In the world of processed foods, there are giant multi-national corporations that burn through global resources like an all-you-can-eat buffet just to put a 99 cent cheeseburger on your plate. It’s a fight to control world agricultural markets and the global food supply– the food chain– and sometimes there are casualties in the global rat race to acquire every dollar imaginable. But in the case of Taco Bells in the UK becoming the latest multi-national to find out that their 100% beef products are laced with horse meat, I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that it’s likely their 100% beef was also mixed with donkey meat originating from Romania. I imagined an old and decrepit mule with sad eyes pulling cart fulls of shattered donkey dreams up and down a depressing hill in some perpetually graying eastern European town until the day when sweet relief from Taco Bell is delivered with slaughterhouse mercy.
Then I realized, that because we are a nation beholden to right wing conservative lunatics, we, too, should start checking our meat for horses and sad donkeys. But apparently, the Republican party plot to destroy the Obama presidency involves sequestration and that has some dire consequences for the future of food safety in America, from the article:
The automatic cuts, also called sequestration, are due to take effect on Friday because Congress and the White House are unable to agree on other ways to reduce the federal deficit. USDA says the cuts would force it to lay off its 8,400 meat inspectors for 15 days to produce the savings ordered for its food safety agency.
Up to one-third of the USDA’s 100,000 employees may be affected by furloughs. The USDA says the cuts would deny food aid to 600,000 pregnant women, new mothers and infants and also force closure of hundreds of Forest Service campgrounds, picnic areas and visitors’ centers during the spring and summer.
At a time when the food supply is suspect, corporate America, especially the food chain juggernauts, are poised to have their donkey and eat it, too. Cut backs, layoffs, greatly diminished food safety inspection makes it virtually impossible to keep up with the demand for safer food. So maybe all those pregnant mothers with their infants should just get used to the idea that you can hardly taste the eastern European sadness in those unregulated donkey meat tacos? Poisoned and improperly labeled food is a small price to pay for a reduced deficit, after all. I would be lacking a big picture worldview if I didn’t mention that these are the same people who believe it is their God-given birthright to control our nuclear weapons. It’s a poisoned party, and improper labeling is their greatest defense against those meddling hungry mothers and children.