Visited Slaughterhouse in Nebraska

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Grayland, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    I was invited to tour Nebraska by the Beef Council. We visited a huge processing plant (slaughterhouse), feed lots, cattle ranches and corn producers. That probably sounds like a torture session for most of you, but it was absolutely amazing to see. The neat part is that I watched Food Inc. a few days before and then visited these large processing plants myself. What I saw was nothing like the filth portrayed in Food Inc. The processing plants slaughters 4800 head of cattle per day, 7 days a week! Two 8-hour shifts, each processing 2400 cattle. The sanitation standards were off the chart. It was quite a site and very much resembled an auto plant in the way the cattle moved around the plant and was processed by people having very specialized jobs. There were 3 guys who's only job was to remove the entrails from the cattle. It took each of them about 20 seconds and then they rinsed themselves off in a sanitary solution before touching another animal. There were two girls who literally used a steamer/iron to "seal" the anus so that when the entrail removing guys did there work things didn't get dirty; everything came out in a nice package. Bust ass work. Think about it - 300 cattle an hour!
     
  2. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    Sounds awesome. I'd love to do that. (the tour, not the work)
     
  3. ben39

    ben39 Well-Known Member

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    This is why I try to buy locally raised meat.
     
  4. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    What was really neat about it (I'm talking the whole tour) was the pride that these farmer/ranchers had in their product. The small artisan producers get all the glory, but these guys put out some serious volume. One ranch was 20,000 acres. One feed lot (where the cattle are fattened up with corn) had 21,000 head of cattle. They were salt of the earth people who didn't make a ton of money, but took real pride in their jobs.

    I also see why Nebraska loves their Cornhusker football - what the hell else is there to do! [​IMG]

    It was my first time in the heartland and it was beautiful. Eastern Nebraska is what I expected of the midwest - totally flat and filled with corn. Mid to western Nebraska was more plain like and, well...more cowboy west.
     
  5. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    This is why I try to buy locally raised meat.

    Well, if you lived in Nebraska, it would be locally raised meat (and some of the finest corn-fed beef in the world). Is the local part the problem, or is it the sheer volume? BTW, the processing plant I visted has a plant in Australia.
     
  6. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    If they allow the slaughterhouse for tours, it probably has a decent reputation to begin with so it wouldn't be like anything from Food Inc.
     
  7. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    If they allow the slaughterhouse for tours, it probably has a decent reputation to begin with so it wouldn't be like anything from Food Inc.

    Actually, it's name was mentioned in Food Inc. With that type of volume, I can assure you that the processor wasn't doing anything special for our eyes. Food Inc. wasn't exactly fair and balanced. While my tour guides had an agenda, do understand that Food Inc. had a helluva agenda too. There is two sides to the story.
     
  8. ben39

    ben39 Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you lived in Nebraska, it would be locally raised meat (and some of the finest corn-fed beef in the world). Is the local part the problem, or is it the sheer volume? BTW, the processing plant I visted has a plant in Australia.
    I mean local as in where I live. The only meat you buy in supermarkets here is flown from the other side of the country from factory farms like you described. I must admit it is impressive the sheer amount of volume these places pump out but i don't want to eat meat from animals which are more or less sick. I buy beef which has an address and is raised in the traditional way - on grass. It tastes better and is better for you and the environment. I've seen Food Inc. and while I thought it was an okay documentary there were a few things I disagree with (industrial organic food). I always recommend the books of Michael Pollan for anybody interested in where their food comes from.
     
  9. Nosu3

    Nosu3 Senior member

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    Actually, it's name was mentioned in Food Inc. With that type of volume, I can assure you that the processor wasn't doing anything special for our eyes. Food Inc. wasn't exactly fair and balanced. While my tour guides had an agenda, do understand that Food Inc. had a helluva agenda too. There is two sides to the story.
    Sure, but I don't think Food Inc was too far off. Most factory farms are pretty bad, they even have an organization that considers outside witnesses a threat. Did they show any slaughter or just mostly a tour of the facility? Sounds like an interesting experience.
     
  10. ben39

    ben39 Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in how you got in the facility? Are you some sort of health inspector or something?
     
  11. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    I'm interested in how you got in the facility? Are you some sort of health inspector or something?

    I was invited to tour Nebraska by the Beef Council.

    ..
     
  12. ben39

    ben39 Well-Known Member

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    Surely they don't just invite anybody from the public though.
     
  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    Surely they don't just invite anybody from the public though.

    He's posted before about how he was a chef for 10 years and now is a chef instructor. I was trying to find that post and quote it to but I am a failure lol.
     
  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    very cool. I am trying to shift to only eating grass fed free range meat, but I apprectiate the way these meat producers make quality food available to lots and lots of people
     
  15. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I haven't seen Food Inc. but isn't the typical complain against the industrial beef complex the raising of cattle? It doesn't matter if the slaughterhouse is efficient and kills efficiently if the beef is raised with large amounts of chemicals and is corn fed (if you care about that.)

    You were invited by an organized association that has a significant branch that is set up specifically to mitigate the backlash against industrial beef. I'm extremely surprised that you were surprised by any of what you saw in there.
     

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