2/27/2013

Hunters giveth venison. Louisiana health officials taketh away.

After hunters donated venison to feed the homeless, Louisiana health officials stepped in and ordered the donation to be destroyed.  It wasn't enough to order all 1,600 pounds of venison  to be thrown away. Citing food safety concerns, the Louisiana health officials opened each package of venison that the hunters donated. Then they doused it all down with bleach so neither humans nor animals could eat it.

Deer grazing in Cades Cove

This sounds like a bad after-Christmas remake of Scrooge to me. Forget about all the times you've seen homeless people digging through trash cans. Apparently literally eating garbage is better than dining on commercially processed deer meet. That's the message that I'm getting anyway.

The Shreveport Bossier Rescue Mission who was to receive the donation estimated that at least 3,200 meals were lost. The meat was processed in a facility that is approved to process commercial meat. A request by the mission director to return the venison to the processing facility (and presumably back to the hunters) was also denied by Louisiana officials.

Keep in mind that hunters can serve this same venison to their children. They just can't feed the homeless, serve it in a restaurant or give it to a mission. Never mind that the mission serves 200,000 meals a year without government help or that they depend on donations to feed the homeless.

After all, why eat venison that was donated by hunters when you could have a peanut butter sandwich? How about a big leafy spinach salad to go with that? Add a few slices of cantaloupe and you're in for a nice healthy meal.

But, don't you dare touch the venison donated by hunters and don't give it to the homeless. According to the State of Louisiana and their health officials there are better choices available. Ha! Thankfully plans are being worked out to prevent this from happening again. I just wish that had been thought of before the food was destroyed. How about you?

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