On Friday, March 26, 2010, the New York Times published an article by Katie Zezima titled “Push to Eat Local Food Is Hampered by Shortage.” What’s this shortage hampering local food you ask? Slaughterhouses. There just aren’t enough of them to go around anymore.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the number of slaughterhouses nationwide declined to 809 in 2008 from 1,211 in 1992, while the number of small farmers has increased by 108,000 in the past five years.
The article is full of compelling information and personal accounts. Like this tidbit:
Brian Moyer, director of Rural Vermont, a nonprofit farm advocacy group, uses the image of an hourglass. “At the top of the hourglass we’ve got the farmers,” he said, “the bottom part is consumers and in the middle, what’s straining those grains of sand, is the infrastructure that’s lacking.”
And one of the hardest things to swallow is that everyone says we need more slaughterhouses, but harldy anyone wants one near them. On the upside, mobile units, which have been used mostly for poultry, are beginning to be used with larger animals.
Click here for the full article.