by MPD
Categories: Animals
Tags: .
Photo: cityfarmer.info

As 550 billion eggs are being recalled due to a possible salmonella epidemic, many are wondering just how safe our food system is.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma author Michael Pollan recently spoke with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN and explained why he believes these outbreaks are happening. Pollan explains that the food industry has fought tooth and nail to keep regulation agencies separate thus weakening the entire system.

“Our food industry has fought to keep power divided and power divided is never strong,” he said.

The author explains that many of the food safety issues we face today are the result of factory farms and suggests people buy eggs from farmers’ markets like he does.

But here’s the thing (and this is a pretty big thing): farmers’ markets simply can’t feed every man, woman, and child in the country. Factory farming is horrible, but it was designed for a reason: to meet a growing demand and price point. It seems to us that we should start looking at how and what we consume, and find sustainable solutions (and alternatives) to provide for a booming population.

What do you think? Check out the video below and chime in and share your thoughts!

  • Michael Raymer

    To help keep perspective, there have been E. coli outbreaks involving freah produce also.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_North_American_E._coli_outbreak

    The outbreaks came from spinach and lettuce.

    The point being, lets not get on some meat, poultry, dairy rant. Vegetable can get recalled also.

    • m4rk0

      ^^The produce you mention was contaminated from factory farm waste run off.

    • Michael Raymer

      I saw that (and made sure to post a link that said it). That was for the spinach though. No cause was given for the lettuce. But, for the time being, factory farms are a fact of life. (The author correctly points out that there are a whole lot of people in this world that need to be fed.) And so is nasty irrigation water. The point I’m making is that vegetables and fruits can be subject to bacteria outbreaks. It’s not just the “animal” industries.

  • Morgan

    Plants can not produce bad bacteria such as E Coli. It is true that plants can harbor it but only because of the simple fact that it was spread to them from direct contact of the runoffs from factory farming.

    I encourage you to read this article from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine that explains such. http://www.pcrm.org/news/commentary061020.html

    People need to be fed, yes. But there are other sources to get calcium, protein and other nutrients without the saturated fat from.

  • http://www.beforewisdom.com beforewisdom

    But here’s the thing (and this is a pretty big thing): farmers’ markets simply can’t feed every man, woman, and child in the country. Factory farming is horrible, but it was designed for a reason: to meet a growing demand and price point.

    Exactly, but Michael Pollan’s solution is to pay more, eat less and shift our perception to accepting that our food bills will be a more substantial part of budgets, like the Europeans.

    The alternative he will not mention, for himself or others is to go vegan.

    Nobody needs eggs or meat.

    Americans are brought up with those things, so we have psychological resistance to other ways of eating, as is human nature. The thing is from other areas of our life we had similar experiences and discovered great new things once we got over our resistance.

    There are many delicious vegan foods and recipes.

    These foods can be gotten at organic and sustainable quality at a lower price than Pollan’s yuppie eggs and meat.

    Give it a fair chance. Your health and food bill will be the better for it.

    • Michael Raymer

      “Americans are brought up with those things”. I really don’t know why you singled out America. Are you saying that we are the only meat eaters left in the world? I should hope not.

      Mankind is designed by nature (or God, the Creator, whatever belief system each individual desires) to be a predatory omnivore. A simple examination of our eyes and teeth as compared to other predators, carnivores and herbivores proves this beyond any shadow of a doubt. Show me one herbivore that is equipped with canine teeth and tooth enamel as thin as ours. And, like other predators, our eyes are directed forward so that we can focus on our prey. This isn’t socio-politics, it’s Biology 101.

      Let me be clear. I am not Ted Nugent or Tony Bourdain. I have absolutely no problem with vegans or vegetarians. I have no problem with promoting these lifestyles. I do have a problem with the assertion that this is a “natural” choice. It is not. It is a choice of convenience based on the modern evolution of western civilization. Vegans, etc., have the LUXURY of being so because worldwide and nationwide trade has made a wide range of animal-free nutrition available. If this was 100 years ago, anyone reading this would not be a vegan, etc. Or, if you were, you would be a thin, very malnourished vegan.

      To purport that the remaining meat eaters in America or the world are deluded and ignorant is nothing more than simplistic histrionics. And, in the end, it is what is keeping the vegan community as small as it is. No one likes to be put on the defensive.

      • Laura

        If vegans say something as simple and harmless as “You should consider going vegan,” then you would be just as defensive. People are so quick to get defensive over eating meat …I wonder why…

    • David

      Laura, have you ever seen the defensive reaction of a vegan if someone says they should eat some meat?