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Monday, November 9, 2009

"Food For Thought"- To be Vegetarian or Non vegetarian...(About movie Food Inc)

Yesterday watched an interesting movie, Food Inc by Robert Kenner. Actually it was a pretty disturbing movie.It was about the nations food industry,food supply and the 'mass' production of foods.
I have read about these issues both online and in my Food Science courses, but when you actually 'watch' something it shakes you up. Samething happened....when we watched the movie, mind you...it was pretty graphic, I am troubled and thinking about it again and again...
They show how your foods reach you.How they are produced. When they show the chicken, cattle or pigs raised for meat,the conditions they are kept in, how they are slaughtered...it is very disturbing.
There is an 'assembly' line for everything...from start to finish everything is done mechanically...mass produced. They show that the hens are breed in a way so that they grow big in 1/4th the time as the traditional hens, they put on as much weight that they cannot stand on their own feet.They are given hormones so that they put on weight on their breasts....to inrease the 'breast meat' production.
Similar thing about cattle....and the pigs.They are fed diets they are not accustomed to.....just to increase 'meat production".
Other than that, the movies discusses,the emergence of E.coli strains and Salmonella strains that are found in meat...and people getting sick. The 'insecurity' of the food supply and how it affects us...
They mention that a  few 'big' companies rule the food supply and production....the farmers,consumers are not the key players anymore...

Everytime I read or watch something like this....I feel like ....I don't want to eat Chicken/meat anymore.
But again in few days..all is forgotten..and I am back..cooking with it and eating it.
To be vegetarian or Non Vegetarian???
I keep asking myself.
But till now, I haven't quite understood,why people criticize only 'mass' production of meat.Killing is killing.You kill in traditioanl way.....or in 'mass' produced way. You are still killing and eating.
So you either give up eating meat or go with the system and demand....
I am myself very confused and disturbed about this whole issue...
What about you?

On the other side...

Nov 16,2009
Just couple days ago....I read a chapter about "Food Security". It explains why the companies have to do certains things, which customers or other people find offensive....
I thought we all should learn to read at both ends...before making any conclusions.So here are some explanations from the other side...
About 'repetitive' nature of  job of slaughterhouse workers-
When I watched the documentary,it showed that the workers are made to do same job again and again so that they can be payed less. But in reality the "Food security" guidelines by the government ask the companies to compartmentalize the jobs.So that at any time,there should be only 'certain' authorized personnel allowed in that department of the slaughterhouse.This is important in 'food security' of the food supply. So every department has few personnel who always are responsible for that particular job.This makes it easier to 'track' if intentional food contamination or 'bio terroism' like activity occurs.

About common feeding operations and meat processing-
The documentary shows that the cattle are feed in 'Common Feeding Operation' grounds and not 'let out in natural environment" for grazing.
The goverment and the companies have to be really carefull of what the cattle eat. Letting out the cattle to graze in 'natural' environment also makes them likely to be targets of intentional food contamination.If everything is controlled, it becomes easier for the food companies and the government to make the food supply safer.
Meat processing by only a few companies has its advantages as well as disadvantages....
Advantage is....if food contamination occurs,the government knows excatly where it was processed and what could be the potential targets.

Like every coin has 2 sides....so does everything else
You have to look at both before making any opinion or decision ....

1 comment:

  1. The goverment and the companies have to be really carefull of what the cattle eat. Letting out the cattle to graze in 'natural' environment also makes them likely to be targets of intentional food contamination

    Are you kidding? There have been an increase in E.Coli outbreak due to factory farming.

    You should read the book "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer to give you an idea how cruel and insane we have become when it comes to factory farming. The "Food inc" documentary is kids movie.

    http://www.earthlings.com/ is also highly recommended.