A disturbing story, if you’re a meat eater (originally in the New York Times):
Melamine-spiking “widespread” in China; human food broadly contaminated (I recommend reading this after the NYTimes version if you read the NYT version at all.)
I’ve not been following much of the the Menu Foods pet food recall much after the move – not that I don’t care what animals eat, but mostly I’ve long known that most commercial dog and cat food is terrible and to be avoided by any living beings, and was a bit thankful people were paying more attention now. I also thought human food, as always, needs attention too. And well, now I think I’m getting my wish… The substance that killed pet cats and dogs is also being fed to animals in China which are in turn fed to people buying meat from China. (And that could be pretty widespread, I think!)
Here’s a link to the Wikipedia’s entry on Melamine, not to be confused with the plastic most people have run into that is actually melamine resin (which is still disturbingly close now that I’m looking at it).
The New York Times story does not dare to state that Melamine is toxic:
No one knows exactly how melamine (which is not believed to be particularly toxic) became so fatal in pet food, but its presence in any form of American food is illegal.
But the Wikipedia is less squeamish about discussing the harm of melamine, and for this blog entry I’d feel classifying this stuff as dangerous than not. The New York Times does go into some detail how food safety regulations in China are so lax (if they even exist) that plenty of other food (mostly animal flesh, in the article anyway) is spiked with hazardous substances.
Anyone who’s serious about their health and the health of their loved ones really needs to start thinking of eating less meat – it’s environmentally-friendlier and healthier, because so much toxicity can be found in animal flesh and animal fat. Add financial greed, buyer ignorance and lack of vigilance driving the addition of questionable substances to our food supplies – becoming smarter about what we put into our mouth is vital to maintaining our long-term health. Nobody is “safe” just because they “feel fine” after a meal. Some things are bio-accumulative. By the time people’s bodies show signs of their toxic burdens, there’s little that can be done and too many possible culprits to have just one thing to point a finger at. My personal belief is that it’s better to be aware of the dangers now than only after these substances have wreaked their damage.
With all that said, eat your organic veggies tonight. :)