by Lesley Scott
Factory farms use unsafe and unsanitary pratices.
|The Perils of Factory Farming
You can limit your family's exposure to unsafe foods and mass food recalls, while you also enjoy fresher and more nutrient-dense food. In the process of this, you'll become more self-reliant than the average American. Being vegertarian is, in fact, more healthy for human beings. Read more.
Yet we notice, "The sign reads no trespassing." This leaves room to wonder what is going on with what we eat. Why are we not allowed to see what we eat before putting in a grocery cart? Something is going on in these places, and it is, by all evidence, not good. The "Ag Gag," is being imposed and those concerned citizens who document unsafe and cruel practices on factory farms are being arrested like common criminals.
This information was provided by PETA, several videos on factory farming, books like Factory Farming, Food Inc, Food Politics, and Eating Animals. Some of the information comes from those who wish to be anonymous for legal reasons. Some us think the of eating meat is a healthy dose of protein. It is difficult to explain to hamburger and steak eaters that store bought meat can cause health problems because the ground meat is made up of scraps on the floors and supposedly sterilized with amonia. Lots of meat eaters do not seem to believe the proof of information or don't care.
Top FDA bureaucrats admit: "Factory farming is a system that is optimal for consumers."
Plenty of consumers disbelieve this,and why they shouldn't they? From July 2009 to September 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration (USDA) recalled 85 food products. In just a 15-month period. These foods caused 1,850 documented sicknesses and some fatalities around the country, plus untold additional cases that went unreported.
This year hasn't been much better. The FDA has issued at least 74 more food recalls due to disease-causing bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes, salmonella, e. coli, and even staphylococcus aureus. That's more than one recall per week, which adds up to 528 recalls per year or more. Who knows how many recalls that should happen, but never recalled nor mentioned?
For example, this August the USDA recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey contaminated with salmonella. If portioned out into quarter-pound burgers, that's enough tainted meat to potentially sicken 144 million Americans – nearly half of the US population! Yet this was only the third-largest meat recall in history. Many meat eaters feel that meat bought in the stores are not harmful. What people don't know can hurt them.
What's also disturbing is, according to a Fox News report, "Federal officials said they turned up a dangerous form of salmonella at a Cargill Inc. Turkey Plant last year. Four times this year of stores selling the Cargill turkey didn't move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others."
This dangerous form of salmonella was the Heidelberg strain that is resistant to antibiotics. "We have constraints when it comes to salmonella," said Elisabeth Hagen, the USDA's top food-safety official, in an interview with Fox News. Salmonella isn't considered a dangerous adulterant in meat until it is directly tied to an illness or death...
Amazingly, some experts want you to believe that the heightened number of recalls is actually a good thing. "It's not just that there's more recalls, it's that we're getting a whole lot better at finding them," argues food-safety expert at Rutgers University food-science professor, Don Schaffner, "This is cold comfort because it means our food supply may not be as safe as we expect it to be."
"It is a system that is optimal for consumers. What we are trying to do is make the response faster," says Food and Drug Administration food-safety official Dr. David Acheson. Yet the USDA seldom responds to this type of problem until someone finds out about what is actually going on, unless someone is ill or dies.
"There is an unacceptably high level of food contamination in the food supply, including fruits and vegetables," says Sandra Eskin, director of the Food Safety Campaign with the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Part of the problem is how we produce food today. Over the last couple of decades, the dynamics of food processing and distribution has changed significantly. A number of companies producing large amounts of food send it all over the world as well as our own country. If one batch is contaminated, it potentially infects the entire production line. Chicken carcasses are shipped to China where it is cheaper to process. The processed chicken finds its way back to our dinner tables. At this time, no one has admitted or taken credit to inspecting this processed chicken. Each country says the other one is responsible for safety measures. What does that mean?
"It comes down to concentration and centralization of the food supply," says author and New York University professor of food studies, "If something goes wrong at a place that produces hundreds of thousands of eggs, they all have to be recalled. For a local farmer, it's just a few dozen."
Between 1970 and 2006, the number of farms with dairy cows fell steadily and sharply, from 648,000 in 1970 to 75,000 in 2006, or 88 percent. Yet that vastly reduced number of dairy farms actually produced more milk. These cows were on pasture and not over crowded. This milk and meat are healthier products.
In 1970, the average dairy herd had 19 cows. Today many farms have thousands of cows... some as many as 15,000. The trend is ongoing... farms with fewer than 200 cows continue to decline sharply. If centralization is part of the problem, a decentralized and more open, free community-based system could be part of the solution. The factory based farms are making more money. Why should they give that up?
Today's savviest consumers are pursuing an effective alternative to large-scale agribusiness... Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Nothing is known about the long term consumption of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). We have already been eating these GMOs in our food, especially fruits and vegetables for years. The only way to avoid GMO's is to grow your own food or buy holistic products.
"The lesson for everyone is: "Know your supplier," says Douglas Powell, scientific director of the International Food Safety Network at Kansas State University, "Know how the food is grown and harvested."
The USDA still no longer inspects the farms. They passed a bill relying on the farming plants being responsible for policing their own operations. A law was passed that anyone taking video, pictures or just looking at a factory farm will be arrested. It is dubbed,"The Ag Gag." One lady was arrested because she snapped a photo from a public roadway. What about letting the fox guard the hen house? On the usual barbed wire fence, the sign reads No Trespassing.
It is no wonder no one is supposed to know what happens on these Factory Farms. A member of a local humane society, yet a member of PETA, snapped a photo from a public highway. She only took a picture that is visible from the road. Yet she was handcuffed and arrested. She was later released on bond posted by PETA.
The new system is to buy or grow organic foods and become a vegetarian. Paul McCartny has an interesting narrative video called, " If Slaughterhouses were made of glass, we'd all be vegetarians." The contents are heart-wrenching and disturbing.
Do your part or just sit around, eating junkfood and ruining your health and brain stimulation. A hamburger (YUK) is at least 800+ calories unless you eat Boca Burgers. No meat in those!
So quit porking up and start caring. It's a shame the vast majority doesn't care what they eat or pollute.