482 views 3 commentslast update:6 Aug 2012

Eat your daily meat

Dick Ziggers
Let me elaborate a little on my grievance against the single issue party for the animals. What amazes me the most is that these idealistic vegetarians ("people that do not eat anything with a face" as it was explained in a kids movie) do not worry about the economic consequences of turning the world to organic in the beginning and to vegetarian in a later stage.

Firstly, what to think of all the jobs lost when intensive animal farming is expelled. Not only farmers (there aren’t many left) will disappear, but also the supplying and processing industries.

Secondly, people do not realise how many products considered offal in the food industry are fed to animals in their compound feed. In countries where grains are not abundant these by-products are used in large quantities in animal feed. Without intensive farming these products would be wasted.

Perhaps I should agree not to use primary food ingredients in animal feed and to use by-products as much as possible. This creates extra value through production of animal protein, especially now the competition between the use of grains for feed or food is gaining momentum. But that is another discussion.

And thirdly, most people cannot afford to pay the higher prices for organic food. I have seen the prices. On a short trip to the US I was able to walk into a store of Wild Oats, a supermarket chain fully dedicated to all natural (whatever that is) and organic food. The prices are staggering: four dollars for a pound of organic apples, or more than eight dollars for a pound of organic chicken breast – I wonder how much of this is going to the farmer. With those prices only a select group of consumers can afford to buy these products.

To be able to produce these foods for acceptable prices and in large enough quantities, producers will need to upscale and intensify their production, simply because there is not enough space to produce organic foods for everybody. This way we are back to the present situation of large scale, intensive farming.

In the mean time the whole agriculture sector has faced a shake-out, faced bankruptcy and lost billions of dollars, euros, etc. without any effect. I think this doom-scenario is quite close to reality when animal rights fundamentalist take over in agriculture and "liberate" our farm animals, while petting their dog or cat and feeding it to obesity.

3 comments

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    Hans Muller

    "organic", "biological " and others are symptoms of a disease brought on by wealth. As a population has outgrown the problems associated with the supply of food as seen in developing countries, it rears its head. Efficient manufacturing practices have brought much of the world to a position where food moves from basic live-sustaining necessity to something we can think about, argue about and fuss about. In many ways it is the greatest compliment that could be bestowed of the "food-industry" at large; it has succeeded in covering the needs for food in an economical and affordable way. We have to be very careful not to reverse this achivement and be bogged down into wasteful practices. These may have an impact of the world food supply that far transcends the perceived ethical or health concerns.

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    annon

    I think organic production is here to stay but so is free range. People can do the best they can in this area of production, but as I see it. "The more you do to your crop, livestock etc, the more it costs. These costs are passed on to the consumer via the supermarket chains and the farmer makes a misely profit, so the organic farmer who produces less wants to achieve the same price or a little more for doing a lot less than his neighbour. So the cost of the organic production is pushed up because they say they are free of all the nasties that are found in intensive. Greed is a difficult area. Although there is no furhter room on this planet we have a large population to feed so chemicals and intensive farming is here to stay unfortunately for the rest of the world.

    So I will continue to enjoy the freedom in my food that the cities can only dream about.

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    bea elliott

    yes, I suppose this is "progress" regrettably, I'm here at my computer - 21st century luxuries surround my being - all my needs comfortably met with this industrial age of modern agriculture..... But wait! is there something amiss? Why - yes.... An Egg! I've been everywhere on the internet - in/out of the phone books, even placed an add in the paper..... it's a simple request - AN Egg. A real one - the kind my grandfather spoke of - with an unexpected irregularity & a bright, large, oange yolk. One that came from a non-mutilated chicken; who scratches at the dirt, eats worms, (not cattle trimmings), spreads it's wings often and vigorously while it spends it's given time in the sun and rain. It's a pity - egg producers are making about 2 cents/dozen - and I'd gladly give $20 just for one of "those" eggs. This MEat industry has forced many vegetarians to veganism..... it's the only alternative to being philosophically consistent. Go Vegan!

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