Where Our Food Comes From

We all enjoy food. its a building block that is essential to our lives. so where does our food come from? The grocery store of course, but before that is a mystery to most. Many Americans would say, a farm, that’s the imagery we have seen in stores, products, television, and advertisement for years. A 1950’s era piece of land with a highly diverse population of healthy animals with good lifespans, family owned establishments, rows of fresh vegetables and a red farmhouse. Unfortunately this is very far from the truth for a majority of our country’s food supply in 2015. In our days, 2015, three or four companies control eighty to ninety percent of meat as well as about seventy-five percent of fruit and vegetables; accomplishing a oligarchy.

A cow a intelligent and peaceful animal’s diet consists of grass or wheat. However it was decided corn is cheaper and with make the cow fat quickly. The problem with this is that cow’s don’t digest corn as easily as other animals at all. To combat this each cow has a one foot diameter hole drilled into the side of its body so a worker can extract the corn from it’s stomach a couple times daily. We are assured the open wound for months doesn’t hurt the cow. Similar to pigs and chickens, cows live in tight, lightless facilities, living in their own excrement ankle deep for the whole duration of their lives. Milk, due to bio-magnification, contains residue of pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormone, bacteria, and possibly disease. All because we can make the milk last longer and the cows get bigger. Strong bones and calcium? most foods contain more calcium than milk! A pig has more cognitive ability than a dog or cat, within our slaughterhouses they grow up in a steel pen so small they eventually grow around the bars. Most are clinically insane before their death date, only adults are profitable for life, piglets, like male chicks are killed for food byproducts immediately. Chickens are actually a lot smaller in nature and take about 90 days to grow full size. But meat industry studies discovered people much rather prefer white meat, especially breast. So chickens are altered and bred genetically to be three times large than normal and grow full size in roughly thirty days. The first step in Slaughterhouse used to be to humanely kill the animal before any means of cleaning and cutting. Due to the extreme number being pushed through at any time of day, corporations choose to let the process kill most of the animals. All meat before it is packed is sprayed with ammonia in the hopes of killing and bacteria the temporary worker missed. Due to the amount of fruits and vegetables we import there is no standard of regulation as to how much pesticides are on our produce. Peaches shows pesticide and bacterial residue at ninety-seven percent according to the environmental group. Lastly most foods now include chemicals to make them look and taste more appealing also to mainly increase shelf life. Processed foods as well as corn syrup are believed to be attributed to most major diseases and many cancers according to many independent research studies.

In the early 1890’s through 1906 the meat packing industry was very corrupt monopoly, and like every other industry in the early 20th century, no regard for safety or quality. In 1906, author Upton Sinclair publishes The Jungle giving the public a understanding of the practices within the industry, focusing on poor worker conditions and the disregard for the quality of the meat or what else gets grinded into meat. Congress passed policy to reform the entire food industry complex, successfully reforming all standards. A rebirth of local farms and clean corporations. Basically after World War II, rapid economic stimulation cause meat companies to once again start the process of industrialization for cheaper overhead to capitalize. This time paying workers long term health coverage, very beneficial wages, and job security. Over time wages are cut, unemployment, to the use of temporary migrate workers so we can practice extremely unsafe processes and boost profit to what we have here today. it is now one of the most dangerous jobs in the united states and has one of the weakest levels of job security as well as lack of quality regulation just like 1906. I am not a vegetarian or vegan. It seems like we can make the process so much more humane. As of now some alternatives are grass fed meats, organic produce, and less dairy products.

Word Count: 755

Sources:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/industrial/consolidation.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/447620-eating-fruit-without-washing-it/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1286537/  (Documentary, Food Inc.)

http://www.veganoutreach.org/whyvegan/slaughterhouses.html

http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/dangers-of-cows-milk/

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Where Our Food Comes From

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