Soybeans, Corn for sale from farmgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Farm-Direct Grains for Sale
My name is Gary Hansen. I grow corn and soybeans on a third-generation Nebraska family farm. We normally market our grain to large commercial elevators. For two reasons, we're now making our products available directly to end-users. The first reason is the clear interest in buying quality grains as a hedge against Y2K problems; the second reason is that current wholesale grain prices are far below our cost of production. (A situation, btw, which jeopardizes the livelihoods of those who operate one of this country's core industries; if you've heard that the situation's serious, you haven't heard wrong.) By selling direct we're branching into the realm of the "middleman" to augment our income.
You may have seen posts indicating that food which can be fed to livestock can, alternatively, be eaten by people. While there's some truth to this, a little more explanation is needed. Some of what we grow on our farm every year is consumed by people, and some by animals. The quality of the grain that goes for animal feed normally is sufficient, as it stands in the field, for human consumption. However, on our farm and others, grain destined for human consumption receives substantially better treatment at several stages during and after harvest to ensure a quality, safe product. Steps are taken to reduce mechanical damage to grain kernels and higher than normal percentages of broken and damaged kernels are removed. Before temporary storage, food-grain is dried to lower moisture levels and may receive extra aeration. More stringent damage and moisture standards prevent growth of undesirable organisms including molds and fungi which might, in small amounts, be acceptable for some livestock uses but which are wholly unacceptable for human use. Undoubtedly the quality of some animal feed is roughly on a par with that of human-channel grain, but most is not -- and more importantly, many differences can't be detected by sight or even by taste or thoroughly eliminated by cleaning. In addition, food grains are often the products of plant varieties selected for superior taste or milling traits which aren't present in all feed-grade grains, and some feed grains have qualities that may be particularly objectionable for human use.
Now, to get to what we have to offer... This year's harvest is finished. We now have soybeans bagged and ready to ship and milling corn will be ready in a few days. The soybeans are at 11.5% moisture and are in heavy, multilayer paper bags, 50# net weight per bag. (The standard soybean bushel is 60#.)
Our beans are priced at $12.50 per bag at the farm in south central Nebraska. We've negotiated shipping by truck at a *very* large discount over standard tariff rates and can quote shipping costs if you email us your zip code. Shipping rates vary with distance and region, but as an *example*, shipping on an order I recently quoted to a Texas address ran $196/1000# or a little under 20 cents/lb. (Shipping can be prepaid or paid on receipt at your option; the cost is the same either way.)
In our area we pay $15 for a 50# bag of milling wheat (it recently went up a dollar). On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybeans are currently priced 80% higher than wheat. In the example above (going to Texas), the price with shipping is $22.30/bag; this is only 49% (rather than 80%) above the cost of wheat delivered to our location, making our beans a serious bargain relative to wheat.
High-quality, whole-kernel yellow milling corn will be available to ship by 12/16/98. It makes excellent corn bread and will be packaged at 10% moisture which makes it store and mill great even with stone burrs. The corn is $9.00/50# bag (FOB the farm). Minimum order size is 20 bags. Obviously, 1000# is more food than most people are accustomed to buying at one time, but there are other farm-direct sellers with 4000# minimums and although we also would like to sell two tons or more with each order, we hope our policy is a compromise more people can live with. We know from experience that most people can talk to a few friends and split up an order if it's more than they need; we have, in fact, already had orders above the minimum. Corn and beans can be combined to reach 20 bags.
Corn you may be familiar with... but why buy soybeans... what do soybeans offer? A whole lot; more than most people realize. There are some excerpts and links below with information on the soybean's outstanding nutritional qualities, as well as some recipes. Soybeans are good by themselves and make an excellent addition to a multitude of dishes. At our house we like to prepare them in a pressure cooker. If you'd like detailed directions on how to do that, please ask.... I'm afraid this post is long enough as it is :-)
Thanks, we hope to hear from you.
Gary Hansen Aurora, Nebraska
Soybeans (from http://www.execpc.com/~veggie/recipes.html#brownies):
"The simplest and most unrefined soyfood is the humble soybean. Its only disadvantage is that it takes so long to cook, but I usually cook 2 or 3 cups of dried beans at a time, and freeze them in 1 1/2 cup portions. To cook soybeans, first soak them in plenty of water in the refrigerator overnight. Then drain the soybeans, and cook them at a strong simmer in fresh water for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until very tender (you should be able to squish them easily between your tongue and the roof of your mouth). Undercooked soybeans are not well digested, so be sure to cook them long enough. If you have a pressure cooker (I don't--yet!), you'll probably want to use it for soybeans, since the cooking time is greatly decreased and the beans will be softer. Canned soybeans are another option, but they aren't nearly as good as home-cooked.
If you've never tasted cooked soybeans, you're in for a real treat! These golden yellow smooth beans have a rich mild flavor that's appealing even to young children. Soybeans are nutritional powerhouses, offering 149 calories, 87 milligrams of calcium, 46 micrograms of folic acid, 4.4 milligrams of iron, 14 grams of protein, 7.7 grams of fat (only 1.1 grams saturated fat) and more than 5 grams of dietary fiber per 1/2 cooked cup portion."
Soyfoods Nutrition Information (from http://soyfoods.com/nutrition/nutrition.html):
"Although soyfoods are widely recognized for their nutritional qualities, interest in soyfoods has risen recently because scientists have discovered that a soy component called isoflavones appears to reduce the risk of cancer. More research needs to be done to determine exactly how isoflavones work, but it appears that as little as one serving of soyfoods a day may be enough to obtain the benefits of this anticancer phytochemical."
(((Note: A lot of the information at these sites pertains to processed soy products. The chart at the following site shows that to get the most of the soybean's nutritional riches, you can't beat the whole bean. See the "Roasted" entries.)))
-- Gary Hansen (email@example.com), December 01, 1998
I am interested in purchasing some soybeans/corn from this source, however i certainly don't need 1000 # myself. Does anyone else in the California area want to go in on this? If so, e mail me directly. Damian.
-- Damian Solorzano (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 1998.
For those considering this I point to an earlier thread I posted in this forum on my own soybean taste test:
Soybeans for Y2K food: A successful taste test!
FYI, we're splitting an order between friends.
Another great source of useful information related to food and food storage in general is "Alan Hagan's Prudent Food Storage FAQ (3.0)" which can be downloaded as a 123KB Zip file from:
Here's some of what they say on soybeans:
SOYBEANS: An entire university could be founded on the culinary and industrial uses of the soybean. It is by far the legume with the highest protein content in commercial production as well as being the other legume oilseed alongside the peanut. The beans themselves are small, and round with a multitude of different shades. Because of their high oil content, they are more sensitive to oxygen exposure than other legumes and precautions should be taken accordingly if they are to be kept for more than a year in storage. Although the U.S. grows a very large percentage of the global supply, we consume virtually none of them directly. Most of them go into cattle feed, are used by industry or exported. What does get eaten directly has usually been processed in some fashion. Soybean products range from tofu, to tempeh, to textured vegetable protein (TVP) and hundreds of other uses.
They don't lend themselves well to just being boiled until done and eaten the way other beans and peas do [Note from Arnie: You CAN boil them but plan on it taking all day -7 to 8 hours. The quickest and most fuel efficient way is in the pressure cooker]. For this reason, if you plan on keeping some as a part of your storage program (and you should) you would be well served to begin to learn how to process and prepare them now when you're not under pressure to produce. That way you can throw out your mistakes and order pizza, rather than having to choke them down, regardless.
If you want to purchase in bulk then you may be able to find "pre-cleaned" which means that it has been passed through fans, screens or sieves to remove chaff, smut balls, insect parts, mouse droppings and other debris. It probably won't be in any form of packaging and you may have to provide your own container. There may be minimum purchase amounts as well. If the moisture content is in the right range then nothing will need to be done other than to put it up in your own storage packaging. Be certain to make sure it is intended for human food use, otherwise read the cautionary text below.
Also read the info there on storage techniques and spoilage. Properly stored, soybeans will last quite a while and their food value, pound for pound, is hard to beat. Our family, after trying them and following up with the research believes that they offer an excellent, cost-effective hedge against Y2K related shortages. They're pretty yummy too.
-- Arnie Rimmer (email@example.com), December 01, 1998.
I must have missed it so could you provide me with contact informatiin so I know how to get in touch with you if I decide to order some corn and/or beans? Please email your information to me.
Thanks, Rod Beary
-- Rod Beary (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 01, 1998.
You didn't mention that your product was organic...so I assume it isn't. Therefore do you not have to have it tested to determine the level of pesticides and other chemicals that distinguish it from livestock food and that meet requirements to make it alright for human consumption. Also, I understand that grains that come direct from the grower will have a tremendous amount of insects in the grains that will require extra cleaning before storing. If this is true, you should inform those before purchasing, just so they know what to expect. Thanks.
-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 02, 1998.
First, to address a couple of questions posed here and by email: We don't have a web page or take orders by credit card at this point. We've simply been doing business by email, and that's been working. The grains can be paid for by cashier's check or money order, and as mentioned earlier, actual shipping costs can be paid ahead or on receipt at the buyer's option. Email us your zip code and we can quote the shipping and send our address and phone number along. A web page and credit-card orders may be in the offing.
As for "what to expect", our customers can expect extremely clean, high quality, nutritious food.
There are, indeed, bugs in fields; trillions and trillions of them -- and weeds too. (Of course, they're big fields.) Which is precisely why we, like the vast majority of food producers, make judicious use of selective herbicides and insecticides to keep them from eating, fouling, or stunting your food before it gets to you. I do have friends who raise organic produce; they produce far less of it per man hour than conventional growers do, and it is, accordingly, much more expensive to grow and to buy. Aside from the question of whether we *should* all eat only organically grown food, *could we*? I think we could, but to do so would require many millions of people to convert from consumers to full-time farmers and to learn a great deal (believe it or not) before they could do the job with much success. Because organic price premiums are offered only by a small segment of the purchasing population, these millions of additional full-time farmers would have to work second jobs (over and above their 8-12 hour day, 6-7 day weeks on the farm) to support themselves and their families -- the market certainly won't do it.
Interestingly, such a large-scale return to the land is a change anticipated by many who are concerned about Y2K outcomes. If there's one thing I try never to predict, it's the future, but I'll say this: It's a grim prospect to envision most people attempting to provide for themselves and their families without the benefit of chemicals that are applied to the typical garden in multiples (often double-digit multiples) of the rates used on modern farms. Insects, viral and bacterial diseases, molds and fungi and (not to forget) weeds are highly opportunistic organisms that have no respect at all for political correctness. Again, organic production is possible, but it requires knowledge *plus* a lot of man-hours to produce a crop that's much more expensive. And lest anyone think that comparative retail prices represent the crop-cost difference, remember that the raw-food component in the price of a package of processed food at the retail level is pennies on the dollar whether it's organic or conventional. The raw-food producer's share is so small that my guess would be that most of the typical processed organic food's price premium is probably attributable to inefficiencies of marketing scale rather than the higher cost of the actual food in the box. If you go out to obtain large quantities of *just* the raw commodity, however, you'll see what I'm talking about.
The idea that human food and animal feed are distinguished from each other essentially by the presence or absence of chemicals of some sort is, as a simple issue of fact, untrue. Either one may or may not (both practically and legally) contain trace amounts of something artificial -- and neither can be loaded with harmful substances. If you want to see chemicals in food, walk down the aisle at a grocery store and read wrappers. Objections to parts-per-billion or trillion are intriguing in light of what processors load our food with.
I don't know if most people have considered it, but with most (all?) grain crops, including corn and soybeans, the actual grain is protected in a tight natural "wrapper" until harvest (corn shucks loosen up somewhat; bean pods not at all). Because 1998 was a year of unusually light insect pressure in corn fields, most people did no insecticide spraying at all after the crop emerged. What both of these factors mean is that what gets treated isn't the grain. Might it be possible that substances are assimilated into the grain through the plants' roots? Yes, it might be possible, just as it might be possible that all Y2K remediation will occur just as government and corporation representatives assure -- but that doesn't mean it's actually happening that way. Anything can be imagined; personally, I'm in the "show me verification" camp. We eat both organic and conventionally-grown products in our home and I commend both to others as their needs and desires for abundant, affordable food in wide variety dictate. Roughly 600 tons of the corn raised annually on our farm goes for human consumption, mostly in tortillas.
Another issue of concern to some people today is gene-modification. Neither the corn nor the soybeans we sell are GMO's (genetically modified organisms). You could test this claim easily at home by sprouting some of our beans and applying Roundup herbicide to them. They will die, as any normal bean will when sprayed with Roundup. Testing the corn in a similar fashion for the most common genetic modification (Bt) would require you to obtain some lepidopterous larvae of a sort fond of corn plants. I'd be happy to part with all of the European Corn Borer larvae you want.
Returning to cleanliness, the grain we sell is not only cleaned, it's cleaned professionally by a perfectionist. I did ship one lot of field-run soybeans a while back to a gentleman who said he preferred to have them that way rather than waiting for them to be cleaned. Cleaning removes insects, split and damaged kernels, stems and various other plant debris, dirt, weed seeds and simply anything and everything that isn't a proper kernel of grain.
Some may be interested to know that while the grain grown from hybrid corn plants will not grow into new plants with the same characteristics as its parent stock (which consisted of *two* plants), soybeans are not hybrid plants so you can plant the beans we sell and raise exactly the same sort of beans yourself in following years as long as you don't kill the germ by the way you store the beans you save for planting. These beans run approximately 2400 seeds/lb.; in our conditions we plant about 120,000 to 150,000 seeds/acre and typically harvest somewhere between 45 and 65 bushels/acre (a soybean bushel weighs 60 pounds.) What this means is that as we grow them, you harvest roughly 50 times as much as you plant... "your mileage may vary". I don't think they'd be easy to harvest non-mechanically, but someone ingenious could contrive a simple separating mechanism for a small quantity. (Heard the term, "threshing floor"?) If you want to be prepared to grow your own corn from seed you raise, you need to start with some non-hybrid corn seed.
-- Gary Hansen (email@example.com), December 02, 1998.
The "protective little shells" do not protect the grains from being contaminated by the chemicals that are ingested through the root system.
Anyway, you danced around my question. Has YOUR product been tested for chemical levels. I am of the understanding that the testing is REQUIRED by law to determine if it is of human grade quality.
-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 02, 1998.
Damn Texans...they never give up on their fights with Nebraskans. :-)
-- Herbie (GoBigRed@huskers.one), December 02, 1998.
No, Terri, the grain has not been tested. Nor will it be, (by me) because there's no reason to do so... unless, of course, you can provide something more substantial than allegations by way of a reason to perform one test or another. If you believe, as you claim to, that a law exists somewhere which requires the kind of testing you refer to, please post the text of the statute or even just the statute number.
Any buyer of any foodstuff -- whether the buyer is a broker, a food processor or an end-consumer -- has complete freedom to make their purchases contingent upon the results of any tests they wish; who pays for such testing is between the buyer and the seller. Grain from this region (and our own farm) is sold to processors for consumption in both the U.S. and Mexico. Grain must, by law, be inspected for fungal aflatoxin and vomitoxin contamination before it can be exported, but these do not come under the description of what you've claimed.
Having grown and sold grain for many years and having never encountered the kind of legal testing requirements you keep referring to leads me, frankly, to doubt your knowledge of the subject. And making the kinds of statements that you have here, if you cannot corroborate them, is, in my opinion, plainly unethical.
-- Gary Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 02, 1998.
There is nothing unethical in a consumer wanting to know what he/she is buying and putting into their families mouths. I said it was "to my understanding" and was asking you to either confirm or deny this. Based on your defensive reaction, I can't tell whether you don't know, or don't care or don't care to tell, however, inquiring consumers want to know...and we want facts.
You may be just "Good ole' Gary" trying to do your part, but that doesn't relieve you from YOUR "ethical" obligation in being honest about your product...rather than Still avoiding the question by diverting and calling me unethical! By the way... ignorance of regulations and standards concerning food on the part of the seller does not exempt one from responsibility.
-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 02, 1998.
Yes, Terri, the possibility exists that you have a sincere interest in learning, and you could even be a potential buyer of the grain we're discussing. I really doubt it, but it's possible. What looks more likely is that you're the kind of person who relishes casting aspersions on others and/or their products without having a leg to stand on, while hiding behind phraseology like "It's my understanding that..." If you really want answers to questions I don't care who you ask -- ask me if you like, or don't -- but what's unethical is acting in the pattern of the person who approaches a man in public and, just loudly enough to be overheard, asks, "Have you quit beating your wife yet?" And doing so without benefit of any *actual* knowledge of the issue.
Here's what you said (copied and pasted):
"You didn't mention that your product was organic...so I assume it isn't. Therefore do you not have to have it tested to determine the level of pesticides and other chemicals that distinguish it from livestock food and that meet requirements to make it alright for human consumption."
(A tip here: When you want, as you claim to have intended, to convey a sense of "question" rather than a sense of disputational cross-examination, you might use a question mark.)
In your statement above, the words "do you not" grammatically refer only to your question of whether certain testing is required; those words do not refer to your claim, which you present as unqualified fact, that it is levels of pesticides in grain that distinguish that which is suitable for livestock from that which is suitable for people. I'll try this again: It is *not* pesticide levels that determine what animals eat and what people eat. Still think it is? Fine and wonderful. Think whatever you want to think, but if you want to persuade anyone else that there's a connection between what you think and reality, even a little factual support would be helpful. We wouldn't feed pesticide-laden feed to our cattle or the neighbor's pigs. Do you still think the government has determined there's a problem with this grain, one that calls for mandatory testing? Fine, just post that statute number. Of course, I can see you're busy posting fresh new innuendo so maybe it's asking too much of you to go back and check the accuracy of the old stuff.
Another tip: If in the future you'd like to ask someone for answers to some questions you have about their product and want to avoid publicly smearing the product and its seller in the process, you might give some thought to using private email.
You accuse me of defensiveness. You got something right; I'm defending the integrity of my product. Something wrong with that?
You wrapped-up, " By the way... ignorance of regulations and standards concerning food on the part of the seller does not exempt one from responsibility." Would it be just as reasonable to say that just because I don't know there's a alien spacecraft hovering over my house doesn't mean I'm not required to call the Air Force?
You want to talk about testing? You want to talk about responsibility? I'm pleased. Try *testing your posts for factual basis* before hitting "Submit". If you can stand the effort you might want to start with the number and some text for that key statute which I (along with everyone I know, including a grain exporter I mentioned you to today) am so irresponsibly ignorant of.
-- Gary Hansen (email@example.com), December 02, 1998.
Gary is your pseudonym "Woe Is Me"?
-- Not telling (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 03, 1998.
Dear "Not telling"
Hardly. From time to time one person or another decides to play fast and loose with facts at the expense of the reputation of the foods grown by American farmers. We provide wholesome food that costs consumers the lowest percentage of their incomes in the world. The sale of that food is the sole means by which we support ourselves and our families -- and hope to in the future. You can take such potshots lightly but we don't.
-- Gary Hansen (email@example.com), December 03, 1998.
Gary, As a potential customer and having no relation to you beyond what I have read on this site, I think that Terrie is way off base making these statements on an open site and should have done it by email. I see this type of ego-mania from know-it-alls who like to sit back and condemn others who are working hard at making a living while hiding behind this chat board with unverifiable statements.
Looking forward to doing business with you. If Terrie was really interested she would have e-mailed you directly, like I did earlier. Walter
-- Walter Whitehurst (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 03, 1998.
Well, a few weeks back we had a poster that found moths in her wheat. Repeatedly we have had posts from people recommending that you put dessicants in with your grain to discourage pests. Now if there were pesticides in there already, then you wouldn't have these problems, right? Texas?
-- Amy (email@example.com), December 03, 1998.
For what it's worth, we have placed an order with Gary and expect to take delivery in the near future. Gary has actually worked pretty hard at making the sale (by answering my numerous questions via email). We did not ask, nor are we especially concerned about any trace or residual amounts of pesticide. We did want to wait and get the cleaned beans rather than the field run because our test sample (which DID NOT come from Gary - we obtained it locally just to see if we'd like soybeans) needed cleaning. Waiting for Gary to deliver them cleaned saves us a step in the storage process. While we could have purchased field run soybeans locally somewhat cheaper from an elevator, we decided to purchase from Gary for the following reasons:
- Gary spent a lot of time answering our questions and pointing us towards helpful information.
- Gary produces the soybeans. Unless you've been living in a cave, you know that soybean prices that the farmer gets at the elevator are way down this year. By buying direct and by paying a bit extra, we are laying in an excellent foodstore and at the same time helping this particular farmer to get a decent price for his crop. We need storable food, Gary needs a decent price for his beans. This helps us both. Though I would have preferred to work with a local farmer in my area, I didn't know of any who were prepared to offer me the same information and arrangement that Gary has.
- Gary is Y2K-aware which makes working with him on a soybean purchase much easier than dealing with the staff at the elevator who look at you like you've just stepped off the bus.
- The beans from Gary are cleaned. This saves time in both storing and in preparing the beans.
- Soybeans are an excellent food source and quite tasty too. The only disadvantage is their long cooking time but this can be easily deal with by using a pressure cooker or simply being patient.
- I live in Iowa, Gary lives in Nebraska. This made shipping charges move than reasonable.
Come on folks, these are the kinds of solutions the Y2K problem needs. It is much more cost effective than many of the freeze dried or pre-packaged solutions. You are solving two problems at once.
Go out and get a small sample of soybeans. Soak them overnight. Put then in pressure cooker with 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (important) and cook at 15lbs pressure for 45-50 minutes. Or boil on the stovetop for 6-8 hours. Try them. If you don't like them, you won't be out much but all of our friend who are preparing have enjoyed them and are going in with us on this order. They are very good, very nutritous and you DO need to store some food. -Arnie
-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), December 04, 1998.