Blowing Brains – literally and figuratively

Maybe I’ve read too much Michael Pollan (see sidebar) recently, but there’s a story in the NYT about people who worked on the pig-brain-processing-line coming down with a neurological illness due, most likely, to immune mimickry.

A Medical Mystery Unfolds in Minnesota

Now, much print space is devoted to all the people who worked very hard to figure out this very interesting medical illness…but nobody seems to just stop short and say, "Wait a second!  Maybe this is caused because we’ve over-industrialized food!!!  We’re processing nearly 10,000 pig brains a day…pooling them all and sending them to the South and overseas (where, apparently people gladly eat such things)!!!  It’s a wonder we haven’t had an outbreak many years ago!!"

The article describes the process of "blowing brains" as inserting a high-pressure air hose into the foramen magnum of the pig and blowing the brains around into a mush which is then sucked back out of the foramen into a large container of brains for later processing and consumption.  Now, even if the idea of eating a brain appealed to me in the least – what sort of way is this to process something I’m going to eat???  That’s nasty. 

I may have to become a vegetarian, just to be able to live with the knowledge of how our food is processed…Maybe just a subsistence farmer with a small farm of chickens…and LOTS of vegetables.