Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 | 2 a.m.
It was no surprise that the recent column about the proposed furlough of the USDA meat inspectors being a good idea was written by the director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. Who else would think a government-imposed shutdown of a multibillion-dollar industry affecting multiple states, employees and customers would be a good idea for our health and our economy?
The author includes facts about food-borne illnesses related to meat contamination but makes no mention of the food-borne illnesses carried by fruits and vegetables. Those inspections will also be curtailed by the proposed furloughs. At least meat can be cooked to kill bacteria, but most greens and cantaloupe are eaten raw, and the bacteria cannot be rinsed away.
The author also states that in just two weeks without meat in the American diet, the benefits will be so noticeable everyone will have more energy, lose weight and not need emergency rooms! In addition, by the author’s logic, Americans will have lower blood pressure, less heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and a boon in productivity will offset the hit taken by the meat industry and other affected businesses. Wow, a major economic hit to a web of industries and recovery in two weeks! Of course, the author only has our well-being in mind.