Thursday, January 17, 2008

Anyone know a good cattle farmer?

I hate feeling uninformed. Although, since I find watching the news tragically depressing and almost manic with all the story switching, I can't watch it.

Recently I've been made aware of the new legislation regarding the FDA and cloned meat. I guess there is a movement to start selling meat from cloned animals in addition to meat from animals raised in the more traditional method.

I really have no idea if this could be unhealthy or not....see....uninformed.

My beef (sorry to use this lame pun) with it is that they are not requiring labels in major grocery stores to differential between naturally raised and from-cloned-animal beef. This bugs me because I think, as a consumer, I should at least be able to choose what I'm getting.

Do you think that meat from a cloned cow has any possibility of being unhealthy?

Do I need to go out and find someone who will sell me meat I know was raised naturally?

Is this the next step in the organic food movement?

....and more importantly.....

What kind of beef will Wendy's be using?


erinannie said...

Thanks for all your kind comments on my blog lately! I really appreciate them!!!
You are just too cute and sweet for words. I hope we get to meet someday!

Anonymous said...

I would guess that cloned meat would be as far from organic as you could get.

Michael said...

I don't think cloned meat is likely to be dangerous, however I certainly think it should be labeled as such so that consumers have the choice.

Will that happen? Fat chance. Movements to require genetically modified produce or products maid with genetically modified grains to be labeled have failed. Heck, movement to require things that contain msg to include that info in the ingredients list have failed. (msg is one ingredient, among many, that can simply be listed as "spices" or "other spices" on the list of ingredients.) The big food manufacturers have a pretty strong lobbying group working for them and they've been amazingly successful at having things that might hurt them at the expense of more customer information completely prevented.

I think the next step in organic is buying locally- and it applies to meat and dairy just as much as it applies to produce. The problem is that you can easily buy local produce- local meat and dairy is harder. Part of that is that it is illegal to sell meat or dairy products which haven't gone through FDA or USGA inspection processes. It's also illegal to sell raw dairy. (which makes both foodies and hippies unhappy) Great European style raw cheeses? Usually illegal

You certainly can buy raw dairy in some places but you have to know the right people. It's too much trouble for me to bother (especially since I've moved and I no longer "know people") but I do have some distrust of raw dairy. Before pasteurization milk was the number one source of food poisoning in the united states.

OK, I've rambled. But long story short- yes local meat is a part of the next step in the organic trend. I hope we see a revival of the small butcher shop.

The Kelly Fambam said...

I definetely would want the cloned meat to be marked as such! I don't really know why, it just seems like that's how it should be. :) Funny you posted about this cuz I was watching the news last night and saw the same thing and was a little disturbed...

Anth said...

That is disturbing. I certainly want cloned meat to be marked as such. Michael's comment is useful. I just have no idea how I can fit organic meat into my budget. There are organic meat sources in my town, I've already looked into them, but holy moly they are expensive.

Maggie said...

Katie-I will be emailing you regarding this subject. Love you!

Heather said...

Remember in 'So I Married an Axe Murderer' how there is a little butcher shop he goes to to get haggis? I always wondered if there were really butcher shops like that. And now that I love to cook I wish I could go to a butcher shop like that because the grocery stores I go to don't ever have butchers behind the counter to give me exactly what want.

Anywho, I think we're just going to have to find out which "companies" do/don't sell cloned meat. It seems like organic meats go out of their way to say they are, so I think they will go out of their way to say if they are not cloned. Although, I'm still not sure there's anything wrong with cloned meat.

Maggie, send me that email too.

chronicler said...

Thanks for the link Katie! It is a huge problem mostly because the long term studies have not been done. We tend to set aside long term effects and run right into recouping money from development. It is happening at an alarming rate. Soy is a good example. 98% of all, and I mean all, soy grown today and sold, is from genetically modified plants. You cannot avoid it. I fed my daughters a soy formula because they could not tolerate milk products as babies. Each of the three has trouble conceiving children. I am currently trying to put together a study showing a correlation of the gmo soy and infertility problems. I hope it was not the cause, but I am not it wasn't.

Oh my, I could go on and on. Sorry to rant!

Anonymous said...

I've been a vegetarian for two years now because of this and many other reasons pertaining to the meat industry in the U.S.
I just recently took a biology class where we learned quite a bit about cloning and genetically modified organisms... and to tell you the truth, I don't think it's safe at all. I agree with chronicler, there haven't been enough long term studies done. I think it's nuts that food industries pretty much genetically modify all of our food anyways, without us knowing, or even bothering to inform us. Many European governments make it mandatory that all of the modified foods be labeled. Why can't the same be done in the U.S? There are many answers to that...I recommend reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and "Fast Food Nation." These books really shed some light on the topic.
Sorry to go off... I really like reading your blog! Someday I hope to start one myself.
-Hil your cuz

Anonymous said...

You will find two sides to this issue you will have to make a decision on. One side will say, "It's not natural so it's not good for you." The other side will basically say it's ok.

If the nay sayers are right then we shouldn't take medicines or have surgery or eat anything processed. Those are all man made things.

On the other hand we do have a right and responsibility to see if there is anything wrong with what we create.

I can see the potential to feed starving nations with genetically raised animals who are pre-disposed to carry indigenous diseases. Imagine chickens who don't produce samanilla (sp?) poisoning. How abotu beef higher in protein and lower in cholesterol. We could do a lot of good. But we could also do a lot of harm.

There's a reason God put us in charge of the animals. We need to make sure He's happy with our stewardship.


TRS said...

My dad is a cattle farmer and I don't have an answer to this. Aren't you glad I commented?

I hope Maggie posts some info on her blog.

Anyway, if you want to buy from someone who can tell you where the beef came from, I have two sources for you.
I know you're in Boulder (there must be some Crunchy/Granola/Birkenstock butchers in that hippy town) (said with affection... please note! ) ... but here's what I know about in Denver - Oliver's (just a few blocks east of the Safeway at 6th Ave & Downing) should be a good source. And another one... can't think of the name off the top of my head... but it's a little Greek Market (seriously, owned by a friendly old greek man - they still use an old fashioned cash register... it's quite the experience)
I'm gonna say it's located at Holly and Cedar. If you take 3rd Ave to Holly and then turn south on Holly... you'll see the Greek Market and it's corresponding butcher on the left - on the Southeast corner of that intersection.

It would be tough, logistically to do your regular shopping there... but I'm sure if you visit both shops and explain what you're looking for they'll be able to give you some resources closer to Boulder.
Good luck!

the wifey said...

i'm scared of cloned meat. no good reason why, though... probably going to be doing some research now. we do, however, have a local butcher as well as some all natural beef & buffalo farms around here where i buy my meat. glad to have them here...

Allison said...

I've heard that at this point there is no reason to worry since meat from cloned animals is not available to consumers because it's more expensive/less cost-effective to produce.

Dan said...

So what exactly are people afraid of? You have to think about what things could possibly go wrong with the formation of the portion of the animal you're actually eating and what might go wrong with that. If you don't know about it, then do some of your own research to find out. Unfounded fears and knee-jerk reactions are not compelling reasons for the government to step in and impose on the market.
Also, what would you define as "long term testing?" The FDA has been tracking cloned meat for six years and haven't found a reason to call it unsafe for consumption. Now, I don't think there's a pressing need right now for more beef in the market, so there could possibly be a few more years of surveillance. Fortunately the problems that arise during cloning are often fatal or severely debilitating to the animal, so they won't ever make it into the food chain. On top of that, you're not going to be eating the product of the cloning, you'll be eating the clone's offspring that will have been conceived in a more traditional way. No rancher is going to buy a cloned bull for $10-20,000 and then be able to sell it without losing huge amounts of money. But, they could buy one to use to impregnate their cows if it means they'll be able to sell their offspring for $250-500 more a head. So, at what generation after the clone (ie one, two, three generations of offspring) do you decide you're safe? Because that's what you'll be eating.