Smithfield Foods, Exposed

| 6/25/2009 11:18:37 AM

Tags: food safety, land stewardship, industrial agriculture, livestock welfare, food and agricultural policy,

Poor Pig 

If you’ve ever found yourself thinking that we’re overly critical of factory farms, take a moment to read this nauseating profile of Smithfield Foods’ hog farms from Rolling Stone magazine. 

Author Jeff Tietz reports that “Smithfield estimates that its total sales will reach $11.4 billion this year. So prodigious is its fecal waste, however, that if the company treated its effluvia as big-city governments do — even if it came marginally close to that standard — it would lose money.” That’s a lot of poop, people. 

The article goes on to tell about farms littered with pig carcasses (as many as ten percent of factory-farm hogs die before slaughter due to the conditions in which they live, according to one study), and about people succumbing to the fumes from hog waste lagoons. Lagoons, which, according to Tietz, contain a combination of toxic substances such as ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, phosphorous, nitrates and heavy metals (not to mention  your typical gut-wrenchers: salmonella, cryptosporidium, streptocolli and giardia). 

If, like any good capitalist, you want to send Smithfield a message by avoiding its products, here’s a list of brands that sell their meat. What is Paula Deen thinking, y’all?

Photo by iStockphoto/Bruce Works 

9/28/2010 9:03:11 PM

This is in reference to the comment left by chantel chapman_1. I can provide a reference for the Smithfield Factory Farm. There is a documentary called Food Inc. Check it out. I think everyone should watch it. Maybe they would view what they consume differently.

4/24/2010 9:06:29 AM

I have been a vegetarian for almost 40 years, my choice, never pushed my beliefs on anyone. It seems that more and more people are joining the fight against the factory farm and what they are doing to the folks that "enjoy" their meat. Glad for them!! They have courage to speak out and try to make changes. If not for the animals, for themselves. Keep going folks, Email these monsters, write letters, do what you can. Stay healthy, take care.

chantel chapman_1
4/21/2010 10:53:12 AM

I hate to be the dissenter, but I wouldn't call this very good journalism. If any of this information is true, then where are the references? You can't write convict a person, because you claim a friend of yours was talking to Bobby Jo, who heard from his second cousin twice removed that so and so robbed a bank. I am not a proponent of factory farms, but if you can't back up what you claim, or you don't provide specific information, then chances are you'll be the one to look like a fool, when the more prepared person provides evidence to the contrary, with their sources. The point: Be an informed consumer. Don't take someone else's word, base your conclusion on the actual studies and scientific research.

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