On the one hand, your odds of eating a BSE-infected cow part are vanishingly small. I'm a fairly scientific type, I like to look at the numbers (like the fact that SARS, relatively speaking, didn't kill quite enough people to justify the hype, and Ebola, while grisly, really burns itself out pretty quickly and is not going to be the doom of humanity). The beef industry has been saying that most cuts of beef are unaffected by BSE; but Dean, in researching actual human infection rates, found this saddeningly detailed page about meat processing inspection in the United States, which is almost a vegetarian-conversion page even for me. I did know about the cannibalistic feeding, but thought it had been thoroughly banned in the US and didn't know about the loopholes. The page agrees with NPR's reporting about the presence of nervous system tissue in parts of beef where you wouldn't really expect it--among other things, the methods of slaughter in the US actually drive chunks and bits of brain into the bloodstream of the cow-turned-carcass.
I have a marinated tri-tip in the fridge that I'm slightly less excited about now, although I'll probably eat it so it doesn't go to waste, and then continue eating beef substitutes for a little while.
Kinda nice to be back at work, with well-defined tasks that look like they'll actually have a completion date. Plus there's only a day and a half left in the week, which helps. I'm pondering what to do with my 4-day weekend so I don't spend the whole time watching TV.
Would you please let me know if you find my checkbook? I wrote a check right before I left town, I remember thinking I was going to need my checkbook today, and now it's completely MIA.