Thursday, December 29, 2011

low gravy

Put a fine pork chop in the fryin pan,
Turn the fire down low, and man oh man,
Let it simmer on down, down, down --
Low gravy.

Right. Well you might be thinking right about now that this is going to be an impassioned screed about the low gravy they're licking up on Wall Street. But if you thought that, you'd be wrong, it's about the meat, not the gravy.

Meat is a funny kind of thing, because we're all made out of it, and so are all our animal friends. When somebody asked Dorothy what kind of dog Toto was, she said "He's a meat dog" (in the book, not the movie). So when we decide to eat some of our animal friends, I think it's well to remember that we're ingesting creatures very much like ourselves.

Having said that, I learned from the New Yahk Times yesterday that our meat supply is mostly tainted.

A study earlier this year by a nonprofit research center in Phoenix analyzed 80 brands of beef, pork, chicken and turkey from five cities and found that 47 percent contained staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that can cause anything from minor skin infections to pneumonia and sepsis, more technically called systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), and commonly known as blood poisoning — but no matter what you call it, plenty scary. Of those bacteria, 52 percent were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics. So when you go to the supermarket to buy one of these brands of pre-ground meat products, there’s a roughly 25 percent chance you’ll consume a potentially fatal bacteria that doesn’t respond to commonly prescribed drugs, writes the food columnist Mark Bittman.

Staphylococcus aureus sure sounds like low gravy to me. Great song, by the way.

So, to avoid having steak with staphylococcus sauce, it's best to avoid the massive slaughter operations like Cargill and Tyson, and shell out the extra bucks for small-farmed locally-grown beef, pork, and chicken. If and when you don't have that kind of money -- and most of us don't have it all the time -- then I've got a great recipe for a vegan spaghetti sauce for ya.

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