Bruce Friedrich, Delmarva Peninsula, Lata discussed on The Ezra Klein Show

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Is Bruce Friedrich refrigerant. Welcome back to the bug guest. I am delighted to be here as thank you. So how's it going, and it's going incredibly well way? You guys are doing a lot. Now, I feel like when we talked a couple of years ago, your and a half ago something like that good food institute. Sick impressive, but small organization and now it feels like you guys are everywhere. Yeah. We we barely existed when last year when I chatted and now we have sixty staff and five continents, and we have nine directors and four programmatic departments. And. Yeah. So it's going extraordinarily. Well, I want to ask you about a bunch of the work you're doing, but I I sort of want to do some context I because there's competition I've been wanting to have with you for a while something I've been obsessing over a little bit. Which is the way in which this moment in our food system. And in particular, the way, we treat and raise animals is pretty unique fifty sixty years ago speaker somebody's on the technological side of Lata this could we have had the kind of industrial animal agriculture. We have today. Well, no, it was it was using antibiotics in a minute started with chickens. So there was a chicken farmer on the Delmarva peninsula who got way more chickens than she bargained for. She ordered a hundred and got ten thousand or something like that. So she started shoving them into sheds and figured out how to grow more and more chickens and the answer to the question was drugs. So prophylactic antibiotics so he explained why. Yeah. In the conditions the conditions that farm animals are kept in confinement is a breeding ground for disease. The animals are kept in conditions that would compromise their immune systems would create disease. Massive numbers of them would die. By but with antibiotics used prophylactically so used on animals who are not sick. It allows them to live through conditions that would otherwise be lethal. And you can cram a one hundred thousand laying hens into a shed you can cram fifty thousand breeder pearlers into a shed. You can cram thousands of pigs into a shed if they're drugged up, essentially, the numbers on this are something crazy, right? Doesn't animal agricultural use? The bulk of American antibiotics. Yeah. Yeah. According to the union of concerned, scientists it's like seventy percent of antibiotics are used in farm animals, and it's not to treat farm animals who are sick. It's to this prophylactic keeping them from getting sick because of the conditions. Yeah. The the other thing that I think about with this is and I recognize you could have industrial agriculture without by think. But particularly when you're talking about chickens vicinity when you're talking about pigs. There's a huge amount of breeding that's been done and genetic engineering, and you have these animals that they can't reproduce naturally, and they can barely stand up. And like, they they couldn't they don't make sense. They don't make. Fences animals, they're like food with the cardiovascular system, it's like the pre food in very strange way. You know, I know we've been breeding animals forever, right? Like, the human beings, and obviously evolution to does it itself. But the ability to, you know, do artificial insemination in at the scale, we do it now and to do genetic breeding and changing the scale, we do it. Now, there can be a sense that there's something natural about just eating meat. But what we're eating what we're doing? It doesn't seem natural to me. It seems like a very strange technological moment. No. I'm in chickens were, you know, created in order to raise their young and do dust, baths and root in the soil and everything that happens with farm animals today. Well, ninety nine percent of farm animals is extraordinarily unnatural. They never raised their young. They never re route around in the soil. They never do anything..

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