Good for investors bad for the American consumer, the Smithfield Deal.


So you think that the meat you are purchasing in the grocery store is looking somewhat different? Over the course of the past fifteen years, the biggest of Americas food producers have been hard at work devising ways to produce more meat at the lowest possible cost. Many of these transformations have come in the form of genetic enhancements that have the chicken coops in middle America, under the watchful eye of Tyson foods bursting with chickens whose weight is seemingly becoming disproportionate.

The breast of these chickens have become so large that their legs are unable to keep the poor birds upright, tipping over due to the top heavy weight displacement so you will never have the most unfortunate scenario when you drive up to the distorted speaker and learn that there is a McChicken shortage, whilst lining the pockets of Tyson. Obviously there are many other players that control our food supply including Cargill, Swift and Co, Arthur Daniels Midland, Kraft and more.

The Smithfield deal was summarized by CEO Joseph W. Luter IV claiming it is “good for shareholders” should have read “good for lining my pockets and destroying the US food supply.”
On 29 May 2013, Shuanghui, a Chinese company announced a purchase of all of the stock of Smithfield Foods, Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion. Also announced by Shuanghui that the comapny would list Smithfield on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after completing the takeover.On 6 September 2013 the U.S. government approved Shuanghui International Holding’s purchase of Smithfield Food, Inc. The deal was valued approximately $7.1 billion making it the largest Chinese takeover of an American company to date.

You think your pork is of poor quality now? Is your beef looking a little shy of expectations? Well, buckle up ladies and gentleman, it is not only going to get worse and I fear significant recalls are looming in the not so distant future. Smithfield raises 15.8 million pigs a year, producing 3.8 billion pounds of fresh pork and 2.7 billion pounds of packaged meat, sold as 50 brands of pork products and 200 gourmet foods. Beware of the Paula Dean line of foods and Weight Watchers as they are among the largest purchasers.

The consequences for employees? Nobody has the actual figures just yet, but with 46,050 employees in the United States, Mexico and Europe as of 2012, and an annual revenue of $13 billion, pink slips are being prepared as I type. With the advent of vertically-integration which began in 1990, the company may not need as many employees, but at what cost to the consumer from a health perspective?
The system allows Smithfield to control every stage of pig production, from conception and birth to slaughter, processing and packing – known as “from squeal to meal” or “from birth to bacon.”

Here is a YouTube video that shows how animals are treated in slaughter houses in America. I dare not think what will happen when the animals are terminated and prepped for the market in Chinese slaughter houses, given their unsanitary track record.

There are high quality meat markets all around our country, please take a moment to do some research online and find a meat procurer that will ship you fine quality cuts of meat. If you are having a hard time taking the leap of faith to purchase beyondsmithfield_wide- what is offered up to you on your store shelves? I encourage you to type into a Google search Smithfield Cruelty.


About glenn van nostrand

Spent some years making my way around the cities and states, working, learning about new food ideas and planting and eating my share. Making my points about rejecting the corporate take over of our food source to my opinions about the New York food scene. LASTLY: No matter the size of my living area, I am always growing herbs & vegetables and enjoy the nurturing experiences of the growth to the nutritional value it gives from the table. View all posts by glenn van nostrand

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