Monday, October 26, 2015

How Safe Is Our Food And How We Can Make It Safer

Perhaps you saw or read reports that human DNA has been found in hot dogs including vegetarian hot dogs. Cornell University professor and expert on food safety, Martin Wiedmann tried to play the study down but admitted:

"This is telling us nothing new about hot dogs," he said"

It other words, some folks have known about this for quite some time but haven't bothered to tell us.

Even if eating other humans is safe I doubt most reading want to make it a habit. And while the articles tell us of some of the companies whose products were considered safe they don't tell us who the bad guys are.

Then there's the removal of country of origin labeling requirements required on meat passed by the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. In other words, the old phrase voting with your pocket book is no longer possible. Especially when even North Carolina companies like Smithfield Foods are now owned by the Chinese:

"One year ago this month, a Chinese company bought America’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods.  The $4.7 billion deal is the biggest Chinese acquisition of a U.S. company to date."

Ever heard of feeding manure to fish?  It's even been the subject of scientific study.

"As excessive use of raw CM may present a risk related to increased supply of nutrients, decay of organic matter and the presence of enteric pathogens."

CM stands for Chicken Manure. How much you want to bet that most of the workers on Chinese fish farms have no idea how much is too much chicken manure?

And it's not just fish. Seems manure is fed to cows, pigs and chickens as well. 

From Feedipedia:

"Coprophagy, or feeding on manure, is not new in animal nutrition. For example, livestock feeding on a farm has frequently involved a system of beef cattle followed by hogs and subsequently chickens. Under such a programme the nutrition of the hogs and chickens is based on manure. The current interest in manure as a feedstuff is mostly due to the problem of waste disposal from intensive livestock and poultry operations. Apart from this problem it has been recognized that large amounts of nutrients are wasted. The re-use of manure is one way of creating edible protein from waste material which is often disposed of uneconomically and also creates a nuisance. The amount of excreta produced is considerable: a 2-kg hen produces 0.8 kg a week, a 650-kg cow 150 kg, an 80 kg pig 40 kg and a 45 kg pig 22 kg.

Manure has served as a substrate for both yeast and algae used as feedstuffs, and it has been tried as a substrate for maggots used as a poultry feed; however, the simplest way to use it is as a direct feed. With the intensification of poultry keeping, not every poultry farm has enough land on which to spread manure. The results of many experiments indicate that dried poultry manure can be successfully included in the feeds of both ruminants and nonruminants."

Now how do you reckon that human DNA got into those hot dogs? Could it be from human manure being fed to animals? Is human manure being spread on vegetable crops causing them to take on traces of human DNA as well? And what about all the antibiotics and other drug residues that are found in human manure?

"For thousands of years, China's farmers have used human manure, or "nightsoil", as fertilizer (King, 1911). In this example from the Tai Lake Region, nightsoil is collected and stored in large ceramic tanks or water-tight slate-lined or concrete pits. Manure and urine are collected in buckets within the household, or deposited directly in the storage tanks, which are usually located in the animal stall and toilet area of the household."

Sure, it worked fine for centuries but China now has a population of  1,404.722,428 and counting. 
That's a lot of shit. "China's population is equivalent to 19.24% of the total world population." The population density in China is 145 people per Km2.

For comparison: The population density in the U.S.A. is 34 people per Km2.

With that many people in China they might need to get rid of a few and like they say, "Parts is parts."

Could it be we're eating the Chinese people too? But really I'm just speculating... Or am I?

Anyway, there is something you folks in Greensboro and Guilford County can do to help protect our food safety. For months now myself and others have been working on a project called Bessemer Aquaponics-- the first accredited aquaponics school and production facility in the United States.

For those who might not know, Aquaponics is a recently modernized 5,000 year old agricultural technology that produces 6 times as much food per acre using as little as 2% of the water of traditional agriculture. It's a speeded up natural process that combines fish and plants into one growing system to produce 100% safe, organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, fish and seafood anywhere you want to grow it. It's really as simple as this just on a much larger scale:

Eventually most farming will convert to aquaponics-- the question is how long will it take?

We are working in conjunction with residents of my own East Greensboro community, the Piedmont Center for Sustainability, the USDA, NC State University and NC A&T University as well as the Guilford County Agricultural Extension Service. And we need your help.

Soon we are going to ask the Guiford County Commissioners not for money but for a piece of land that has been owned by the county since 1859 at a cost of less that $25.00 and has been abandoned for over 40 years-- land that is sitting right in the middle of one of Greensboro's poorest neighborhoods, most in need of jobs and education, right in the middle of a food desert. And we want you to tell the Guilford County Commissioners to give us that land so that East Greensboro can become the central hub of the emerging Aquaponics industry and all the safe food and jobs that will come with it.

Please contact the Guilford County Commissioners and ask them to support Bessemer Aquaponics. And please share as they need to see thousands of e-mails and phone calls to make this happen. Better yet, e-mail them the link to this post and let them get a taste.