Where’s the Beef? In the Landfill

Not surprisingly, there’s been some fallout from the largest beef recall in U.S. history. You know, the one that didn’t really need to happen. Many retailers are frustrated at having to toss perfectly good food.

Recently, Seattle-area landfills have started burying cases of meat that were at school cafeterias. A King County landfill received 230 20-to-30-pound cases of meat and plans to take thousands more cases in the next week.

I’ve begged The Seattle Times to take some photos of future dumpings, because I think a photo of someone throwing away 4,600 pounds (2.3 tons) of meat could really outdo my measly words.

In addition to wasting 143 million pounds of beef that the Undersecretary of Agriculture said was not a health risk, the over-cautious recall could send Westland/Hallmark out of business. While I’m not shedding any tears for the beef processor, given that shocking video of their cattle abuse and their flouting of regulations, a lot of people would lose their jobs if the company went under.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted February 27, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Do you think it would have been possible to send the meat to a pet food manufacturer where it could have been thoroughly cooked? It does seem like such a waste to just landfill it. People don’t get creative anymore they just figure, “If I don’t want it nobody does”. Then so much stuff goes to landfills. Tragic!
    Cindy in FL

  2. Susan Parker
    Posted February 28, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Also, meat can be composted! I thought it sounded horrible, but at an environmental/conservation conference, an expert on composting from one of the universities reported on the method and the results of composting a dead cow.

    It happens in nature all the time, actually!

  3. Posted March 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    This has to be one of the worst stories I’ve ever heard about waste. Your idea was spot-on: get the Seattle Times to document this by photo. Print it on the front page. Well, I know what we all should do: canvas these guys, and have them get on it immediately.

  4. Posted March 11, 2009 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Heres the deal.. that meat should have been composted instead of landfilling it. Pick an area in the landfill and start composting!
    Mobile invessel composting would have also worked!That means a decrease in carbon emmissions (to get it to the landfill), just drop it into the machine on thier site! Composting would have to meet EPA standards on pathogen kill temps and the compost could have been utilized and monetized!
    With all the innovation out there, why did they choose the already overburdened landfill?

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