From Calf to Hamburger, Where Does Meat Come From?

We all know that some of our food is imported from other countries. but did you know that is includes meat? 16% of Beef sold in the Us is imported from Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, and 6% of Pork eaten in the US is imported from Canada and Denmark. (University of Arkansas, Division of Agricultural)

At first, most of us find the idea of eating meat from another country disconcerting, but these facts may make you even more weary of the meat that originated the in US:

  • A single feedlot usually has up to 100,000 cattle
  • Many slaughter houses in the US process 300-400 cattle an hour, twice the rate of anywhere else in the world. This leads to mistakes that cause contamination from fecal matter from the digestive tract or hide of the animal//
  • The turnover rate for workers in slaughter houses is between 75 and 100 percent a year. This leads to unskilled workers who make more mistakes, which could potentially contaminate the meat
  • All hamburger used by McDonald’s in the US comes from just 5 ground-beef suppliers
  • The top four meatpacking firms in the US have control of over 85% of the market
  • The centralized meat processing system means that it is difficult to trace tainted meat to it’s origin, and by the time a recall has been issued (if the source is found), most of the bad meat has been consumed
  • These huge companies have close ties to those creating food-safety policies and have more control over these policies than the American voters
  • Almost all ground beef in the US has some level of Salmonella
  • The USDA does not have the power to instate a mandatory recall of contaminated meat

Source: Frontline interview of Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

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