So you think you know where your food comes from...?

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So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Boss Hog

America's top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the largest fines in EPA history. Welcome to the dark side of the other white meat.

JEFF TIETZPosted Dec 14, 2006 8:53 AM

 

S

mithfield Foods, the largest and most profitable pork processor in the world, killed 27 million hogs last year. That's a number worth considering. A slaughter-weigh

t hog is fifty percent heavier than a person. The logistical challenge of processing that many pigs each year is roughly equivalent to butchering and boxing the entire human populations of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Detroit, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Memphis, Baltimore, Fort Worth, Charlotte, El Paso, Milwaukee, Seattle, Boston, Denver, Louisville, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Las Vegas, Portland, Oklahoma City and Tucson.

Smithfield Foods actually faces a more difficult task than transmogrifying the populations of America's thirty-two largest cities into edible packages of meat. Hogs produce three times more excrement than human beings do. The 500,000 pigs at a single Smithfield subsidiary in Utah generate more fecal matter each year than the 1.5 million inhabitants of Manhattan. The best estimates put Smithfield's total waste discharge at 26 million tons a year. That would fill four Yankee Stadiums. Even when divided among the many small pig production units that surround the company's slaughterhouses, that is not a containable amount.

<MORE>

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

And the pork producer's response to more federal regulation of their EPA violations,etc...? Move it out of the country of course....

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/business/global/06smithfield.html?scp=...

Regards

Denise

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Nice.  I know spills from pig factory farms have lead to human deaths by causing blooms of toxic algae...

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

I take it that you are a vegetarian, DTM?

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Not at all Jerry, in fact we currently raise chickens and ducks for meat, and we decided 10 days ago to get our own pigs to breed.  We found a local source of Wessex Saddlebacks, a rare breed we'd like to help avoid extinction....

We of course intend to raise them the Permaculture way, sustainably and humanely.

But after reading that piece, no way are we ever buying supermarket pork, maybe all meats......

Mike

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Yeah.  We do eat organic meats (although I'm trying to move toward entirely local/humanely raised meat - and cut back, at that), but we stopped buying the perdue chicken when one time we bought a club pack of the stuff and realized that every single (half ) chicken breast was over a pound - .  We couldn't think of a possible "good" "healthy" chicken that would be able to walk with that much breastmeat out in front, and realized we wanted NO part of that.  Now, though, the organic chicken kinda grosses me out, but at least I know I'm not getting as many toxins (supposedly) in me...

We buy our beef and pork locally, for the most part, though.  Pastured and delicious.  LOL

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

This has been going on for years. So yes I do know Matrix

Steroids in cattle to increase muscle mass (meat) antibiotics to stop infections, antivirals for the same thing, cropping chicken beaks to stop them pecking each other to death. Feeding them all kinds of stuff that they normally wouldn't eat for instance Corn. Then dealing with the waste products, in excrement lagoons, that contaminate groundwater and are a EPA classified biohazard. EColi for instance is endemic to humans, in the lower gut, other EColi strains normally a mild intestinal infection, unless it's EColi O157:H7 which is almost exclusively found in corn fed ruminant poop and can be fatal, it also is pretty resistant to antibiotics, isn't that a surprise.

There's a great book called "Raising less corn and more Hell" from a journalist in Iowa (or one of the other main corn producing states), that investigates the US factory farming cartel, and his concerns about it from sustainability, security, safety, and commercial perspectives, it's a good and easy read.  It seems to be at least partially available on google books.

 

 

 

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Perhaps food safety and worker safety have improved somewhat since Upton Sinclair wrote "The Jungle" 100+ years ago, but quality of food and environmental degradation remain huge and growing issues.  The end of cheap energy will mean the end of cheap meat.   I pretty much eat meat just once in a while in small amounts for flavor, with high carb foods and garden veggies as the meal centerpieces, and legumes or dairy to complete proteins.   I know dairy and chicken farms have issues too, but hopefully not as bad as cattle and pigs raised for meat? 

It's always seemed strange to me that Americans eat so much meat when compared to other foods it's the most expensive and energy intense, causes the most environmental degradation, often poor tasting, hard to digest, the most pain to store, cook and cleanup, and usually exceeds our daily protein diet requirement.

 

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

meat production is a stupid waste of resources under almost every circumstance. raising animals in a humane way cracks me up. "yes we raise them in a humane way no hormones, range fed , no antibiotics ...................then we kill them and eat their flesh." lol

if you have the luxury of having a permaculture homestead fine raise a few animals if you have to have meat. the vast majority of humans rely on corporate farming and this has been going on for decades matrix. i live 15 minutes away form the headquarters of the largest protein producer on the planet.

i have been a vegetarian for 37 years , no blood pressure issues (lol) no hypertension no functional health issues at all. remember you are what you eat may be an over simplification but if you are thinking shtf scenarios i suggest  everyone to take a hard look at diet. 

we all give lip service to sustainability but it is an eye opener to investigate our food sources and how truly unsustainable it is. the tremendous transfer of nutrients around the country is staggering

quadruple bypass operations may be a luxury only the top one tenth of one percent will be able to afford

i suggest a watch of fast food nation

time for lunch gotta go my sprouts are waiting

 

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I know where my veggies grow

Joe...I raise my veggies humanely, but I do eat them... flesh and all.

No dairy, meat, eggs etc...all plant based diet. My wife and I ate little meat for years and the last year and a half switched to the plant based/vegan approach. We love this way of eating.Never feel deprived. She has lowered her cholesterol considerably (famiy trait of high) and our blood pressure etc is remarkably good, especially considering we've lived together for over 37 years.

She was a trim 105 when we married and that's what she weighs today. I was a bit chunky then, but am at my trimmest weight since high school now!

Those of you who plan to buy clothes for shtf times need to think a couple sizes smaller...because you'll be losing those extra pounds without the meat and gravy and chemicals.

Smithfield and their ilk needs to be voted OFF THE PLANET NOW!!

 

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Well said Joe2baba save me some sprouts, I'm coming over for lunch.

About 10 years ago I used to joke around with some of my veg*an friends and say I was "Hardcore Carnivore". The more I learned about the environmental impacts, the treatment of the animals or the health issues associated with factory farming I just can't be a part of that system anymore. Now pretty much vegan. Admittedly I'd rather not be vegan but I have accept personal accountability on the issue. Unless I can be sure where my meat/dairy/eggs are coming from and can accept their practices, I'll stick to being vegan.

Do I still crave meat, yes. Am I weak and pale, no. I've never felt better and have more energy since I now actually understand nutrition and eat a balanced diet and am no longer lethargic because my system was always busy using energy to digest too much meat.

 

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Selective Breeding...

Mike,

a recent piece of madness I found that defines 'Need' or 'Want'...

Limited internet or not, if this is how the World's meat is genetically modified, I too will stick to permaculture saddlebacks, since we couldn't so much permaculture (closed loop) without a sweet piggy producing all that lovely sh.....

...it would be a pleasure to gently shove 'Lutor' into one of his "Lagoons"...

Best,

Paul

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

I'm not a vegetarian but I will confess something.

I once tried my hand at raising pigs. When they were ready, I sold all the pigs to my friends with the exception of the one we wanted for the freezer.

But, after accepting all the money, I simply could not muster whatever it takes to have them slaughtered.

Good Lord, they all had names, they would come to be petted whenever we called.

So, I went to a local slaughter house and bought a butchered pig for each of my friends.

That's my story of losing a bundle in the pig raising business.

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

That's it, I'm changing what I eat.  I'm going to start by eliminating the bad stuff - which is, unfortunately, the bulk of my diet.

Larry

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Jerry,

I know, it's a tough call. My wifes parents have been producing there own eggs and meat for over 30 years, as their parents did and so forth. They looked at me like I was nuts when DH asked my question, "What do you call the piggy?" DH translated them... "For the pot..."

They have a dog that barks (security), Hens (for eggs), Ducks (meat) and pigs (for the pot...!), and each and every one of them are barter except the dog, called Judy...

When we first arrived in Hungary, they offered us eggs from the very bird they'd slaughtered for dinner that we sat at table and ate. It's a very surreal experience for a 'Westerner' to adapt to, but you do, and can...

In about three generations we've succeeded in gaining the extra energy (fossil fuel, etc) to gain the luxury of turning our food into pets...

...but I've a terrible soft spot for pigs just the same...

...respecting nature comes first and I'm giving my pregnant sow (Priscilla) plenty of t.l.c., though there have to be lines drawn somewhere......

Best,

Paul

 

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

removed by me because of some stupid bug in the system!

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?
joe2baba wrote:

meat production is a stupid waste of resources under almost every circumstance.

ONLY if you do it stupidly Joe.....  Animals also MAKE resources, and important ones at that.  If ecosystems did not need animals to work, then evolution would have wiped them out ages ago.  Our ducks, for instance, can fly away if they so wished, and they do occasionally fly over the fence, but you know what, they ALWAYS come back.....  they like it here!

When we get the pigs, they will be penned inside four large farm gates.  Saddlebacks like eating grass apparently, and we have tons of the stuff here.  The goats are about to kid any day now, and so we will have organic milk to augment the pigs' feed with.  Once the pigs have tractored the soil in their pen, they will be moved sideways to new grass, and the decompacted and fertilised soil will be used to grow sweet potatoes or chicken food.

joe2baba wrote:

raising animals in a humane way cracks me up. "yes we raise them in a humane way no hormones, range fed , no antibiotics ...................then we kill them and eat their flesh." lol

That's the way of the world Joe...  would you exterminate lions because they kill wilderbeest?

joe2baba wrote:

if you have the luxury of having a permaculture homestead fine raise a few animals if you have to have meat. the vast majority of humans rely on corporate farming and this has been going on for decades matrix. i live 15 minutes away form the headquarters of the largest protein producer on the planet.

It's funny how people tjink we "have the luxury"!  Cracks me right up!  If you want to see luxury, look at the properties around us here, all on wasted land producing nothing but lawns and weekend horse rides....  Our plot, BTW, is also worth less than our last house in the big smoke....  but we own this one!

joe2baba wrote:

i have been a vegetarian for 37 years , no blood pressure issues (lol) no hypertension no functional health issues at all. remember you are what you eat may be an over simplification but if you are thinking shtf scenarios i suggest  everyone to take a hard look at diet. .

A lot of problems are caused by diet, but some is definitely genetic, and much is lifestyle.  For instance, my family must be genetically prone to low cholesterol, because we ALL have levels well below normal.  Mine's 3.0, and I'm told average is 5.5 (I have no idea of the units).  Conversely, all my siblings have high blood pressure, whether they're fat or not.  I have been through the mill at hypertension clinics, and they cannot work out why I have high blood pressure.  I've been on tablets for years, but am now attempting to reduce my BP with herbal remedies that my (Nurse) wife is studying.  Apparently nibbling on a fresh Comfrey leaf a day can do it, and I'm gonna have a go....

Mike

 

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Re: Selective Breeding...

Arnie, eat your heart out!!

Amazing stuff, thanks Paul.  Actually, my wife recently bought what are known as "meat chicks".  They are bred for muscle size too.  They eat like there's no tomorrow (and I guess they have few tomorrows) and grow so fast that after just five weeks they're as big as Bantams!  Another couple of weeks, and they'll be in the freezer.

They're not genetically modified or anything, and here of course thay are free ranged and not fed growth hormones, but they certainly feel weird to have....  legs like velociraptors!

Mike

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Hi All

Quite a few years ago my wife and I came to the conclusion that the agricultural industrial factory system creates food that is not fit to eat. Similar to Wall Street, I don't think you can trust a thing they say - so whenever possible, we either grow it ourselves or buy from a source we can verify having done things appropriately.

Yesterday was sad for my wife & I. Our favorite laying chicken, a wonderful black creature, jumped up on the horse trough, fell in and drowned. We did all there was to be done and butchered her for lunch. A challenge for us being vegetarian, but made an exception in this case. Sometimes hard to do, but it is the cycle of life.

Good luck and good farming -- in the back yard or on the deck if necessary !

Jim

 

 

 

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Larry may appear flippant here, and I'm not sure if he had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek when he wrote this, but he is aboslutely correct..  unfortunately.

If there is one good thing you get out of growing your own food, apart from the bleeding obvious of course, it's how much effort, energy, and resources goes into growing it.  Oh and just how much you DO consume!

We have too many roosters right now.....  and today's the day.

Mike

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Mike said:

Larry may appear flippant here, and I'm not sure if he had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek when he wrote this, but he is absolutely correct..  unfortunately.

Mike,

I was serious - you and the other thread contributors have been a wake-up call for me.  I was looking at food in terms of survival; that is to store and become as self-dependent as is practical.  I'm starting to look at it as a "health risk" issue.  Thanks!

Larry

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Mike,

we've a rooster that you wear kid gloves, a steel bin lid and a stick. We call it 'B****rd' because we all love it dearly!!!

Best,

Paul

...one for the pot...naaa, we need him for...

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magnetic cornflakes anyone...?

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Re: magnetic cornflakes anyone...?
Damnthematrix wrote:

Thanks, DTM!  This is the best, most visual example I've seen yet of why it's important to grow (if possible) and prepare your own foods and personal care items, using ingredients whose composition can be confirmed.  Great video!

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

WOW!

 

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Natural?Organic? Maybe...

Here's further evidence of our need to be vigilant in our food selections and, if possible, grow what we eat.

The following link leads to an article describing how Whole Foods and other large corporations are using the term 'natural' and even 'organic' to market products which are the SOS. They also undercut legitimate local or regional organic farmers by selling at prices that the local and smaller entities can't compete with. 

http://www.counterpunch.org/cummings07092009.html

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Re: Whole Foods? Natural?Organic? Maybe...
jerry_lee wrote:

Here's further evidence of our need to be vigilant in our food selections and, if possible, grow what we eat.

The following link leads to an article describing how Whole Foods and other large corporations are using the term 'natural' and even 'organic' to market products which are the SOS. They also undercut legitimate local or regional organic farmers by selling at prices that the local and smaller entities can't compete with. 

http://www.counterpunch.org/cummings07092009.html

Great link, Jerry . . . Thanks!

 

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

This article further exacerbates the dangers surrounding how our food is processed.  I try to avoid red meat altogether, but regardless I think it's nearly impossible to avoid eating food that's been tampered with.  Unless you're completely self sufficient it's very difficult to avoid toxic substances in our meals.  Honestly, how the hell can you escape it?  You have genetically modified foods, fluoride in our tap water, controversy on how meat is processed, (e.g. hormones, unsatifactory pasteurization, etc.), unhealthy additives (MSG) and perservatives the list goes on and on.  The worst part is that most people I come into contact w/ on the subject predictably would like to remain ignorant on the subject.  Recently there was an issure where several perscriptions were mixed in with the water supply, I honestly woke up in the middle of the night to their yawns in unison.

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Not everyone is yawning

Kurosawa

There are people making attempts to change things. For instance, I recently joined Slow Money...a movement/organization encouraging people to do local investing in small to middle sized organic farms and related businesses. Building our local connections to food production and avoiding processed foods are 2 things we can do to move away, at least somewhat, from the yawners. At least, you and I can wake up more fully,eh?

I also believe avoiding all animal products is the healthiest way to go.

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Re: Not everyone is yawning

Jerry,

I would be very curious in supporting such a movement. Sorry sometimes my cynicism gets the best of me, .

Is that a grassroots org primarily based in your local community or is their a website for a national level?

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Re: So you think you know where your food comes from...?

Check it out. It's a national movement, at least. The first national conference occurs in September in Santa Fe. But the focus is upon connecting locally (within 50 miles).

http://www.slowmoneyalliance.org/

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