What is meat processing?
With the way meat is processed these days, it would be easy to forget that meat is actually the flesh of what was once a living animal. Meat processing is a term which applies to the full gambit of transitioning a living animal being into a resource which can be eaten. Slaughter, de-hairing/de-feathering, cleaning, skinning, organ removal, and butchering can all be a part of the meat processing tradition.
Why is it important to have local meat processors?
For thousands of years, meat-processing has been a highly-valued skilled trade. Meat can very easily be contaminated with bacteria, and so the trade of meat-processing is meticulous and stringent. When food systems are localized, we are set up for food emergencies which may occur. If we rely on far away meat processors, we lay risk to our food system in times of crisis.
Why are there no meat processors in DuPage County?
What was once a thriving local industry has now been largely proscribed. The USDA, largely under the influence of transnational corporations, has made it basically impossible to process meats on a small scale by legislating unattainable standards for small-scale meat processors. These standards inhibit the ability of small-scale processors to compete in a feasible way with factory meat-processors.