Wednesday, September 25


Regular Meat Facts readers will recall the alarming news that salmonella can survive cooking in sausages and can spread person-to-person. No sooner did we get over that than comes the news that E.coli can be spread through the air! That's right, through the frickin' AIR!!! This is worse than invincible hogs! But don't worry, folks - the new, improved, non-corrupt USDA is on the case: They're declaring WAR ON E.COLI. Why? Because of the ConAgra fiasco? No, no, no. It's because "scientific data clearly demonstrates the pathogen is more prevalent than previously estimated and that E.coli O157:H7 is a hazard that is reasonably likely to occur at all stages of handling of ground beef products." What they're saying is that at this point, any meat you buy probably has feces on it or in it - enough to sicken you and your whole family. Just don't breathe the air...


A provision inserted in the latest farm bill, at the insistence of farm groups, bars the USDA from setting up a tracking system to identify the farms where the food was produced, reports the Des Moines Register. The article immediately follows this up with a priceless quote from Gary Weber of National Cattlemen's Beef Association: "If you're running a small farm with 30 cows or 100 cows, would you want this liability on you, when every time something went wrong they came back to you?"

Every time something went wrong - like what? Children dying from E.Coli and listeria? Well, yeah, if I was responsible for that I'd hate to find out about it, much less be held accountable in a court of law. But I'd have to consider it an occupational hazard of a profession - raising livestock - that resolutely floods America's grocery shelves and dinner plates with dangerous crap. Instead of the poor sloppy farmer having to suffer, we now have widespread deadly outbreaks of food poisoning that can't be traced to their source, and people continue to fall ill and die. Yay, priorities.


OK, I won't, as promised, refer again to the prankster who made it necessary to point out such obviousness, but a couple of recent clinical studies confirm ONCE AGAIN that low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets are healthier and keep your weight down better than low-carb diets. The key, of course, is to eat the right carbs. Duh, you can't get thin eating donuts and white bread. What should you eat? Fruits and vegetables. And if you want to ward of cancer, DO NOT eat five a day - no, according to the National Cancer Institute, you should be eating nine a day! If you can manage that (and even I haven't been able to, so far), you won't have room left over for junk food!

In a related development, a new study confirms, ONCE AGAIN, that organic fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than conventionally raised ones. Hear that, John Stossel?

Sunday, September 22


In the latest sign of MCI (massive corruption and incompetence) at the USDA, the General Accounting Office presented a report stating that the public is at risk for illnesses from tainted meat and poultry because the government is not doing enough to oversee slaughterhouses and processing plants. You have to ask yourself, how much clearer can it get? Do they need to spell it out any further - and say "B.S: It's what's for dinner"? Typically, not only did news outlets play down that angle, most of them simply ignored this alarming story. At least Forbes had the panache to pair it with another report saying that our food supply is at risk from bioterror. Of course, in such a scenario, meat is much easier to adulterate than produce because it won't go visibly rotten (or more rotten) from the introduction of foreign substances. But why bother poisoning something that's already poisoned?


Let's have a pity party: Two monster-size livestock operations from Wisconsin and Idaho have run into the rising tide of anti-feces sentiment among the public. "Gripes about manure spreading" helped push Waukesha County's largest dairy farm out (with predictions for a domino effect among smaller dairy producers in the area), while a proposed "mammoth hog farm, upwind, was too grim" for officials and the public in Cassia County, Idaho - even though the project had been a much-ballyhooed "state-of-the-art" billion-dollar facility that would supposedly be stench-free. Opponents scuttled it by citing "nearly 150 hazardous substances coming from swine operations including methane and ammonia," as well as "fish kills and lawsuits over hog farms in other states." Sounds like the word is finally getting out that we don't have to roll over and take it while profiteers foul our land, water and air with animal waste. But it hasn't quite reached all the way to Washington, which this week lavished STILL MORE money on livestock producers while crop farmers complained that they were just as hard-hit but aren't getting these massive bailouts. If only there were a hog farm upwind of the Capitol building, you can bet they would smell the winds of change.