Corn, Ethanol & Grain Subsidies Are Putting Shit In Your Veggies and Pink Slime Down Your Throat
You can blame the corn and grain producers in the US for pink slime along with the meat industry. The subsidization of corn and grain has made grain fed beef a much more lucrative way to raise cows for slaughter.
Since cows’ stomachs aren’t made for grain (they’re designed for grass), grain-fed cows get a lot fatter and do severe damage to their stomachs, leading to a lot of health (disease, bacteria) problems in the meat. One example of health problems is that because cows need to eat a lot more content in order to not starve, they produce a lot more manure which then seeps into their water supply (and, consequently, human water supply as well), leading to the strong potential that pathogens, such as e. coli, find their way into the meat.
This process of soaking mechanically separated meat was designed to kill off any potential pathogens from reaching the meat markets.
So, what we really need to do is get rid of all these corn and grain subsidies which not only lead to “pink slime,” but also are economically irresponsible and inefficient (which is another story altogether).
Bloomberg has a story of Texan farmers who take advantage of government loan subsidies to keep their farms alive and affordable during those rough times when the ground doesn’t produce good batches of goods. It is a far too common problem for farmers trying to squeeze life out of what should not be producing any produce in sizable quantities. With a government subsidy, you can probably squeeze blood and water out of a stone and a ton of food out of a desert.
Suffice to say, this is a less than optimally efficient way to feed a population. Land is surely a scarce commodity, but it is not scarce enough that we cannot allocate our farming production in a more efficient manner that would not only make food cheaper (not only are these subsidies not actually keeping food prices down, they’re a waste of taxpayer money), but also aide foreign markets which would spread wealth and lower poverty.
I imagine most would argue, as most liberals would probably testify, lowering world poverty is a lofty goal. This is one way that freeing markets from government intrusion would lead to a more optimal, efficient agricultural market. We have plenty of land in the US we can use for farming; we also have plenty of land outside of the US which we can import our goods at a much cheaper and efficient rate. This isn’t a call to hurt farmers in the US – it’s a call for sanity and an end to the conditions that lead to the use of pink slime.
Some arguments antagonists would make is that we shouldn’t outsource our source of food because we don’t know what we’re getting. There are plenty of quality and inspection measures we can take to ensure we are getting good quality goods.
In fact, we know what we’re getting now with our inefficient market setup: unhealthy animals being sent to slaughter which produce heavy amounts of manure which ends up disseminating e. coli (and other pathogen) into water supplies which in turn find its way onto our plant produce and infects human consumers with disease and inflict death when we just wanted a blasted tomato.
Addendum: McDonald’s chicken nuggets have been all-white meat since 2003.
Update: “48% of Chicken in Small Sample Has E. Coli.”