Food Recalls Galore (But Going Vegan Won’t Help)

A half billion eggs have been recalled. Tyson just issued a recall of deli meat shipped to Walmart. And the host’s comment on NPR‘s American Public Media’s Marketplace: “Vegan, anyone?

Two quick responses: First, I hope that he is not sued under the veggie libel laws, as I really enjoy Marketplace.  (For that matter, I hope that I am not sued under the veggie libel laws.) Industrial agriculture has way, way, way too much influence in our legal system. The latest proposal in Colorado was to add a year of jail time to anyone who disparages and discourages the eating of Colorado Food… Terrifying; you may remember that Oprah had to spend $5 million bucks to beat the accusations of Texas cattle ranchers after her comments regarding a beef recall. Not all of us have those resources!

Second: Vegan is NOT the answer! Vegans would have been screwed by the Organic Peanut Butter Recall and the various spinach and salad mix recalls of the past few years. No, the answer–for those who can afford it–is to move away from industrial agriculture and enjoy local food. Not exactly local to me, but a wonderful stop on a camping trip last year was Polyface Farms. They have a truly sustainable, free range, and holistic setup for eggs, beef, rabbits, pigs, etc. Phenomenal food, enthusiastic workers, and beautiful land. They were criticized (and had legal action brought against them) for their open air butchering–which they do because they want consumers to know every step of the food process–by big Agriculture, but the action was dropped after they proved that their meat was exposed to a fraction of the bacteria present at the mega-rendering facilities. Better food through transparent methods (also works for software, legislation, and oil spill cleanup). Big fan.

America’s future will be built in Rural America. But it won’t be a continuation of these practices. Nope. Poliface is closer to what we will need than the CAFIs.

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