"Chunks" of feces are making it through the USDA’s flawed meat inspection program
Sept. 9 2013
A pilot program meant to identify contamination at meat plants has been failing to do so for the past 15 years. The USDA plans to roll it out nationwide, anyway. From the Washington Post:
The program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines by as much as 20 percent and cuts the number of USDA safety inspectors at each plant in half, replacing them with private inspectors employed by meat companies. The approach has been used for more than a decade by five American hog plants under a pilot program.
But three of these plants were among the 10 worst offenders in the country for health and safety violations, with serious lapses that included failing to remove fecal matter from meat, according to a report this spring by the USDA inspector general. The plant with the worst record by far was one of the five in the pilot program.
This specific fecal matter didn’t make it to the mouths of consumers, because government officials caught it at the last minute. But these and other international incidents documented by the Post, including some that weren’t caught in time, demonstrate that the program has serious flaws.
In New Zealand, a representative of the inspectors union describes how “tremendous amounts of fecal matter remain on the carcasses,” adding, “Not small bits, but chunks.” The Post points out, parenthetically, that “both fecal matter and partly digested food may contain concentrated and complex strains of bacterium such as E. coli and listeria, which can be deadly.”
The USDA wants to finalize and then expand the program by next spring, and is considering the same for a similar program that covers poultry plants. First initiated in the late 1990s, it’s meant to reduce government inspection costs and ultimately lower the price of meat. But the USDA doesn’t seem to have done enough to evaluate the program’s safety, and, according to the Post, may be engaged in something of a coverup:
In interviews, six USDA inspectors working in the pilot plants raised health concerns. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they believed their jobs would be in jeopardy otherwise.
Several said company and government workers are yelled at, threatened and shunned if they try to slow down or stop the accelerated processing lines or complain too aggressively about inadequate safety checks. They also warned that the reduction in the ranks of government inspectors in the plants has compromised the safety of the meat.
“We are no longer in charge of safety,” said an inspector with more than 15 years of experience. “That’s what the public needs to know.”
Maybe, just maybe, the focus on price and efficiency is a bit shortsighted.
Enjoy your feces. I cuddle chickens instead of eat them.
yal realize the USDA literally considers feces in food a “cosmetic blemish” now instead of an actually dangerous thing that nobody should ever want to consume
I am so goddamn glad I jumped that ship
^^^ NAILED IT.
props to getting love worldwide
As IF I wouldn’t provide you guys with kind holiday alternatives! See below for TONS of awesome ways to create new Easter holiday traditions:
Easter Ideas for Kids (egg-dyeing included!) via http://veg.gy/yEiSI
EggNots - a realistic, inedible, non-perishable egg alternative (also) for kids with allergies! https://www.eggnots.com
Eco Eggs (and their other product, eco grass) - 100% BPA-Free, renewable compostable corn-based plastic Easter eggs made in the USA from plants, not petroleum! http://www.ecoeggs.com
Vegan Easter - a page full of kind holiday recipes, photos, shopping ideas & all things Easter-related! https://www.facebook.com/VeganEaster
Kind Easter Candy - cause you want it! http://www.naturalcandystore.com/category/vegan-easter-candy
…egg-shaped rice crispie treats - dip them in a vegan chocolate sauce & top with sprinkles! Made together, still spending time in the kitchen but creating something kind! Recipe via http://veg.gy/w6lTI (adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz)
…*cheap* eco-friendly wood eggs from Apple n Amos on Etsy (http://veg.gy/h3LVE - orders will still be fulfilled in time!) or DIY string eggs (http://veg.gy/PQOYU) you can save & cherish over the years, paper-mache eggs filled with kind candies & chocolates (hit up Bunner’s Bake Shop for fresh treats, order ahead is a good idea; their cream eggs are to die for!) that your kids can enjoy day of - and/or a trip to a local animal sanctuary to get a double dose of family springtime renewal, love & compassion and to show thanks for all of our time together.
Someone asked me a while ago what I do when I’m not being vegan. My parents constantly get after me (still) with “how dare you / dumb it down, dear” comments, that I have chosen to separate myself, ostracize & alienate myself from the love available to me in this life, community, family even by my “choices”. Once going vegan & sharing my changes (enthusiastically so), friends I had, some for decades, suddenly stopped calling. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I’m criticized for wearing my heart on my sleeve (shirt or coat too) so obviously.
…others agendas swirling at the forefront of every day, the need as an adult woman to keep years of conditioned silence and dependency at bay to make my voice heard, felt at every volume - all it takes is THIS to snap my head back to who ‘I’ am, what I came here to do - the REAL work that is assigned to us all. I am reminded of where I have been, what I have seen, what I know to be true, what kind of a world I want to live in, to create, by a simple honest photo. THIS is why I am ALWAYS vegan; this is why I don’t care to be part of the tribe, unless I am helping to lead it to evolve; this is why I will speak - voice shaking, crying & heart in motherfucking hand - even if I am standing absolutely alone. It ain’t me who’s alienated, ostracized or lacking love. THIS is why there is no other option than vegan in my mind’s eye for this world, why I will work until —- , and why I know we will prevail, perhaps naïvely so (see all the fucks I don’t give); the world needs more leaping.
THIS - they are why I am unapologetically connected, out loud & proud, fearlessly vegan. There is no other way to be. So please - BE.
Photo from last summer (07-13) while volunteering with Toronto Pig Save, pigs in a truck en route to Quality Meat Packers, a Toronto slaughterhouse - marks from a binary prod, a tool of violent submission akin to a taser typically used on humans - both illegal and violate UN weapons protocol 3
…I’m sorry if this is hard to learn - but this is why I suggest kind options for Easter & beyond. Enjoy this holiday, & every one, cruelty-free.
“In the discussion about “ethical eggs” it is rare to hear much about the cruelty inherent in hatcheries, or of the smallest victims of the industry: male chicks.
Roughly half of all the chicks born each year are males, approximately 200 million in the US alone. A rooster of the egg-laying breed is of no financial value. He is too slow growing and lightly muscled to be used as a “meat bird”. He is unable to produce eggs and is not needed for breeding hens.
The industry standard is to grind chicks alive or to gas them. Statistically, for every laying hen, including those in “free-range” or “cage-free” facilities, one male chick has been killed in the hatchery.
Intentional “euthanasia” is just one way chicks may die in a hatchery. Shortly after they are born, chicks are sent via conveyor belt for debeaking and sexing (separating males from females). Some chicks end up trapped amongst the shells and eggs in the hatching trays. These chicks suffer intense pain as they are sent through the scalding water spray intended to clean and disinfect the trays.” — Melissa Swanson
Just like you and I - chickens have families, bonds, and experience emotions. Just like you and I - they are sentient, and deserve the same rights and freedoms that humans have. http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/someone-not-something/chickens/ http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens/ http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/chickens-used-for-meat/ http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/eggs.htm https://www.vegsoc.org/layinghens
…and as always, before you start with “free-range” BS: http://www.humanemyth.org/cagefree.htm
BOTTOM LINE: LIFE IS NOT EXPENDABLE OR DISPOSABLE. NEVER. NO EXCUSES. Widen your circle of compassion; wake up.
RECIPE: Did you know @PeepsandCompany’s holiday-marshmallows & candy are made from boiled bones? (…not to forget that they are incredibly toxic, loaded with chemicals, too!) #DIY my kind, guilt-free plant-based ‘mallow recipe instead.
My recipe for plant-based marshmallows is as follows:
Ingredients: • 1 3/4 cups organic vegan “sugar” (see note below) • 1 cup water • 3/4 cup organic vegan light corn syrup* (see note below) • 1/4 cup organic vegan powdered sugar • 4 tbsp agar powder • 1 tbsp organic vanilla •
Prep: Soak the agar powder in 1/2 cup cold water until it is completely absorbed, which can take about 10 minutes.
Directions: While the agar powder is soaking, bring the 1/2 cup water, 1 3/4 cups organic vegan “sugar” of your choice and 3/4 cup organic light corn syrup (or healthy syrup of your choice) to a boil in a saucepan. Stir it constantly over medium heat, taking care not to let it boil over. Using your stand mixure or hand mixer, slowly combine your sugar mixture and agar. Beat it on high speed for approximately 10 minutes or until the mixture looks like fluffy egg whites. Cover the entire bottom of the baking dish with powdered sugar. Then, pour the sugar-agar mixture into the pan. Sprinkle the top of the sugar-agar mixture with the remaining powdered sugar. Allow the marshmallows to sit so they firm up. Once they are firm, you can cut them into heart shapes using a cookie cutter or knife. Store in cool place (pantry is okay, fridge is best) in an airtight container.
NOTE: …In lieu of “sugar”, and depending on desired sweet eat outcome, I use unrefined organic vegan sugar or coconut sugar; as an alternate to corn syrup I typically opt for organic brown rice syrup. It can also be substituted by maple flavoured syrup, which is often simply corn syrup with flavouring, golden syrup, agave / coconut nectar or light molasses. Using any of these may change the colour of your treats - though I’ve never been concerned about this as the health factors outweigh my concern, plus I’m a sucker for the rustic “natural” appearance!
*…for traditional “peeps” - instead of putting mixture into baking dish, put it into a piping bag with large round tip; pipe mallow mix into peep shapes - close together to ‘pull apart’, dust with naturally tinted super-fine vegan sugar with a sieve or roll in it when dry to the touch! Enjoy!
With the Easter holiday weekend approaching, many of us facing the trauma inherent with a non-vegan family gathering - my energy is on high alert for the animals this week. This post struck a massive chord with me, as slaughterhouse (et al.) worker support is something I passionately advocate for within our vegan movement. This statement of disconnection is the very reason we all must widen our circle of compassion to include the humans involved in this broken machine.
Tim (shown) is not the first reformed worker I have met through activism, his story not special - but consistent. Those of us that are lucky to not do this for a living have the massive benefit of awareness; they, numb, dumb & disconnected (a choice, always) quite literally don’t know any better, especially when money is chronically waved in front of their faces to not know or wake up. Even when it seems like we can’t, even when we stand in judgement, even when the lives WE know might be changed, we must be genuine stands for the workers even more. Striking a movement within them, of the heart to the mind, is a bonafide way to gain support for our cause; these men & women are not separate, and must be accepted amongst us in society, they must know that they don’t need to do this - that they have options, and that we will help them make the transition, because we must. By our compassion, we must show them there is no reason to be defensive, and that the line between the animals & them is false; they are no different. It is possible, but we must make it so.
Many workers are ex-cons funnelled into the system once released from jail, already dumbed down from the system, mistreated & labeled as “animals” themselves, “…so why would they want for or expect any different? Why should the animals get better treatment than us? I’m the lowest of society - I have no care for my life, so why should I care about theirs?” they have told me. Their belief makes it so. Many are open if you find a point (any) to relate upon and will drop their defences - this is the way in. Many are waking up; they need us. We must see for them until they can see for themselves, teach them to act fearlessly with our own bravery & support. They aren’t to blame until they know; continuing to blame them doesn’t solve the problem but delays those that are responsible from being held accountable. The Powers That Be, the 1% of the pop that truly elect your governments are responsible for this; for all beings, all life, the planet - we must reconnect everyone. Vote with your dollars & your voice, hit the wealthy / your government where it hurts - and yet always, be compassionate to all; no man, human or non, gets left behind. We are all in this together.
Regram via @amaryn_ / #guelphpigsave
Revamped my Tumbler, cats and kittens. Theme, mood, pics, features…evolved. A very small fragment of a very large overhaul. Let me know what you think, and stay tuned for more.
My SoulMate has newly launched herself into the Tumblr void. Good things are nigh, y’all.
Check that shit out, and follow (OBVS).
I wish I could dump all the carnists on a deserted island with nothing but an unlimited supply of fruits and vegetables and watch as they struggle to figure out how to survive without bacon and interspecies breastmilk
That’s the kind of Hunger Games I could get behind.
*cannon going off every time someone passes out from cheese deficiency*
WHERE IS THE KICKSTARTER FOR THIS BECAUSE I WILL DONATE RIGHT NOW.
It’s Official – Russia Completely Bans GMOs
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recently announced that Russia will no longer import GMO products, stating that the nation has enough space, and enough resources to produce organic food.
**If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.” – Medvedev**
Russia has been considering joining the long list (and continually growing) of anti-GMO countries for quite some time now. It does so after a group of Russian scientists urged the government to consider at least a 10-year moratorium on GMOs to thoroughly study their influence on human health.
“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed. It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading. ” – Irina Ermakova, VP of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety
(RIA Novosti/Ekaterina Shtukina)
A number of scientists worldwide have clearly outlined the potential dangers associated with consuming GMOs. I recently published an article titled “10 Scientific Studies Proving GMOs Can Be Harmful To Human Health,” you can read that in full here. These are just a select few out of hundreds of studies that are now available in the public domain, it seems that they continue to surface year after year.
Russia completely banning GMOs, such a large, developed nation is a big step forward in creating more awareness with regards to GMOs. Ask yourself, why have so many nations banned GMOs and the pesticides that go with them? It’s because evidence points to the fact that they are not safe, they are young, and we just don’t know enough about them to safely consume them. They just aren’t necessary, so why produce them?
Within the past few years, awareness regarding GMOs has skyrocketed. Activism has played a large role in waking up a large portion of Earths population with regards to GMOs. People are starting to ask questions and seek answers. In doing so, we are all coming to the same conclusion as Russia recently came to.
In February, the State Duma introduced a bill banning the cultivation of GMO food products. President Putin ordered that Russian citizens be protected from GMOs. The States Agricultural Committee has supported the ban recommendation from the Russian parliament, and the resolution will come into full effect in July 2014.
This just goes to show what we can do when we come together and demand change and share information on a global scale. Change is happening, and we are waking up to new concepts of our reality every day. GMOs are only the beginning, we have many things to rid our planet of that do not resonate with us and are clearly unnecessary. We are all starting to see through the false justifications for the necessity of GMOs, no longer are we so easily persuaded, no longer do we believe everything we hear and everything we’re presented with. Lets keep it going!
For more CE articles on GMOs, click here.
For more CE articles on glyphosate, click here.
…”If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food.” – Medvedev … YAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
FINALLY, something productive. If Russia can/is doing it - no one has any excuses. (Also, while we’re on the subject - ‘organic animal products’… I’ll just leave this right here: http://tinyurl.com/m3mfru5) #NOPE
Your move, United States.
Beautiful ladies on the beach
I lived as a very ignorant vegetarian for 4 1/2 years - unaware of the horrible things that happen in the dairy industry, thinking that no one had to suffer for my glass of milk or my scrambled eggs. All it took was one person to show me the facts and it was like a switch that went off in my head.
It takes a willingness to let go of what you think is “normal” and putting aside the satisfaction of your taste buds. Cutting meat out of your diet is a huge and important step, so you’re almost there!
Explore dairy and egg alternatives:
- Tofu scramble in lieu of scrambled eggs
- Non-dairy milks including: soy, almond, rice, hemp, even sunflower milk
- Soy and almond milk yogurt. Brands include: So Delicious, Wholesoy & Co., Trader Joe’s, Amande, and Almond Dream
- unsweetened applesauce, Ener-G Egg Replacer powder, and flax seed as egg alternatives in baking
- Vegan cheeses including: Daiya (which comes in shreds, slices, and the wedge in a variety of flavors!), Teese, Kite Hill, and Follow Your Heart
You can use these cheeses to make an easy and delicious cheese sauce, suitable for vegan mac & cheese, nachos, even seitan cheese steaks!
There are vegan alternatives for most things these days.
One of the best things I can suggest is getting the app “Is It Vegan?" It makes grocery shopping for vegan-friendly items a breeze by allowing you to scan items and telling you if it’s vegan or not.
VeganKit.com is an all-encompassing resource that’s fantastic for those starting out.
Here’s a list of a few of my favorite books:
- Vegan’s Daily Companion by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
- The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
- Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero
- Vegan Junk Food by Lane Gold
- The 30 Minute Vegan by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray
If anyone has anything to add, please feel free! I hope this helps!
I love that someone has done this AND written it down; this is what it’s about - not being perfect, but just doing it, period. It’s never been easier (and that’s why now is the right time.) Also, no excuses - none. NOPE.