The Ugly Side of Efficiency

La surconsommation

I first saw this video sitting at a friends kitchen table over a cup of tea. I remember sitting, absolutely gobsmacked by what I was seeing.

I mean, we all know where food comes from, it’s just we rarely give it more than a passing thought, not beyond our own plate anyway.

What this video highlights is the sheer volume of food that needs to be processed to satisfy our demand and the vast human machine, usually located in a developing country, that pushes it along.

It is easy to tell ourselves that this sort of stuff doesn’t happen here in Australia, (I know I did) but the truth is, it does.

Australia, along with other developed countries, eat roughly their own weight in meat every year, consuming more than 80kg each, or about 224g a day, compared with an average of 47g a day in developing countries. (source: Sustainable Table).

But have you ever stopped to consider how this huge volume of meat can possibly be processed so as to arrive in nicely packaged trays of chicken tenderloins, t-bones, shortcut bacon or parcels of mince?

Australians also consume approximately 104 litres of milk, 11.8kg of cheese and 6.9kg of yoghurt each year (source: Dairy Australia). How the hell is such a massive amount of dairy produced and processed?

While the following footage is not from Australia in particular, it may well give you a few insights into the types of conditions and practices that are required to make such volumes possible.

WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES: Some scenes may be disturbing to some viewers.

La surconsommation from Lasurconsommation on Vimeo.


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