A cynical rational to regulations

Just recently I did a poll asking people if they trusted restaurants to “self regulate” their own businesses or if they would rather have an unbiased inspection. For me this is common sense, I absolutely want an independent source rating my place. For the record, the poll came back with 89% saying they want outside inspections as well…..

I get how this sounds contradictory to the whole Anarchy thing. 

I am very much an Anarchist in philosophy, yet I’m also very aware of how stupid and greedy man is and therefore I am cynical as fuck. Maybe in a few hundred years we’ll evolve past the primal instincts of competition and learn to embrace the ideals of cooperation but it sure as shit ain’t going to happen in my lifetime. 

My Kitchen is on point. 

A clean Kitchen is a pimp Kitchen and I easily spend 20-30% of my time keeping it as shiny as possible. I have zero issues with an outside health inspector coming in and rating my place since I want my customers to know that I’m not playing around when it comes to their health. An outside source means they have an industry-standard backed up by real science and aren’t just taking my word for it. My Kitchen can easily stand up to scrutiny but a lot of places can’t and that’s the problem. 

We’ve all worked for shady owners. 

Hell, part of the reason that I’ve worked in as many places as I have is due to my standards often being higher than those calling the shots. If I’m unable to fix a situation, I have to leave since it’s my reputation on the line. When someone tells me to just wash off fish that’s been covered in beef blood, I’m getting my knives and getting the hell out. Sadly, this is a true story. 

So why are we loosening regulations on the Pork industry

This might be old news to some of you but back in September of 2019, Trump, under the guise that it would help modernize the industry, made some pretty significant, if not outright scary changes to the way that Pork is inspected. And yes, I know that Obama started to make similar changes to the Poultry industry but he also backtracked after listening to the fears of consumer groups. 

While the USDA is calling the move a step in the right direction, we also have to question the motives. This is not a political issue, this is very much a public health issue. 

Here’s the problem. 

If we can’t trust Mom and Pop restaurants with a staff of 10 to properly train their staff and keep their establishments at or above industry standard, why the hell would we trust the Pork industry? Why would we loosen the regulations that keep the public safe from potentially contaminated products and trust big business to ensure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing? 

Oh yeah, money….. Apparently, the changes are going to save 8.7 million which, in the federal budget is a joke since we drop bombs that cost more than that. Meanwhile, it’s the family that’s living paycheck to paycheck and trying to make every dime count who’s going to get hit since they’re the consumers the industry is going to target with subpar products. Since they don’t have healthcare, they’re more or less fucked if someone gets sick due to contaminated meat. 

I’m not saying the Pork industry is bad. 

I grew up near Surry county Virginia, once known as the Pork Capital of the US and support the industry as both a consumer and as a Chef. I just don’t trust the fat cats in the office doing the numbers to put public safety ahead of profit since it’s not their family that’s going to get sick and, if they do, they have the luxury of having insurance and being able to see a doctor. 

My attitude is that, hey, if you want to earn my trust and my business, you should be pushing for tighter inspections and regulations from outside sources so that I know your product is safe to serve to my customers and my family. I want to know that the animals are being raised ethically and with respect and that, when they go to slaughter, it’s in a clean, sterile facility that is graded by current, up to date science. While we can’t eliminate the risk of foodborne illness, I want to know that it’s at a bare minimum. 

There are no easy answers. 

Do we let the industry regulate and inspect itself? Do we have a tax-funded group such are the USDA oversee it or do we let an outside group take care of it? The fact is that without oversight, you’re going to have some shady people doing some really bad things in the name of their own self-interest while some little kid gets sick because of something that could have easily been avoided. 

Now more than ever I encourage you to register to vote and figure out the facts for yourself. Take a minute, do your homework and then do your civic duty to contact your reps on both a local and national level and use your voice. Things are getting weird, it’s time to pull our collective heads out of the sand, take action and fix these kinds of things since once again, the powers that be, the people we have elected, have failed to do their duty in looking out for the best interests of the people. 

And by the way, if you’re not willing to kill it, you don’t deserve to eat it


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