Monday, February 18, 2008


The countries largest beef recall is underway... (news story) and the great thing about it is that much of the meat went to feed children in schools!

If you have a strong stomach here is the video...

I guess I am always worried when I hear these stories. On one level I am worried about my food, although I often personally know the producers of my meat that is not always the case. On another level I am worried about our farm and other small producers.

Major food recalls often cause pressure for "ACTION!" meaning government action, meaning regulation. And this is scary because, typically, there were regulations in place that were ignored by the perpertrators. You already are NOT supposed to use "downer" cows for the human food supply, as happened in this case. Thinking back to the spinach recall you were already NOT supposed to sell from flooded feilds (flooding lets contaiminates like e-coli into the feild).

So regulataion becomes stricter - read more expensive - especially for small producers. Will a small butcher still be able to process a small farmers 10 or 20 cows a year, without going through a huge "regulated" slaughterhouse. Will a small produce grower be able to grow 1000 pounds of greens a year without "inspection." ((Don't even get me started on the National Animal Identification Program.))

Much of this regulation is cheaper for bigger producers who already have plants and can spend an extra $0.001 a pound, instead of hiring someone for $30 an hour to do that same inspection for 30 pounds.

I fear that some day, doing what I do will be illegal, or so regulated it's impossible for a small farmer. All of you who support local food need to be aware that the next 10-20 years will be battle against the further industrilization of our food supply.

Any battle needs warriors...

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