America’s Meat Shortage Is Self-Inflicted and Fixable
How can it be that with so much cattle in America, we sometimes can’t buy meat?
At the beginning of the pandemic, Costco, Wegmans, and Kroger limited purchases of beef. Hundreds of Wendy’s outlets ran out of hamburgers.
“How the hell can this be?” says Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.) in my new video. “They (Wendy’s) were out of hamburger, yet you could see cattle from the drive-thru!”
It happens because of stupid government rules.
Massie owns a small farm in Kentucky. “I’d rather deal with cattle than congressmen,” he jokes. “At least (cattle) exhibit learned behavior.”
But politicians often don’t.
“You’re born with the right to eat what you want,” says Massie. “Why is the government getting in the middle and saying, ‘No, you can’t buy that’?”
“To keep you safe,” I push back.
“They’re not keeping you safe,” Massie responds. “They’re keeping you away from good, healthy food.”
American meat regulation began after activist Upton Sinclair worked undercover at a meatpacking plant and then wrote the book The Jungle. It became a huge bestseller. Sinclair’s goal was to advance socialism. But his book became famous for exposing unsanitary conditions, like rat infestations and rotting meat carcasses, at packing plants.
The outcry over that led Congress in 1906 to declare that any meat sold must get a stamp of approval from the United States Department of Agriculture.
What did the inspection entail? An absurd technique called “poke and sniff.” To find tainted meat, federal bureaucrats stuck little spikes into carcasses and then smelled the spikes.
If they smelled something spoiled, they ordered
Article from Reason.com