Tag Archives | Meat Production

Five Dangerous Substances Big Ag Pumps Into Your Meat

Chicken Farm 034Buy your meat direct from your local farmer or go vegetarian! Here’s why, via EcoWatch:

It is no secret that in the war against meat pathogens in commercial U.S. meat production, the pathogens are winning. The logical result of the tons of antibiotics Big Meat gives livestock (not because they are sick, but to fatten them up) is clear: antibiotics that no longer work against antibiotic-resistant diseases like staph (MRSA), enterococci (VRE) and C.difficile. Antibiotic-resistant infections, once limited to hospitals and nursing homes, can now be acquired in the community, Florida public beaches and on the highway behind a poultry truck.

Big Meat has found some novel ways to retard the growth of salmonella, E.coli and listeria on commercially grown meat, but it does not necessarily want people to know about them and these substances are conspicuously absent from labels.

1. Chlorine Baths

If you want to know the most problematic ingredients in our food supply, just look at the items the European Union boycotts, starting with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hormone beef and chicken dipped in chlorine baths.

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The High Price of Cheap Meat: Shocking Animal Cruelty

Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone.

Jann Wenner’s Rolling Stone occasionally delves deep into issues that most major publications would rather leave well alone. Case in point, its report on what it takes to provide America with cheap meat. Not for the faint of heart…

Sarah – let’s call her that for this story, though it’s neither the name her parents gave her nor the one she currently uses undercover – is a tall, fair woman in her midtwenties who’s pretty in a stock, anonymous way, as if she’d purposely scrubbed her face and frame of distinguishing characteristics. Like anyone who’s spent much time working farms, she’s functionally built through the thighs and trunk, herding pregnant hogs who weigh triple what she does into chutes to birth their litters and hefting buckets of dead piglets down quarter-mile alleys to where they’re later processed. It’s backbreaking labor, nine-hour days in stifling barns in Wyoming, and no training could prepare her for the sensory assault of 10,000 pigs in close quarters: the stench of their shit, piled three feet high in the slanted trenches below; the blood on sows’ snouts cut by cages so tight they can’t turn around or lie sideways; the racking cries of broken-legged pigs, hauled into alleys by dead-eyed workers and left there to die of exposure.

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Meat Industry Refuses To Say What Country Meat Comes From

meat

Must the food we eat be so mysterious? Grist writes:

Enjoy knowing where your grocery-store beef comes from, while you can: industry groups are suing the U.S. government because they don’t want to have to tell you the origins of your meat.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture implemented new rules in May that require packages of meat to be sold with labels that identify the country in which the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered. The rules also outlaw the mixing of cuts of meat from different countries in the same package. That pleased food-safety advocates, environmentalists, and some farmers.

But it angered large meat producers and grocery chains. “The result will serve only to confuse consumers, raise prices, and put companies out of business in the process,” Mark Dopp, of the American Meat Institute, a trade group, said in a statement. On Tuesday, the AMI and other groups announced they were suing to have the rules overturned.

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You Are What You Eat

WARNING: Video features the slaughter and consumption of animals. If you were to visit China in the 21st century, you may well stumble across one of the popular speed cooking competitions, where frenetically paced chefs transform live animals into animated culinary oddities: snakes are decapitated then chopped up into inch-long segments, which squirm on the plate several feet away from their freshly-severed heads; Ying Yang fish, their sides deep-fried and coated in sweet and sour sauce are devoured as they stare up, still breathing (if the fish isn't breathing, naturally the chef is disqualified).
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The Meat Industry Now Consumes Four-Fifths Of All Antibiotics

Will our taste for flesh be what leads to the creation of super-strains of bacteria impervious to antibiotics? Mother Jones reports:

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration proposed a set of voluntary “guidelines” designed to nudge the meat industry to curb its antibiotics habit. But the meat industry has been merrily gorging away on antibiotics—and churning out meat rife with antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

While human antibiotic use has leveled off at below 8 billion pounds annually, livestock farms have been sucking in more and more of the drugs each year—and consumption reached a record nearly 29.9 billion pounds in 2011. That suggests that meat production might be getting more antibiotic-intensive.  To put it another way, the livestock industry is now consuming nearly four-fifths of the antibiotics used in the US, and its appetite for them is growing.

 

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Vast Majority of Americans Want Meat Raised Without Antibiotics

Consumer Reports has created a campaign, Meat Without Drugs, and a promo video narrated by Bill Paxton and directed by Robbie Kenner (Food, Inc. and the disinformation doc When Strangers Click):

We typically don’t like to regurgitate press releases, but the following statistics from Consumer Reports show Americans to be so overwhelmingly in favor of eliminating the use of antibiotics in factory food animals that it seemed worth sharing:

A majority of Americans want meat raised without antibiotics to be sold in their local supermarket, according to a new national poll conducted by Consumer Reports. The poll is part of a report released today, “Meat On Drugs: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals and What Supermarkets and Consumers Can Do to Stop It,” available online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

Consumers Union, the public policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, has simultaneously launched a new marketplace campaign, urging supermarkets to sell only meat raised without antibiotics─starting with Trader Joe’s, one of the leading national chains best poised to make this commitment.

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Midwestern Hog Farms Keep Mysteriously Exploding

6506284705_6ed9d1801a_bHog farming is even grosser than you imagined. Farms keep spontaneously blowing  up due to chemical interactions involving bacteria-laden gas and a brown goop of sketchy origin. Ars Technica writes:

Since 2009, six farms have blown up after methane trapped in an unidentified, pit-topping foam caught a spark. In the afflicted region, the foam is found in roughly 1 in 4 hog farms.

There’s nothing farmers can do except be very careful. Researchers aren’t even sure what the foam is. “This has all started in the last four or five years here. We don’t have any idea where it came from or how it got started,” said agricultural engineer Charles Clanton. “Whatever has happened is new.”

A gelatinous goop that resembles melted brown Nerf, the foam captures gases emitted by bacteria living in manure, which on industrial farms gathers in pits beneath barns that may contain several thousand animals. The pits are emptied each fall, after which waste builds up again, turning them into something like giant stomachs: dark, oxygen-starved percolators in which bacteria and single-celled organisms metabolize the muck.

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Removing Consciousness From Farming

04detailcananrnr9Every year, billions of animals suffer in the name of cultivating food for humanity. But, suppose none of them had minds? A nightmare or a solution? Via We Make Money Not Art:
Each year, the UK raises and kills 800 million chickens for their meat. Rearing [is] unethical and unsustainable... chickens spend their 6-7 week lives in windowless sheds, each containing around 40,000 birds. André Ford proposes to adopt a 'headless chicken solution': By removing the cerebral cortex of the chicken, its sensory perceptions are removed. It can be produced in a denser condition while remaining alive, and oblivious. The feet will also be removed so the body of the chicken can be packed together in a dense volume. Food, water and air are delivered via an arterial network and excreta is removed in the same manner. Around 1000 chickens will be packed into each 'leaf', which forms part of a moving, productive system.
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Blood Runs From Sewers In Polish Town

r-POLISH-TOWN-BLOOD-STREETS-KOSCIERZYNA-large570A pretty good reminder that meat is murder, society is built on barbarism, et cetera. Via the Telegraph:

Residents of Koscierzyna, a small Polish town, called in the police and ambulance service to investigate after blood began streaming out from under manhole covers. After bubbling out through holes in the covers, the blood formed a river of red that flowed along a road in the Polish town forming large bloody puddles.

An investigation revealed that the blood had come from a meat processing plant and had seeped onto the streets because of a blocked drain.

“There are two schools on the street where a large amount of blood was flowing,” wrote one angry resident on a news website. “The blood was also heading towards a local market. When you consider public health this situation is appalling.”

People also questioned as to how the blood had managed to leave the meat processing plant without any form of treatment, despite possible environmental risks.

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Outrage Over South Korea’s Mass Live Burial Of Pigs

Factory farming practices are always bloody and cruel, but this seems to go above and beyond. Following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, since December South Korea has killed 20% of its domestic livestock -- 3 million animals have been exterminated, mostly pigs, who are being buried alive by the thousands in gigantic pits. The practice is traumatizing workers (who hear the pigs' screams in their sleep) and provoking outrage around the world. Video footage is difficult to sit through:
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