Monday, March 14, 2016

Calculating the Actual Costs of Food

Americans live in an insulated system of lies and fabricated realities. Every time an American consumer goes to their favorite purveyor of fast food, be it burgers, chicken parts cooked in a variety of ways, subs, pizza and well, pretty much the multitude of various foods out there; they are deluded into thinking that the cost they pay the cashier or delivery guy is what that food actually costs. It isn't. We live in an environment where our government actually pays for the costs to produce the foods you eat. The subsidizing of American food encompasses a wide variety of services that most people never consider. And is far more convoluted than most could ever imagine. Subsidies go far beyond the scope of the government paying the major costs of growing animal feeds like corn, soy, canola and cotton. Not just paying the giant agricultural corporations outright to grow these crops but to actually subsidizing crop insurance for them as well. Hard to believe but it's true, the Feds pay around 15 billion dollars a year just for insurance on crops being grown by major corporate farming cooperatives. That's on top of the pricing subsidy guaranteeing that the crops are brought in at a profit. Think about that for a minute, do the Feds pay for your insurance in case you get sick and can't work. Do the Feds guarantee that you will make a minimum amount of money each year. Big corporate agricultural companies have those guarantees. Nice hunh? American taxpayers front the costs of production of meat to the tune of Billions of dollars each and every year. And here we get differing amounts from our government overlords, they tell us they pay 20 billion out as subsidies. The EWG tracks 322 billion annually in direct benefit payments to large corporate agrigiant businesses.

Then there is the truly horrendous costs to the environment that Americans, and well, all citizens of the world, must pay dearly. The costs of waste products. That encompasses not just the costs of the removal of the huge huge piles of animal feces and urine, but the much larger problem of atmospheric carbon release. Methane and the breakdown of the feces into carbon dioxide that would, and does in sustainable systems, sequester the carbon back into the soil, are totally absent in modern Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. The most common method of handling waste on modern meat production facilities is to dump the feces and urine into holding ponds and allow it to breakdown thus releasing the carbon into the atmosphere. And there is the added danger of the release of those holding pond waters with the sludge to overflow into local waterways, neighboring agricultural fields and local community water systems during heavy rainfall. I love this link, it shows the disdain the Feds have for ordinary human citizens (2nd Circuit Court Decision)  The World Health Organization has determined that right now, at this time, 55% of all greenhouse gas emissions are a result of the production of meat for human consumption. This one is difficult to calculate, what is the cost of greenhouse emissions, the costs of cleanup from catastrophic mass releases into the environment of raw animal wastes, and the costs of contamination of agricultural products resulting from modern meat production methodology that has never developed an actual process for dealing with waste products. Allowing it to rot in ponds and hopefully get washed away in storms or in arid areas like Arizona, allowing it to dry and waiting for dust storms to blow it out into the desert, are not actual plans.

Probably the largest cost to not just consumers of modern meat, but every single person on the planet, is the cost of antibiotic resistance. CAFO production methods for beef and pork as well as turkeys (Chickens are exempt and not feed prophylactic antibiotics) ((but they are fed arsenic)) is to feed large doses of antibiotics to animals that live breathe eat lie down in move sit and exist in piles of their own wastes as a way to keep diseases manageable. The lessons of sanitation in human settlements seems to be lost. When cities grew, sanitation became an issue and cities where human and animal feces existed everywhere, diseases spread. Why would that same reasoning not apply to animals living in their own filth not be of primary importance to those making money on meat production? Well, the answer is simple, it's cheaper to feed antibiotics than it is to allow for humane and reasonable sanitary conditions. And the big one, governmental regulations allow for the slaughter of diseased sick deformed animals. ( Downer's Decision) Please note that it was a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to overturn the California law that stopped the slaughter of cows that were too sick crazed deformed or whatever to walk. Yeah, the Feds love American consumers and do what they can to protect them. Even allow them to eat diseased meat. 

The result of the huge amounts of antibiotics being fed to animals has resulted in the growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria that are pretty much everywhere in our society now. They coat the meats in stores, in fast food joints and home kitchens. They are everywhere in hospitals and doctor's offices, and the CDC now estimates that antibiotic resistant bacterial infections result in 22,000 deaths each year. And the number will grow EXPONENTIALLY  in the coming years as the numbers, varieties and possible methods of infection rise. How do you calculate the cost to society of the death rate, the illnesses and loss of work time and family time of the horrific diseases being bred in meat production facilities simply because they can do such things.

The last thing here is the degradation of the quality of the nutritive benefits of modern meat. Modern methods of raising pork, beef and poultry involve the feeding of the animals corn, soy, canola meal and cotton meal. All are unnatural foods for each of the animals. Their systems are not designed to exist on those products and although they may grow and add the much desirable fat (not unlike humans drinking their caloric intake in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup) but they don't thrive on that type of diet. But then, they don't need to thrive on those food sources, they only need to grow to saleable weight to be slaughtered. Now each of those main food sources are of course drenched in Glyphosate, the EPA two years ago raised the allowable limit of Glyphosate on animal feed to 200 ppm. That was of course a year and a half before the World Health Organization declared Glyphosate to be a carcinogen. At this time, there is no definitive research as to what happens when humans consume a diet primarily consisting of meat that contains Glyphosate residues. But we do have research that shows us that the composition of modern meat is very different from meat raised using traditional sustainable methods. Grass fed beef has much higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, higher levels of beta-carotene, Vitamin C and, well, the stuff is just way way way better for humans than modern CAFO raised meat. (Study on Beef composition  How do we place a dollar value on the lack of nutritive value of modern meats as well as the speculative and probable destruction of tissues and cancers from the Glyphosate issue. It's there, we know it, we see the effects directly, it's just that no one will fund a study on the secondary effects from consumption of Glyphosate via animal sources.

So go out, eat that 99 cent burger, that cheap chicken sandwich, those all you can eat buffet ribs and fried chicken in a bucket of canola oil. Everytime you do, you cost me money, your neighbor money, and every citizen on this planet pays in one way or another for you to get that cheap cheap and probably toxic meat. Enjoy!

Ractopamine info (Ractopamine)
Gross out about meat (MEAT
Feceiation (Feces in Meat
Modern Meat (Modern meat again
Meat of the Matter (MEat Matter

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