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These kind of scraps always used to go into pet food. Why was a decision made to feed them to humans, when we are already overproducing and overconsuming meat? I can't see anything beyond increased profit margins made possible by the industrialisation of food production and the integration of consumption patterns into supermarket and fast-food chain habits.

In other words, this is not an outlier, but a symptom of a systemic problem.

As for Africans, it seems to me they would probably prefer sufficient quantities of the foodstuffs they traditionally produce and eat, rather than adulterated scraps that fall from the tables of the rich.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 05:46:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
As for Africans, it seems to me they would probably prefer sufficient quantities of the foodstuffs they traditionally produce and eat, rather than adulterated scraps that fall from the tables of the rich.

The 'gunk' - the scraps and intestines - are used in traditional African meals. The difference is that in traditional Africa don't add ammonia to get rid of the bacteria but just boil the stuff for a day, or two. What's more, in South Africa there are developing markets for 'gunk' products because also the growing middle class still eat traditional dishes. Better than reprocessing stuff as pet food or as fuel for the incinerators, seems to me. What the 'tables of the rich' have to do with that, beats me.

I can't see anything wrong with using every scrap of meat from a butchered animal into a food product, and I hardly believe that you'd feel different about this.

As I wrote the 'problem' is the common unease that we have in modern/western society with the ways invented to produce enough food for, say, a billion people on one day.

The controversy is nothing but a perfect clash by the society's wish to ostracize on an uncomfortable topic (daily mass-slaughter) and the unwillingness of the industry to come clean on topics, particularly on topics that makes people uncomfortable in the first place.

But getting worked up on banning edible products just because of ick-factors seems a fine way to me to get more cows slaughtered, not less.

by Nomad on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 08:59:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nomad:
What the 'tables of the rich' have to do with that, beats me.

You appeared to me to be suggesting Africans would gladly avail themselves of ammonia-treated scraps from America. What you now explain was far from clear in your first comment.

Nomad:

I can't see anything wrong with using every scrap of meat from a butchered animal into a food product, and I hardly believe that you'd feel different about this.

If it is in fact a traditional use, and not the industrial recycling of what used to go to animal feed, glue, etc. In which case Africans (some Africans at least) could be cited along with many others on the planet, not least (some) Europeans.

Nomad:

As I wrote the 'problem' is the common unease that we have in modern/western society with the ways invented to produce enough food for, say, a billion people on one day.

This meat-scraps thing has nothing to do with "feeding the world" (the usual excuse trotted out by the agro-food industry). It has everything to do with the search for higher added value and profit.

You seem to be saying that the "unease" you diagnose is somehow naive or wrong-headed. On the contrary, productivist agriculture and the food industry's marketing of poor-quality food are inadequate responses to the problem of feeding a rising population.  

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only in Africa...

You won't teach rural dwellers in France much about not wasting animal protein.

Personally I often buy offal, but I wouldn't voluntarily buy factory scraps which had been extensively reprocessed then sterilized.

People have a right to know what they are buying.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 5th, 2012 at 10:10:18 AM EST
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