The Jungle, as ever

Just yesterday I was inquiring at the farmer’s market about buying a whole steer and stalking standalone freezers on Craigslist. Today the Times — in a piece that definitely fails the breakfast-table test — gives me another good reason why: American Chef’s Selection E. Coli Patties, and related products.

The frozen hamburgers that the Smiths ate, which were made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria.

And this:

The listed ingredients revealed little of how the meat was made. There was just one meat product listed: “Beef.”

Hey, I’ve eaten deep-fried fish heads that young girls were carrying around on their heads all day under a hot sun. I’ve eaten hard-boiled eggs that were black with ants—after wiping off most of the ants, mind you. I ain’t squeamish.

But none of those was labeled “Chef’s Selection.”


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