Dear Foodie: Cow Meat or Meet the Cow

Dear Foodie,

Confession time: I had a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder the other night and it tasted great. I vowed I would never have another burger unless I personally knew the farmer and practically knew the cow from which the burger came. Have I poisoned myself ? Are worms growing inside me? – Fallen from Grace in Indiana

Cow

Dear Fallen,

Though I cannot guarantee this, I can reasonably assure you that you are OK. You never know though when meat recalls are going to happen and frankly that can involve locally sourced meats as well as fast food joints. I have joined you however in typically not eating a burger where I don’t know the origin of the animal and how it was raised. I can’t say that I have to go so far as to look the cow in the eye – in fact as a typical consumer, I don’t even like to think about what really happens to the animal before it is ground up and placed on my bun. Somehow, that is an uncomfortable truth about our consumer today. Several culinary types have tried parties where the diners actually slaughtered the animal and then ate it. It was reported that appetites fell off sharply and several participants became vegans as a result. One side benefit of the local food movement is that the big corporate chains have actually become better stewards of animals – particularly following recent “Sinclair Lewis” exposes of the meat industry and treatment of animals. It is said that better treatment actually leads to better, more tasty meat (something about stress and low quality feed not being any better for animals than it is for us). So, whatever hamburger you eat, just try to eat the whole thing – something died to satisfy your urge… no matter where it came from.

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