American meat shortage

How can America run out of meat?

Why can’t I buy meat when there are so many cows in America? At the start of the pandemic, Costco, Wegmans, and Kroger restricted beef purchases. Hamburgers were scarce at Wendy’s hundreds of branches. “Why can you do that?” Says Congressman Thomas Massy (Republican) in my new video. “They (Wendy’s) didn’t eat burgers, but they could see the beef from the drive-through!”

Related story: US beef exports continue to break records, as does lamb.

It happens because of stupid government rules

Massy owns a small farm in Kentucky. “I want to negotiate with cows rather than MPs,” he jokes. “At least (cows) show what they have learned.” But politicians often do not. “You were born with the right to eat what you like,” says Massy. “Why does the government intervene and say, ‘No, you can’t buy it?'” “To protect you,” I push back. “They don’t protect you,” Massy replies. “They keep you away from good healthy food.” American meat regulation began after activist Upton Sinclair worked secretly at a meat packaging factory and then wrote the book “Jungle.”

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It has become a huge bestseller

Sinclair’s goal was to advance socialism. However, his book became famous for exposing unsanitary conditions such as rat epidemics and rotten meat carcasses in packing factories. Protests against this led Congress to declare in 1906 that all meat sold would need to be stamped with USDA approval. What was included in the test? A ridiculous technique called “poke and sniff”. To find the spoiled meat, federal officials stabbed a small spike into the corpse and then sniffed the spike. When they smelled something spoiled, they ordered the meat to be thrown away. The process was ridiculous. Inspectors used the same spikes over and over again, driving them to some animals. Poking and sniffing could exacerbate the situation by spreading the disease from one corpse to the next. Of course, governments often do ridiculous things, and once regulators start them, they keep doing them. The FBI didn’t stop “poking and sniffing” until the late 1990s.

Related story: How drought is driving US beef production and exports.

USDA inspectors are doing a better job today

They test for bacteria. However, the inspection process is so tedious and expensive that many small businesses cannot afford it. President Joe Biden’s recent lament is that the market is too concentrated. “Four big companies dominate more than half of the beef, pork and chicken markets!” Packer. Of course, such subsidies and regulations increase market concentration. “The bigger the government, the bigger the company,” Massy points out. “People who hate big companies didn’t understand that.” At the beginning of the pandemic, when several large meat processing plants were closed due to a COVID infection, it was what led to a meat shortage. It was this market concentration. “We made food fragile,” says Massy. “A little turmoil puts everything out of control.”

Massy takes his cow too. There he can see the condition himself. The local slaughterhouse meets government inspection standards. However, because it is not USDA certified, Massy and other ranchers who process cattle there cannot sell steaks. He can give it to you or eat it yourself. But he can’t sell it. To fix this, Massy is proposing a new law.

Related story: Beef burger 4th July price shock!

PRIME law proposal

It is a PRIME law that allows farmers to sell meat processed in state-approved slaughterhouses without federal intervention. “You act for yourself,” I tell him. “I’m just trying to help myself.” “I have 50 cows,” he replies. “This is the most inefficient self-reflection that politicians have ever pursued.” Massy says that because Americans should have the right to eat whatever we want. Say you are doing. “Why Washington, D.C. Involved in a transaction between me and my neighbor, a customer.”

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