The rendering plant floor is piled
high with 'raw product' all waiting to be processed. In the 90-degree
heat, the piles of dead animals seem to have a life of their own as
millions of maggots swarm over the carcasses.
First the raw material is cut into
small pieces and then transported to another auger for fine shredding. It
is then cooked at 280 degrees for one hour. This process melts the meat
away from bones in the hot 'soup.' This continuous batch cooking process
goes on non-stop for 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
During this cooking process, the soup
produces fat of yellow grease or tallow (animal fat) that rises to the top
and is skimmed off. The cooked meat and bone are sent to a hammermill
press, which squeezes out the remaining moisture and pulverizes the
product into a gritty powder. Shaker screens remove excess hair and large
bone chips. Now the following three products are produced:
grease (animal fat)
Since these foods are exclusively use
to feed animals, most state agency spot check and test for truth in
labeling such as; does the percentage of protein, phosphorous and calcium
match the rendering plant's claims; do the percentages meet state
requirements? However, testing for pesticides and other toxins in animal
feeds is incomplete or not done.
Recycled Products and Usage:
Every day, hundreds of rendering
plants across the United States truck millions of tons of this 'food
enhancer' to dairy industry, poultry ranches, cattle feed-lots, hog farms,
fish-feed plants, and pet-food manufacturers. This food enhancer is mixed
with other ingredients to feed the billions of animals.
Rendering plants have different
specialties. Some product-label names are: meat meal, meat by-products,
poultry meal, poultry by-products, fishmeal, fish oil, yellow grease,
tallow, beef fat, and chicken fat.
A 1991 USDA report states that
rendering plants produced approximately 7.9 billion pounds of meat, bone
meal, blood meal, and feather meal in 1983. Of that amount:
percent was used in pet food
percent in poultry feed
percent in pig food
(12 percent) in dairy and beef cattle feed
Scientific American cites a dramatic
rise in the use of animal protein in commercial dairy feed since 1987.
At least 250 rendering plants operate
in the United States and modern rendering plants are large and
centralized, and the industry's revenues amount to $2.4 billion a year,
said Bruce Blanton, executive director of the National Renderers
Association in Alexandria, Va.
Scientists believe the so-called mad
cow disease results when cattle eat feed made from the brains or spinal
cords of sheep suffering from scrapie. They believe the people who died
were infected when they ate beef, or dairy or other products from these
cows, a theory that remains controversial, though evidence is
The Story of North Carolina - USA
In an article entitled "Greene County
Animal Mortality Collection Ramp", states that:
"With North Carolina
ranking in the top seven states in the U.S. in the production of turkeys,
hogs, broilers and layers, it has been recently estimated that over 85,000
tons of farm poultry and swine mortality must be disposed of annually".
To meet this disposal need, in 1989
the Green County Livestock Producers Association began using an animal
carcass collection site. Livestock producers bring the dead animal and
bird carcasses to the ramp and drop them into a water-tight truck with
separate compartments for poultry and other livestock parked behind the
A local farmer, contracted by the
Livestock Association, hauls the animal and bird mortality to the
rendering plant each day and maintains the collection site. The rendering
plant pays the Livestock Association each week based on the current prices
of meat, bone, feather meal, and fat.
During the first 16 weeks of
operation in 1989, over 1 million pounds or a weekly average of 65,000
pounds of dead animals and birds (mortality) were collected and sent to
the rendering plant.
The end result of this very
successful project is that Greene County livestock and poultry producers
have a convenient, safe, and economical alternative to dispose of animal
and bird mortality.