Upton Sinclair Research Paper

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  • Topic: Meat packing industry, Meatpacking
  • Pages : 5 (1607 words )
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  • Published : April 7, 2013
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History
3-1-13
What makes what we Eat?

Did you know that for every 100 grams of peanut butter there is allowed a rodent hair. Well in the early nineteen hundreds before the Upton Sinclair exposé The Jungle you might have found more than just a hair. Without his book who would have known how long the meat packing industry would have gotten away with the atrocities they did. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair changed the way America had dinner. Although that was not his intention he tried to hit America in its heart but hit it in the stomach instead.

Sinclair went into undercover research and found a lot of grotesque and dangerous things that nowadays is unreal for us to think about. One example being,"some worked at the stamping-machines, and it was very seldom that one could work long there at the pace that was set, and not give out and forget himself, and have a part of his hand chopped off "(Sinclair 140). In our culture today something like this would make major news headlines. Although mistakes are still made but instead of being covered up they are released to the public recalled so that people won't be harmed by the product. Some of the most common reason things are recalled nowadays is salmonella or E.colli both are awful flu bacterium.

A simple E.colli was the least of your worries back in the early 1900's. Some people were even eaten, as Sinclair noted, "the other men, who worked in tank-rooms full of steam, and in some of which there were open vats near the level of the floor, their peculiar trouble was that they fell into the vats; and when they were fished out, there was never enough of them left to be worth exhibiting,—sometimes they would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard"(Sinclair 142). It is hard to believe that something like that could happen but there are many things that can go unnoticed.

If Sinclair had not gone undercover to show how bad immigrant workers were treated. We may not have found out the shortcuts and terrible things they did, "Some worked at the stamping machines, and it was very seldom that one could work long there at the pace that was set, and not give out and forget himself and have a part of his hand chopped off"(Sinclair,260). They wanted to have great productivity but at the cost of their workers and there was no worker compensation back then. So if they could not afford the medical bill which most couldn't they would just have to deal with it. Even though nowadays meat packing is still a hard job. Like the LA times said "Meatpacking is hard, dangerous work; the Department of Labor says it results in more injuries than any other trade"(linthicum,3). When you do not have any regulations it is a disaster waiting to happen. Because then people were like machines and if a machine quit working you got rid of it and that is what they did.

There was many diseases in the meatpacking facilities like Sinclair described " There were those who worked in the chilling-rooms, and whose special disease boobs was rheumatism; the time-limit that a man could work in the chilling-rooms was said to be five years"(Sinclair,259). Rheumatism affects joints and connective tissue mostly(CDC,1). That is just the beginning of the diseases that they could get "There were those who made the tins for the canned-meat; and their hands, too, were a maze of cuts, and each cut represented a chance for blood-poisoning"(Sinclair,261). The cans were not sterilized and caused infections when the workers cut themselves.

The quality of work environment was terrible back then nowadays it has improved by using safety equipment adding guard rails to dangerous areas and machines. Although the main cause of injury using knives but things have gotten safer due to the fact that they have safety protocols but people are very accident prone and it only take one mistake to hurt or kill you. Meatpacking is full of ways to come to your demise from...
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