Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Beef: It could be your last supper!

Meatpacking Maverick
By Michael Scherer

(Excerpt from Mother Jones)
Instead of tracking the contaminated meat back to its source, the USDA launched an investigation of Munsell's own operation in Miles City, Montana. Never mind that the local federal inspector had seen the beef go straight from the package into a clean grinder -- a USDA spokesman called that testimony "hearsay." By February 2002, three more tests of meat Munsell was grinding straight from the package came back positive in USDA tests for E. coli. This time, as he would later testify in a government hearing, he had paperwork documenting that the beef came from a single source: ConAgra's massive Greeley, Colorado, facility, which kills as many cows in three hours as Montana Quality Foods handles in a year.

Munsell fired off an angry email to the district USDA manager, warning of a potential public-health emergency, and adding that if no one tracked down the rest of the bad meat, "both of us should share a cell in Alcatraz." The agency moved immediately and aggressively -- not to recall meat from Greeley, but to shut down Munsell's grinding operation, a punishment that lasted four months.

(My Comments)

I will no longer purchase beef in any form from a retail outlet unless I feel confident the meat has been raised and processed with the safety of the consumer in mind (this has been my position since the first major fast food E Coli outbreak a number of years back).
Every Government Agency tasked with consumer safety has been unable to accomplish that task because corporate farming has contributed heavily to a corrupt congress.Fair and ethical behavior in every existing marketplace has taken a vacation under the Bush Administration, and will not return until power definitively swings to a third party


Sir Oolius said...

Do you have farmers markets close to where you live? I've found them to be an excellent source of small-farm raised (often organically), individually processed meat.

I somehow trust the Amish (or while living in Oregon the hippies and ranchers) selling the meat that they've raised from birth to slaughter more than the supermarket.

dailyread said...

We are fortunate (in the Pacific Northwest) to have a number of options to purchase local beef and pork that has been raised in an organic and sustainable environment. In some cases, it is possible to invest in a side or quarter of beef at a local farm, and monitor the entire process from calf to freezer.
I highly recommend each consumer doing the amount of research necessary to feel confident about the safety of the food they are providing their loved ones.