The first food safety system allows the meat from animals too sick to stand to enter the meat supply. The second food safety system does not allow any meat from a sick or diseased animal to be eaten.
One is modern, and one has been in use for three thousand years. Which is more advanced? The answer is obvious. Common sense alone tells us that nobody should be eating meat from an animal to sick to stand. You might be surprised to learn that it is our own modern U.S. food safety system that allows the meat from animals too sick to stand to be eaten, and it is the ancient food safety system that forbids it.
We are taught that our modern society is far superior to all previous societies in every respect. We are taught to think of our ancestors as primitive and ignorant, especially when it comes to matters like food safety. Yet that is simply not true.
Of course, with our advanced technology, we could do much better than a three thousand year old food safety system. But we do not. Because our system is set up to maximize speed and profit, and the ancient system was set up to maximize safety.
A Tale of Two Food Safety Systems
About three thousand years ago, the kosher dietary system was set up, as part of the Jewish religion. This system has probably been modified over time, but most of it appears to have not changed. While the kosher system is better known for its restrictions on what foods can be eaten, it has definite food safety provisions relating to meat inspection that we can learn from. It is likely that many other ancient peoples followed similar principles, but what they did is not documented.
One of the key goals of the kosher inspection system was to prevent the eating of meat from sick animals. We know that many ancient peoples shared this goal. It stands to reason that nobody would want to eat the meat from a sick animal, for obvious reasons.
Every animal was inspected before slaughter. If the animal showed any signs of illness or ill health, it was rejected, and could not be used for meat. If the animal was dirty, it was rejected, and could not be used for meat. This inspection was carried out carefully, by a man who was trained to notice signs of illness. There was no time limit for the inspection. It took what it took.
If the animal passed the first inspection, it was inspected again after slaughter. Most of the internal organs of the animal were carefully examined for any sign of disease. If any sign of disease was found, all the meat of the animal was declared unclean, and could not be eaten. Again, no time limit was placed on the inspection of the internal organs of the animal. It took what it took to do a thorough job.
Our own American meat inspection system is very different. For reasons that can be only related to profit, our government allows meat from animals too sick to stand to enter the meat supply. Recently, the state of California tried to stop this practice by outlawing the use of meat from such animals. The federal government tried to stop this law. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which overthrew the California law, ruling it was preempted by Federal law. And the federal government simply has failed to ban such meat.
The other great problem is that meat animals are slaughtered and their meat is usually processed at great speed, which the industry has constantly increased, as speed means profit. What this means in reality is that the carcasses and meat from slaughtered animals move quickly past the meat inspectors on a conveyor belt, and the meat inspector is supposed to be able to see any problems as the carcasses whiz by. When it comes to chickens, a meat inspector is supposed to examine 90 chickens a minute, and it has been proposed that the rate be increased to 180 chickens a minute. Some inspectors have been quoted as saying that they cannot really notice much when they are responsible for 90 chickens a minute. Expecting anyone to be able to examine so many chickens in so short a time is beyond absurd.
Is All Kosher Meat Superior?
Not necessarily. It does not matter what the system is, unless its requirements are followed. An animal can be raised on unnatural feed and show no signs of disease. As I have written many times before, I consider grassfed meat to be far superior to grain-fed meat, and almost all kosher meat is grain-finished. Allegations have been made that not all producers of kosher meats follow the required procedures. I have no way of knowing what the truth is. The point of this article is not to advocate kosher meat, but to point out how it forbids the use of the meat of sick animals, and that we should do the same.
What We Should Do
I consider safety to be far more important than profit. Surely we can take steps to identify and remove the meat of any sick animal before it enters the food supply. We can do at least as well as a system devised three thousand years ago.
The processing of meat animals can and must be slowed down enough to allow for a thorough examination of each animal. Animals should be examined both before and after slaughter. Any that show any signs of illness should be banned from the meat supply. The meat industry should change its practices to raise healthier animals. They will do this if the meat from sick animals cannot be used. The federal government should put the safety of the meat supply above the profit of the big producers.
For now, I only eat grassfed meat. I believe that meat animals fed their natural diet, grass, grazing naturally on living grass, are healthier than factory animals. Factory animals are penned in a feedlot for months and fed GMO corn, GMO soy, and other species-inappropriate feeds. Besides, grassfed meat tastes much better, and I feel good and renewed after eating it.
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