However, this whole beef industry is wrongheaded. People don't need to eat beef. Cattle take up too much land for grazing. They pollute water. The industry pumps cattle full of hormones and antibiotics. That's not good because the hormones negatively impact upon people's health and the use of antibiotics in this way weakens antibiotics and strengthens pathogens. They do it to cause the cattle to put on weight.
Beef costs much more than other foods to produce because of the feed, slaughtering, packaging, refrigeration (energy), transportation (energy and global warming), and on and on. It drives up the price of other foods because land that could be used for human food crops is otherwise used. Also, the whole food industry must have a higher overhead just to support the system of having so much beef in the retail stores.
Why Are Those Wacky Koreans Dissin' Our Beef?
By Mike Whitney
20/06/08 "ICH" — - You wouldn't know it from reading the newspapers, but the streets of Seoul are packed with tens of thousands of angry protestors who've brought business and government to a standstill. The demonstrations have dragged on for more than a month and show no sign of ending anytime soon. President Lee Myung-Bak's decision to lift the ban on US beef imports has set off a political firestorm that is likely to bring down the government and put the kibosh on free trade agreements for years to come.
On Tuesday, the powerful Korean Confederation of Trade Unions threatened to call a general strike if the meat-deal with Washington was not rescinded. If the unions strike, the whole capital will shut down. That's why the politicians are scrambling for solutions.
South Korea suspended the purchase of US beef in 2003 after an incident of mad cow was reported in Washington state. Many Koreans still don't believe the government's assurances that the meat is safe and they may have a point. According to the LA Times the USDA tests less than 1% of cattle. (USDA Mad Cow Madness" LA Times) In contrast, Japan tests every cow that enters the food chain.