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Meat labeling?

Stego

Registered Member
"Born, Raised, and Harvested" -- three words deliberately chosen to be palatable and approachable, but entirely open to redefinition and still purposed for obfuscation. I think the crux of the matter is syntax and definition. I remember this being an issue with "patty" vs "burger" and the like. It's a slow tug of war to get any labels at all, let alone ones that accurately describe conditions. As said above, and he's right, the states suck at this. Here in NJ, we just passed up on a bill that was widely supported to expand pig gestation crates. Even with overwhelming support, with overwhelming awareness, and with a clear set of definitions, it failed at the state level by dying on the governor's desk due to a veto.

If there's one thing I've spent a lot of time thinking about, it's how deeply tucked away we keep agribusiness. Pop-culture-esque documentaries don't really do it justice (nor aid, it seems). If people started dropping dead in the parking lots of steakhouses, I still think it would only kinda encourage people to ask about what's going on behind the scenes.

Several years ago I applied for a job with the HSUS. After a short internet research internship where they had me writing on the conditions of beef and dairy cattle (things like bedding materials, incidence of mastitis, antibiotic leaching, HVAC systems based on region), it came to me that we're looking at another full half-generation (so perhaps 30 years) before the labels reflect the conditions and the conditions reflect our current perception of good morals.

I'm also a vegetarian (sans mass-produced dairy, so mostly vegan). It can become obsessive, checking on every item. It may sound crazy, but I think there is a vacuum out there for app development to track food production based on origin and conditions. Big data meets foodie news. Your dinner plate now can--in one night--consist of food from every corner of the globe.

i.e. labels are only the beginning.
 

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
You will eat what big agro and the politicians they own say you will eat. Period. End of discussion. Furthermore, neither party feels the slightest obligation to reveal with clarity exactly what you are to eat. It may indeed be pesticide loaded GMO's with traces of pharmaceuticals from the raw human sewage sludge they fertilize it with, or it may be hormone and anti-biotic infused meat and dairy from whatever place has the right loopholes.


It doesn't matter. You have no say. You will never have a say because not enough people give a crap. People are kept too busy trying to make ends meet in a screwy, job deficient, ever more expensive, greedy, corner cutting society. Nobody has time to give a rats ass about anything else. So, sorry about your luck. The easiest way to deal with it is to accept that you will likely die a slow painful death from cancer caused by the crap you're being forced to eat and to live every moment of health to the fullest.


- Chameleon
 

Stego

Registered Member
Not to stray too much off topic, but I found that--if you work at it enough--you can place yourself in a position where you are able to support small farms and/or participate in co-ops. Independent farmers are on the rise and many share the values of being open and honest. It's not entirely so dim, Cham. Near the same place I get most of my veggies is another place that will glady walk people through their cow and pig side of the farm; they encourage it, actually--and I live in central disgusting NJ. Actually, you pass them on the way in.

There's no label good enough to match seeing things with your own eyes, to match developing a relationship with your farmers.
 

idisrsly

I'm serious
V.I.P.
I know this might be an unpopular view, but I honestly don't care to see where my food is from. I do think it's important that the stores I buy my food from knows where they got the food, and make sure they are reputable suppliers with good quality. But I don't need to see on a label that my ostrich steak is from SA or Botswana. I don't really care.

The only thing I care to see on the label, considering I buy from a grocer I trust only stocks good quality products, is whether the food item is organic or free range.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Not to stray too much off topic, but I found that--if you work at it enough--you can place yourself in a position where you are able to support small farms and/or participate in co-ops. Independent farmers are on the rise and many share the values of being open and honest. It's not entirely so dim, Cham. Near the same place I get most of my veggies is another place that will glady walk people through their cow and pig side of the farm; they encourage it, actually--and I live in central disgusting NJ. Actually, you pass them on the way in.

There's no label good enough to match seeing things with your own eyes, to match developing a relationship with your farmers.
That's really hard to do in the vast majority of the Western United States. Growing crops out here is pretty hard (it's all high desert) and we have enough of a water shortage as it is. Also, I don't think it's feasible for any significant number of people to farm for themselves.

I know this might be an unpopular view, but I honestly don't care to see where my food is from. I do think it's important that the stores I buy my food from knows where they got the food, and make sure they are reputable suppliers with good quality. But I don't need to see on a label that my ostrich steak is from SA or Botswana. I don't really care.

The only thing I care to see on the label, considering I buy from a grocer I trust only stocks good quality products, is whether the food item is organic or free range.
The meat we're talking about is perfectly safe to eat, that's not the issue. The problem comes with halal meat and the disgusting way in which the animals are treated/slaughtered. Ever watch videos on halal? If you have, then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't... I actually don't recommend it, it's pretty disturbing.

About GMOs, there's a lot of stuff going on there. I don't know a ton about GMOs but I do know that there are legitimate fears of long term health problems that may be caused by some GMOs.
 

Hilander

Free Spirit
Staff member
V.I.P.
For me its more than just halal meat, its how healthy the animal was to begin with. I would like to know that I'm not eating a cow that had mad cow disease or some other health problem when slaughtered. I really don't know how much some other countries test for such things if at all.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
For me its more than just halal meat, its how healthy the animal was to begin with. I would like to know that I'm not eating a cow that had mad cow disease or some other health problem when slaughtered. I really don't know how much some other countries test for such things if at all.

Also a very legitimate point. Halal meat is usually the first thing that comes to mind for me.

I haven't ever had a health problem caused by something like this but you do have to wonder how often it happens to other people.
 

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
The best one can do is TRY to aim for organic/free range/etc. as much as possible. But most city slickers have limited options that way.
 

Knight_of_Albion

Registered Member
The meat we're talking about is perfectly safe to eat, that's not the issue. The problem comes with halal meat and the disgusting way in which the animals are treated/slaughtered. Ever watch videos on halal? If you have, then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't... I actually don't recommend it, it's pretty disturbing.
Actually I do recommend people view those films ... Yes, it is horrible, but the only way to change things like that is to drag it out into the full light of day and let people see what's going on. And what they may be putting their name and dollar to ...

Google 'banliveexports'. They campaign against the live export of farm animals from Australia and Europe to the Middle East. If you want to see what 'humane slaughter' looks like out there, they have a whole range of unforgettable film footage to view.

There is also 'If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls' and 'Earhlings' on YouTube for film of home-grown 'humane slaughter'...

I would also recommend reading 'Diet For A New America' by John Robbins, which explains how the livestock industry impacts on not just animals, but the planet too. A real eye-opener.
 

The_Chameleon

Grandmaster
I thought I knew the deal with slaughterhouses, having seen a documentary before, but it turns out there's much that I still didn't know about the goings on in these mass production plants. I watched "Earthlings" just now and was shocked at what I had learned. I get most of my meat from the Farmers' market, but now I am going to get it all there. Here's a link to the video, if you have the stomach to watch it. Even if you don't, if you're a fellow carnivore, you should.

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ibuQ-J04eLQ


- Cham

PS Thank Knight for pointing that one out.
 
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