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One of the main issues facing farming safety and production today is the fact that a few big plants are producing the mass majority of our food. Because our food is being produced, cleaned and handled in one place its causing nation wide poisoning and contamination of our meats and vegetables. For example, four companies produce eighty percent of Americans beef and one company produces thirty percent of our milk. (p.388) This means when an outbreak occurs it’s harder to re-call all of the produced because most stores all over the nation are selling the food. It also means that more people are going to be affected and become ill. If a local store were to sell bad spinach to five costumers in a small town its easier to control, manage, trace and inform those customers instead of have a large amount of people getting ill. Two hundred Americans in 26 states were sickened by spinach that had E. Coli. (p.388) The Center Disease Control for and Prevention approximation that our food supplies sickens 76 million, putting more than 300, 000 in the hospital and killing 5,000 Americans every year.
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The out breaks of E. Coli and other contaminations has caused the public to call from more regulation and inspections of farms, plants, and the food that is being produced. (p.388) As it stands now, farms are virtually unregulated because before this there was no reason to worry about food safety on farms. Famers can do what they want if people aren’t getting sick was the main motto. (p. 388) This idea would be a valid one if people weren’t getting sick, but they are. Because of this out cry from for more regulation the U.S.D.A has fairly put regulatory requirements. This in turn is causing factories to shut down because they can’t afford the up keep with the regulations and it is causing local and regional plants to close as well. (p. 391) The U.S.D.A is saying that every huge plant, like giant slaughterhouses has to have a bathroom, a shower and an office for the used by inspectors but the smaller processing plant that slaughter local famers livestock will have to compile with theses rules as well. (p. 391) The problem is these small places can’t afford these amities so they send their meat to large slaughterhouse that has raised their prices to process meat to compensate. So you have these large plants raising prices if they aren’t going out of business themselves and smaller places going out of business or sending there meat to large plants where they can produce more for less causing contamination on a larger scale.
To fix the problem the government should set up regulations not on the plants but on the feedlots. The animals are standing in their manure all day eating gain, which turns a cow’s rumen into a habit for E. Coli. (p. 298) People who care about there buying and the food choices should get involved with this issue. Animals should have a life so to speak before they are killed.
If consumers really want a change in what they eating and what is being sold they need to get involved in the issues. Talking to local government and state wide government would help the issue, just getting your option out there. The current issues dealing with food safely and food production wont change if people aren’t passionate and interested enough to get involved and change them.