Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meat is Murder!

(Starting off with a little reference to The Smiths, fyi.)

Last night I caught the end of Fast Food Nation. Horrifying! Today we have two articles in the NYT, one from The Minimalist (yes, food), "Putting Meat Back in Its Place," a sane look at the amount of meat we eat and how most people don't eat as much and how they do it. (Combine with recent books by Michael Pollan for even more knowledge.) 

But there is also a much more disturbing article about America's beef production, with the writing in part motivated by the recent and massive South Korean anti-US beef import protests. Two highlights are, one, keeping in mind you are what you eat:
And in early 2004, the Food and Drug Administration announced plans to ban feeding cow blood, waste from chicken coop floors and plate waste from restaurants to cattle. Blood had been in formula fed to calves as a substitute for milk, chicken feed could contain rendered beef protein, and restaurant waste, of course, included beef.

But some Agriculture Department decisions were not reassuring.

Under political pressure, the F.D.A. bans on cow blood, chicken dung and plate waste were never implemented.
And, two:
Then, in mid-2005, when the second case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the U.S., it was revealed that the Agriculture Department had concealed for seven months the fact that one of the tests it had performed on the sample had been positive. The test similar to one used in other countries had been ruled “experimental” and not reported.
Nice! Doing the job, but not doing the job. Highly reassuring.