Monday, February 18, 2008

The Abu Graib of American Food

The NYTimes, Wash Post and LA times at least, as well as numerous TV news reports, featured stories about the “largest meat recall,” focusing on the fact that most experts thought there were no safety risks and that most of the meat had already been eaten over the last two years with, obviously, no ill effects. The scare was particularly vivid given that the meat from this particular company is used for school lunches.

A Humane Society of the United States staffer filmed it. If you haven’t already seen some of the footage, here it is. My soul went into anaphylactic shock seeing it. It's rough stuff.

What does this say about our nation? The solution may or may not be to stop eating meat. I'm not sure that gets us into the end zone where the animals that we eat are treated humanely. We need to radically change the way America raises the food it eats and the way we each choose what we eat.

I commend one book on the subject that has a gentle title for a not so gentle issue, The Omnivore's Dilemma
, which may be the Silent Spring that helps to turn this ship away from its many cruelties as well as toward much healthier ways of eating. I'm a convert.

PS: Both because of the humaneness issues, but also because of health issues. The meat we eat that comes from mega-slaughterhouses, whether beef, pork, chicken, etc., is not healthy for human beings.