Wednesday, February 03, 2010

About That Pork, Beef or Turkey for Dinner

Thanks to Cookie Jill for pointing us to this article on Alternet about the use of several drugs in food animals in the U.S. that is banned in 160 countries.
As much as twenty percent of Paylean, given to pigs for their last 28 days, Optaflexx, given to cattle their last 28 to 42 days and Tomax, given to turkeys their last 7 to 14 days, remains in consumer meat says author and well known veterinarian Michael W. Fox.

Though banned in Europe, Taiwan and China--more than 1,700 people were "poisoned" from eating Paylean-fed pigs since 1998 says the Sichuan Pork Trade Chamber of Commerce-- ractopamine is used in 45 percent of US pigs and 30 percent of ration-fed cattle says Elanco Animal Health which manufactures all three products.
You have to ask: "How does a drug marked, "Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask" become "safe" in human food? With no washout period?"

While the meat consumption in my house has been drastically reduced, it is not gone completely. I do however try and buy locally produced and grass fed beef when I can and naturally raised chickens. Naturally raised local pork is a lot harder to come by however.
This is just one more reason to hesitate before buying beef, pork or turkey. Chicken, of course, has its own issues. The thing is that with a lot of us on restricted budgets and looking for bargains in the grocery it is really hard to pass up some of the low priced products being offered. For example, last week Kroger was offering Tyson split chicken breasts for an unbelievable 99 cents a pound. When you are trying to feed a family cheaply that is hard to ignore. The only thing to do is restrict meat in the diet and when you just have it try and find "non industrial" meat. Of course, there is always the vegan route.

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