I know I did. We traveled to the middle of Kansas to visit my Supermodel Wife's supermodel mother and stepfather. I say it was the middle of Kansas, but it was actually the exact geographic center of the continental United States (at least, that's what the Lebanon, Kan., Chamber of Commerce says).
The trip gave me an opportunity to meet two individuals that will be very important to me when spring arrives.
They are known as No. 01 and No. 14. These two individuals are not agents of some super-secret organization, rather, those are the numbers on the eartags of the cattle that will become our beef in a couple of months.
It's all part of my campaign not to buy commercially produced "feedlot" beef. It's not that I'm any kind of animal rights fanatic. I mean, I still intend to eat a lot of beef. In fact, I'm getting a new smoker specifically for the preparation of briskets and the like.
But ever since reading an article in the NY Times a few years ago, I just don't want to risk consuming a force fed animal. The article points out that most beef is corn fed, and cows are ill-equipped to handle eating grains.
In fact, force feeding corn to cows makes them sick and they can die unless they are also force fed antibiotics and growth hormones. All of which can end up as residual elements of the beef that they become.
American regulators permit hormone implants on the grounds that no risk to human health has been proved, even though measurable hormone residues do turn up in the meat we eat. These contribute to the buildup of estrogenic compounds in the environment, which some scientists believe may explain falling sperm counts and premature maturation in girls. Recent studies have also found elevated levels of synthetic growth hormones in feedlot wastes; these persistent chemicals eventually wind up in the waterways downstream of feedlots, where scientists have found fish exhibiting abnormal sex characteristics.Scary enough to make me think I might as well cut out the middle man. Get my own cow, grow it (or, have my stepfatherinlaw grow it) and have it butchered. It's like a fun do-it-yourself project. It seems healthier and it's definitely cheaper, and I get the meat from a reputable source (myself).
Plus, I think it's better for your soul to be close to the food you eat. So I guess I should carry this through with the rest of my diet.
Does anyone know where I can get some Twinkie seeds?
tagged: beef, Lebanon, feedlot