The Sydney Morning Herald breaks a story that could do to Australia’s dairy industry what pink slime did to America’s beef industry:
In the milk industry it’s called ”permeate” – a watery, greenish waste product from the production of cheese – and documents obtained by Fairfax reveal that it forms up to 16 per cent of the fresh milk we drink.
16 percent? That seems to be the magic number when it comes to disgusting fillers for animal products. Recall that pink slime is being used to replace about 15 percent of the beef in hamburger.
Since commodity pricing pressures in animal agribusiness will always be brutal, every participant in the industry has a huge incentive to squeeze every last penny out of its byproducts. Trouble is, thanks to the Internet and social media, it’s no longer possible to keep the most unsavory practices secret. I’ve no doubt that there are many more disgusting and widespread industry practices that will soon come to light. Put another way, I suppose every sector of animal of animal agribusiness has its own unique color of slime that will ultimately be made public.
And the way these stories break, one by one and unpredictably, has got to be a nightmare for animal agribusiness. The only way for agribusiness to put a stop to these scandals is to proactively root out practices an informed consumer would find unacceptable. But that is far too tall an order for the industry, given that every participant is under the gun to cut costs no matter what. Link.