Why Industrial Meat Production is Inefficient

It looks like Meatless Monday’s “Inspiring a Movement” video is doing just that, but the meat industry is already grumbling. In particular, industry leaders have a beef with the video’s claim that, “Meat mass production, as currently practiced, is extremely inefficient.” The claim makes sense to me, especially when you consider research that suggests the amount of energy needed to produce industrial raised beef is at least 10 times greater than growing vegetables. But, wait I’m getting ahead of myself. Read More >

Will I Need a Prescription to Fill Up My Tank With Ethanol?

Courtesy: natjoschock/flikr

Hats off to New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof for his recent stories (“Pathogens in Our Pork” & “Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health” ) spotlighting the serious public health risks of overusing antibiotics in industrial farm animal production. If you haven’t read them, you should. I don’t want to downplay the importance of Mr. Kristof’s reports, but in the public health and animal agriculture worlds the issue has long been a point of contention. Organizations like the American Medical Association, American Public Health Association and Keep Antibiotics Working sounded the alarms years ago regarding antibiotic resistance and the need to end the practice of adding antibiotics to animal feed simply to promote growth. Lawmakers have been trying to pass the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) for the past few years, which calls for an end to the practice. This year, it looks like it has a good chance of passing. Feedstuff’s Washington Correspondent, Sally Shuff, reports New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter plans to introduce PAMTA 2009 today along with the CEO of Chipotle restaurants. Now that the animal feed issue is prominently placed in the public eye, I wanted to shine a light on another potential source of antimicrobial resistance, ethanol production. Read More >