and extra money, farmers say that they became turned off from conventional feed, which consists of corn, soybeans, blood protein, animal waste and rendered fat. According to NPR: The Salt blog, farmers are feeding their pigs everything from barley, legumes, flaxseeds, even avocados, which diners say makes the meat actually taste better because of this diet change. With less antibiotics and hormones in the feed, pigs are living happier and healthier lives, and chefs in return are loving the change.

Do you think gourmet feed will be better for the health and longevity of farmers, animals, and patrons?

For more Food News stories:

$165 Billion in Food Waste: What Can You Do?

Home Grocery Delivery and the Environment

The Health Benefits of Avocados

A Stinky Proposition

Kitchen Takeover: Animal House

Pay attention to the folks you meet in college--they may just be your next kindred spirit and business partner. The tasteful team of Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo comprise this very template, friends turned culinary entrepreneurs who have risen to great acclaim in a short time span.  Since leaving the kitchens of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, they are the creative innovators behind the slightly more turf Animal Restaurant and definitely more surf Son of a Gun, garnering such prestigious awards as the Best Food and Wine Chefs of 2009, two James Beard nominations, Rising Star Chefs and Wine List of the Year by GQ Magazine.

Shook and Dotolo have undeniably imprinted their culinary stamp on Baja California, yet despite their accolades they continue to harbor down-to-earth tastes; munching on cheeseburgers as their favorite after-hours meal and showcasing the staff's baby pictures on their website. When pressed for their own favorite eateries, they head to Matsuhisa Restaurant for quality Japanese or Mozza for fine Italian dining and pizza. A culinary trifecta is on the horizon for this evening, as Marcus joins Shook, Dotolo and an intimate crowd of very lucky diners at Son of a Gun to demonstrate and share recipes inspired from Yes, Chef so be sure to stay tuned for behind-the-scenes updates on Twitter (@MarcusCooks) complete with plenty of pictures.

If a visit to star-studded LA visit isn't in the immediate future, the Sons have graced us with the secret to their Lobster Roll recipe.

Photos: Vinny Dotolo, Jon Shook and KayOne73

Want to see the Animal boys take over Food Republic's Instagram? Click here for a peek.