Factory Farming + Chicken Eggs + Salmonella = A Whole Bunch of Sick People

It wasn’t so long ago that America was fed by an army of family farmers.

Local food produced by local farmers.

And every once in a while, something would go wrong and somebody would get sick from eating contaminated food.

And sometimes, maybe more than one somebody would get sick.

But, today…when a couple of America’s largest egg producers make a mistake and ships out a whole mess o’ eggs contaminated with Salmonella, over 1300 Americans nationwide get sick. (as of Aug. 19/2010)

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=us/2010/08/22/nr.endo.egg.recall.cnn

And when confronted with this news….the food safety branch of the egg producers association responds by informing America’s egg eaters that the “voluntary” egg recall affects less than 1% of the 80 billion eggs produced in the United States each year.

As if that’s supposed to be comforting news to the over 1300 people who became infected with salmonella enteritidis.

So….who’s to blame?

Because, you know that the lawsuits are already being prepared.

Someone is going to get the blame.

Who’s the bad guy?

  • Is it the DeCoster family who owns the tainted egg producing companies, or
  • The FDA – responsible for inspecting shell eggs. or
  • The USDA – responsible for inspecting other egg products, or
  • The politicians who pass the laws that ignore the quality of our food supply in favor of the quantity of our food supply, or
  • Is it the consumer who demands that a dozen chicken eggs cost less than $2.00.

Or, is it all of the above?

We all know that factory farms are good at producing large quantities of food at the cheapest possible price.

And sure, factory farmed food may taste like crap, and….

  • it may come loaded with foodborne pathogens, and….
  • it may be deficient in a whole range of micronutrients which may lead to….
  • malnutrition, and….
  • increased hunger, and…..
  • obesity

.

But, at least it’s cheap…..except when your child gets sick and ends up in the hospital dehydrated with bloody diarrhea.

.

11 comments

  1. Great photo of egg boxes. I think I could probably make those pretty cheaply. We just got a dozen new chicks, Road Island Reds and White Leghorns if I’m right. $2 each and the hens will lay about an egg a day and the roosters….well, they’ll serve their purpose as well. All free range, all organic.

  2. The problem is that we have been taught to expect cheap food = real food. I was at an amusement park this weekend and a slice of disgusting cheese pizza was $3.29 and my “salad” was $7.50. How are we going to get people to eat healthy when we subsidize the cr*p food and the real food is much more expensive. As soon as people realize they are saving $ but paying with the longevity of their life – maybe things will change.

  3. Good article, it’s a shame that this is happening though, eggs can be an extremely vital part of a healthy diet. The same issues arise with farmed salmon and other meats as well. In the rush to get the demand filled, people often sacrifice safety. Even though organic or free range is sometimes more expensive, it might be time to switch…

    Thanks for the article, great information!

    – Jack Bronson | Workout without Weights

  4. They may be better, but first you have to make sure people can afford those free range eggs–when I go grocery shopping, the organic and cage-free eggs are two to three times more expensive than the normal ones. Until then, you’re shit out of luck.

  5. Lots of gov’t $$$ is being spent on factory farms – what if we shift that dough to smaller, local, health based farmers?

    Even with this, food will cost more than today’s norm – This may mean you eat less quantity but eat way more quality

  6. This recent outbreak coincided with the City of Seattle updating its Urban Farming laws. We are now allowed to raise up to 8 hens per house, and we can legally sell them on the premises, even in single family neighborhood.

    I expect fewer and fewer people in my city will be purchasing supermarket eggs in the future.

  7. DR–yes, that’s definitely something that would help. I’m just saying that it needs to be done first, before you can expect people to buy the free-range eggs.

  8. It’s kind of like that old “which came first…the chicken or the egg” debate

    In fact, it’s almost exactly like that

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