China is in the midst of a love affair with pork. Its consumption of the stuff has nearly doubled since 1993 and just keeps rising. The Chinese currently eat 88 pounds per capita each year—far more than Americans’ relatively measly 60 pounds. To meet the growing demand, China’s hog farms have grown and multiplied, and more than half of the globe’s pigs are now raised there. But even so, its production can’t keep up with the pork craze.
So where is China looking to supply its demand for chops, ribs, loins, butts, and bellies? Not Southeast Asia or Africa—more like Iowa and North Carolina. US pork exports to China surged from about 57,000 metric tons in 2003 to more than 430,000 metric tons in 2012, about a fifth of all such exports. And that was before a Chinese company announced its intention to buy US pork giant Smithfield Foods in 2013. The way things are going, the United States is poised to become China’s very own factory hog farm.

From “Are We Becoming China’s Factory Farm?" by Tom Philpott in Mother Jones

China is in the midst of a love affair with pork. Its consumption of the stuff has nearly doubled since 1993 and just keeps rising. The Chinese currently eat 88 pounds per capita each year—far more than Americans’ relatively measly 60 pounds. To meet the growing demand, China’s hog farms have grown and multiplied, and more than half of the globe’s pigs are now raised there. But even so, its production can’t keep up with the pork craze.

So where is China looking to supply its demand for chops, ribs, loins, butts, and bellies? Not Southeast Asia or Africa—more like Iowa and North Carolina. US pork exports to China surged from about 57,000 metric tons in 2003 to more than 430,000 metric tons in 2012, about a fifth of all such exports. And that was before a Chinese company announced its intention to buy US pork giant Smithfield Foods in 2013. The way things are going, the United States is poised to become China’s very own factory hog farm.

From “Are We Becoming China’s Factory Farm?" by Tom Philpott in Mother Jones

What Mark Bittman is Reading This Week.

Processing:

In Atalissa, Iowa, a few dozen men with intellectual disabilities eviscerated turkeys at a processing plant in return for food, lodging and $65 a month for more than 30 years. They wereawarded a groundbreaking settlement last year.

Kentucky has become the eighth state to ban veal crates.

Supervalu, one of the country’s largest grocery companies, is joining others who are pressuring pork suppliers to stop using restrictive gestation crates for their pigs.

Sixty-eight members of Congress asked Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to withdraw a proposal that would substantially change how chickens and turkeys are inspected.

Animals:

Turns out crustaceans do feel some pain. Not surprising. And for every pound of fish sold, there are four ounces of marine lifebycatch—critters that are inadvertently hauled into fishing boats or caught up in the gear of fishing fleets. Half of all the wasted fish and seafood can be traced to just nine fisheries operating off the coasts of Alaska, Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the northeast. And hankering for hamburgers hurts wildlife.

More of what Mark Bittman is reading on a variety of food related topics, here.

fastcompany

fastcompany:

PETA Spells Out The Animal Cruelty In Your Life With Emoji

PETA’s hyperbolic, sensational (and frequently sexist) ads have tended to leave viewers with bad taste in their mouths over the years. The organization’s latest, however, is a refreshing break from form that’s still impactful.

More> Co.Create

Sometimes, and i do not say this often, but sometimes, PETA nails it.

From TakePart:

The interconnectedness of organic vegetables with junk food brands, cold-pressed juices with high fructose corn syrup–laden sodas, are yet another reminder that, meaningful as “organic” may be, this manner of farming is not ideology—it’s business. If you want your purchases to have meaning beyond farming practices—to ensure that the hard-earned cash you’re putting down isn’t just going to a lobbying campaign to loosen organic standards—it’s best to know who owns whom in the world of organic food. 

From TakePart:

The interconnectedness of organic vegetables with junk food brands, cold-pressed juices with high fructose corn syrup–laden sodas, are yet another reminder that, meaningful as “organic” may be, this manner of farming is not ideology—it’s business. If you want your purchases to have meaning beyond farming practices—to ensure that the hard-earned cash you’re putting down isn’t just going to a lobbying campaign to loosen organic standards—it’s best to know who owns whom in the world of organic food. 

Would anyone suggest that you would send someone to prison for documenting child abuse? Is there anyone who is going to run on that platform? Why in the world do we have a lesser standard for animal abuse? The answer is that animals are not people—but the broader point is that the health of animals affects the health of people.