I thought this was apropos since I just posted about pickles and this morning I was thinking about Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in relation to the idea of “Big Ag.”
Here’s an excerpt from The Jungle:
Chapter 5: Sinclair describes the conditions one worker faces as a “pickler”.
It seemed that he was working in the room where the men prepared the beef for canning, and the beef had lain in vats full of chemicals, and men with great forks speared it out and dumped it into trucks, to be taken to the cooking room. When they had speared out all they could reach, they emptied the vat on the floor, and then with shovels scraped up the balance and dumped it into the truck. This floor was filthy, yet they set Antanas with his mop slopping the “pickle” into a hole that connected with a sink, where it was caught and used over again forever; and if that were not enough, there was a trap in the pipe, where all the scraps of meat and odds and ends of refuse were caught, and every few days it was the old man’s task to clean these out, and shovel their contents into one of the trucks with the rest of the meat!
This morning I was thinking, how can I get people to realize the need for farming for themselves? Then I remembered an excerpt from The Jungle that I read to my students last year. It reminded me of people going to the supermarket and buying things that say “organic” and paying a ton more money for it and it is essentially the same crap that everyone else is eating.
I can’t find it at the moment but to paraphrase, it talked about this one disgusting pile of meat that was packaged in two separate ways, one was regular and the other was labelled “prime” which cost twice what the regular one cost but came from the same rank pile.
If you think you’re “organic” food is any different think again. Stay tuned for articles discussing the reality of what “organic” means.