Saturday, November 5, 2011

Undercover at Smithfield Foods, Supplier Of The Pork For The McRib

My grandfather was a farmer. Born on the family farm and as an adult went back to work on a farm after losing his factory position during The Great Depression. He was a beef eater, which is probably why he died young, but one thing he would not eat was veal. He couldn't stand the method by which the calves were raised for the veal market. He believed that putting an animal in a box, not allowing it to roam was inhumane. I wonder what he'd eat now since we seem to have moved the veal box into mainstream meat raising?

The more I learn about farming methods today, the less appetizing the products look to me. I can get my eggs from local farms, and my beef, pork and chicken as well. I've been on these farms, seen their operations and they are a far cry from the accepted practices that take place before our meats go to market.

I can no longer afford to eat meat on a daily basis since local farmers charge quite a bit more, but at least I know that what I'm eating wasn't tormented and tortured for my dining pleasure. Besides, a few meatless meals makes for a healthier human. I think Grandpa would be very proud of me. He helped raise a child that is willing to stand up for what she believes. Same as he did.


  1. Soon will be 3 months almost meatless. 3 times salmon, one sausage, one tiny little beef sandwich. No dairy, and we have used maybe a dozen eggs in that time in some baking. Take B12 if you go meatless, you'll get everything else from the variety, and you need a variety. We eat everything in the produce isle but parsnips and coconut. Lots of nuts, fruit, beans, rice, lintels, barley. Some of it is high price but without meat and dairy it comes out the same so far as we can figure.
    My extended family had cattle, my fatherinlaw got mad, said with the hormones and drugs it wasn't fit to eat and what the hell were we doing bieng part of such a thing. Most all of the family is out of livestock now.

  2. Sherry and Fringe,
    Love ya both - finising this beer and chopping up some Echrich Angus Beef Sausage to go with my red beans and rice.
    Look, here is my theory - Your ass is date stamped at birth with an expiration date. Yes, I have changed my dietary habits - more ruffage, less red meat - more fish and veggies and a lot more stir fried meals.
    Having said that, tomorrow is sausage and sausage gravy over biscuits covered by two or three sunny side up eggs.
    Sharon Kay was a vegan -before we knew what a vegan was. Well, slowly I changed her- Escanaba River trout was the first andten this Sicilian place in Marquette - Nicholas's. She finally would eat some meat.
    Darrel, I think what you and the wife is doing is fantastic- and I am proud of you for sticking to that.
    Grand Dad ate joel bacon, fried pork chops, meatloaf, and eggs every morning and lived to be 79. George Burns was on Carson when he was like ninety and Johnny asked him, "George, do you smoke three or four of theose cigars a day"?
    Burns took a drag on his cigar and said that he indeed did. Carson again asked him if he drank three or four high balls (that is mixed drinks)?
    Burns told him that since Gracey had died that he did have a few in the evening. Carson asked him, "What does your doctor say about that"? Burns replied, "He's dead. There are more old drunks that their are old doctors".



  3. good for you Sherry - I've been thinking like you for quite some time, although I eat a lot of 'chicken,' I no longer eat eggs and bacon and as for 'beef' in general I still like a good steak every once in awhile but I could easily forego that (if it wasn't for the Pup) and as for the rest of the 'red meat' items I really don't indulge much.

    even so - I pretty much agree with Sarge - 'we all have an expiration date on our ass' - so why not go out the way we want?

    why not?

  4. Sarge and ICE:

    I looked at my ass in a mirror and I couldn't find an expiration date. What should I do? :)

  5. Fringe

    We aren't going entirely meatless. Plus, my doctor says low fat dairy is a must preferably in the form of greek yogurt like Chobani or Fage.

    I bought in bulk from a local grass fed farm. I just need to stretch what I bought with a few meatless meals each week.

    I just can't support the tormenting these animals are subjected to before they're slaughtered.

  6. Sarge,

    My point is that I won't buy from factory farms where animals are forced to live in these kinds of tormenting conditions. It's not a vegan issue, it's an issue of allowing animals to be kept in the conditions they are being kept in.

    My grandfather wouldn't eat veal because of the suffering he saw the calves undergo in those veal boxes. The pens they keep the pigs in are no different.

  7. ICE,

    It's not a health issue, it's the conditions these animals are forced to endure before they're slaughtered. I buy what meat I can afford from a local grass fed farm. It's quite expensive, but I've been there and I see the difference in how the animals are kept.

  8. Whit,

    I wouldn't worry if I were you. You'll know it when you get there.

  9. Don't know about your grandpa Sherry, but I'm proud of you. I have said for years that high school students should be made to visit a slaughterhouse. They need to know what the earth gives up for us and you sure as hell can't do that with a food item in a grocery store.

  10. Mr. C,

    I wasn't able to purchase enough grass fed meats to last until Spring unless I plan a few meatless meals each week. I've never done this before and I now understand how much more planning needs to take place when I buy. I'm still going to need things from the grocery store, but very little of it will be meat.

    How they're raising the meats for our table is just wrong. I'd prefer not to be a party to it.

  11. I used to love pork barbecue sandwiches until I was invited to a well known national chain barbecue restaurant to watch them prepare the barbecue used in the sandwiches.....Never again.....

    After they cook all the rib racks they hoist them onto a long (very long) cutting table where they cut all the barbecue off the ribs and chop it to make sandwich barbecue....well as they are chopping and stacking 50 or 75 racks of ribs the flies feast...You know what i am speaking of here right...the big green belly flies that need FAA clearance to land.....

    I will now only eat full racks of smoked pork ribs fresh off the chopping allowed....