When’s the last time you really thought about where that steak on your plate came from? Or how that juicy burger ended up on your grill in the first place? If you’re like most people (and believe me, I’ve been guilty of this too) you’d rather remain in the dark when it comes to how your food—especially your meat—is raised and processed, but a recent USA Today article may just have you reconsidering.
The article, which focused on how our country’s beef supply is inspected, stated that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, “is not accomplishing its mission of monitoring the food supply for…dangerous substances, which has resulted in meat with these substances being distributed in commerce.”
Concerning? Absolutely. Shocking? Not necessarily. The reality, folks, is that the testing of U.S. beef for harmful substances is basic at best. There are no limits set for many “potentially harmful substances,” and sometimes high levels of pesticides or antibiotics are found in the same meat you bring home for you and your family to eat. But, since no limits are set for these substances, the meat passes inspection and lands at your local grocery store.
Hopefully, the recent spotlight on our less-than-adequate meat inspection standards will bring about more awareness and a better, safer way of monitoring where our meat is coming from. In the meantime, choose organic, grass-fed beef when red meat is on the menu…and even then, only in moderation!