Cattle remains are still fed to chickens and the poultry litter is fed back to cows. In this way, prions -- the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease -- may continue to cycle back into cattle feed and complete the cow "cannibalism" circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.
Let's hope that the newly reported case of mad cow disease in a California dairy cow will renew interest in closing the loopholes in feed regulations that continue to allow the feeding of slaughterhouse waste, blood and manure to farm animals in the United States.
It seems that more and more Americans are becoming aware of the negative health and animal welfare implications of drinking cow's milk and are switching to soy, almond, and rice milks to enjoy with their cookies and cereal.
Farm-animal production provides a safety net for millions of the world's most vulnerable people, but given the industry's rapid and often poorly regulated growth, the biggest challenge will be to produce meat in environmentally and socially sustainable ways.
At a time when consumers are turning their backs on industrialized farming systems -- and genetically modified (GM) farming in particular -- the new report raises real questions about exactly what people are paying for when they buy organic milk.
No matter how you slice it, mainstream cheese is inefficient fare: Almost 10 pounds of milk are needed to make a typical 1-pound wheel. But you need not forsake your favorite Gouda. Just choose a brand that takes sustainability into account. I asked five experts to name their favorites.
First Stop? The Rodale experimental farm in Kutztown, PA. They are celebrating their 30-year study comparing the difference between organic and conventional crop yields and the impact on soil conditions.
"Wait a second. Pasteurization and homogenization are not the same thing?" Larry shook his head. "Homogenization is a process which alters milk's natural state by forcing it through small openings at high pressure.