Tuesday, April 24, 2012
TO MEAT OR NOT TO MEAT - THAT IS THE QUESTION
On a recent post from Blog Fodder, a beef expert from
Canada now living in the Ukraine, he discussed the fear, being disseminated by the media, about the safety of the beef meat supply and more especially the addition of ‘pink slime’ into ground beef.
This post is well worth reading, and presents the argument for safely obtaining the maximum food product from a beef animal. He also makes the passive argument that such hyped scare tactics financially effects beef suppliers and results in businesses failing and the loss of jobs (at a time when unskilled jobs are critical.)
I do concede the point that the maximum product should be extracted from a commercial beef animal (animal suffering and killing aside – we are by nature omnivores and the demand for meat will continue.)
I also concede that with the world population doubling every forty years food production on a commercial scale will soon become the only way to supply the food needs of the countless billions.
I do believe, however, that our food (and water – a need for another post) have had unintended effects on the human body.
When I was young, a boy six foot tall was considered unusually tall. Today, when I attend the gym at the local university I notice a large percentage of the young men are six-four or larger. The bulk of many school age children seems massive compared the children of my day; and, I have heard statements that young girls are reaching puberty at a much younger age. All of this, I believe, is the consequence of growth hormones that are regularly added to the commercial animals that compose our meat supply.
Doctors are concerned about humans building up immunity to antibiotics; and yet eighty percent of our antibiotics are supplied to our meat industry and administered to the animals we eat.
The reality is that people will have to come to terms with the manipulation of food animals in order to produce the maximum weight in the shortest time; the processing of animals to obtain the maximum yield of edible product from each animal; and, we will have to accept the problems and solutions inherent with large numbers of animals being raised in confined or limited spaces.
Because small family farms can not compete with industrial farming, we may be the last generation to appreciate clean, organic, locally raised products available at an affordable price.
Commercial food production is conducted for a maximum profit margin – but it must have independent oversight in order to insure a safe product. This is a scary thought when today the Republican Party is hell-bent to defund the Food and Drug Administration that is charged with the oversight of our food production.