Monday, March 3, 2008

"Legless" Meat and Other Atrocities

First, I stumbled upon this from a recent issue of Wired magazine (which I wouldn't get if MediaBistro didn't send it to me for free...). If you haven't already clicked on the link, it's an illustration of the yet-to-be-invented Ronco Meat-O-Matic, which allows you to grow "meat" from tissue cultures in a vat of nutrient-fortified liquid. The scary thing is that I wouldn't put it past today's feed-lot-crowding, corn-feeding, antibiotic pushing meat producers as a way to further scale up production. And who can blame them when the vast majority of meat-eating Americans are stuffing themselves silly with the cheapest meat they can find. (Why do you think McDonald's has sold billions? It's not the quality of service that keeps people coming back...)

So today, while reading Mouthing Off, one of Food & Wine magazine's blogs, I stumbled upon Rethinking the Meat Guzzler, by regular New York Times contributor Mark Bittman. It's a well-written essay on how harmful the current meat production industry is to the environment and our collective health among other things. In it, Bittman also alludes to the prospect of "legless meat." To quote from the article:
"Longer term, it no longer seems lunacy to believe in the possibility of “meat without feet” — meat produced in vitro, by growing animal cells in a super-rich nutrient environment before being further manipulated into burgers and steaks."

And then there's this gem, an Op-Ed by a farmer who was fined for daring to grow fruit and vegetables on land earmarked for corn. "How dare he!" I say with the utmost level of sarcasm. It's ludicrous that a farmer, who is trying to grow more watermelons to satisfy demand for local, organic produce, is told that he's breaking some law by doing this on land set aside for corn.

This all makes we wonder how I can best work to roll back the "progress" we've made in terms of agriculture. The more I learn about the Farm Bill and its subsidies to the largest corn, soybean, rice, cotton and wheat growers (at the expense of the very small farms those subsidies were originally intended to aid and those farmers wishing to grow the fruits and vegetables that we're supposed to be eating more of) the more I'm disgusted. I just want some antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef (three or four ounces is enough) to go with my local, organic, seasonal vegetables that rest on top of my brown rice pilaf that I made with homemade chicken stock. Is that so much to ask?

1 comment:

AllenKll said...

Broken Link for image.

Should be:

BTW, any update on the mamajuana making?