Modern Meat

2002 Home >> Health 3.83K views 1 comments


What could be simpler than a hamburger? Take a ground beef patty, throw it on a grill, wait a few minutes as the fat sizzles, maybe add some cheese, and stick it on a bun. It's a thoroughly American operation that takes place countless times a day all around the country. The average American, in fact, eats three hamburgers a week. And with more meat available than ever before, today's beef costs 30 percent less than it did in 1970, making it that much more attractive to consumers looking for a quick, cheap meal. But in "Modern Meat," FRONTLINE goes inside the world of the modern American meat industry and shows that this once simple product, the hamburger, is no longer so simple. Nor can you assume that it's safe. While sweeping changes in the meat industry -- making it vastly more centralized, high-tech, and efficient -- have led to the low prices, the transformation has also introduced new risks. In "Modern Meat," FRONTLINE speaks with scientists and industry observers who say that pooling thousands of cows in feedlots makes it easier for bacteria to spread from one animal to another. "Cows tend to produce feces [and] feces is primarily bacteria," says Glenn Morris, a microbiologist at the University of Maryland and a former USDA official. "In the larger feedlots," he adds, "there's a greater chance for the passage of microorganisms back and forth. All of that contributes to the spread of microorganisms like E. coli."

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1 Comments / User Reviews

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  • JD

    After watching this documentary I feel like sharing one more. "Meat The Truth"
    The documentary “Meat the Truth” is the
    first major project undertaken by the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation.
    “Meat the Truth” is a high-profile documentary, presented by Marianne
    Thieme (leader of the Party for the Animals), which forms an addendum to
    earlier films that have been made about climate change. Although such
    films have convincingly succeeded in drawing public attention to the
    issue of global warming, they have repeatedly ignored one of the most
    important causes of climate change, namely: intensive livestock
    production. “Meat the Truth” has drawn attention to this by
    demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas
    emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes
    added together. to watch please visit

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