History of Favorite American Food Meat Part 2

About the favorite American food meat, history and information about cattle and beef production.


Antibiotic drugs added to the feed produce hard, white, saturated fats instead of the normal yellow, soft, unsaturated fats and thus lead to heart disease. This tends to occur over an extended period of time rather than from a single large dose. Sodium nitrate and nitrite, which are claimed as antibotulism drugs, are really used more for their cosmetic effect in the preservation of ham, frankfurters, luncheon meats, smoked fish, and also, in many cases, beef. They cause a pinkish color. Nitrite makes the hemoglobin of our blood unable to perform its function of carrying oxygen and so it is toxic. Accidental human poisonings are known. Infants are even more susceptible to nitrites than are adults; yet many baby food manufacturers including Gerber, Beech-Nut, and Swift add nitrites to their baby foods containing meat. Worse yet, nitrites combine with other chemicals to form cancer-producing substances. In the past we could look for redness in meat as a sign of freshness but today it could be the result of chemicals.

Although it should take 3 or 4 years to produce cattle for food, modern methods make it possible to get young beef animals to markets within 12 to 18 months. Considering the unnatural lives of these animals, they can hardly be considered a good food source, but cattle be considered a good food source, but cattle ranchers find the $90-million-a-year profit accountable to drugs nourishing enough. While DES has been banned, other drugs are still acceptable from a legal, if not a health, standpoint. Tranquilizers are used to improve the appetites of the force-fed animals or to activate the hypothalamus, which controls milk production. Most beef is bred by artificial insemination and there are many experiments, reminiscent of Nazi Germany, which suggest transplanting fetuses or giving hormones to induce multiple births from the best cows. Professional foot-trimmers are used to shorten the animals' toes since they must have very restricted movements. Milk-fed veal used to be the best veal to buy but today many of these animals are kept in a state of anemia to produce the whiter flesh. Most hogs have ulcer conditions due to the processed garbage they are fed and sheep are defleeced with chemicals that interrupt cell growth.

To save the several weeks that slaughtered beef should be refrigerated and aged, processors prefer to have the animals injected with enzymes prior to slaughter to speed up aging. The enzymes from pineapple or papaya are not dangerous to humans but the overall effect is fraudulent since poor quality can be masked with such artificial tenderizing. Also, to retain artificially the redness of fresh meat, there is a practice of injecting sodium pentobarbital, an anesthetic, just prior to slaughter to delay the color changes in the muscles and thus keep them red. Perhaps a lighter shade would be preferable to this practice.

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