let's talk farm animals

“Pink slime” – What’s in a name?

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and Food Commentator

“Pink slime” a pejorative term for boneless lean beef trimmings has been getting a lot of attention from, food advocates and US policy makers in recent weeks. Called “lean finely textured beef within the industry,” the ground beef filler is reportedly not used in fabricating meat in Canada. Never-the-less, the hoopla is spilling over our border and is another example of how a name can affect the industry. 

Share

Posted by FFC on April 2nd, 2012 :: Filed under animal by-products,Consumers,Food,Food safety,Meat/slaughter plants
Tags :: , , , ,

Animal rights vs. religious freedoms

By Leslie Ballentine, Farm and Food commentator

In December a plan for an outright ban on ritual slaughter methods in the Netherlands failed to pass the Dutch Senate. The bill and the issues surrounding it garnered world-wide attention by Jewish and Islamic communities, the meat processing and retail sectors, and animal activists. Government diplomats also became involved.

Share

Posted by FFC on February 13th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,animal handling,Food,Meat/slaughter plants,Regulations
Tags :: , , , ,

If slaughterhouses had glass walls…

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farm and Food Commentator

There is a common saying among vegetarians that “If slaughterhouses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian”.  Having been to all types of meat plants I disagree.  And so did one of North America’s largest processing companies.

Share

Posted by FFC on November 21st, 2011 :: Filed under animal handling,Beef cattle,Consumers,Education and public awareness,Meat/slaughter plants,Media,Vegetarian
Tags :: , , , , , ,

Dirty jobs list does a disservice to Ag

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Finding good employees can be a challenge for many businesses. But according to The Fiscal Times, “dirty jobs” are the most difficult to fill. Included in their list, of “10 Dirty jobs that no one wants” are working on dairy farms and other ag-related operations. The jobs are ones that The Fiscal Times describes as “high-stress, uncomfortable, dangerous, or just plain icky, that regardless of the recession, you have to be pretty desperate to sign up for.”

The U.S. on-line newspaper goes so far to describe their arbitrary list as “hideous” jobs. A label most dairy farmers, and many others included on the list, would strongly contest.

Share

Posted by FFC on September 5th, 2011 :: Filed under Dairy cattle,Farm life,Farm Safety,Meat/slaughter plants
Tags :: , ,

Recalls happen for a reason, but reasons aren’t an excuse

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Recalls happen either because a company finds a problem on its own or is informed of a problem by someone else, after the product has gone out the door. For farmers and food companies, prevention is the ticket to avoiding these events as well as the financial and public relations fallout associated with an outbreak of food-borne illness. To avoid food recalls means starting at the farm.

Share

Posted by FFC on June 20th, 2011 :: Filed under Canada,Consumers,eggs,Food safety,Meat/slaughter plants
Tags :: , , ,

If you missed Oprah this week, another inside look at meat processing

 

By Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

Some 10 million viewers got a unique opportunity to see inside a large US meat plant this week when The Oprah Show aired a guided tour of one of the world’s largest meat packing plants.  The tour and the Cargill company staff helped to de-mystify a process that is largely mis-understood and maligned.  I have been to many slaughter plants over my agriculture career, but here is a report on the experiences of one first- time visitor at another Cargill meat plant. The author is a nutritionist and not from a farm. Cargill operates plants in Canada as well as the U.S….

I just got back from west Texas where I toured a big industrial beef processing plant and I am still in shock by what I witnessed there. But I am not shocked in the way you might expect based on the negative portrayals of the beef industry that seem so rampant in the media. Rather, I am stunned by how humanely the animals were treated and by the detailed attention given to food safety at every stage of the process.

Share

Posted by FFC on February 2nd, 2011 :: Filed under animal handling,Beef cattle,Consumers,Food safety,Meat/slaughter plants
Tags :: , , , , ,

Reporter feels business end of electric prod

Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator, 2008.06.06

The use of battery-powered electric prods to get hogs moving is a controversial animal welfare issue.

The prod is poked into the back or rump of the pig and with a push of a button, a flash of electric current jumps between two contacts. It’s enough to elicit a loud squeal in some pigs.

Share

Posted by FFC on July 23rd, 2009 :: Filed under Meat/slaughter plants,Pork,Transportation
Tags :: , , , , , ,

The end of the line

Steve Buist, Hamilton Spectator,2008.06.06

It’s Friday, May 9. I didn’t need my alarm clock this morning. I was wide awake by 4 a.m.

I admit that I was a little apprehensive. This is Piggy’s last day. This morning, he’s being shipped from the Littlejohns’ farm in the hamlet of Glen Morris to Great Lakes Specialty Meats, a small packing plant in Mitchell, about half an hour north of London.

Share

Posted by FFC on July 22nd, 2009 :: Filed under Farm life,Meat/slaughter plants,Pork,Transportation
Tags :: , , , , ,

Horse owners concerned about proposed transportation legislation

08Dec19 By SHANNON RUCKMAN, The Prairie Star editor

BILLINGS, Mont. – With close to 10 million horses in the nation, Montana horse owners and enthusiasts are concerned about the welfare of the equine industry if legislation is passed banning the transport of horses to slaughter facilities.

Share

Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Horses,Meat/slaughter plants,Regulations,Transportation
Tags :: , ,

PETA’s New Anti-Leather Ad in Security Checkpoint Bins Could Help Cash-Strapped Airport’s Bottom Line Take Off

For Immediate Release:

December 15, 2008

Memphis, Tenn. — In light of the Transportation Security Administration’s decision to allow advertising on the bins used at airport checkpoints in order to pay for security equipment upgrades, PETA has dispatched a letter to Larry D. Cox, president and CEO of Memphis International Airport (MEM).

Share

Posted by FFC on July 21st, 2009 :: Filed under Activism,Meat/slaughter plants
Tags :: , ,