I won’t eat fast food chain restaurants’ hamburgers or chicken nuggets anymore, because they contain a lot of chemicals or bacteria. For instance, chicken nuggets contains tertiary butylhydroquinone, (TBHO) to keep nuggets fresh. Pollan explains that “ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause ‘nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.’ Ingesting five grams of TBHO can kill” (114). Equally, when it comes to beef, just a few decades ago, 75 percent of cattle were fed dead animals:
About 75 percent of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes – the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle – until August of 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters. (Schlosser 202)
This result of feeding cows with blood, bone, and other unwanted flesh from all types of farmed animals that were probably infected caused Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or commonly known as the Mad Cow Disease. According to the FDA, it is illegal to use most of the mammalian protein in the production of animal feeds to animals, including cows, sheep and goats. In 2008, the FDA strengthened the rule by forbidding the use of the highest risk cattle tissues in all animal feed. These regulations reduce the risk of the spread of BSE within the United States.
Even with those facts, the FDA does not prohibit feeding dead animals to cattle, such as dead pigs, dead horses and dead poultry. As a result, cows might be still eating dead cows, just indirectly. Moreover, “the waste products from poultry plants, including the sawdust and old newspapers used as litter, are also being fed to cattle” (Schlosser 202). Who want to eat meat, which is brought up by garbage? For those reasons, the ground beef contains E. coli. “A recent USDA study found that during the winter about 1 percent of the cattle at feedlots carry E. coli 0157:H7 in their gut. The proportion rises to as much as 50 percent during the summer” (Schlosser 203). If we fed cattle grass, the problem will be improved:
Jim Russel, a USDA microbiologist on the faculty at Cornell, has found that switching a cow’s diet from corn to grass or hay for a few days prior to slaughter reduce the population of E. coli O157:H7 in the animal’s gut by as much as 80 percent. (Pollan 80)
Same number of people who die by car accident are sickened from eating animal meat every year. I should not eat fast food restaurants’ hamburgers. Why so many people are sickened or hospitalized or die every day? Furthermore, many people are dying because of foodborne disease. “Every day in the United States, roughly 200,000 people are sickened by a foodborne disease, 900 are hospitalized, and fourteen die” (Schlosser 195). Accordingly, eating ground beef put our life in danger. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now estimates that roughly 37,000 Americans suffer food poisoning each year” (Schlosser 222). I found that the number is the same amount of number of Americans who die in road crashes each year, which is extremely high. Thus, we deem that Americans getting food poisoning has high probability. Eating animal meat is risky.
Grass fed beef might cost more than double. There are a lot of benefits of eating grass-fed beef than corn. Since I have noticed those realities, I changed my protein powder to one that is made from “grass fed cow”. It costs 2.5 times more than my former protein powder, and also, I noticed that “plant-based” protein powder costs 4 times more, so it is expensive for me. As far as I know, it takes more cost to feed cattle by grass. If we feed all cattle grass it sounds like a $3.99 Big Mac might costs $9.99 just for a burger. Grass-fed meat contains more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat than corn-fed meat. “A growing body of research suggests that many of the health problems associated with eating beef are really problems with corn-fed beef” (Pollan 75).
Farmed animals are given a lot of chemicals, such as growth hormones and antibiotics. Because of the fast food nature, everything must be low price, quickly raised and cut the cost. “The grain fattens the cattle quickly, aided by the anabolic steroids implanted in their ear. (Schlosser 150)” We can understand how our beef is dangerous. For instance, “most American beef cannot be exported to European Union, where the use of bovine growth hormones has been banned. (Schlosser 142)” As a result, the safety of people face danger of foodborne disease. If you continue to eat ground beef, everyone has potential to get foodborne disease. Pollan ironically says that “here the drugs are plainly being used to treat sick animals, yet the animals probably wouldn’t be sick if not for the diet of grain we feed them. (79)”