Off the keyboard of RE
Published on the Doomstead Diner on August 1, 2015
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The Meat FIX for the week…
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I have a confession to make.
I am a MEAT ADDICT.
This addiction may be even worse than my Beer Addiction, it's a tossup.
I can blame the Meat Addiction on my parents. Growing up in my youngest years in Brasil, they often took me to Churascarias where many delicious cuts of meat were served up directly off the spit. My Taste Buds became so entranced by the flavor of Meat cooked over an Open Flame that upon returning to the FSoA around age 10 or so, I immediately embarked on a career as a BBQ Chef, utilizing a small Cast Iron Hibachi that was the site of many Steaks, Burgers, Chicken Wings and Salmon Fillets being Grilled to PERFECTION! 🙂
I am of course aware these days of how poorly treated the cows, pigs and chickens are by our Industrial Ag system, but people aren't treated a whole lot better and it becomes a bit much to worry about the unfortunate life of a cow in a feed lot when there are a few billion people not living much better lives, and besides I just LOVE MEAT! So I can't quite buy in to the Vegan mind set because of this.
Beyond the downside of the unfortunate life for an an Industrially raised, fed and slaughtered cow in some Chicago Feed Lot is the ENERGY and WATER problems involved with a diet copiously laden with MEAT in it.
According to HuffPo, it takes around 1847 gallons of water to raise up a Pound of Beef. Chicken does a lot better at just 518 Gallons for a pound of Chicken, and Beer does better than Wine at 296 vs 872, although you then get into serving size questions as well.
In any event, as you can see it takes a whole heck of a lot of water to put the meat on the table, and even the Beer in your Bottle also! To acquire enough of that water these days also takes energy, pumping it up from ever more depleted Aquifers like the Ogalalla.
However, the problems of Industrial Ag and its treatment of animals used for food sources, the problems of energy consumption and the problems of water consumption are NOT the reason I am writing this article!
The reason is that due to a few reasons, I cannot STOP buying MEAT at the grocery store! The Feature Photo at the top of the page has this week's selections, a rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs which ON SALE came in around $4/lb, and 3 nice Filet Mignon Cuts coming in at $12/lb. That wasn't a sale, but it's still pretty cheap for Filet Mignon.
Prior to buying this meat, I still have in the fridge leftovers from LAST week. particularly some nice Short Ribs and about 1/3rd of a Rotisserie Chicken left to eat, and that is BEFORE I take the carcass and throw it in the Slow Cooker to make a batch of Chicken Soup, which itself will last me another 2 days EZ.
Layered on top of this is the fact that my neurological problems from my neck injury are depressing my appetite, so most of the time I just don't feel like eating any of it! Regardless how good it smells or looks! I'm just not feeling HUNGRY enough to devour it!
Now, because I can't help myself as an ADDICT, I keep buying this stuff. I'm NOT living on the SNAP Cad Gourmet budget of $2/day (yet!), but neither am I spending much more than $5/day either on food. The Filet Mignon I picked up for around $12, The Pork Baby Back Ribs for another $16, but together this is enough Animal Protein for 2 weeks EZ! If I would just STOP buying the stuff when i see it ON SALE, I COULD stay under $2/day!
But I can't stop buying it, I'm a JUNKIE for Meat! Not just beef, any Animal protein. You know what ELSE I bought this week? A Cocktail Shrimp Ring for $10! Like I really need this with all the freaking leftovers I have in the fridge right now? It will take me a month to work through just the LEFTOVERS, and some of it will probably go bad before I am hungry enough to eat it!
I can't even vaccuum seal it up and put it in the Freezer! Why not? Because the freezer itself is JAM PACKED with as yet uncooked Steaks, Fish, Chicken and Sausage I have purchased on other occassions travelling down the Meat Aisles of the local Food Emporiums. I'm like a kid in a Toy Store when I walk (or these days cruise on the Ewz) down the meat department. Look at those beautifully marbled Rib Eye's ON SALE! Gotta have those. Hot Italian Sausage ON SALE! Mmmm, think of the great Spaghetti Sauce I can make with those! LOL.
Meanwhile of course out there in the rest of the world and even here in the FSoA, plenty of people have trouble just putting enough Rice in a Bowl to get the daily necessary intake of calories. Houston, We Have a Distribution Problem!
You might think this would make me feel guilty about buying more meat than I can actually eat, but it doesn't. Why not? Because all the dead cow flesh in the local freezer will never make it onto the plate of a starving child in India, and in fact a good deal of it never even goes to feed the homeless up here either. It just gets tossed if it gets too old and can't even be sold at discount. It's not my fault the distribution system is so fucked up, and I am not going to blame myself because I have more meat to eat than I can handle and somebody else has none. It happens to be the shelf at my local grocery store, and I happen to have money to buy it, so I do.
The other reason I can't stop buying the Meat is because of the problem I KNOW is coming down the pipe here at some point, which is that the stuff just won't be available to buy AT ALL.
Cattle are already not looking too good in many parts of the world, and here in the FSoA as the water depletes out of Ogalalla and the energy isn't there to pump it up either, the Cattle right here are going to look just like the one at left. The ones still left anyhow, since the ranchers are already culling the herds, which leads to some pretty weird effects not dissimilar from what is going on with Oil, which is that in spite of a real shortage, the prices go DOWN rather than UP. as a temporary GLUT hits the market.
You have the additional problem where as Credit dries up, the first folks to lose access to the credit are the actual End Consumers of the product, be it either Rib Eye steaks or Gas for your SUV. If the end consumers don't have credit to buy the stuff, where can the price go but DOWN? This deflationary driver is ongoing across the Globe at the moment, and is likely to continue on for quite a while in many places, while in others new Credit is created, driving an inflationary spiral in those places. Eventually either way though, without the stuff on the meat rack to buy, the Money Dies. It simply stops working to buy things, and you revert to a barter economy if you are fortunate, this already is occurring in Greece. You do need something to barter though that somebody else wants, and they have to have something you want. Both of those things are also likely to start disappearing too.
Which brings us back round to the old question of TIMELINE, how long will it take for this to play itself out, in what locations first and how can you best negotiate what is inevitable here, for yourself and your progeny? There are no firm answers to those questions, but we do tackle them daily here on the pages of the Doomstead Diner.