CARE 2 MAKE A DIFFERENCE
By Beth Buczynski
By now, it should come as no surprise to you that factory farmed cattle and poultry live in some unsavory conditions, are fed some pretty disgusting things, and the resulting meat products are generally processed in a way that would make your stomach turn.
Despite the growing awareness about how conventional meat is produced and handled, we’re eating more of it than ever before. This can only mean one thing: the average consumer couldn’t care less what’s in their meat. Maybe that’s because we have trouble visualizing the harm done by GMO corn feed or chemical baths. After all, we can’t see how that affects the meat, or by extension, our bodies.
One thing we can visualize, however, is poop. Yeah, feces, that smelly emission that represents everything we fed our bodies that couldn’t be used. There’s a reason why both people and animals try to keep their living and pooping environments as separate as possible: feces is laden with bacteria that can make us sick. This makes it hard to understand why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants people to eat it.
Tom Philpott: Food for Thought
When President Obama signed into law an overhaul of the nation’s food-safety regime in early 2011, it was clear that the system needed a kick in the pants. Recent salmonella outbreaks involving a dizzying array of peanut products and a half billion eggs had revealed adysfunctional, porous regulatory environment for the nation’s increasingly concentrated food system.
The law, known the Food Safety Modernization Act, was a pretty modest piece of work when it came to reining in massive operations that can sicken thousands nationwide with a single day’s output. No surprise, since Big Food’s main lobbying group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, notes on its web site that “GMA worked closely with legislators to craft the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and will work closely with the FDA to develop rules and guidance to implement the provisions of this new law. ” (Food and Water Watch summarizes FSMA here; Elanor Starmer lists some of its limitations here.)