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if I am what I eat….

December 30th, 2003 · No Comments

Today, in response to the “mad cow” discovery last week, the U.S. government created new tighter rules , including the banning of sick “downer” cows from slaughter, changing the ways cows are killed, and prohibiting the slaughter of tested animals until results are known.

On the NPR station KUOW in the morning I heard an organic farm lobbyist mention that some farmers buy chicken manure from poultry farms and feed that to their cows. Maybe I haven’t been keeping up with all the news, but I don’t remember hearing that one before. I don’t know if I’d believe everything a lobbyist tells me so I did some research…

I found this article Droppings from the Sacred Cow from the Stratford Beacon Herald in May 2003 – some irony here in reading a Canadian response to mad cow discovery last spring. The author, with a bit of tongue-in-cheek tone, I think, describes how cannabalistic the entire farming system is, not just cows eating other cows, but farmers swallowing up other farmers.

The mad cow scare will soon pass. I suspect more people will die from being run over by a cattle beast than from eating one in Canada. That is a tribute to farmers, not the government or the market place.

The brief news spotlight on agriculture will provide a fleeting glimpse, a reminder, that food is actually produced on farms. That will pass as quickly as the last mad cow is laid to rest but the sacred cow of cheap food will live on.

It will gobble up all the small farms and chicken manure forced down its throat but ultimately neither the farm community or the consuming public will like what the sacred cow leaves behind.

And I found 1997 article on CNN, probably prior to the new feed rules that went into effect back then Are humans endangered if cattle dine on chicken manure? This article also states that euthanized cats and dogs have routinely been incorporated into livestock feed also!

I know that if you follow a food chain far enough down it might go into some strange territory. But thinking about cows eating cows or cows eating chicken manure turns my stomach…it’s enough to make me not want to eat beef or at least to buy only from organic Oregon Country Beef (press release 12/23) “the best marketing is truth”

Makes me think twice about that saying “you are what you eat”?!

Tags: health