<snips> and a warning ... not for weak stomachs.
On Thu, 8 May 1997 00:36:17 -0400 Sharon Smith Hurlburt
<[log in to unmask]> writes:
>I have a heck of a time trying to get people to believe that sometimes.
>This kid at a Medieval Faire I was at last summer thought I was nuts
>when I told him that my Steak-on-a-Stake was far more done than I really
>needed it to be. "Aren't you worried you'll get triganosis?" "That's
>"Well, how about mad cow disease?" "We haven't imported British beef
>the 70's." "But it's all red & bloody!" "Yes, I know. I like it that
>does most of my family." "But that's gross!" "No, it's called 'rare'
>it's not that uncommon. They serve beef that way in resturants all
>who should have known the kid was trouble when he said "This flame is
>weird. It's yellow, not blue, and it keeps moving around."
hhhmmmm ... never seen an open flame .. ?? Well, never mind that, my
comments are on the other; I have this thing about rare meat. Bad idea in
general. Since our days of leaving the primitive past we've lost our
ability to deal with some of the bugs around. You are right in that we
haven't imported British beef in quite some time but it isn't entirely
relevant. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), more widely known as
mad cow disease, is transmitted by prions (a protein - a theory) and is
now thought to be caused by a type of farming practice, not geography.
Our (USA's) farmer's (mass factory types) have been employing the same
practice as the British farmers for some time. It involves the stingy
cost saving measure of recycling beef that can't be sold for human
consumption into cattle feed; particularly the brain matter. It is now
thought this involuntary bovine cannibalistic practice of consuming the
brain matter is the entire root cause of BSE and similar conditions. The
BSE disease of cattle attacks the nervous system, causing aggression,
lack of coordination, and collapse. It was first identified in 1986. By
early 1994 it had claimed 115,000 British cattle, as well as some
domestic cats and a few exotic mammals in captivity. BSE is one of a
group of diseases known as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,
since they are characterized by the appearance of spongy changes in brain
tissue. Some scientists believe that all these conditions, including
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, are - in effect - the same
disease. Many US farmers are halting the practice of tissue recycling as
a result of this newer opinion. The practice isn't entirely eradicated as
Even baring the threat of BSE, there have been wide cases of
contamination of beef - caused by unsanitary processing practices at
unscrupulous plants - with the virulent E. coli bacteria (Escherichia
coli). This causes severe food poisoning in some cases, even death
(remember Jack in the Box?). It is more a problem with ground beef
because it is generally a surface contamination and when beef is ground
it is mixed throughout the product. E. coli infection is - however -
entirely preventable by cooking the beef well done. I am not so sure if
BSE transmission can be prevented this way.
Food for thought ... so to speak ...
Bruce L. Jones
The Mojave Desert - The Geographic Center of Nowhere