Yesterdays print edition of the New York Times carried a front-page story on the egg recalls: U.S. ties farm to Salmonella; town is tense. The reporter, Monica Davey, wrote from Clarion, Iowa, the town where the tainted eggs came from. ( > > > Egg Recall List > > >)
Her story reminded me of Eric Schlossers movie, Fast Food Nation. The film was intended as fiction, but much of what we are hearing about these egg operations makes it seem like fact.
Heres what struck me most about her article.
Its hard to know where to begin, but the take home lessons seem obvious:
Todays New York Times editorial says it all again:
It wasnt simply that the operation is out of scale with the Iowa landscape. It is out of scale with any landscape, except perhaps the industrial districts of Los Angeles County. What shocked me most was the thought that this is where the logic of industrial farming gets us. Instead of people on the land, committed to the welfare of the agricultural enterprise and the resources that make it possible, there was this horror a place where millions of chickens are crowded in tiny cages and hundreds of laborers work in dire conditions.
Im hoping some good will come of all this. Maybe this is our version of The Jungle, Upton Sinclairs 1906 muckraking book that got Congress to act immediately to pass the Food and Drug Act that governs our food safety system to this day. The Senate has been sitting on S.510 for more than a year. For shame!
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