For more than 30 years, my dad grew chickens on our ranch for big processors. First it was Holly Farms, then when they were bought out it was Tyson. He just retired a year ago. As I was growing up I spent most of my summers helping out. It’s a filthy job, but that’s food production for you. I consider myself fortunate to have grown up getting to see a part of the food production cycle. It definitely gives me a more favorable opinion of the “rednecks” and “flyover country” farmers who keep our nation fed.
I’ve heard it said that we (people in general) are only three missed meals from anarchy. If you stop and think about it I’d say it’s uncomfortably true. If a natural disaster (or zombie apocalypse, take your pick) disrupted your ability to get a meal, and the next one, and the next one, and you had no idea if or when the next food would come, how far would you go to ensure that you or your loved ones were fed?
Now consider this.
Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
For starters, just four Chinese processing plants will be allowed to export cooked chicken products to the U.S., as first reported by Politico. The plants in question passed USDA inspection in March. Initially, these processors will only be allowed to export chicken products made from birds that were raised in the U.S. and Canada. Because of that, the poultry processors won’t be required to have a USDA inspector on site, as The New York Times notes…
I’m not saying that our food processing facilities are flawless but the idea of growing food here, sending it overseas for processing, then shipping it back here for sale is really scary. Do you think food safety will be better?