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View Diary: Beef: Unsafe at any price, even at Whole Foods (107 comments)

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  •  I was going to suggest the same thing. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    resa, annetteboardman, ActivistGuy, chigh

    The classic clamps-to-a-tabletop hand-cranked meat grinder can be had for about $35 and, as long as you protect it from rust and sharpen or replace the blade occasionally, will probably last forever. It makes for safer ground meat, and it lets you control the fat content and texture of the grind. Not to mention providing a bit of an upper-body workout. The only downside is that they are a bit of a pain to clean.  

    •  so called progressives, i love it (4+ / 0-)

      chompin down on beef, the worst food on so many levels. like:

      the huge amount of water it takes to raise a beef cow
      the huge amount of green protein it takes to make a pound of beef.
      contamination such as feces, e coli, etc
      weight problems from gorging on beef
      heart problems from gorging on beef
      mental confusion and anger when challenged about their beef consumption
        (just wait a few minutes here, you'll see it here)

      As a cocky anti-beef preacher I want to share a slogan I just now made up.

      Beef: it's not the shit, or the fat. It's the conspicuous flaunting of reason

      I'm thinking xxxlarge tees in red

      "Don't push the river but don't pull no punches." Van Morrison

      by bob zimway on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 09:35:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for this, as I posted earlier (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bob zimway, VegDana

        You are right, there are so many reasons not to eat meat that progressives should get. I posted here how Al Gore doesn't even get it, or rather chooses not to.

      •  Misinformed vegans (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lemming22, judith2007, Anarchofascist

        Typical response from the ignorant.

        How much water is used to grow an ear of corn, process it, put it in the can, ship it to your local supermarket?

        And what happens to the corn stalk, the cob, the shucks from that ear of corn?

        How about tofu? How much water is used to grow the soybean, harvest it, process it into tofu, package it, refrigerate it, haul it to the store?

        And what happens to the bean plant, the bean husk?

        I'll put the water used up in raising a beef cow for the nutrient value received against your tofu diet any day of the week.

        Cattle generally graze on pastures that are not suitable for farming. You can't eat the grasses they eat.

        No one has to gorge on beef just as no one has to gorge on potato chips or sodas. And there are a lot of us who aren't a bit confused about our beef consumption. Angry? Actually I think you're pretty funny.

        •  my tofu diet (1+ / 0-)
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          How would you know about my diet. Oh right, from your beef eaters support group handbook.

          I ate tofu when I was in Asia. I'm not in Asia.

          Try again.  Let's make a game of it: guess my diet of say five foods and if you hit the majority I'll retract everyhing I've ever said about the correlation between beef and mental confusion.

          "Don't push the river but don't pull no punches." Van Morrison

          by bob zimway on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:06:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tofu? No thanks. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bob zimway

            I'm not a tofu eater either, though I'm not opposed to it if someone can make it in a tasty dish.  Cracks me up how us "crazy" vegetarians/vegans are assumedly all tofu-eating hippies.  

            I think someone mentioned this in another post here.  I find it weird that so many progressives - who are generally compassionate people - are typically the ones I notice arguing against animal welfar (much less animal rights) or a vegetarian diet.  

        •  Here's Some Info (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bob zimway, VegDana

          According to this website (which sites various sources):

          A meat-based diet requires 7 times more land than a plant-based diet.  In a world where more and more land is being converted to agriculture (especially in Central and South America), this is pretty substantial--that alone would get me to cut back on meat consumption (though I'm a vegetarian already).

          Meat production requires 10-20 times the energy that grain production requires (though that multiple is probably a little less compared with fruits and vegetables since they can't grow in as many different places and thus might be transported further).

          This website (with a fewer number of citations) address water issues:

          One pound of beef requires an input of about 2500 gallons of water (that's 20 tons!).  In contrast, a pound of soy requires 250 gallons of water, and a pound of wheat (which can grow unirrigated in moderately dry climates, like the Great Plains) requires only 25 gallons of water.

          By the way, as a vegetarian, I don't eat tofu all that often.  I do eat lots of other foods though, enough that I don't miss my meat-eating days of my childhood one bit...foods like pesto, masala dosas, oyster-mushroom curry (my own creation using oyster mushrooms), vegetarian burritos, tacos with huitlacoche (I admit, I only had that for the first time not long ago--I'll be back for more), steamed artichokes, falafel, hummus, couscous, vegetarian Vietnamese pho, channa masala, bhindi (okra) masala, vegetarian sushi rolls, sweet potatoes, blackberries, blueberries, chocolate-chip cookies, chocolate cake, cherry pie...uhhh...I'll stop before I make people too hungry!

          Bears hibernate for months. Congress hibernates for years. Is it "spring" yet?

          by westcornersville on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:19:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  man I'm starvin (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            okra masala, couscous, and pho (lived on it in Vietnam last year)

            thanks for the info.

            "Don't push the river but don't pull no punches." Van Morrison

            by bob zimway on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:30:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pho (1+ / 0-)
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              I'll make you really 'bout some extra basil with that vegetarian pho!!!

              Ironically, basil is a late 20th-century add-on to that otherwise traditional Vietnamese food.

              I hope to visit Vietnam this winter (I'm planning on a Vietnam-Cambodia-Laos combo trip).  I'll look forward to some good vegetarian pho (and to see how it's different from that found at a small handful of veggie/veggie-friendly Vietnamese restaurants in the US) at one of the many vegetarian restaurants there (Happy Cow lists about 100 vegetarian restaurants--and I'm sure there are quite a few that aren't listed on that website).

              Bears hibernate for months. Congress hibernates for years. Is it "spring" yet?

              by westcornersville on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:13:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  However ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... grazing animals can be raised in marginal regions, where rainfall is too low to support agriculture.  Among other locations, this may include a substantial fraction of the Great Plains, as global warming dries out the Midwest.

          •  There remains (0+ / 0-)

            the argument that traditionally, cattle were grazed on land that was unsuitable for grain agriculture.  Of course, that's a simplistic assumption, and not really the way that our system does it at all.  If you lack large-scale water engineering, however, there are a lot of areas that would be suitable for sustainable grazing (not the overgrazing which has become far more common)and not for intensive agriculture.  And in an ideal world, sustainable agriculture would include crop-to-grazing rotation for natural fertilization.  It REQUIRES it, practically speaking, so you might as well make use of the animals.  Although dairy products are a more sustainable use of the capital than meat-eating, still, any dairy farmer is going to point out that you don't need or want a 1-1 sex ratio in livestock, so you have to do something with your excess males.

            There is also the FACT that the human body evolved primarily eating a much higher percentage of animal protein than anyone outside of America gets today; OTOH, a much greater proportion of that animal protein was probably fish than is typical in the average American diet.  But the overall problem is just that there are far too many humans; there is soon going to be no way to feed them all, period.  Mandatory vegetarianism could prolong the agony and allow a larger population, say one more generation, to accrue in poorer health until the population densities lead to an epidemic or four. Shrug ... there is no NICE way to get over the last century of excess, so stop dreaming.

            Vegetarianism is a religious/spiritual fashion that came into existence for religious/spiritual reasons.  Health justifications are mainly secondary and often bogus, although the mere fact of attending to one's diet consciously and making deliberate decisions based on nutrition makes most vegetarians far healthier eaters than the average member of the herd.

            •  Crop Rotation, etc. (0+ / 0-)

              I guess one question I'd have regarding the rotation between crops and grazing--how many of the crops that are grown are for animal feed versus "human feed"?  Less land would be needed for crops for a vegetarian diet (since less animal feed would be needed), thus making it more sustainable.

              There's some debate out there about how much protein people really need.  Of course, it'll vary based on needs--a bodybuilder will need a lot more than your typical sedentary office worker, but generally around 10% of the calories from protein (especially if it's from a variety of sources) is kind of the median.  Of course, a lot of foods that one doesn't normally think of as protein has more than 10% of calories from protein, like wheat and most vegetables.  Fortunately for us, the human body is capable of surviving on a variety of diets, so that those of us who choose to be a vegetarian for ethical and/or environmental reasons very easily have that option.

              Yep--that's true that vegetarians tend to pay more attention to what they eat, and that is likely a big factor in vegetarians generally eating healthily.

              Bears hibernate for months. Congress hibernates for years. Is it "spring" yet?

              by westcornersville on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:09:06 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

                growing crops for the animals is mostly counterproductive.  Cows are SUPPOSED to eat grass, not grain.  Supplements won't hurt them, and they like it, but it shouldn't be what they normally eat, and feeding it to them to get "well-marbled meat" is another way of saying, feeding them until they're obese and then we eat them and you are what you eat.  Sticking them in a tiny stall where they can't turn around and stand in their own crap ... only in a "modern" system could that be possible ... anybody who'd tried it before antibiotics would have had nothing but dead cows on their hands.

                A complication in the calculation as to how much protein a "human" needs is that there are some real differences between human metabolic systems.  Those of us with impaired carbohydrate tolerance are really designed to live on meat and vegetables, and grain products gradually kill us.  So your 10% animal protein figure is, well, a one-size-fits-none suggestion.  I'm sure there are people who do well on it ... and others could die from it.  There's an amazing amount of genetic diversity in this species.

                But yes, vegetarians DO tend to know more about what they're doing than those who don't think about it.  Which is why, although I am not one, I give the gods thanks for having had a vegetarian to teach me how to cook!

                •  Yep... (0+ / 0-)

                  The "factory farming" is certainly one thing that repulses me from meat (though not all meat, of course, comes this way).  It also unfortunately contributes to food poisoning in vegetables (E-Coli, etc.) since the manure is more likely to carry disease in a factory farm environment than if you have widely spaced animals eating grass.

                  Fortunately, I'm one of those people whose metabolism is very vegetarian friendly.  I found my health to improve after I became a vegetarian--though that could've been because I was simply eating better (more fruits and vegetables).  My running improved (it's harder to run with 2 hamburgers in your belly than...say...pasta with tomato sauce and spinach), and I even went from being a "skinny little runt" to being "moderately muscular" (though that was more because I started working out with weights).  But...each person's body is different--quite obviously, some people don't thrive like I have on a vegetarian diet.

                  Bears hibernate for months. Congress hibernates for years. Is it "spring" yet?

                  by westcornersville on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:12:10 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  here's funny (0+ / 0-)

          Maybe Obama doesn't need the agriculture community to win the presidency. But some animal rights groups have been declared terorists organizations by the FBI, ALF, for example. He'll never, ever win the people who produce food for this country and, I don't think he'll win the general election if he's painted as supporting the animal rights agenda of the far out wackos, like ALF and ELF.

          I think the farmers will sleep okay in an Obama adminstration. The beef ranchers; though--we're comin to gitcha!  me and k.d. lang ridin free range  ostriches.

          "Don't push the river but don't pull no punches." Van Morrison

          by bob zimway on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:27:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for your concern. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm going to create a dish in your honor. I think I'll call it "Beef Short Ribs Zimway".

      •  I have found that meat-eating has nothing to do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        with one's place in the political spectrum. The Seventh Day Adventists, who are veg because of religious reasons, are quite conservative, as are many older folk who find out that their cholesterol is too high and must either resign themselves to alifetime of Crestor™ (whish wil eventually destroy their liver) or they must give up red meat.

        Even the animal-rights folk aren't necessarily progressive.

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