Tagged with Meat Wagon

Factory Farms

Meat Wagon: Undercover video shows sick calves getting brains bashed in with pickax, and more

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——————- A grim ending awaits sick dairy calves on factory farms.Photo: Garrett ZieglerAs I’ve written so many times before, much of the dysfunction in our food system stems from its hyper-consolidation: It’s controlled by a handful of companies whose business models hinge on selling huge volumes of cheap food. When you make money by selling cheap, the whole game is about cutting costs. A system hinged on slashing costs can be counted on to produce a shoddy product, as well as all manner of unintended …

Meat wagon

Think tainted Chinese pork is scary? Check out the nearest supermarket meat case

Now, what dodgy stuff did Philpott say was on this? In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——— Over in China, the nation’s burgeoning pork industry has been been busted for churning out meat tainted with an illegal and quite dodgy growth-enhancing chemical, The Washington Post reports. The banned chemical, clenbuterol, is said to “reduce a pig’s body fat to a very thin layer and makes butchered skin pinker, giving the appearance of fresher meat for a longer time.” When people ingest it from eating the resulting pork, they suffer “symptoms such …

Meat wagon

Poultry industry smothers immigrant farmers and abuses antibiotics

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——— Cheap shot: a sale currently in effect at Randall’s stores in Texas. The U.S. meat industry offers some of the biggest bargains you can find: stuff like “boneless skinless chicken breasts” for just two bucks a pound; or a “Crispy Chicken Sandwich” for a dollar. But when you dig beneath the marketing jargon and the coupon fliers, you start to see that all that cheap bird flesh has a much heftier price tag than meets the naked eye. In all my writing about the …

Don’t be chickensh*t

Time to end the insane practice of lacing chicken feed with arsenic

As a jaded observer of the meat industry, even I’m flummoxed by this fact: It’s standard practice on factory chicken farms to dose those unfortunate birds with arsenic. The idea is that it makes them grow faster — fast growth being the supreme goal of factory animal farming — and helps control a common intestinal disease called coccidiosis. The industry emphasizes that the arsenic is applied in organic form, which isn’t immediately toxic. “Organic” in the chemistry sense, that is, not the agricultural sense — i.e., molecules containing carbon atoms as well as arsenic. Trouble is, arsenic shifts from organic …

Meat wagon

Chicken, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and regulatory independence

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——— Would you like that chicken tainted with salmonella with resistance to one, two, three, or four different antibiotics? We also have six and seven. Consumer choice! After my post Monday on aspartame’s wild and wacky path from pharmaceutical-company lab to beverage sweetener for millions of people, I got into a back-and-forth on Twitter with star progressive bloggers Matt Yglesias and Adam Ozimek. They seemed shocked (and a little angry) by my suggestion that something approved both by the FDA and its European counterparts might …

Bay of chickens

Big Poultry ramps up its assault on the Chesapeake

You know how gigantic factory farms raise tens of millions of chickens a year on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, befowling what was once a dramatically productive wild ecosystem? Well, according to Tyson and Perdue execs, it's high time to set up hundreds more poultry factories there.

Meat Wagon

USDA Inspector General: meat supply routinely tainted with harmful residues

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ————- Oh, you wanted those burgers without harmful residues! Sorry, the USDA’s meat-inspection service can’t really help you on that score. Next time you’re at an eatery whose sourcing practices you don’t trust, avoid the veal. Skip the burger, too. Those are the immediate takeaways from this stomach-turning report (PDF) from the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General. The long-term takeaways are more profound–and disturbing. The report focuses on the USDA’s system for keeping hazardous chemical residues–“veterinary drugs, pesticides, and heavy metals”– out of the …

Meat wagon

Rotten eggs, stampeded rain forests, and more

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ————- Nasty, brutish, and short: the facts of life for hens in an egg factory. Moral of this story on inhumane practices in the egg industry: when a few huge companies dominate production of a commodity in a low-profit-margin industry, they zealously cut costs at every level of production. The key goal is to maximize output. Above a certain level, the company churns out a profit. Below that level, it loses cascading amounts of money for its shareholders. If you happen to be a cog …

Meat Wagon

More biofuel waste for cows, plus a California beef packer pulls a Toyota

What the hell are you feeding us?In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ————- Agricultural societies, I imagine, have always fed waste products to livestock. On diversified farms, pigs and chickens get lots of kitchen scraps and “culls”–produce that can’t be sold. And it’s worthwhile to keep cows around if you have access to pasture–cows convert a wild, low-input perennial crop (grass), which humans can’t digest, into highly nutritious beef and milk. But as agriculture industrialized, the waste products that farmers serve to farm animals have industrialized, too. Before the rise of …

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