Friday, September 08, 2006

While you were sleeping: USDA tries to relax grassfed standards

While you were busy enjoying the last rays of summer, the government was equally busy carefully waiting until the long holiday weekend to release this little tidbit about relaxing the standards for grassfed beef.

I've been waaaaaaaiting for some news outlet to notice this (nothing in the NY Times) but USA Today and others have finally picked up the story (yippee-yi-yay!) off the AP wires.

From : "The Agriculture Department has proposed a standard for grass-fed meat that doesn't say animals need pasture and that broadly defines grass to include things like leftovers from harvested crops.

Methinks under these wonderful "standards" you could basically take the carbon-monoxided styrofoamed and plastic wrapped (and likely e. coli-laden) shit in the supermarket and slap on a "grassfed" label on it, preferably with a graphic that suggests natural, pristine, etc., sort of the way BP, the oil company with the pipelines in Alaska that have been leaking all over the place, has redefined itself as some kind of eco company by hiring a PR firm and coming up with that new, cute green logo. (See GreenLogo, but BP is old oil, great NY Times column by Joseph Nocera.)

Basically, the government wants to undermine what "grass fed" means to consumers (soon, each cow on the conveyor belt on its way to slaughter will be giving its one blade of grass), not unlike when the government tried to rule crops grown in chemical-sewage sludge could be labeled organic. Thank you, Senator Leahy from Vermont and others for stopping this!

Again, another advantage of buying local grassfed from your friendly farmer is that you can meet the meat.

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