An anonymous reader writes to ask what I think of the recent egg recall. I think I'm glad my family has been buying eggs at the local farmer's market, which at $2.50 a dozen are cheaper than the various admixtures of cage free, free range, and organic eggs on offer at the local supermarkets--and I really know where they came from. I also think the circumstances leading up to the recall are an object lesson in what happens when you take animals--as well as the workers in these large operations--and treat them as mere resources. (See here for related discussion.)
I've sometimes heard representatives of industrial food producers play the "safety" card, claiming that industrial food chains are safer than small operations because they are regulated. I guess not! However, in other related (and encouraging) news, the New York Times has a piece on recent changes in California and Ohio to start phasing out various forms of "factory farming."
P.S. Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control is an excellent documentary by Errol Morris which has nothing but its title in common with this post.