I, Beef Jerky
By Art Carden
Yesterday morning, I opened a bag of beef jerky that reads “MADE IN THE U.S.A.” at the bottom of the front of the bag. On the back of the bag–and I found this interesting–one reads that the jerky
Contains beef from one or more of the following sources: the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Uruguay.
So perhaps it was processed and bagged in the US, but would it have been as affortable if it had used only American beef? Where did the plastic bag come from? An American supplier? What of the other ingredients–“brown sugar, water, salt, spices and natural flavorings, beef stock, natural smoke flavor, apple juice concentrate”? Where are they from? What about the plastic bag in which the jerky is packaged?
And what of the packaging equipment? The workers? The coffee consumed by the people running the rigs that extract the oil that powers the machines that make the wood pulp that goes into the paper stocking the office supply cabinet at the beef jerky company? All of it, “Made in the U.S.A.”?
Somehow, I doubt it.
For a set of interesting commentaries–if I say so myself–on spontaneous order and the market economy, see the I, Pencil Movie produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. I was compensated for appearing in and writing a lesson plan to go with the I, Pencil Movie, but not for mentioning it in this blog post.