The online journal of Vermont filmmaker, Bill Simmon.

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Meatpocalypse: I’m lovin’ it.

Posted on May 4, 2009 by billsimmon in apocalypse now, blargh, vegetarianism | 2 Comments

Lopez Foods in Oklahoma supplies McDonald’s with Quarter Pounder and sausage patties. The McDonald’s corporation is so proud of the Lopez operation that they feature a short documentary about the meat processing plant on the company’s website (hat tip to my coworker Seth for the link).

I find this film utterly disgusting. That the corporate powers-that-be think customers would be impressed by the cleanliness and efficiency of an operation that processes so many tons of flesh per day, speaks to a severe disconnect between my idea of “food” and theirs.

So here’s a simple test to determine if your meat processing operation has become too large: If you have to pass your meat through a METAL DETECTOR, it might be time to rethink your economy of scale.

Enormous meat processing operations like this one (and scandalously cruel meat farming/slaughtering procedures) are necessary in order to meet the demand of so many carnivores in our culture. However, large industrial animal processing is responisible for all sorts of nasty shit in our diet, as well as diseases and increased bacteriological resistance and global warming, not to mention obesity and epidemic heart disease.

So yay for Lopez Foods’ meat processing plant not being full of flies and filth. Pat yourselves on the back for that one, guys. Your plant is still a disease factory.

I have a feeling that films like this one will be seen by future generations as giant red flags of the coming pandemic/climate change meatpocalypse that went unheeded until it was too late. The meat industry is our ancient Roman plumbing system.



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  1. On May 5, 2009, Spine said:

    Ugh. McDonald’s obviously believes that people will be comforted by the idea that Big Macs are products of the same industrial machine that creates everything else in their lives.

    Quite the quality control system they’ve got there. Funny how the VP of operations didn’t explain why these extreme sterilization measures are necessary.

  2. On May 5, 2009, Jesse Krembs said:

    Hey Bill

    Food processing plants big and small do this, it’s pretty standard, (places like the local dairy processing plant, Magic Hat & LCCC). It’s one of the technologies that got picked up and now makes us all safer. While I agree that giant factory food processing is disgusting.(ever seen tartar sauce made?) These levels of cleanliness are a function of the scale. That scale help to drive cost down.
    Personally I glad for it. If I decide that I’m going to eat something, I sure as hell hope it’s been produced, processed, handled, cooked and presented in the best possible manner by people that believe in what they are doing.

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