Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Several years ago, in the wake of the British Mad Cow Disease crisis, I remember making a particular point of avoiding products of British cattle. Which turn up in the damnedest places -- Altoids mints, for instance, are a British import made from gelatin, a cattle product. Strangely, in all the ads featuring the dire consequences of consuming the "curiously strong" mints, not one features brain rot.

Now that the disease is showing up in our domestic meat supply, though, people who want to avoid it need to be a bit more thorough. For instance, as Julia points out, it's not uncommon for animals to be fed detritus from other animals -- quite possibly including animals found to be unfit for human consumption, given the general carelessness of our agribusiness. It's not terribly uncommon for potentially infected cattle bone meal to be used in chicken feed, for instance, or in fertilizer.

So, don't assume that you're safe eating chicken. And wash those vegetables...


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