Friday, October 05, 2007
When I read *The Omnivore's Dilemma* by Michael Pollan, one thing that really struck me was the image of cows at factory farms chained to poles, standing in their own feces, which as I understand it (if I am remembering correctly) is how they spend several months of their lives before slaughter. I have not really been able to get that image out of my mind. If I recoil in disgust when I see someone eat beef (especially from a fast food chain, since you can be sure that's factory-farmed beef), it's only because I have a hard time getting that image out of my mind. Luckily, researchers are working on the problem of decontaminating beef carcasses, which should give beef eaters some sense of relief. Check out this abstract entitled Comparison of methods for contamination removal from beef carcass surfaces. You see the *problem* is not just that it's really disgusting to eat something that is or was covered in crap, but rather that beef can harbor the deadly germ e. coli, which is a major cause of serious food poisoning. Unfortunately, at the present time there is actually no way to prevent fecal contamination during slaughter. Ewwww!!