You Are What You Eat: Kool-Aids, Buffet Leftovers, Pet Food, and Superbugs

userpic=pastramiToday’s collection of lunchtime news chum is all related to food. The first item is a bit frivolous, but the latter three taken together present a chilling picture about what we — and our pets — eat.

  • He’s The Man. CGI has come to the Kool-Aid man, and with it a new backstory and family life. No longer content to just crash through walls, we’ll learn how he gets dressed in the morning, and what he does during the day. However, there are so many questions it makes the mind boggle. What does Kool-Aid man look like before he showers, as he doesn’t have a lid? When he urinates… well, you get the (umm) pitcher.
  • Recycling the Scraps. The LA Times has a really interesting article on a Nevada pig farmer. This farmer makes a living by taking all the food scraps from all the buffets in Las Vegas, cleaning, heating and mixing them, and feeding them to his pigs… which he subsequently slaughters and sells back (as meat) to the casinos. What struck me most was the line: “He grabs chunks of ham and slices them to piglet-mouthed size.” Yup. Pigs are being fed on ham.
  • Our Dog Food Contains Real Dog. Pigs, it appears, aren’t the only cannibals. Slate has an interesting article on what goes into the meat and bone meal in most pet food. Shockingly, the answer might include other pets. Euthanized shelter animals sometimes end up at rendering plants, along with all other sorts of stuff (including lots of biochemicals). After reading this, I’d think twice about commercial food.
  • Human Food Isn’t Safe Either.  Lastly, all the antibiotics being fed to animals is having a side-effect: We’re starting to see anti-biotic resistant bugs in our meat. A recent study showed that antibiotic resistant bacteria was turning up in 81 percent of raw ground turkey, 69 percent of raw pork chops, 55 percent of raw ground beef and 39 percent of raw chicken bought over the counter in 2011. The rate of occurrence in salmonella superbug strains in chicken rose from 50 percent in 2002 to 74 percent in 2011.