News of Note

i Jan 23rd by

American Meat Consumption Down 12.2% Since 2007
Meat eating is down among Americans, says a rather incendiary CME Group report on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s December forecasts. Data indicates, says the report, “Americans will consume 12.2% less meat and poultry in 2012 than they did in 2007.”…People who don’t eat meat, according to the Mayo Clinic, tend to weigh less and have a lower risk of heart disease than meat eaters.

California Slaughterhouse Law Struck Down by Top U.S. Court
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a California law requiring slaughterhouses to immediately euthanize animals that are too sick to stand up, delivering a setback to animal-rights activists and a victory for the meat industry…The California law would have had its greatest effect on the handling of nonambulatory pigs, which under U.S. law can be used for food with the approval of a federal inspector. Federal law bans the slaughter of downed cattle for food.

Lawmaker aims to prevent covert farm videos
Tampa Republican Sen. Jim Norman will again have to trim back his proposal aimed at preventing animal rights activists from capturing photo or video of farm footage they consider cruel.  The bill, SB1184, is meant to target employees, or activists pretending to be on a farm for some other purpose, and prevent them from taking photos or videos that could be misconstrued by the public and harm farm industries.

First, a sex offender registry. Next, an animal abuser registry?
Animal abusers, take heed. Efforts to establish online registries for animal abusers, like the ones for sex offenders, are gaining support, with legislation pending or soon-to-be-introduced in at least five states.  Registries also have been proposed in Maryland, Colorado, Arizona and New York. Stephan K. Otto, director of legislative affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, expects similar proposals in more states.
Air Canada Grounds Experiment Bound Primate Flights
Last year, Air Canada came under international criticism after news that four dozen monkeys from breeding farms in China had been shipped to Quebec in cramped wooden crates. Now the airlines, one of only two major North American carriers that still flies primates to laboratories, wants out of the gruesome primate trade. Air Canada recently stated: “[i]t was a decision taken both to align our policies with those of many other major international carriers and in response to widespread public concern.”

USDA proposes streamlining poultry inspections
The Agriculture Department on Friday proposed to reduce the number of government inspectors at poultry slaughter plants in a move the agency says will make inspections more efficient and improve food safety.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said about 1,000 government inspector jobs at poultry plants would be phased out as companies take over the job of looking for visual flaws like bruises in chickens on the processing line.

Increasingly, Meat’s Origins Are Valued
Though factory-farmed meat is still the big seller, some shoppers are willing to pay two or three times as much as supermarket prices to guarantee that the animals they eat were raised on organic or foraged food or both, had ample living space and sufficient time outdoors, and were not fed antibiotics or growth hormones.
(editor’s note – wouldn’t it just be easier to be vegan?)

Antibiotics Breed Drug-Resistant Bacteria in Pigs
After being exposed to antibiotics for only 2 weeks, a drastic rise in drug-resistant E. coli has been detected in guts of pigs.  Even after farmers stop using antibiotics in their livestock, mothers pass their drug-resistant flora down to their offspring for generations

Being vegan easier than it seems, experts say
“The benefits of the physical part of it is that you’re healthy, you don’t have to worry about a ton of saturated fat in your diet and the fiber is awesome. You’ll have a lot of fiber in your diet and more importantly you know what you’re eating,” said David Talaga, a vegan presenter.

Vegans And Meat-Eaters: Can’t We All Just Get Along?’
Last week I wrote an article about my personal experience with going vegetarian and some of the vitamin deficiencies I experienced as a result, including low levels of B12 and Iron. And wow, what a debate it sparked between vegans and omnivores! Can’t we just all get along? Judging by the comment thread, it doesn’t appear so.

Meatless for a day: Explore the bounty produce, legumes and grains offer
Meatless Monday encourages devotees to serve sustainable, meat-free meals — or to dine out, following the same principals — one day a week. The goal is to reduce chronic, preventable diseases — heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes — while limiting participants’ carbon footprint and reducing the kind of fossil fuel dependence and water usage associated with industrial farming.  “Large-scale, factory farms contribute to groundwater pollution more than most major cities,” says Melissa Trimmer of C-House in the Affinia Chicago Hotel. “And [raising this] meat requires a huge amount of grain and water to produce a very small portion.”

Group warns that cheese can contribute to obesity problem

As part of a campaign by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, two billboards went up in Albany on Tuesday warning residents that cheese and other dairy products contribute to the local obesity problem — more than 60 percent of adults in Albany County are overweight or obese, according to the state Department of Health.

Food creatives expand restricted diets’ horizons
Woo is one of a growing number of Oregon chefs, restaurant owners, bakers and brewers who, faced with their own allergies or serious health concerns, have decided to open businesses offering food they can eat. Accommodating special requests isn’t new — just think of the gluten-free pizza crusts available at many pizzerias — but some business owners are going further, with entire menus conforming to Paleolithic, vegan or (most frequently) gluten-free diets.