Do You Know What You Are Eating
Do you know what you are eating?
Industrial Agriculture has replaced the family farm. Most Americans have the picture of a cow in the field eating grass and lying in the shade of a tree. Industrial Agriculture has replaced this with crowded animal factories called confined animal feeding operations. These animal factories are profit centers for large corporations and to make a profit costs need to be held down. To shave costs animal feed has been redefined without regard for the animal or the consumer.
The animals confined to these factories are fed same species meat, diseased animals, feathers, hair, skin, hoofs, and blood, Manure and other animal waste, plastics, drugs and chemicals, and unhealthy amounts of grain. These ingredients are legal. Not necessarily healthy but legal.
Same Species Meat and Diseased Animals
Same species meat is exactly what it sounds like cows eat rendered cattle, hogs eat rendered hogs, chicken eat rendered chicken and turkeys eat rendered turkeys. Rendered is an industrial term for a process in which animal carcasses, parts and other wastes are ground up and further processes to make animal feed ingredients, bone meal, feather meal, blood meal and other rendered products.
Remember mad cow disease? Feeding rendered cows to factory cows raised concern for spreading the disease. Since the mad cow scare, the United States government has restricted the parts of a cow that can be rendered and fed to cattle. However, hogs, chickens and turkeys that have been fed rendered cows can be rendered and fed back to cows. This loophole could spread the disease.
Animal feed can also contain rendered road kill, horses, and euthanized cats and dogs. Feathers, hair, hoofs, intestine, skin and blood can be rendered and included in feed as “animal protein products”.
Manure and Animal Waste
Animal waste used for food is allowed to contain sand, rocks, dirt, wood and other such things. It may also contain cattle manure, poultry litter and swine waste which may contain antibiotics and hormones that have passed through the animal.
Cows fed chicken litter may also be eating rendered cow because of the digested and spilled chicken feed which contains rendered cow parts, another way to spread disease.
Animal factories use pellets made of plastic to replace the fiber that factory feed lacks. Animals need roughage (fiber) to move the feed through their digestive system.
Drugs and Chemicals
Animals raised in humane conditions rarely need medication. Animals raised in animal factories live in crowed, stressful, unsanitary conditions. To compensate corporations use 13.5 million pounds of antibiotics every year, the same class of antibiotics used by humans. This overuse of antibiotics increases the likelihood of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Have you been to a hospital lately? Have you heard of staph infection or MRSA?
Some antimicrobials used on poultry contain arsenic, a carcinogen in humans. Arsenic is found in meat and water supplies near factory farms.
Unhealthy Amounts of Grain
Cattle are grass eaters. The amount of grain fed to cattle in factory farms is unhealthy for them. They suffer acidic digestive systems, liver abscesses and other health problems requiring drugs for treatment.
What You Can Do
Buy grass fed beef and pasture raised pork and poultry. Also free range products.
Buy locally from a farmer or butcher you know. There are still a few cows raised in the field.
Buy organic products which are clearly labeled as using vegetarian animal feed.
Raise your own food.
This information was found on the website, Union of Concerned Scientist. (uscusa.org) I give full credit to them. It is a good example of how far corporations will go to make a profit. In Washington DC legislators are meeting on the 2012 Farm Bill. You may want to ask what they are going to do about this situation.
Just imagine what type of food we are getting from others countries.
I knew that this was going on but did not realize the effect it was having on our food supply. There are restaurants such as the Chipotle Grill that use food raised in sustainable way without antibiotics and hormones. You and your family will be healthier if you pay attention to what you feed them. I already go the local farmers market but I am going to check them out now that I know a little more. I may be growing more of my own vegetables in the future. I don’t have a place big enough for a cow. Eat Healthy!