The High Cost of Cheap Meat: Factory Workers Face Injury and In Some Cases Death

Jun 21, 2016

Meat consumers in the U.S. enjoy relatively low prices and an array of choices, but there is a high human price tag. The more than 500,000 men and women who work in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have some of the most dangerous factory jobs in America.

"If you recall the publication of The Jungle back in 1906 - the meat packing industry is similar to that to this day," says Peggy Lowe of Harvest Public Media, referring to the conditions in the plant and circumstances of the factory workers. 

"It's immigrants. It's poorly paid. It's really hard work. It's very dangerous work. It is people who don't have a lot of power, and they're placed in very far off rural areas where a lot of us don't even think about it or know about these folks."

On this River to River segment, host Ben Kieffer talks with Peggy Lowe and fellow Harvest Public Media reporter Luke Runyon about their recent series on the hazards of working in a slaughterhouse - "Dangerous Jobs, Cheap Meat."