Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Excuse my vegetarian ranting, but seriously...

I didn't really put much thought into this post, but it's articles like this that really get to me.

So much is wrong with the American food industry, and the worst part is that we know it too. There has been so much press recently, including great articles and books (notably "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan.) However nothing seems to change. As cited in this article, "in the case of beef, 150 out of 162 samples came from animals that ate nothing but corn." Doesn't anybody else find it disturbing that animals that have been raised to eat grass are now fed corn, fueled by cheap oil, simply because it is so cheap? This article notes how this corn fed "meat" is being served in our nations fast food restaurants, but the real scary part is that at purportedly "fancy" steakhouses, they tout the fact that their steaks are all "corn-fed", um, excuse me? The fact that it is served in fast food restaurants is obviously a larger issue to the general public, but the reality that it is praised in a place where your meal costs more than a flight to Europe, that to me is just ignorance. Another scary fact is that while so many people are struggling with starvation, the corn that is produced to make corn syrup and to feed livestock is inedible to humans such as ourselves, what sense does that make! Not only is it inedible, but animals require 12x the amount of sustenance as humans do to survive . 80% of the corn and 90% of the soybeans in America are eaten by animals. To me it seems that we could be much more efficient in the way we are farming, and for what reasons.

My only hope is that people will become more informed, and that eventually a change will take place, a change that I seriously believe in.

I'm happy to see that the president elect has in fact taken some initiative to respond to this epidemic. In a recent interview, Barack Obama said the following;

“I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael
Pollan about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is
built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is
contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And
in the mean time, it’s creating monocultures that are vulnerable to
national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices
or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are
partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because
they’re contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease,
obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in
healthcare costs. That’s just one sector of the economy. You think
about the same thing is true on transportation. The same thing is true
on how we construct our buildings. The same is true across the board.
For us to say we are just going to completely revamp how we use energy
in a way that deals with climate change, deals with national security
and drives our economy, that’s going to be my number one priority when
I get into office, assuming, obviously, that we have done enough to
just stabilize the immediate economic situation.”

Thank you Mr. Obama. It definitely is the kind of attitude we need if we are to someday, hopefully soon, make a change that our nations population, especially it's children, are in dire need of.

1 comment:

Robby Ramdin said...

Seconded. Also one of the reasons livestock are pumped so full of antibiotics is because they have to deal with eating corn.

High fructose corn syrup is really bad for you and tastes worse.

Alternative fuels made from corn require more fuel input than output.

Corn just sucks. Unless it's on the cob.