Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What's left to eat?

  1. Aug 9, 2005 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Assuming people don't die in large numbers from consuming tainted meat, what source of protein will be left for humans to eat?

    "WHO: Bird flu pandemic is imminent
    Governments must act swiftly to prevent outbreak, officials say"
    MSNBC News Services - Feb. 23, 2005

    "Second Mad Cow Case Triggers Beefed-Up Testing"
    June 24, 2005
    Also covered by: CNN, MSNBC, WSJ Online (Subscription Req.)

    "Human toll in pig flu outbreak baffles scientists
    Experts worried that germ may have mutated to create deadlier version"
    Associated Press - Aug. 3, 2005

    Not to mention mercury in seafood...
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2005 #2
    Soy beans!
  4. Aug 9, 2005 #3
    Peanuts? :confused:
  5. Aug 9, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  6. Aug 9, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Very funny. :rofl:

    There was a program some time ago about returning to nature's ways versus the mass production scenario in which animals are crammed together in unsanitary conditions thus requiring antibiotics, etc., etc. They focused on a rancher that has gone back to moving cattle from one open pasture to another, and not at a lot more cost either. I mean, come on, one can only eat so much soy. :eek:

    Really, a bigger concern is the possible outbreak of pandemic disease among humans. It seems the most horrific diseases are those that are spread from other species to humans -- mutating to deadlier versions.
  7. Aug 9, 2005 #6
    Risk of Milkborne TSE/BSE transmission


  8. Aug 10, 2005 #7
    That idea makes the most sense to me, because it seems unlikely that a virus can mutate from something benign already present in humans, to something very deadly and contagious. On the other hand it seems more likely that a virus that has already sucessfully figured out how to exploit another organism (especially a mammals if we're worried for humans) could very easily mutate slightly enough to exploit us or another organism. Viruses can be a deep lesson on how we understand life.
  9. Aug 10, 2005 #8
    All the sources of meat that we've used - can still be used, you just look for appropriate safety guidelines. Maybe cattle "guaranteed BSE free" will be some sort of niche for cattle farmers, and maybe people will pay more for that.

    Otherwise, there are tons of other animals that humans have used for protein over time -- Rabbits, squirrel, dog, buffalo (we regularly eat buffalo brats from whole foods), elk, bear, deer, snake, etc.

    And even though any animal could carry disease of one sort or another, some of them won't be transmitted to humans if the food is properly prepared.
  10. Aug 12, 2005 #9
    The weird thing is I always thought this was how cattle was brought up, until I saw a documentary on TV about an outbreak of food poisoning and they showed how these beasts really live... in their own squalor and waste
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook