Monday, August 25, 2008

As the meat matures

Switching gears from the previous post about GMO's and pesticide use in our food supply, some good news for those of us with moral objections to the way in which most of our meat is grown. The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that just because a treatment is routine animal husbandry practice, it is not protected as being non-cruel. Essentially, its a "slippery slope" argument that has been reversed to more humanely treat animals. The ruling doesn't necessarily outlaw practices such as tail-docking and debeaking, just that they need to be carried out in more humane ways (eg: with anesthetics).

Some states are trying to go further, such as California, which has a proposition on the ballot to redefine acceptable enclosure sizes and holding densities. Hopefully voters will send a message about what is acceptable in our food supply for how we treat our future food. I'd be very surprised to see such measures passed in any of the big cattle or hog states, but as with anything, its a start. Be sure to read the article for more details.

Tangentially related
(it's about a common protein source), did we really need to test and discover that rBGH (artificial Bovine Growth Hormone) can be used to make tilapia nearly double in size compared to non-treated fish over the course of four weeks. Maybe this is why Lilly Pharmaceuticals is willing pay $300-million for the Prosilac product line Monsanto is dumping, new markets just around the corner. This may be a sky is falling kind of statement, since it probably hasn't been evaluated for what the metabolites left in the fish are and could do when consumed, but it probably doesn't lead to healthy, of healthful eats.