Need yet another reason to cut meat out of your diet? Here’s a good one. According to an extensive study, most of the beef in the United States suffers from “massive fecal contamination.”
Here’s the deal. A yearlong investigation by the Kansas City Star into the beef industry revealed that most of the beef in the country is produced by only four companies (87 percent, to be exact). Not only that, but the Star says that these companies “take advantage of novel, money-saving techniques that significantly increase the risk of contamination by foodborne pathogens, leading to hundreds of preventable illnesses every year.”
All this was enough to get the attention of vegan superstar Mayim Bialik, who tweeted out a link to the article this morning, saying, “4 companies make almost all the beef in this country. look at one an investigation into one of the biggies found. bon apetit (sic). yum!”
Brace yourself, because the findings to which she is referring are enough to make your stomach turn.
“At one of Tyson’s beef plants, inspectors noted: ‘massive fecal contamination; multiple carcasses with varying degrees of fecal contamination; periods of very significant fecal, ingesta and abscess contamination.’ Another federal inspector at Tyson found ‘a piece of trimmed fat approximately 14 inches long with feces the length of it,’ and another noted, ‘fecal contamination …was so great…couldn’t keep up.'”
And that’s not all. In addition to the presence of actual fecal matter, reporters discovered that blades used to tenderize the meat forced E. coli bacteria from the surface, where it’s likely to be destroyed by high cooking temperatures, to the center of the meat, where it can survive — and sicken anyone who eats it. Not only that, but the drugs which are fed to the cows to help them put on weight and fight infection may have a negative impact on human health, as well.
So how is all this legal?
It isn’t. But the Star says that it’s overlooked, because “the USDA and the meat research industry are in the industry’s pocket. [For example], a full 30 percent of the $71 million that land grant colleges in beef-producing states in the Great Plains spent on beef-related research was given to them by beef-producing corporations.”
Mayim called it. Yum, indeed.