Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Fast Food Nation"

I have been eating more healthy lately. This mostly all happened after two things occurred. First of all I went to a meeting where the speaker talked about pre-diabetes and she explained it better than anyone I've ever heard. She was from our local Health Dept. They do have classes and I'm thinking of taking them to learn more.

The next occurrence was a book I read called "Fast Food Nation," by Eric Schlosser. You can get it from your local library. Fast foods has been one of my downfalls. After reading this book I drive on past them. I don't know if I can ever eat a hamburger again unless I know where that particular cow lived and who killed it and processed the meat. Here's the part that really got to me (This book was written in 2001).

This is directly from the book:
The cattle now packed into feedlots get little exercise and live amid pools of manure. "You shouldn't eat dirty food and dirty water," the official told me. "But we still think we can give animals dirty food and dirty water." Feedlots have become an extremely efficient mechanism for "recirculating the manure," which is unfortunate, since E. coli 0157:H7 can replicate in cattle troughs and survive in manure for up to ninety days.

Far from their natural habitat, the cattle in feedlots become more prone to all sorts of illnesses. And what they are being fed often contributes to the spread of disease. The rise in grain prices has encouraged the feeding of less expensive materials to cattle, especially substances with a high protein content that accelerate growth. About 75 percent of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes-the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle-until August of 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters. The FDA banned such practices after evidence from Great Britain suggested that they were responsible for a widespread outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow disease." Nevertheless, current FDA regulations allow dead pigs and dead horses to be rendered into cattle feed, along with dead poultry. The regulations not only allow cattle to be fed dead poultry, they allow poultry to be fed dead cattle. Americans who spent more than six months in the United Kingdom during the 1980s are now forbidden to donate blood, in order to prevent the spread of BSE's human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But cattle blood is still put into the feed given to American cattle.

Steven P. Bjerklie, a former editor of the trade journal Meat & Poultry, is appalled by what goes into cattle feed these days. "Damn it, these cattle are ruminants," Bjerklie says. "They're designed to eat grass and, maybe, grain. I mean, they have four stomachs for a reason-to eat products that have a high cellulose content. They are not designed to eat other animals."

The waste products from poultry plants, including the sawdust and old newspapers used as litter, are also being fed to cattle. A study published a few years ago in Preventive Medicine notes that in Arkansas alone, about 3 million pounds of chicken manure were fed to cattle in 1994. According to Dr. Neal D. Bernard, who heads the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, chicken manure may contain dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, parasites such as tapeworms and Giardia lamblia, antibiotic residues, arsenic, and heavy metals.
The pathogens from infected cattle are spread not only in feedlots, but also at slaughterhouses and hamburger grinders.

Now isn't that all interesting stuff to know?? When we were growing up we did kill chickens and hogs, but we knew what they had been eating and how they lived. I do not want to eat any animals that have been fed other dead animals or their manure. Good grief!!

I did find this a very interestng book from start to finish. It starts out telling how fast food got started. But it sure did some queazy numbers on my stomach!! Queazy enough that now I can drive right on past those fast food places and don't mind one bit!

Here's hoping everyone is having a wonderful and blessed Sunday!
This church sign falls right in place. We got over 4 inches of rain last night and today.


Blogger Cheyenne said...

I eat very little fast food. It's usually chicken when I do. Do you think the same is true for meat from a grocery store too? Unless we grow our own veggies etc. and raise our own animals to eat, we don't know where much of anything comes from or how it lived. What a sad world we live in, don't you think?

11:03 PM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

We buy our beef from a local meat processor and we raise our own chickens for their eggs. We do not butcher our chickens but we can purchase fresh chicken from the local Mennonites. More people need to research the alternatives in their areas. This is a very helpful post Rachel.

5:28 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Ewww. Makes me glad the beef in MY freezer spent a year on our place, grazing peacefully.

We had almost totally sworn off fast food after Cliff's heart surgery; unfortunately, when we're riding the motorcycle, the only place you can eat cheaply is at McDonald's.

And we do like cheap. Back to packing a picnic lunch and eating sardines and crackers, eh?

6:38 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It is really frightening to think what these Fast Food places serve....! I have never eaten at ANY of them, because their food didn't interest me---knowing waaaay back that there had to be a "problem" with the food for them to be able to sell it so cheaply.
I haven't eaten any MEAT for a very very long time---I mean Red Meat or Pork. I DO eat Chicken, but NEVER from a Fast Food place and I try to only eat Organically fed and grown foods....
Isn't great that THAT book had such a positive effect on you, my dear Rachel.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Oh you let the secret out at how livestock is raised for public consumption! You leave the impression these animals are for the fast food market when in fact they are for the supermarket trade as well.

Cattle should be fed on grass and foliage from rough pasture from which food crops for people cannot be grown. This is their proper place in the scheme of things. Unfortunately, we want fat flavourful meat so they are often fed grain from land that could grow crops for people.

Feedlots are not a part of the farm usually. It is corporate food raising where the bottom line rules not the "care and feeding of animals". As a result, every source of cheap feed is used. Feed made from flesh speed the growing process by delivering whole protein directly to the cattle. But the cattle's proper role is as a protein creating machine, transforming cellulose in plants (partial protein) into flesh which we then eat for its whole protein value.
Ungulates have a wonderful complex digestive system with four chambers or stomachs which achieve this protein making process.

Try to purchase your red meat directly from farmers and try to get grass fed beef.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Farmgirl Cyn said...

Rachel...We watched "Supersize Me" several years ago, and ever since we have all had a difficult time eating at a fast food restaurant. Pretty bad stuff.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Great sign. The rest of your post kind of made wish I hadn't grilled hamburgers last night.
While it is quick and easy I do try to avoid fast food.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Oh My God, that's awful. I just ate a fish sandwich but I don't know where the fish came from or even what kind of fish it was. I'll be thinking twice about where I eat from now on.

Love the church sign and that was a good one for this time with all of the rain we've been having.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Rachel, I'm not buying hardly any of what this yahoo is spewing.
Almost 100% of all grain grown in this country is #2 commercial yellow corn. Cattle and hog feed. It is usually first run through a plant that makes corn sweentners or ethanol and then the nutrients are still available to cattle. Ethanol and sweetner production does NOT take food off of the table. This kind of corn has never been on a table OR meant to be on a table.(except decoration at Thanksgiving.) The protien fed in the US is mostly from yellow soybeans. The beans again are run through a plant to extract the oil for cooking (vegetable oil) and bio diesel. The high protien dry meal is used for cattle, hog, poultry and dairy feed supplements.
Since time immemorial manure has been spread on the ground for fertilizer.
The Humane Society of the United States (not to be confused with the Humane Society)is cleverly raising money under the guise of trying to save poor little puppies when in fact their #1 goal is to eliminate all animal agriculture in the world. Avoid these people like the plaque. They use half truths to bilk innocent intentioned folks out of their money.
Most city folks don't know there is a difference between sweet corn and field corn. (I know you do) But that ignorance makes for easily lead sheeple.
I must go now and grill a couple of burgers for dinner.

4:37 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Rachel ~ That Fast Food stuff has ONLY two good traits. Cheap & Quick. But neither of those is worth giving up your health for. ~ jb///

2:51 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Mercy!!~I had no idea that cattle were being fed that stuff. I am going to send the article to my kids and grandkids. That is absolutely disgusting!
Thanks for sharing and congrat's on your good blood screening report.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...


Here is a farm website where they sell grass fed red meat.
There is a link to another site that demonstrates the benefits if grass fed beef. I thought you might find these interesting.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

My god Rachel, I just hope that Cliff's story is more correct than the other one.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I rarely eat fast food. I like the taste of it, but I just don't eat it hardly ever. I DO eat lots of OTHER stuff that I shouldn't though such as baked goodies and truffles.
I saw the movie called Fast Food Nation. It was pretty hideous.

3:22 PM  
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