Historians have argued that the history of America can be told through the history of meat. The meat industry was often the first to innovate and make use of modern technologies: from the railroad and refrigerated cars to meat packing plants’ dis-assembly lines that inspired Henry Ford’s assembly line. This is especially true for Minnesota. The University of Minnesota was the first university to specialize in meat studies with the opening of the Andrew Boss Meat Lab. South Saint Paul’s stockyards and meat packing plants were once the largest in the world. In the past hundred and fifty years, Minnesota, meat, and the world changed.
In the season 7 premiere of the MinneCulture podcast, reporter Matthew Schneeman traces how Minnesota changed the meat industry and changed meat itself. He also examines the ways that immigrant labor has been used to power the meat industry since the 20th century. This story starts by looking at people’s different responses to a slaughtered chicken. Gross? Clean? Delicious? Horrifying? Listen on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.