Friday, September 4, 2009

Stimulating Swine

It's almost impossible to turn on the news today without hearing about two things: how bad the economy is and swine flu. But I hadn't realized "the other white meat" had been directly affected by the recession. 

When the $787 billion stimulus bill was passed by Congress in February, $317.2 billion in spending provisions were appropriated for various federal agencies. As it turns out, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) spent $24.3 million of stimulus funds on pork! To be precise, AMS bought $16.9 million of canned pork, $2.6 million of ham (with water added, cooked and frozen), and $4.8 million of sliced ham (with water added, cooked and frozen).

Were people boycotting the pork and ham markets due to misinformation about the swine flu? I'm pleased to report the answer is no. AMS is sending the meat to food banks as part of a $150 million effort to feed the the record number of hungry Americans during the recession. At least they had the good sense not to buy any spam! 

No comments:

Post a Comment