Last week, North Carolina's state legislature voted to override Republican Governor Pat McCrory's veto to pass one of the strongest anti-whistleblower laws in the country. Critics explain that the law was crafted to punish whistleblowers who shed light on animal abuse and shield meat producers and slaughterhouses from undercover investigations.
The scandal has led to a discussion about flaws in the European meat industry, which is largely self-regulated. While the horse meat didn't reach our shores, there are similar battles raging on US soil over labeling and inspection regulations - and when it comes to our food, we have to stand up for our right to know what we're consuming.
Small slaughterhouses once existed throughout the US. Unfortunately, the transition to factory farming spawned the creation of huge, highly mechanized, corporate-controlled mega-slaughterhouses, which ultimately put most small, independent slaughterhouses out of business.
Should the poultry industry be responsible for policing itself? The presence of banned antibiotics in the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future/Arizona State University feather meal study released last week would seem to suggest not.
It's no secret that the Jewish community has an incredibly rich relationship with food. In light of ethical controversies spurred by Big Ag, a new tradition called "eco-kosher" is arising--and while it remains focused on rituals, it adds a new twist--a focus on sustainability.