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Visited Slaughterhouse in Nebraska - Page 4

post #46 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayland View Post
It's possible, but I don't think America is eating less meat than before due to Food Inc. Keep in mind that Food Inc. was a film edited down to about 1.5 hours using everything that went their way. Someone could make a film focusing exclusively on commercial airline disasters, but how many planes actually crash? It's awful when it does happen, but it's a tiny percentage of flights per day and doesn't respresent the industry as a whole. I'm not supporting the beef industry, I'm just being honest that both sides have an agenda. For many of you, it seems Food Inc. is the word of god and the beef industry if full of lies. Who's being naive?
They are profit making corporations. They have expanded and now every hamburger you eat from a fast food joint uses all sorts of weird shortenings and is mixed together from crap found all over the world. When several of the large plants are shown, it's not a simple random airline disaster. When Monsanto's actions are well known, it's not a random act. Again, they exist simply to get the most amount of money even if it means massive government subsidies that distort the market and pushing the boundaries in terms of safety. When I invest in a company, I don't do it out of kindness - I too want to make the highest returns. Let's not pretend it's otherwise and these farmers are just awesome people looking to make the world a healthier place and go home broke. Do I think the commercialization of food products has helped feed a lot of people? Yes. Do I think that it's also brought a lot of damaging unintended consequences with it that aren't random outliers? Damn sure. Do I have the luxury of avoiding them now that I'm better educated? Yes.
post #47 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
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Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that we'd see no large scale industrial agriculture in the absence of subsidies, just that we'd see less. But I am making the argument that the relationship is causal (eliminating subsidies would increase the price of large-scale agriculture, thus decreasing the quantity of large-scale agriculture) and I'm not sure what you mean when you say it's not. You've argued that you don't think it'd be much less, which is a statement about elasticity but not causality, and in the process, convinced me that I probably overstated the case. Anyway, it's an interesting, open empirical question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayland View Post
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The last time I came across that Freakonomics post, I thought it supported the argument that beef was traditionally grass fed, rather than refuting it, but I agree with the points you make.
post #48 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haganah View Post
They are profit making corporations. They have expanded and now every hamburger you eat from a fast food joint uses all sorts of weird shortenings and is mixed together from crap found all over the world. When several of the large plants are shown, it's not a simple random airline disaster. When Monsanto's actions are well known, it's not a random act. Again, they exist simply to get the most amount of money even if it means massive government subsidies that distort the market and pushing the boundaries in terms of safety. When I invest in a company, I don't do it out of kindness - I too want to make the highest returns. Let's not pretend it's otherwise and these farmers are just awesome people looking to make the world a healthier place and go home broke.

Reference the last 3 major meat plant foodborne illness outbreaks. They occur, but pretty damn rarely (just like airplane crashes). When they do occur, they get a lot of well deserved press, but they are by and large, pretty damn safe.

Do I think the commercialization of food products has helped feed a lot of people? Yes. Do I think that it's also brought a lot of damaging unintended consequences with it that aren't random outliers? Damn sure. Do I have the luxury of avoiding them now that I'm better educated? Yes.

Unfortunately, many people can't afford avoiding those foods. As I mentioned before, my wife and I make a damn good living. We're not high rollers, but we do quite well. We can't afford to eat 100% local, artisan raised fod products and I know very few people who can. I agree with you in principle, but reality is different.
post #49 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayland View Post
Unfortunately, many people can't afford avoiding those foods. As I mentioned before, my wife and I make a damn good living. We're not high rollers, but we do quite well. We can't afford to eat 100% local, artisan raised fod products and I know very few people who can. I agree with you in principle, but reality is different.

Really? I don't think it's terribly expensive to shop at Whole Foods. I mean 4.99/lb for ground beef isn't catastrophically expensive.
post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Really? I don't think it's terribly expensive to shop at Whole Foods. I mean 4.99/lb for ground beef isn't catastrophically expensive.

that is such a fucking out of touch thing to say. jesus christ, do you people have any concept of how a large portion of the population lives? Whole foods??? Are you serious, I am sure they are quite ubiquitious in the low income neighborhoods all across America.
post #51 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
that is such a fucking out of touch thing to say. jesus christ, do you people have any concept of how a large portion of the population lives? Whole foods??? Are you serious, I am sure they are quite ubiquitious in the low income neighborhoods all across America.
+1. This thread is really unbelievable at times.
post #52 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
that is such a fucking out of touch thing to say. jesus christ, do you people have any concept of how a large portion of the population lives? Whole foods??? Are you serious, I am sure they are quite ubiquitious in the low income neighborhoods all across America.
You fucking moron, I was saying that to the OP who say that his wife and him make a decent living. Where the fuck do you get the idea that I think that people in Gary Indiana and Camden NJ should be buying at WF? Are you fucking retarded? I'm not expecting that "decent living" means even a lot, but I've always said that if you shop around the perimeters of almost any supermarket, you'll find that it is quite affordable, to a point. That won't be true for people on foodstamps but this guy has reiterated several times that he makes a good living so it is a bit strange to me that going to say, a Whole Foods, is completely cost prohibitive.
post #53 of 74
I remember when the first Whole Foods went into DC on P Street near Logal Circle, which was still more or less a slum in those days (it has really gentrified since). Major outrage from the locals about a fancy store where those who lived nearby would be able to get jobs as baggers but not afford the food. The Post did a big piece on the turmoil.
post #54 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayland View Post
Unfortunately, many people can't afford avoiding those foods. As I mentioned before, my wife and I make a damn good living. We're not high rollers, but we do quite well. We can't afford to eat 100% local, artisan raised fod products and I know very few people who can. I agree with you in principle, but reality is different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Really? I don't think it's terribly expensive to shop at Whole Foods. I mean 4.99/lb for ground beef isn't catastrophically expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
You fucking moron, I was saying that to the OP who say that his wife and him make a decent living. Where the fuck do you get the idea that I think that people in Gary Indiana and Camden NJ should be buying at WF? Are you fucking retarded?

he says that he and many others can't afford it, you say he/they can shop at Whole Foods.
post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
he says that he and many others can't afford it, you say he/they can shop at Whole Foods.
Then "a damn good living" must be very different than what I was thinking. My friends who are associate profs at college who make 45k a year (which I would consider quite decent) still buy 100% of their groceries from WF... obviously they skip the prepared foods and the salad bar where you'll find the most markup. No they can't afford expensive cuts of beef but to my knowledge they're all meat eaters. If in fact you make far less than this then I do apologize, but I know many students on a small budget who can afford to eat reasonably. I'm not talking about 100% locally as you say, because that is nearly impossible in most places in the midwest, but avoiding eating badly raised beef isn't nearly as expensive as you are making it out to be.
post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post
he says that he and many others can't afford it, you say he/they can shop at Whole Foods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Then "a damn good living" must be very different than what I was thinking. My friends who are associate profs at college who make 45k a year (which I would consider quite decent) still buy 100% of their groceries from WF... obviously they skip the prepared foods and the salad bar where you'll find the most markup. No they can't afford expensive cuts of beef but to my knowledge they're all meat eaters.

If in fact you make far less than this then I do apologize, but I know many students on a small budget who can afford to eat reasonably. I'm not talking about 100% locally as you say, because that is nearly impossible in most places in the midwest, but avoiding eating badly raised beef isn't nearly as expensive as you are making it out to be.

There seem to be three strands in this thread. First, there is the food nazi-ism of the Michael naPollan clan who think everybody should eat grass fed, local beef, and seem to give no thought to the fact that it is unaffordable for a large percentage of the population. I suppose that these people should be just left to die, forced into vegetarian (Real Food!!!) education camps, or better yet, hunted by those of us who are able to afford good meat, since wild meat is the best, and humans are the most dangerous game. More seriously, I don't think many people understand the philosophical genealogy of Pollan and his ilk. He, for sure, is not simply spreading the good word of natural food.

Second, there is the ongoing beef tiff between Grayland and Sfield, and Ed with his little poking stick.

Third, thank heavens Cary Grant and kaxixi are bringing some interesting, thought provoking points.

Carry on.
post #57 of 74
I should also add regarding low income grocery shopping... I mentioned in general chat a while ago about how I have been tutoring inner city kids for about a decade. I started in NYC (it was actually Newark), then Boston, CT, then Chicago. A tutored this one kid and became pretty close with the family. They live near Cabrini Green (and lived there in the actual project in the 80s and 90s.) They don't have much to work with at all, and I took the mom shopping at a supermarket to show her how to buy good food. There's such a misconception that buying fresh food is completely impossible, so instead they eat at McDonalds and all other types of shit that can often end up being more expensive. There have been a number of studies done showing that shopping around the perimeters of a supermarket is not nearly as expensive as people make it out to be. It becomes an excuse to eat poorly. No, you won't be able to afford the greatest shit, but you can eat nutritiously. Go to any china town... especially in a large city like Chicago or Vancouver... many of the people living there are extremely poor, living in poverty comparable to anywhere else in the country. Yet, they are eating whole foods rather than processed bullshit. It's a cultural difference. It also helps that stuff is pretty cheap in china town, which I will grant you, but it shows that it is possible.
post #58 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
There seem to be three strands in this thread. First, there is the food nazi-ism of the Michael naPollan clan who think everybody should eat grass fed, local beef, and seem to give no thought to the fact that it is unaffordable for a large percentage of the population. I suppose that these people should be just left to die, forced into vegetarian (Real Food!!!) education camps, or better yet, hunted by those of us who are able to afford good meat, since wild meat is the best, and humans are the most dangerous game. More seriously, I don't think many people understand the philosophical genealogy of Pollan and his ilk. He, for sure, is not simply spreading the good word of natural food. Second, there is the ongoing beef tiff between Grayland and Sfield, and Ed with his little poking stick. Third, thank heavens Cary Grant and kaxixi are bringing some interesting, thought provoking points. Carry on.
Ehh I don't think I can really be lumped into any of those categories. People can eat whatever beef they like. I should say that I would find it regrettable that someone who could afford to eat better beef isn't, but that their business. I simply entered this thread saying that the OP probably has an overly rosy view of the industrial beef industry. Never at any point have I said that people shouldn't be allowed to eat beef, wherever it comes from. I think that in 50 years though, we will certainly look back and realize the enormous impact that our beef consumption has had on our collective health and environment. Probably the most important point to consider here is the very real fact that 100% grass fed organic beef is not possible at the levels that we would need for it to be affordable for everyone. That realization (which is rather obvious), brings up a host of questions. As far as that little discussion we had months ago about filet mignon, that's completely forgotten and I didn't even think about that until you brought it up. I wasn't beefing with this guy at all, I was simply bringing up the fact that a clean slaughterhouse doesn't really address the problem that many white rich people have with the beef industry.
post #59 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Ehh I don't think I can really be lumped into any of those categories. People can eat whatever beef they like. I should say that I would find it regrettable that someone who could afford to eat better beef isn't, but that their business. I simply entered this thread saying that the OP probably has an overly rosy view of the industrial beef industry. Never at any point have I said that people shouldn't be allowed to eat beef, wherever it comes from. I think that in 50 years though, we will certainly look back and realize the enormous impact that our beef consumption has had on our collective health and environment. Probably the most important point to consider here is the very real fact that 100% grass fed organic beef is not possible at the levels that we would need for it to be affordable for everyone. That realization (which is rather obvious), brings up a host of questions. As far as that little discussion we had months ago about filet mignon, that's completely forgotten and I didn't even think about that until you brought it up. I wasn't beefing with this guy at all, I was simply bringing up the fact that a clean slaughterhouse doesn't really address the problem that many white rich people have with the beef industry.
I find myself in an odd position in these topics, and for most other environment topics. As I mentioned in the forgotten filet thread, I probably eat beef once a month, maybe twice, and anything other than grass fed beef maybe twice a year if a client or friend feels the need to go to a steak house. I pretty much stick to fish, shellfish, duck, pork, rabbit and pigeon, with a little lamb mixed in. The fish market I use is really into sustainable fishing, so while I don't think about it much, I guess my fish consumption is pretty good. I eat a lot of vegetables, etc. That is just how I learned to eat, and how I feel comfortable eating. I have no interest at all in forcing others to eat that way, so I end up feeling the need to argue for the goodness, or whatever, of things I don't really like, and never search out. Likewise, I don't care how much people drive, but I turned my last car in after 4 years and 12k miles. Not saying that I am great, but that the issue is one of motivations, and I don't think many people are motivated by belligerent assholes like Michael Pollan, or by guilt tripping them about the sad cows or how cow farts are bad for the environment. I think it's great that you showed somebody how to shop, and that kind of stuff will improve things if done with kindness as in your example, but people also like McDonalds etc, and I don't think that anything will stop that, and I think marginalizing people for eating that way is both silly and cruel, and shows a lack of understanding for the multiple motivations at work.
post #60 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I remember when the first Whole Foods went into DC on P Street near Logal Circle, which was still more or less a slum in those days (it has really gentrified since). Major outrage from the locals about a fancy store where those who lived nearby would be able to get jobs as baggers but not afford the food. The Post did a big piece on the turmoil.

That's my WF. It's a nice store, and very busy. I regularly see homeless men and women eating there--don't know if they get stamps/coupons/discounts.
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