Pardon my intentional misspelling of the v-word. It seems that word is now being used to seek out and censor those who are critical of that particular industry.
Childrens Health Defense is doing a heroic job of keeping tabs on vackseen statistics. I encourage you to read this well documented article.
What follows is a post I wrote on my website in 2017. Regular readers know that I’ve presented considerable evidence in previous posts to show that the primary reason the US, with only 4% of the worlds population but 25% of C-19 deaths, is due to our questionable food and lifestyle choices, which makes the following post perhaps more timely today than it was in 2017. As you read what follows, keep in mind that just about everthing I said about Big Food can be applied to the v-industry.
Tyranny has befallen our food choices and those who grow our food. Never before in the history of humankind has the growing and consuming of food been so fraught with danger, fear, intimidation and misinformation. Over recent years the number of small farmers being taken to court by Big Food representatives like Monsanto and their ilk has been at an all time high. The number of farmers being taken to court or put out of business by Big Foods taxpayer subsidized police force - state and federal food regulatory agencies - has also been at an all time high.
Stir into this torrid pot the fact that over 50% of Americans now suffer from some form of chronic illness, many of which can be blamed on the toxins Big Food puts into their products, and you have a form of tyranny never before faced by the human race.
Big Food is ubiquitous. Its political, financial and media clout has permeated society with false information and false food. It’s influenced everything from the food pyramid to whats taught at medical schools. Don’t be fooled.
from the farmers perspective
Since 1967 there has been a litany of regulations designed and put in place by the many faces of Big Food and their K street lobbyists. These regulations were meant to squeeze out small farmers who could not afford to finance the facilities and other costs involved in meeting regulations. In the early stages of this process the K street lawyers would take advantage of any little food contamination issue that arose on a small farm and blow it out of proportion in the media. This helped them get legislation passed that benefited their Big Food clients and their clients’ modern food processing facilities. The process has worked so well that there are now only 4 major meat companies controlling 80% of the meat sold in the US; Tyson, Cargil, National Beef and JBS.
When I was a kid Dad raised registered black Angus cattle on our 1,200 acre farm in Kansas. He had a large outdoor tripod set-up that he used to hoist-up a freshly killed steer for butchering. It was all done right on the farm - no transportation or slaughterhouse stress for the cattle. At that time - in the 1950’s - he could legally sell that meat to anyone. Up until 1967, the process Dad used was being used by tens of thousands of small farmers across the US. It was the norm, not the exception. No longer. Today processing meat on the farm and marketing it to ones friends, neighbors, restaurants and folks at farmers markets is theoretically illegal, thanks to regulations that protect Big Food.
What changed? Did something happen to make Dads process less worthy today than it was in the 1950’s? Of course not. Just the opposite - most animals slaughtered in Big Foods’ massive slaughter houses today have a much higher pathogen count than when processed the way Dad did it. This is because Dad did them one at a time, in the cleansing light of the sun and cleaned up after each one. A modern slaughter house may process thousands of animals per day - animals that just prior to slaughter were crammed together in pens which forced them to piss and shit all over reach other. Freaked out by the intense fear the process generates, their bodies became flooded with undesirable hormones. Covered with this external mess and flushed with the internal one, they’re then mindlessly driven into the killing floor after which they’re taken into the facility to be processed. Crazy.
This so called ‘modern sanitary meat processing system’ has resulted in a record number of salmonella and other food borne pathogen cases. To make matters worse, meat from multiple animals can be found in a single hamburger. It gets worse. It’s now possible for meat from multiple animals that originated from multiple countries to be in the same hamburger, which goes a long way toward explaining why corporate generated meat is so at risk. It also explains why Big Food fights country-of-origin labels.
The amount of money I would have to spend to build a legal facility with an on-site inspector would probably cost more money than I’ll make in the next 10 years. Since I’m 63 now, that’s obviously out of the question. So I process my animals the way Dad did, the way all hunters do, the way a lot of small farmers still do, and pray that people come to their senses about where their meat comes from and how its grown and processed.
There is another little known aspect of this. Most of the public lands ranchers in the Western US are cow-calf operations. In recent decades many of these ranches have been bought by investors seeking an avenue for tax write-offs on other ventures, not to mention that the ranch operations themselves are heavily subsidized by US taxpayers. Every year these ranches round up yearlings and send them off to CAFO’s (concentrated animal feed operation) to be fattened for slaughter for the conventional food system. So all of those cattle you see grazing on your public lands across the Western US are part of the misguided CAFO system, not part of the solution. Where I live provides a good example - my farm is surrounded by millions of acres of public lands and the cattle that graze them. Yet, no one living in this area has access to that meat. It all gets shipped to distant CAFO’s, to the detriment of the local economy. Of course the possiblity exists that after processing cuts of that meat could be shipped back to our local mercantile. But after the warped, degenrative process that occurs at the CAFO, it’s no longer fit to eat. Besides, given that the steer from which a cut of meat came from may have been born within sight of our local mercantile, why would any sane person want to move that meat around the surface of the planet several thousand miles before eating it? To benefit the fossil fuel industry? Ah, but I forget… this is what Big Food oligharchs tout as “efficient food production”.
The local ranchers here employ very few people and pay poverty wages. The money is all made at the corporate CAFO’s. So, our local ecosystem gets overgrazed and suffers from soil erosion, the fat cat ranchers make little or no money but get big tax write offs, and the distant CAFO makes millions. It’s a lose-lose situation for rural economies across the Western US.
All of this is why I do everything I can to get the word out about The PRIME Act, a bill (HR 3187) which is currently before Congress. If passed it will essentially take things back to the way they were in 1967, just prior to the takeover by Big Food, when everything Dad was doing was still legal.
If Trump had been serious about deregulating and helping the little guy, he could have gotten this bill passed. It’s now quite apparent that he only wanted to deregulate businesses that impact his very fat wallet and those of his fellow 1% cronies. Consequesntly, the swamp now runneth over. Don’t expect Biden and his neoliberal corporate cronies to move on this.
from the consumers point of view
For the consumer all of this means that your chances of getting a food borne pathogen have gone up since 1967, not down. It also means that if you do get salmonella poisoning, the origin of the meat that made you sick will likely never be determined. If you buy meat from a farmer at a farmers market - especially a farmer who allows you to come visit his or her farm - then you’ll know everything there is to know about that meat, from how it was raised to how it was processed. Look for local farmers raising cattle, sheep, goats and pigs on native pasture - from birth to slaughter. Ideally, to avoid raising stress hormones in the animal (that negativley affect us) by loading it on a trailer and transporting it to a slaughtering facility, slaughtering should occur on the farm. Hopefully butchering also occurs on the farm, but hiring somone locally to do the job helps spread money around within the local economy.
Conventionally raised and processed meat - meat from a big box store like Costco, Walmart, Safeway or Kroger’s - not only has a higher risk of being contaminated with pathogens, it also stands a very good chance of being contaminated with antibiotics, growth hormones and glyphosate.
Antibiotics are given to keep the animals from getting sick due to the highly unsanitary conditions they live in at the CAFO’s. In fact, 80% of the antibiotics used in the US go into livestock. Even if your avoiding taking antibiotics because you’ve heard some of the bad news about them, your still exposed if your eating conventional meat (antibiotics are not allowed in organic meat). The result of this overindulgence in antibiotic use has been a fearsome rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria and deaths that now plague hospitals across the US.
CAFO’s also use antibiotics for the same reason they like to use growth hormones, because they help the animals gain weight more quickly.
Glyphsoate enters the picture via the corn, soy, alfalfa, sugar beet pulp and some of the other products used to fatten the animals while at the CAFO. Eighty eight percent of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified, most of which goes to livestock. Ninety percent of sugar beets are genetically modified. The sugar ends up as table sugar and the pulp is often fed to livestock. Genetically modified alfalfa was introduced in 2011 and is now pervasive. These are crops which have been genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate, the herbicide used in Monsanto’s Round-Up.
Of course none of this is done to improve the nutritional quality of the meat. In fact it degrades the quality and nutritional value of the meat. Rather, it’s all done to increase profits - hence, the title of this peice.
So whats the solution? How do we free up our food system to make it safer? First and foremost, for your health and the health of your local economy, boycott the psuedoplasmoidic crapola being passed off as meat at big box stores. Then, go local. Get your meat at your local farmers market where you can talk to the farmer who raised it. Ask to visit his or her farm. If they refuse, find another farmer. A farmer that’s willing to let you visit their farm will be secure in how they raise their animals and will want you to know that it’s the most nutritious meat possible.
Some states have taken to passing food freedom laws that are once again allowing farmers and cottage industry food processors to do what they once freely did before Big Food took over. The state of Wyoming is leading the charge in this regard. Other states are looking at what Wyoming has done and are working on similar food freedom proposals. Write your state representative and ask them to sponsor a bill in your state similar to Wyoming's Food Freedom law.
While your at it, write your federal representatives and ask them to support The PRIME Act, HR 3187. Getting that passed may very well cause an avalanche of more food freedom laws. Taking back control of our food supply from the corporate oligarchs will not only help level the playing field and drive a renaisance of local economic prosperity, it will also help recitfy the health dillmemma that threatens far too many Americans. Instead of the US being the laughing stock of the world for claiming to have the best health care system in the world while having the highest percentage of C-19 deaths, let’s take back control of our health and boycott the greedy oligahcrchs who brought us to this point.