Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hooooooold on there, Cow-maker...Part II


Remember the mishandled Westland/Hallmark Meat Company beef recall at various elementary school districts the last week? It's now state-wide - up to 143 million pounds - the largest the state has ever been involved with. Aside from the misdemeanors given to company employees for inhumane animal treatment and the lessons now learned from the incident, what environmental and sustainability consequences does this have to us? Wasted animal product must now be dealt with. And to imagine all the food, water, and energy used to prepare these animals for slaughter and procurement - now all gone to waste.

According to Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, about 60% of the American commodity corn goes to feeding livestock, and much of that goes to feeding America's 100 million beef cattle. If agricultural subsidies are being invested into corn that feeds cattle that will eventually be recalled anyway, as seen in the past week, what's the point? A combination of cheap corn, highway construction, postwar suburbs, subsidized mortages, and the G.I. Bill layed the foundation for what we have today. Find any links? They're all government policy.

Unfortunately, I, alongside fellow Americans, was not invited to the grass-fed cattle party...

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