U. S. Meat Production

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Though the Pew commission is not a foodie household name, its 2008 report has subtly shaped many consumers’ view of how our food animals are produced. It’s not the rosy view — it’s the highly critical one.

Back then, the commission identified the most worrisome systemic problems of producing 9.8 billion food animals every year in the U.S. It called out the animal agriculture industry for the excessive use of medically important antibiotics, particularly the industry’s habit of giving animals low doses for nontherapeutic uses like growth promotion.

It also hammered the conventional system of handling of liquid waste from huge animal operations, and standard industry practices of confining animals in gestation crates and battery cages. And it called for enforcement of antitrust laws to restrict the concentration of the industry into a handful of companies that would have inordinate sway over the marketplace.

The NPR Report

I’ve been reading a couple of recent books on historical accounts of Jesus…and the state of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus. Tiberius would have been great as a CAFO operator.