> I'm wondering if anyone has any background information concerning the
> accussations that Mcdonalds (and other large fast food chains) are the ones
> who are buying up rain forest meat?
While North America might be a large net exporter of meat, this is not true for
US beef. In fact, the US imports about 18% more beef than it exports. Much of
this does come from South America, although I'm not claiming this is all beef
produced in former rainforests. McDonalds does not use imported beef according
to its claims -- claims supported by many cattle ranchers. The issue gets
pretty sticky however, because we have no real good stats about where our meat
comes from -- hence the push for country of origin labeling at the national
level. For instance, imported meat tends to be much leaner -- and some say
tougher -- than US beef. Since hamburger (which accounts for about 45 percent
of the beef eaten in the US!) can have a high fat content, lean imported beef
is mixed with fat trimmings from US beef to make hamburger. Bill Heffernan
likes to say that since the fat drips away while those hamburgers are out on
the grill, the US part of the meat goes up in smoke! So again, where does our
beef come from?
-- Mary Hendrickson, Ph.D. Network Coordinator Food Circles Networking Project University of Missouri Outreach and Extension Department of Rural Sociology Columbia, MO 65211
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