Monday, January 12, 2004

Don't forget to read Michael Pollan's latest in the Times magazine before they make you pay for it:
Many of us were surprised to learn that despite the F.D.A.'s 1997 ban on feeding cattle cattle meat and bone meal, feedlots continue to rear these herbivores as cannibals. When young, they routinely receive ''milk replacer'' made from bovine blood; later, their daily ration is apt to contain rendered cattle fat as well as feed made from ground-up pigs and chickens -- pigs and chickens that may themselves have grown up on a diet of ground-up cows. But the grossest feedlot dish we read about in our newspapers over breakfast has to be ''chicken litter,'' the nasty stuff shoveled out of chicken houses -- bedding, feathers and overlooked chicken feed. Since this chicken feed may contain the same bovine meat and bone meal that F.D.A. rules prohibit in cattle feed, those rules are, in effect, all but guaranteed to break themselves. Oh, yes, I forgot to mention one of the ingredients in chicken litter: chicken feces, which the U.S. cattle industry regards as a source of protein.
Also, the crux of the matter: "In Vermont in winter, you spell ''vegetable'' with four letters: r-o-o-t."

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