So I was doing a search about local food, and an article popped up warning of the potential disasters the local food movement could cause as the world population tops 7 Billion and moves toward 9 Billion.
And of course it is typical big ag drivel. But it reminded me of one of my concerns:
What happens to Recalled Food. That is, food that one test, or on batch or a couple complaints caused it to be deemed UNSAFE. And in the big ag model, and big processing model, when one single package (maybe it actually has to be over a threshold) is tested positive for some defect or contamination, THEN all of that facility's product, over some specific period of time, gets recalled and, if the recall is successful, ALL of that food is incinerated, buried in landfill or otherwise disposed of.
And a quick search of the internet reveals MILLIONS OF POUNDS of meat recalled! Others Thousands of Pounds of Produce! A Year's production of Meat! ETC
Now, realizing that not all of this food actually gets recalled and makes it back into the hands of the SYSTEM. That is still a HUGE quantity of waste, both in fuel/diesel but also the product itself and all the grain (when speaking of animals) that were 'wasted' on that animal.
Sounds like a good research project for some college students. I am just curious how much the recalled/wasted food alone neutralizes (argument wise) the SUPPOSED efficiencies and production surplus' over small farm and local farms. Because no mid size farm would ever have to recall more than 2-3 thousand pounds of meat or produce. And as long as all these farms had an open door, it is very unlikely that very many of them would often have any cleanliness/contamination issues at all. Though an occasional incident is bound to happen.
So, what is your thought? Any college students can work this into a research paper? I would love to see the results. Should require an enormous amount of work collecting data from USDA, internet, etc and crunching those numbers by year, etc.
We need a database of verifiable, irrefutable facts to bring as defense against all the local food nay-sayers.
Anyway, I guess this post could be in Small Farm; Large Farm; Farm to market etc. Feel free to move it more appropriately.
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