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Unfortunate Truths about That Innocent-Looking Cheeseburger

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cheeseburger

Whenever you visit a fast food drive-thru and order a cheeseburger, chances are you don’t think about the process it took to create that mouth-watering burger. While choosing to eat animals is a personal decision, there are some factors you may want to consider before you take that next bite into a cheeseburger.

Most Americans consume food under the assumption that it’s safe to do so. After all, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) are there to ensure everyone is operating by the rules. Some consumer advocates, USDA and FDA watch-dog groups, would argue that any such assumption is risky.

If you think you can avoid the risks by steering clear of the drive thru and going directly to the meat department in your local grocery store, think again.

Most people have heard about the disgusting practice of the beef industry of adding what’s commonly called “pink slime”. The industry calls it Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) or Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings (BLBT).

In an ABC news report, industry professionals defined pink slime as the “most contaminated parts of the cow” that are spritzed with ammonia. (1) What makes this even more appalling for the consumer is the stamp of approval by the USDA. While not all hamburger sold in grocery stores is contaminated with this practice of pink slime filler, nearly 70% on the market is.




What’s Really in Your Food

Unless you’re buying grass-fed (free range) or organic beef, chances are the beef you’re eating was grown not by eating grains and other grasses, but corn.

Scientific American states that since cows are physically designed to digest grasses, a corn diet creates all kinds of gastric problems. (2) These illnesses are then treated with antibiotics that will eventually find their way into your burgers.

Another issue that is raised with corn-fed beef is the now commonly used GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) corn. Recent attempts to require companies to list GMO on food labels have been met with dismissal. Even when California put it to a vote, Prop 37 that would require labeling of all GMO foods, it was voted down. (3)

It’s been estimated that an unsuspecting population has been consuming GMO foods for over 10 years.

Mad cow disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)) was blamed on growth hormones in the 1990s. Later, the inconceivable practice of feeding cows a meat and bone meal, instead of the grains they’re physically designed to ingest was dubbed the true culprit. Meat and bone meal was banned.

Any human that consumes the infected beef can fall victim to this horrifically debilitating and fatal disease. Webmd.com reports that humans die “within six months from onset of symptoms”. (4)

You may be wondering how GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) has anything to do with beef. According to Scientific American, unless you buy organic beef, the meat you’re consuming was feed with GMO corn.

In fact, any non-organic non-GMO corn products or corn-fed livestock that you eat are the product of GMOs.

In a June 2012 report written by two genetic engineers revealed GMO crops had “harmful effects on laboratory animals in feeding trials and on the environment during cultivation.” (5)

beef cattle

Animal Rights Advocates Uncover Abuse

If you can still stomach a burger with these known health risks, then perhaps other aspects of the beef to burger process might sour your palate.

We all know that cattle must be slaughtered in order to make that cheeseburger you’re about to order. It isn’t something most meat-eaters think about, unless they were raised on a farm and know what’s involved in raising beef for market. However, with market beef becoming a corporate endeavor, there has been a greater incidence of animal abuse and cruelty.

Some of the most disturbing things that animal rights advocates have discovered in undercover investigations include ongoing cruelties to cattle and dairy cows. The YouTube video of Dry Creek Dairy Workers in Idaho, filmed by undercover advocates, captures unimaginable cruelty to dairy cows. (6)

It depicts atrocious beatings and mistreatment of cows by workers, such as dragging bellowing cows by chains and tractors. The documented mistreatment further reveals workers beating the animals with blunt objects while the wailing cow struggles to escape her tormentor by crawling along concrete floors upon her knees.

The Huffington Post reported that these cows are bred multiple times to ensure abundant milk flow. (7) The calf is taken from its mother within 24 hours of birth, much to the anguish and vocal wailing of the new mother. This pattern of breeding and separation of the newborn and mother is a common practice done to generate above average milk production to create higher sales and profits for the dairy.

These dairy cows, when aged and beyond use are then sold to become one of those juicy burgers offered by many fast-food restaurants.

grass fed cattle

Other Issues to Consider

Most of these facts are enough to turn people’s stomach for quite a while whenever contemplating their next cheeseburger. Other factors to consider include the long-term health impact that consuming red meat and caloric-loaded cheeseburgers have on individual health. It is claimed that a regular diet of cheeseburgers can cause heart or kidney disease, obesity, cancer and even impotence.

One of the biggest impacts that the animal to food process has that is rarely discussed is the environmental one.

According to onegreenplanet.com, “Cattle production is considered by many scientists to be one of the most environmentally destructive of all human endeavors.” (8) That’s because of the massive water requirements, land use needed and the byproduct of tons of manure (creates methane gases). In addition, runoff of cattle farms into rivers and oceans further pollute the environment.

Should you desire to find reliable sources for beef beyond what big business offers, you may wish to investigate smaller operations. You can still find small farms producing free-range; grass fed organic beef throughout the US and, in many cases, locally grown products. You will typically find a more humane method of raising and processing of the beef. Expect to pay a higher price for this type of meat, but be assured of a healthier option.


References & Image Credits:
(1) ABC News
(2) Scientific American
(3) Huffington Post
(4) Webmd
(5) Earth Open Source
(6) YouTube
(7) Huffington Post
(8) One Green Planet
(9) Marshall Astor – Food Fetishist via photopin cc
(10) C. K. Hartman via photopin cc
(11) USDAgov via photopin cc

Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
 
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
 
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
 
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
 
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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