Sunday, October 4, 2009

A beef about beef

There was a great article in the New York Times today on the beef industry. I think I should take it with me to poetry readings whenever I'm going to read my farm poems because I so often get asked if I would eat a burger today. When I say, Nope. I don't trust the meat sold in the grocery stores in this country, people tend to think I am a bit nuts. Which I am, of course, but if you read the article, well, maybe you'll be nuts too.

The article talked in particular about the risk of E. coli contamination and our lax or total lack of adequate testing and inspections . . .

Here are two excerpts . . .

"Ground beef is usually not simply a chunk of meat run through a grinder. Instead, records and interviews show, a single portion of hamburger meat is often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses. These cuts of meat are particularly vulnerable to E. coli contamination, food experts and officials say. Despite this, there is no federal requirement for grinders to test their ingredients for the pathogen."

"Yet . . . the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria."

Add to this the fact that we test only 1% of all food imports,
that our food industry is in bed with our politicians
and as a result food is increasingly deregulated . . .

Yeah, okay, so it's not just beef I worry about. Sigh. But given a choice between beef and some nice GMO vegies . . . Hmm.


Rauan Klassnik said...

people should visit slaughterhouses. just to see.

(not to mention processing plants. distribution points. truck-lines. etc.)

amberbromer said...

You should definitely read that at your poetry readings. Hopefully we can try to come see you in december!