Aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhh!!! That is me typing my frustration at the meat industry in this country, along with shaking my fist. Take that, FDA!
I watched Food, Inc a few weeks ago, and while my passion isn’t as fresh, it has grown from a little baby to a mature and controlled anger. Here’s the thing: I always “knew” something wasn’t quite right about all this factory farming and growth hormone nonsense, but I never understood the capacity of it all. And the brilliance of this movie is that they aren’t trying to push some whack political agenda…they simply want people to eat better. And they want us to have the right to know what we are eating and to be able to choose! Choice! Choice! Choice! I love that word, yet it seems to be taken away from all of us.
But I digress. I do love a good exposure bit, and Food, Inc. delivered on just that. A few things that I have a problem with:
1. The newest thing for Tyson is to build chicken houses where the chickens never see the light of day (their entire life) and are instead kept in these dark sheds that are ventilated with fans. They are crammed in there, fed feed consisting of corn (common filler, government subsidy), antibiotics (easy to get sick in close quarters), and growth hormones so that they will grow fast and get on the shelves in the market even faster. But here’s the kicker – they grow so fast that their muscles and tendons can’t keep up, so they end up schlepping around on their stomachs. Um. No.
2. McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of beef in the United States. Did you know that? Did you also know that because of that little fact, they determine the quality of beef for every consumer in this country, regardless of whether you eat at McDonald’s or not? The reason is because McDonald’s requires that all of their beef tastes identical, to maintain consistency in their “restaurants” across the States. Because of that, the slaughterhouses have to meet that demand. Do you think they are going to take the time to make sure my beef is higher quality than that served in McDonald’s?
3. Politics. God bless it. There is so much intrigue and deception wrapped up in that one little word I almost can’t even touch it. But here goes: The FDA and USDA and White House are bedfellows. Not shocking, I know. But when you look closer, and see the former CEO’s of the meat packing companies (there are only 5 in the US) advising our presidents (plural!), you’ve got to wonder a little bit about the bottom line. You can only imagine what that pillow talk sounds like.
4. Corn. Ahhh that innocuous golden kernel. Who knew what would become of you? Now, thanks to government subsidies, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any processed food on the shelf that does not contain high fructose corn syrup. Gotta love those cheap fillers. Do you have a dog? Check out the first ingredient in his food. Oh and don’t forget: it’s also used in cow feed, even though evolutionary speaking, cows are not made to process corn. So it causes a lot of sickness in the bovine world, which is what leads to E. coli.
5. During the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease, Oprah made a comment on her show that she would be staying away from beef for a while. She was then sued by Texas cattlemen for loss of profits, which tied her up in litigation for 6 years and cost her around 1 million. So much for freedom of speech.
(America = Cuba?)
It angers me that my government goes out of their way to make sure I have no idea where my food is coming from. Everyone is happy as long as no questions are asked, I suppose. But I demand more! So I am boycotting the meat industry. I want quality in life, not quantity. No more meat, unless it’s farm raised and growth hormone free. I refuse to contribute to their profits any longer. The amount of people getting fed up with this treatment increases every day. You are what you eat. Remember, every time you pay at the cash register, you are voting. Make your vote count! If we demand higher quality food, that is what we will get!!!
As I vented to one of my best friends, who happens to be gay: let’s pray for a world where you can get married AND carrots are cheaper than a cheeseburger.
Well said, my friend. I stopped eating McDonald’s quite a while back after I watched a video from a lady who held onto McDonald’s french fries for 3 years & THEY DID NOT MOLD OR GO BAD!! There is something seriously wrong with the food we eat & I wish more people would open their eyes. Thanks for trying to help. At least you’re doing your part.
Erin, your blog entries always enchant me.
This one, although enchanting, is also mobilizing me and angering me about this sh*thole of a place we live in.
Now I have to go watch this movie this weekend. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and providing me with the cameo.
The Hamburglar Diaries…
It makes it hard to eat in America. Everyone should find and support their local organic farmers and community agriculture projects.