You’ve never seen this company’s name on a package of ground beef or steak. That’s because the world’s largest beef producer, JBS, doesn’t sell beef under its own name.
But U.S. consumers buy millions of pounds of JBS beef every year, under brand names like Cedar River Farms, Swift Black Angus, 5 Star Reserve and others, in stores like Costco, Walmart and Kroger, to name a few.
Consumers also unknowingly support JBS when they buy burgers at fast food chains like McDonald’s and Burger King, and at other restaurants supplied by the meat giant.
JBS isupplies Sysco, the world’s largest food distributor, which distributes to hundreds of restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes, schools and hotels.
Sysco, in turn, wholesales JBS meat and other food products to Aramark and Sodexo, food distribution companies that in turn supply institutions like schools, hospitals, government agencies, prisons and more.
JBS is big. In fact it’s the biggest of the world’s Big Meatcompanies.
Despite an ongoing cover-up by government authorities, the biotech industry, the military industrial complex and the mass media, there is growing scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was created and (most likely accidentally) leaked from a dual-use military/civilian lab in Wuhan, China.
The ensuing pandemic (currently with 14 million infected and 585,000 dead, which has precipitated a global economic meltdown) is the predictable, yet preventable, collateral damage of a reckless, decades-long, and accident-prone biodefense/biowarfare program carried out by the U.S. (including both the Obama and Trump administrations, and their predecessors), China, Russia and other highly industrialized and militarized nations.
Under the gun, reeling from an unprecedented public health, racial justice, environmental and climate crisis, now is certainly not the time to mince words nor offer up piecemeal reforms to greenwash a failed, degenerate system. As I point out in my recent book, "Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food, and a Green New Deal," there are no magical, easy tweaks to business, politics and consumer behavior “as usual” that can save us.
After the pandemic, lockdown and economic depression, in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter rebellion, there is no healthy, just and climate-friendly “normal” we can go back to. The old red, white and blue normal of Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton et al. was and is degenerate, racist and self-destructive, a 21st Century suicide economy that is dragging us toward climate catastrophe, societal meltdown and what Vandana Shiva has aptly described as a Digital Dictatorship.
The industrial meat industry has been hogging the food-related news cycle lately. The COVID-19 outbreaks at meatpacking plants. The slaughterhouse shut-downs. The “depopulating” of farm animals. Meat shortages and rising meat prices.
And then there’s the corresponding good news: Consumers buying more organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised meat products from local farmers and CSAs—even online sales of these products are surging.
So far, the industrial factory farm dairy industry hasn’t seen nearly as much news coverage during the pandemic. But under the mainstream media radar, two organizations recently shone a spotlight on dairy producers.
The Institute for Ag and Trade Policy (IATP) issued a report on the role of industrial dairy in global warming. The report, “Milking the Planet: How Big Dairy Is Heating Up the Planet and Hollowing Rural Communities,” calls for “redirecting public funds away from industrial agriculture, regulating the public health, environmental and social impacts of this extractive model of production and designing incentives to regenerate rural communities through agroecology.”
First, let me say that I hope you and your family and friends have remained safe and healthy.
Second, I want to say this: If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our corporate-controlled industrial food system is a failure—and that we’ll never have a better opportunity for transformational change than we have right now.
Industrial agriculture, with its factory farms, GMO monculture crops and toxic chemicals, is one of the leading causes of global warming. You can help cool the planet by choosing organic foods, grown using sustainable, regenerative farming practices.