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So, that meat recall

HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
edited March 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
You know the one...

143 million pounds... Two years worth... Biggest ever... Most of it send to school programs spread over 36 states.. Most of it already consumed...


This is fucked, and it's got me freaking out. All the articles I've read so far make it a point to state that no illnesses are reported yet, but not a fucking one of them mentions that it takes 5-50 years for mad cow to actually show up in humans as cjd, and that we're quite possibly looking at a fucking cjd epidemic a few years from now.

It's disgusting that this could've even happened to begin with. I'm pissed off, I'm terrified, etc.

From what it looks like, this particular plant in Chino did so well that in 2005 it won an award from the USDA for quality and safety, and since then the USDA has been pretty lax with it since they're understaffed and overextended.

I've threatened it before, but now I'm more serious than ever due to the size of this outbreak: I'm done with beef.

What does everyone think? Congress is going to have to do something about this.

I'd write some more, but due to my work/school schedule, I've developed insomnia and haven't really slept in the last week, so I'm pretty freaked out and wirey and can't really collect all my thoughts at the moment.

HadjiQuest on
«1345

Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    There have been a handfull of alleged "mad-cow induced CJD" cases ever. You may as well be freaking out that you might get hit by lighting while on a plane being hijacked by terrorists.

    The thing to do is ban feeding beef to cows. That would solve the goddamn problem. However, the cattle industry owns Congress, so that will never happen. And this is too scary to people because of the media coverage to actually worry about things that matter instead.

    Thanatos on
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2008
    The video of them moving the cows with heavy equipment pissed me off. To me it's the equivalent of someone spitting in my food.

    LondonBridge on
  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The video of them moving the cows with heavy equipment pissed me off. To me it's the equivalent of someone spitting in my food.

    Except they're potentially spitting a 100% fatal, time-delayed neurological disorder in your food.

    HadjiQuest on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2008
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    The video of them moving the cows with heavy equipment pissed me off. To me it's the equivalent of someone spitting in my food.

    Except they're potentially spitting a 100% fatal, time-delayed neurological disorder in your food.

    ...that is only suspected to maybe exist as transmitted through infected beef.

    Though hey, if we have a massive CJD outbreak, I guess it'll prove that such transmission is possible. Win-win?

    ElJeffe on
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  • BallmanBallman Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I've cut almost all of the beef out of my diet in the last year. I'm doing it for stomach/colon reasons, but really, I'm getting to the point where I'm not sure I'd miss meat in general.

    Ballman on
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2008
    Also, even if this is potentially worrisome, it only affects ground beef, not steak. You have to eat brain matter to get the disease, and ground beef is the only form of beef that may contain brains.

    So giving up all beef to avoid an extremely rare, possibly-real disease is a bit much.

    ElJeffe on
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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    HadjiQuest wrote: »
    The video of them moving the cows with heavy equipment pissed me off. To me it's the equivalent of someone spitting in my food.

    Except they're potentially spitting a 100% fatal, time-delayed neurological disorder in your food.

    ...that is only suspected to maybe exist as transmitted through infected beef.

    Though hey, if we have a massive CJD outbreak, I guess it'll prove that such transmission is possible. Win-win?
    At this point, 3 cases would be considered "massive."

    Thanatos on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, even if this is potentially worrisome, it only affects ground beef, not steak. You have to eat brain matter to get the disease, and ground beef is the only form of beef that may contain brains.

    So giving up all beef to avoid an extremely rare, possibly-real disease is a bit much.

    There are like a million far more pressing health and environment worries related to CAFO-produced meat of any species. CJD isn't really even on the radar compared to things like drug-resistant and acid-tolerant E. coli, which kills or makes miserable a far larger chunk of the populace every year.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Canada enacted bans on feeding beef back to cattle back in '97 - I thought the US did the same at the same time.

    As far as CJD goes, it's not even worth thinking about. Literally millions of infected cattle in Britain entered the food chain and there were a handful of CJD cases reported. Also, a downer cow can be the result of many things harmless to the food supply - Mad Cow is only one unlikely reason. So stop freakin' out - it's completely irrational.

    Nova_C on
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    But don't they feed ground beef to cattle? I mean, that's why the problem can spread so quickly, right?

    TheMarshal on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    Hadji's had his fits of irrational on a regular basis here. Still, giving up beef isn't exactly a bad decision - if you can't guarantee that the meat you're buying was produced in a way that doesn't speed disease evolution and doesn't treat animals terribly, as modern intensive meat production does, you really are safer avoiding it. Expensive* boutique meat once or twice a week is actually a lot better for you than slop every night. Thing is, he'd be a lot more sensible to restrict his intake of all meats, and be more careful about where he gets it. gg coherent courses of action.

    *well, that's not true: hardcore organic meat is only a couple of dollars a pound more if you source it carefully.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    But don't they feed ground beef to cattle? I mean, that's why the problem can spread so quickly, right?
    Beef tallow (fat) is a big chunk of the 'feed' given to feedlot cattle, and it contains small fragments of actual meat.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    They dont even know how it spreads in cattle, or at least how it starts. Out of lots of 1000's of cattle all eating the same feed, ONE might come down with mad cow disease.

    Gnome-Interruptus on
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  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I'm guessing this isn't much of a problem if you cook your meat well-done anyway.

    Also I'm fixing hamburgers for the lady and I tonight. Thanks

    Derrick on
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  • MikeMcSomethingMikeMcSomething Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Derrick wrote: »
    I'm guessing this isn't much of a problem if you cook your meat well-done anyway.

    Also I'm fixing hamburgers for the lady and I tonight. Thanks

    Some candles, some wine, and some fucking neurological disease-burgers

    MikeMcSomething on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Derrick wrote: »
    I'm guessing this isn't much of a problem if you cook your meat well-done anyway.

    Also I'm fixing hamburgers for the lady and I tonight. Thanks

    Except prions are incredibly heat resistant. Still, small chances.

    Rook on
  • TheMarshalTheMarshal Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Derrick wrote: »
    I'm guessing this isn't much of a problem if you cook your meat well-done anyway.

    Also I'm fixing hamburgers for the lady and I tonight. Thanks

    I don't think this is like e. coli, where you can cook it out. Once it's in, it's in.

    TheMarshal on
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    TheMarshal wrote: »
    Derrick wrote: »
    I'm guessing this isn't much of a problem if you cook your meat well-done anyway.

    Also I'm fixing hamburgers for the lady and I tonight. Thanks

    I don't think this is like e. coli, where you can cook it out. Once it's in, it's in.

    Yep. It's not a bacteria, it's a protein called a "prion" that causes your body to make more prions. As such, cooking temps don't matter all that much.

    Doc on
  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, ground beef is almost as bad as hotdogs for just being the place where they put all the leftover meat.

    If you want healthy meats you should always stick to steaks and any other non processed meat like chicken breast/wings/drumsticks or fish filets.

    Once they are grinding up the meat they can always add something else in, and rarely is that something thats good for you and not just them trying to bulk the product to charge you more for less.

    Gnome-Interruptus on
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  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hmm. Well the more you know... the greater your unhappiness, or some such.

    Still, it doesn't seem like the cows had the disease so much as they weren't in the best shape (below standards). Seems a stretch to go screaming Madcow about it, or am I wrong?

    Either way, hamburger is all I have thawed so hamburger it shall be.

    Derrick on
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  • FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Well, you could cook your beef in lye, it's fairly effective at denaturing prions. You'd bypass all that tedious chewing, too.

    I've considered replacing all my red meat with venison, as it seems hunted food is healthier for the animal and us. Maybe someday I'll do that.

    Fats on
  • AdrienAdrien Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fats wrote: »
    Well, you could cook your beef in lye, it's fairly effective at denaturing prions. You'd bypass all that tedious chewing, too.

    I've considered replacing all my red meat with venison, as it seems hunted food is healthier for the animal and us. Maybe someday I'll do that.

    It's weird, because it seems so much worse.

    Adrien on
    tmkm.jpg
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Why? I mean, something living in its natural environment freely? I suppose if you have an image of the meat industry as a sterile, whitewashed kind of thing it would seem very clean, but having seen several dairy farms I have no such thoughts. I've also eaten a lot of hunted/fished food before, so that might be part of it.

    L|ama on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    making your own ground beef out of larger cuts makes for better ground beef anyway. All you need is five minutes and a food processor.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fats wrote: »
    Well, you could cook your beef in lye, it's fairly effective at denaturing prions. You'd bypass all that tedious chewing, too.

    I've considered replacing all my red meat with venison, as it seems hunted food is healthier for the animal and us. Maybe someday I'll do that.
    Yes, Chronic Wasting Disease is such a huge improvement over Mad Cow. :P

    Thanatos on
  • FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    Well, you could cook your beef in lye, it's fairly effective at denaturing prions. You'd bypass all that tedious chewing, too.

    I've considered replacing all my red meat with venison, as it seems hunted food is healthier for the animal and us. Maybe someday I'll do that.
    Yes, Chronic Wasting Disease is such a huge improvement over Mad Cow. :P

    No, though the risk is no higher than farmed meat. At least you have control of the entire process, so you know brains weren't ground into the final product or anything.

    Edit: It was just a goofy aside, it certainly doesn't solve all problems and I'm not sure it'd be feasible, but I have considered it. I do think killing something in the wild is more humane than killing something in captivity.

    Fats on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Fats wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Fats wrote: »
    Well, you could cook your beef in lye, it's fairly effective at denaturing prions. You'd bypass all that tedious chewing, too.

    I've considered replacing all my red meat with venison, as it seems hunted food is healthier for the animal and us. Maybe someday I'll do that.
    Yes, Chronic Wasting Disease is such a huge improvement over Mad Cow. :P

    No, though the risk is no higher than farmed meat. At least you have control of the entire process, so you know brains weren't ground into the final product or anything.

    Edit: It was just a goofy aside, it certainly doesn't solve all problems and I'm not sure it'd be feasible, but I have considered it. I do think killing something in the wild is more humane than killing something in captivity.
    Meh? Animals aren't the brightest things. I don't think we should treat them like shit or anything, but do I think a domestic cat probably has a much better life than a wild cat, despite being "in captivity?" Yes.

    Thanatos on
  • FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    If cattle were treated like domestic pets, I'd have no complaints.

    Edit: And then no one could afford meat, so we'd solve two problems.

    Edit2: I need to stop editing so much.

    Fats on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    That's not actually the case. Animals were treated fairly well throughout human history up until the very recent emergence of factory farming. Meat was still affordable - access was largely restricted because you had to own animals to eat them, for the most part. Secondly, humanely produced meat isn't very much more expensive than the bad stuff, and food is very heavily subsidised in the US, meaning you guys are accustomed to artificially cheap prices anyway. That's also a recent thing - people paid much closer to the true cost of meat and other foodstuffs in decades past, and didn't starve.

    I really hate seeing that claim made, actually. No-one's going to starve over paying the actual cost of food production. The cows aren't being given goddamn massages on silk cushions :roll:

    The Cat on
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  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis worries me less than the CO injections they put into the meat to keep its "red" color way past spoil dates.

    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud on
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The USDA is an odd organization. They ignore the potential for Mad Cow Disease, but suggested a reasonable step to control brucellosis would be to kill all the bison in Yellowstone. And brucellosis can't even be transmitted from cows to humans unless the humans drink unpasteurized milk.

    LadyM on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    LadyM wrote: »
    The USDA is an odd organization. They ignore the potential for Mad Cow Disease, but suggested a reasonable step to control brucellosis would be to kill all the bison in Yellowstone. And brucellosis can't even be transmitted from cows to humans unless the humans drink unpasteurized milk.

    Did they suggest that before or after Bush got into office?

    Couscous on
  • FatsFats Corvallis, ORRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    That's not actually the case.

    That's true, currently, but I think we'd see some odd things if we required all meat to be raised to certain standards. I'm not sure we even have enough pastureland.
    Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis worries me less than the CO injections they put into the meat to keep its "red" color way past spoil dates.

    Safeway recently stopped carrying that stuff, hopefully other stores will follow suit.

    Fats on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The Cat wrote: »
    Hadji's had his fits of irrational on a regular basis here. Still, giving up beef isn't exactly a bad decision - if you can't guarantee that the meat you're buying was produced in a way that doesn't speed disease evolution and doesn't treat animals terribly, as modern intensive meat production does, you really are safer avoiding it. Expensive* boutique meat once or twice a week is actually a lot better for you than slop every night. Thing is, he'd be a lot more sensible to restrict his intake of all meats, and be more careful about where he gets it. gg coherent courses of action.

    *well, that's not true: hardcore organic meat is only a couple of dollars a pound more if you source it carefully.

    Also, grass-fed beef (as most organic beef is) has a better omega 3/6 ratio and less cholesterol than grain-fed beef.

    The Cat is right about subsidies, too. We're used to getting cheaper beef (and corn and grains) in our diet, leading to larger portions of all the above. Most of our diet should be fresh fruits and vegetables, which in a normal economy would be significantly more affordable than red meat or processed grains, but only because America is a bizarro-backwards-land when it comes to food prices is it cheaper to buy a cheeseburger at McDonalds than it is to buy an equivalent mass of berries at Safeway.

    Feral on
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  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    titmouse wrote: »
    LadyM wrote: »
    The USDA is an odd organization. They ignore the potential for Mad Cow Disease, but suggested a reasonable step to control brucellosis would be to kill all the bison in Yellowstone. And brucellosis can't even be transmitted from cows to humans unless the humans drink unpasteurized milk.

    Did they suggest that before or after Bush got into office?

    Strangely, the meeting I was reading about took place a year after Bill Clinton got into office. But the USDA had been working on their "death to brucellosis!!!" project for years before that.

    It's stupid because even if they killed all the bison, it could be spread through the 100,000 Yellowstone elk.

    And . . . oh yeah! . . . cattle can also catch it from dogs. :roll:

    LadyM on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2008
    Get yourself a copy of the Omnivore's Dilemma sometime if you want to know more about the USDA's nuttery. That's a seriously dysfunctional department D:

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • HappylilElfHappylilElf Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The local supermarkets in town all make their own ground beef which is a plus I guess. Of course this doesn't change the whole feeding cows to cows thing.

    Then again I have a butcher near me that is fantastic and only sells organic beef. Their steaks are unbelievably good. Now if only grilling season would get here sooner.

    HappylilElf on
  • HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    About 70-80% of the meat I eat comes from fast food or microwavable/canned goods.

    I very rarely have home made hamburgers (although recently and often enough that I'm kind of worried about them), and I do have steak maybe once a month.

    However, for the last 6 months I've been working the graveyard shift, and so most of my meals have been fast food, and recently I've been getting a lot of under prepared stuff. Also, I got hamburgers from my high school about twice a week within the two-year recall period in a state that did use the recalled meat. This all worries me greatly...

    What are the chances of something terrible popping up down the road because of this recall? Have things ever been flubbed this badly before? The media has me rationalizing that there's never been a big outbreak because there've never been as many downer cows processed without examination, due to the fact that mass farming of this scale and process is relatively recent. I've even seen some people saying that due to the way these outfits have grown, and the process by which they raise and slaughter their cattle, we may be seeing more and more cjd caused by madcow as the next few years pass.

    HadjiQuest on
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Sorry Hadj, the worms are already in your brain.

    Fencingsax on
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I only buy range free grass fed beef but I have noticed in the past year or so that it is harder to find. This seems strange. Also that's just beef I buy as beef. I'm sure I buy a lot of pre-prepared foods that have sketchy beef in them.

    Also re: Omnivore's Dilemma. Have you read Pollan's other stuff. He bought a steer and followed it's progress in a piece he did for (I think) The New Yorker. Also his book which I'm too lazy to find the title of had a great section on weed and how today's killer shit can be traced to the drug war.

    themightypuck on
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