Meat grinders: Where all the world('s beef by-products) come together as one.
With the ubiquity of foodie activists like Michael Pollan and release of documentary films like Food, Inc., lately it's gotten harder and harder to ignore the reality that most of what we eat didn't start off looking anything like how it ends up in Safeway's frozen foods aisle. For those still unaware of the grisly details within an industrialized food chain, this Sunday's New York Timesfeature on Stephanie Smith, a children's dance instructor left paralyzed by E. coli-tainted beef, must have come as quite a shock. The key graf:
The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled "American Chef's Selection Angus Beef Patties." Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria.