Waarom je niet meer weet waar je vlees vandaan komt

Foto ANP

Slachterijen en boerderijen worden alsmaar groter, en vlees legt grote afstanden af voordat het bij jou in de supermarkt ligt. Hoe weet je dan nog wat je eet?

Slaughterhouses and farms are becoming increasingly larger in size. Tracing the origins of an animal has become next to impossible as our sources of meat are increasingly transported across Europe, and the world. This not only affects the animals but inevitably us as well.

The schnitzel on your plate was once a calf. And that’s about all we know, even though an average German citizen consumes 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of meat a year in what is now a multi-billion-euro industry. But how did that calf or cow or pig actually die?

Given the way the current system works, it’s far too easy to lose track of an animal’s origins. Many travel a long way before ending up as meat products in supermarkets. A pig and its individual body parts can sometimes be transported across Europe before actually being processed. It can travel through as many as seven or eight countries, according to data supplied by Europe’s Brussels-based consumer protection agency, the BEUC.

The raising and slaughtering of animals is a highly industrialized process. Many small- and medium-sized meat producers have become victims to the industry’s consolidation over the last several decades, and have had to be shuttered. It’s now common for farms to raise thousands of pigs or tens of thousands of chickens, with the animals slaughtered and carved up in giant slaughterhouses that are increasingly controlled at a continent-wide level. Quantity rather than quality is now what counts.

Read the full article: The Importance And Impossibility Of Tracing Your Meat
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