Why you should avoid eating anything raised in a monoculture.... animal or vegetable
This link was sent to me by Jan Maes, KGI Board Member
Jamie Harvie, PE, is executive director of the Institute for a Sustainable Future, a Duluth, Minnesota,-based not-for-profit research and consulting organization. He is a nationally recognized mercury-reduction expert who provides consulting on toxics reduction both nationally and internationally. His clients included the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, City and County of San Francisco, and the Chinese Environmental Protection Agency.
......Animal feedlot operations may be considered industrialized protein production
facilities. They epitomize the extreme of our industrialized food system. These operations confine large quantities of livestock to a closed area where all food and water inputs are carefully controlled.
A wide variety of feed additives are provided, including growth hormones,antibiotics in feed and water, and arsenic. Arsenic, though banned in European livestock production, is used domestically as a growth promoter to compensate for poor growing conditions and for pigmentation.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 70 percent of the 8.7 billion broiler chickens produced annually are fed arsenic (Wallinga 2006a). In a recent study, 55 percent of raw, supermarket chicken contained detectable arsenic, and nearly 75 percent of breasts, thighs, and livers from conventional producers carried detectable arsenic (Wallinga 2006a). Arsenic causes cancer and contributes to other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and decreased intellectual function. Even low exposures to this type of serious toxin are generally presumed to be risky (Wallinga, 2006b).
In many areas of the US, groundwater used for drinking water may be naturally high in arsenic. The application of arsenic-laden manure further contributes to this drinking-water concern (Christen 2006).
Since 1972, there has been a tripling of counties that have more that 55 percent of their plantings in corn and soybeans (Porter, Russelle, and Finley 2000). Corn and soybeans are two of the most overproduced crops. Twenty-five percent of all US farmland—80 million acres—now grows corn (Christensen 2002).
...Petroleum-derived nitrogen and other fertilizers must be added to soils. Poor nitrogen retention by corn and soy rotation results in contaminated surface waters that migrate to the Gulf of Mexico, where nitrogen creates massive annual algae blooms. These blooms metabolize all available oxygen, leaving a 20,000 square kilometer dead zone in the Gulf
Environmental exposures are widespread. For example, concentrations of atrazine, alachlor, and broadleaf pesticide 2,4-D in rainwater have been reported to exceed the safe drinking-water standards (Gilliom, Alley, and Gurtz 1995). A 1994 study estimated that 14.1 million Americans drank water contaminated with the pesticides atrazine, cyanazine, simazine, alachlor, and metolachlor (Wiles et al. 1994).
Extensive herbicide use in agricultural areas (accounting for about 70 percent of total national use of pesticides) has resulted in widespread contamination of herbicides in agricultural streams and shallow ground water. The chance of finding agricultural weed killers in house dust increases by 6 percent for every 10 acres of cropland found within a roughly 800-yard perimeter of a house (Raloff 2006). Farm-worker and community exposures are another concern. Use of agricultural chemicals known to cause cancer in California increased 127 percent from 1991 to 1998.
All this doom and gloom though is part of an excellent article about why it is no good going on treating illnesses while their causes are ignored.
"REDEFINING HEALTHY FOOD:AN ECOLOGICAL HEALTH APPROACH TO FOOD PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND PROCUREMENT"
Jamie Harvie, PE
Paper presented by The Center for Health Design® and
Health Care Without Harm at a conference sponsored by
the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, September 2006.
If like me you are lucky enough to be able to go outside and pick vegetables, like these delicious beans, straight from your own garden, then thank goodness you can eat tonight without wondering if your food is related to this article!
ps Erica's dog LOVES beans and fruit straight off the plants.... he even climbs trees to pick apricots!