Friday, January 8, 2010

Eating for Sustainablility

It takes alot of corn to fatten a steer.
But it is alot quicker than waiting for a grass fed steer to "beef" up for slaughter.
Corn fed steers are ready for slaughter after a relatively short life of about 14 months.  75 years ago,  steers were 4 or 5 years before they were ready for slaughter.  Remember cowboys?  Cowboys roaming the grassy prairie lands with their  cattle  have been replaced by CAFO's (concentrated animal feeding operations). Agribusinesses' CAFOs have made it possible for Americans to have their cow and eat it too. By confining large numbers of animals in small spaces, fattening them quickly with corn ( not a natural food for a ruminant like a cow), keeping them alive with antibiotics and processing them assembly fashion helps to keep the price low.  It is now possible for us to eat meat 3 times a day and  half pounds and pounds at a time without a serious hit to our wallets.
In some ways, that does't by itself seem like much of a problem.  But, what are the hidden costs of producing meat this way?

For the next few posts, I'll detail a number of ways that meat production negatively impacts our planet and is unsustainable.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You are what you eat!

IF you are what you eat, do you want to venture a guess as to what you are?  Maybe perhaps a  walking, talking chicken McNuggett?  A tall, mocha, non-fat soy latte?  Are you any bit of fast food? Oh, I know, you eat lots of healthy things; whole wheat crackers, Special K and Cheerios, Vanilla low-fat yogurt 
I have news for you.  According to Michael Pollan author of Omnivore's Dilemma- Americans are fairly  unaware of the large amounts of corn that have slowly seeped into our diet in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.  Do you drink a soda every day?  How about washing down those tasty tortilla chips?  If you grab a beer, guess what- you are still drinking corn, fermented from glucose refined from corn.  And that is just the beginning of an unimaginably long list of foods and products  that contain corn syrup or some kind of modified starch product derived from corn.  Even toothpaste, cosmetics, cleaners ( I know that you don't ordinarily eat that), matches, coatings on vegetables, adhesives and all sorts of other things are made with corn. 

We are the "corn people".