It is only because of the USDA that these are even commonly used. It is only because the USDA declared that they are fit for human consumption rather than just as a method of making pet food that it is ubiquitous in our food supply. And further, it is because of the USDA that these things are hidden from the public and consumer, making regulations so that if it's a certain percentage, you just don't have to tell anyone that it is in there.
The cries from an industry that was exposed and shocked at the consumer response indicates they should have gone far beyond 'USDA' requirements in letting the consumer know what they were buying.
The whines of the liars are loudest when exposed. Poor babies.
Do you think the food industry will voluntarily tell the public the truth about food content?
Loaves of pressed meat are a pretty common thing in processed food. Like Jennie-O turkey meat loaf. I’d never heard of making convincing imitations of actual steak, etc.
Are you nuts? Did you ever buy food in a country without any enforced food standards? Do you know about the state of the food industry, especially meat packing and processing, just before standards were established?
In many other countries food is routinely spoiled or made with stuff that you would never want to know about. No labels, no expiration dates. Whatever the shopkeeper or streetpeddler writes on his sign or tells you is all you know. In some countries, the only place to get untainted food is to grow your own or go to overpriced tourist restaurants.
It's a dilemma for me because I'm for very small government and less corrupt blood-sucking alphabet agencies. You can see it in your example of how certain percentages of garbage are permitted to be pushed on us by arbitrary USDA standards.
However, because of the massive growth of cities and much greater travel, many people cannot rely on growing their own food or knowing the farmer personally to take complete personal responsibility for it. Those people depend on commercial farmers for their survival. The same thing with standards for commercial water: everyone can't have their own well anymore. If you don't mandate any standards for safety and monitoring origins of food, you get many injured and dead people through no choice of their own. A misplaced drop of peanut oil can kill some people. I almost died once by drinking a tainted soda in Ukraine.
I think some kind of standards have to be there unless you consider cities and long-term travel to be bad because you can't take full personal responsibility. That's a whole other debate...