Thursday, October 2, 2008


Let me first say that I am not attacking anyone or their food preferences, this is just my opinion.

As bad as the situation with the economy is and while that is scary to think about what is going to happen in the near future, this book actually opened my eyes to something that scares me even more.
This book has brought me closer to-
1- becoming a vegetarian
2- wanting to move to a small, rural farm where I can grow all my own food and if buying meat or poultry, know exactly where it comes from, what the animals were fed, how they were treated and slaughtered
3-never eat out again (fast food that is)
4- being even more skeptical of big business and ethics
etc, etc, etc,

I mean it is really scary. Maybe you are like my dear husband, who doesn't think it matters and you can't really worry about all this stuff, but it matters to me.

Small rural towns that used to support small farmers are being turned into slums. How does it happen you ask? "IBP was a trailblazer in recruiting migrant labor. The company was among the first to recognize that recent immigrants would work for lower wages then American citizens and would be more reluctant to join unions." This company actually recruits in poor communities, hires buses to import workers from across the border, and recruits refugees and asylum-seekers. "Poor workers without health insurance drive up local medical costs. Drug dealers prey on recent immigrants and the large, transient populations usually bring more crime. " These huge companies take their businesses to states where they get special tax breaks and they can do whatever they want.

Basically the workers at meatpacking plants get no benefits, no vacation, work in dangerous conditions, not to mention utterly digusting surroundings, and when they are injured the doctors lie to them and send them back to work or they get fired. I mean that is no way to treat humans. What is even more disturbing is they way the animals are treated. It literally makes me sick, not to mention the digusting way that they animals are fed, given hormones, etc. I could go on for hours, but you probably don't care, and that is fine. But an interesting point is that we feed cows all this grain and ground up animal remains, when there are so many humans in the world that are starving. A cow is meant to eat grass, not other dead animals. "They're designed to eat grass, and maybe, grain, I mean they have four stomachs for a reason- to eat products that have a high cellulose content. They are not designed to eat other animals."- Steven P. Bjerklie- former editor of the trade journal Meat & Poultry

"For years some of the most questionable ground beef in the United States was purchased by the USDA- and then distributed to school cafeterias throughout the country. THe USDA chose meat suppliers for its National School Lunch Program on the basis of the lowest price, without imposing additional food safety requirements. The cheapest ground beef was not only the most likely to contain pieces of spinal cord, bone, and gristle left behind by Automated Meat Recovery Systems ( contraptions that squeeze the last shreds of meat off bones)," but also the most likely to be made from sick animals, etc

"Anyone who brings raw ground beef into his or her kitchen today must regard it as a potential biohazard, one that may carry as extremely dangerous microbe, infectious at an extremely low dose. The current high levels of ground beef contamination, combined with the even higher levels of poultry contamination, have led to some bizarre findings. A microbiologist at the University of Arizona discovered far more fecal bacteria on the average American kitchen sink than on the average American toilet seat. "You'd be better off eating a carrot stick that fell in your toilet than one that fell in your sink"- Charles Gerba"

There is so much more that I could say about this book and food safety, health, and etc, but I try to keep this a family oriented blog without too much ranting and raving from me.

The more I think about it, the more I think that maybe people 100 years ago really did have a better way of life. The family worked together for everything that they had. No electronics or distractions, just hard work and the self-worth and satisfaction that comes along with it. Sure they didn't have the medical knowledge and technology we have now, but they also didn't have half the health problems we have now due to our horrible diets, processed foods, lack of physical activity etc.

I ran into someone today who saw me holding this book and they said "Don't you ever read anything that doesn't make you think?" Occasionally yes, but lately, not so much. Well, there was Twilight, but don't even get me started on that.

So there is my tangent for the day. I completely understand if you don't care or comment, this is just what I am thinking today.


Kim said...

Sounds like a good book, but I don't know if I could read it or I would be scared to death to even eat. I just figure I buy organic what I can when I can, next year we will have our own garden, I look for meat that isn't given hormones (we eat a lot of chicken and Tyson has no antibotics). I guess we just do our best, follow the word of wisdom, try to be as healthy as we can and in the end that's all you can do.

Trishelle said...

This issue scares me too. Aside from the health concerns that correlate with mass producing animals for one purpose only, the way these animals are treated is absolutely indecent and cruel.

There is something so beautiful about various cultures throughout history as they would practice reverence for the creatures that sustained them. Perhaps the very rigorous demands of their lifestyle couldn't permit them to be completely vegetarian, but they recognized the sacrifice the animals made to give them life.

Your synopsis makes me really want to read the book. In fact, I really admire your thirst for knowledge. I find your blog to be very thought provoking and enlightening. If ignorance is bliss, knowledge is power!

Great post, Mary Ann!

Anthony and Christel said...

Just don't ever go visit my Dad, he eats raw hamburger remember? :)

Gabrielle said...

I am with you- ask me about how I feel about Nicole sometime- :D

stephschmidt said...

That sounds like a really interesting book, but probably one that would disturb me too much, and I would end up insisting we move to a farm where we grow everything ourselves :) Lately I've been learning just enough about how they treat the animals to make me sick to my stomach. Something I just won't ever understand....

Jaime said...

this post is right up my alley!! i was too busy to comment yesterday BUT I am glad we can get educated about it and make the choices to avoid certain foods, it makes so much sense to me why the word of wisdom was given to protect us from the "evil designs of men", b/c of their greed, they put so many nonfood substances and nature doesn't work that way- so our bodies are literally toxic and it comes out in forms like arthritis, etc. i also read where it is the first time since the 1920's that the mortality rate is going down again primarily due to obesity and the problems it causes, we are shortening our life span and intoxicating our bodies, scary is right! not to mention the medical costs, etc. i go on and on. oh, the fact that the gov't buys this and gives to kids is terrible. i am patriotic and i feel blessed for our freedoms, etc. but I do have my suspicions with gov't- it seems everything they touch is getting ruined! (less gov't is best is my opinion) but also- i also see why Pres. Benson told us there would come a day where we would need to eat off what we grow ourselves. I love gardening (not the work) but only b/c i know what i'm eating and I feel better too!! great posts, thanks for educating us so we can keep our families healthy!!!

Maila said...

Its so funny, that all the people that are my best friends will get to this point and understand that issue the same way:) The end of the last year, we felt strongly that we need to become vegetarians. We read the Word of Wisdom time after time, prayed and fasted about this matter and as a result felt that this is the way it must be. I have not feel same good all my life than this january-february, when we didnt eate at all any meat nor milk products etc... Also we have been trying to use better(cleaner) in estonian ├ľKO food and some things as well. I felt good! And that is something:) I have been sick for long while... past years. So anyway eventually we cold not stay compleatly vegans, we do use cheese and other varios milk products as well with some meat. But its a lot less than before we use to eat. I know that one day we will all need to be vegans so its good to learn that now. We need so much less meat and other animal products. I wreally care about every chicken and I feel better when I eat egg that is not made so that some big corp can make much mony. We have some apple trees and this year is a lot of apples. Kids are getting a little tired of this, that I make every day apple-pie and other apple foods, but same time they know, this is what Heavenly Father have given for us and we must thank Him for that insteed. I wish too, for long time, that wold be indeed ideal, to live in a country-place and grow our own food. One day hopefully:)
Thank you for all your good wishes. We miss you and hope to see you some day.
PS! Do you have any good recipe with apples? Have been making food with apples every day for two month, every day something new... so I am running out of ideas:)

Riin said...

I'd really like to read this book (I may go to the USA this November, so I'll definitely try to find it). I was a vegetarian this summer and would love to be it forever but I have some health problems (migraines etc) and it's just so hard in Estonia. We had some meat alternatives but since their profits were very small, the company stopped making them. And I don't have a lot of time to cook since I'm a senior in high school. So I started eating a little bit meat but I still feel ethically bad about it. In the future (when my health is better) I want to try vegetarianism again. Thanks for writing about this subject. :)

Carey said...

Woah baby! Makes me feel like trying out the vegetarian lifestyle. Thanks for the post.