Essay on Slaughterhouse Blues: Book Review

1587 Words Apr 18th, 2013 7 Pages
Mo .
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Mo .
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ANTH 3330
S. Metress
ANTH 3330
S. Metress
Slaughterhouse Blues: Book Review
Michael Farhoud
Slaughterhouse Blues: Book Review
Michael Farhoud

In Slaughterhouse Blues, anthropologist Donald Stull and social geographer Michael Broadway explore the advent, history, and implications of modern food production. The industrialized system behind what we eat is one of the most controversial points of political interest in our society today. Progressions in productive, logistical, retail, and even biological technologies have made mass produced foods more available and more affordable than ever before. This being said, the vague mass production of ever-available cheap “food” carries with it several hidden
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Cecile Steele, who ended up becoming a broiler chicken farmer due to a mistaken order. Utilizing her example, the chicken industry took off. Before long, it was figured out that by taking advantage of supplements and vitamins, growers could raise poultry completely indoors. Chicken yards and coops turned into little metal pens and cages. By the 1930’s big business was already getting its hands into the industry by way of men like John Tyson and Frank Perdue, who achieved vertical integration by combining production, processing, and distribution to build regional and national businesses. Contracted chicken growers working for these businesses under their specifications came to replace independent chicken farmers working for themselves. Becoming more and more efficient as they went on, poultry companies all but destroyed the marketability of the goods for the independent farmers, pushing them almost completely out of the picture.
In chapter four, it is said that from colonial times to the 1950’s when it was overtaken by beef, pork was the major source of meat for Americans. Pioneers kept hogs as free-range animals that foraged for their food. Corn-fed pigs grew faster and bigger, so it was common practice to round up surplus hogs and corn-feed them in the weeks before they went to market (value is weight-based). In 1818, the first meatpacking plant in Cincinnati was opened and became the dominating entity in pork production until the civil war,

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