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Factory Farming

By Archive, May 12, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Archive

The votes are in and the loser is: Factory Farming. In a strongly-worded report released on April 29, experts concluded that factory farming is bad for the environment, human health, the economy and, of course, farm animals.

Check out this Washington Post article for details, as well as this Successful Farming article that includes a link to the full report (PDF format), then weigh in with your opinion on this critical green issue.

Category: Green Action

 

26 Comments

Comments

Cathy Hall says ...
I've thought this for a long time. We don't know what chemicals are being sprayed on the food/plants and how chemically treated the soil they are growing in is. Most people I talk to say we need to start our own personal gardens, growing our own food. I'm just starting out with tomatoes, will probably try to grow more. We don't know what REAL food tastes like anymore, w/o the nitrates, nitrites, etc.
05/15/2008 8:36:08 AM CDT
Catherine says ...
I've also thought this for a long time too. During my grduate studies, we had numerous case studies on how factory farms pollute the environment and make bad neighbors in rural areas across the country. For an eye-opening, yet entertaining educational video about the evils of factory farms, watch "The Meatrix" (http://www.themeatrix.com/inside/). You will never think about factory farms in the same way again.
05/15/2008 10:12:07 AM CDT
Peggy Sakach says ...
We started buying Jeremiah Cunningham's World's Best Eggs as soon as I saw them on Whole Food's shelves. I've been deeply bothered by the treatment of chickens and think the food quality of caged chickens has got to be lower. Cage free designation just means the chickens aren't in a cage, not that they are roaming around freely. I was thrilled that someone started an egg company where the chickens are treated exactly as I would treat them. I just love these eggs and hope to see a lot more farmers doing the same thing with their meats, poultry, and dairy! Thank you Whole Foods for allowing me to buy in a store what I never thought would be possible!
05/15/2008 10:17:27 AM CDT
Debora says ...
I'm concerned - and distressed - by the degree to which Whole Foods still makes the flesh of factory-farmed animals available to consumers. It should not be an option at any Whole Foods.
05/15/2008 11:11:29 AM CDT
Cynthia says ...
I agree. We need to stop thinking of animals as simple food machines and start treating them like the intelligent, sentient beings they are.
05/15/2008 11:39:21 AM CDT
AMCDPC says ...
I live in a city and grow herbs and vegetables in a neighborhood community garden, and I frequent our local farmer's markets. No more factory farmed monster food for us. I also buy milk from a local dairy that doesn't use rBGH.
05/15/2008 11:53:46 AM CDT
Jenn says ...
We should care about eating organic. Organic fruits and vegetables are the best. But do we really need organic sodas and sparkling green teas... they are loaded with un-healthy sugars and costs so much more. In these times, it's important to eat healty and spend wisely.
05/15/2008 12:09:57 PM CDT
Judy says ...
This is why I shop at Whole Foods. I am impressed by their commitment to buy animal products from humane producers.
05/15/2008 2:01:41 PM CDT
Karen Potter says ...
We do need to look into this and educate the population to the hazards of Factory Farming. It would be better to support local and sustainable farming and provide means for more people to connect with farmers that are choosing these methods. If we do not stand up and seek change in the farming methods our children and subsequnet gernerations will not have healthy food sources.
05/15/2008 2:08:38 PM CDT
gigi says ...
Hi; If you are discussing "green", I think the best way is to go vegan and eat plant foods. Your store sells wonderful vegan and vegetarian options and I appreciate that; however, selling dead meat, poultry and fish sends a hypocritcal message to me when talking about going "green". I would LOVE to win the $25 gift card since I spend a fortune in your store for my soy yogurt (which I deeply appreciate you carrying along w/dairy free chocolates) and I do not have a job currently so please pick me! Yor staff is always kind and courteous and very helpful. I always buy my Udo's flaxseed oil from your store. If you truly want to go "green" kindly stop selling "free range" anything as they are still dead animals, dead eggs, etc. and let's really be green and stick to the vegan chicken nuggets that I buy from your store and the vegan boca burgers that I adore. Thanks for your consideration. Gigi
05/15/2008 3:25:13 PM CDT
KBB says ...
For many people, eating meat is a sign of prosperity. The desire for cheap food drives factory farming - where the whole process is as cheap and dirty as possible. As long as our society continues to allow our desire for cheap food to dictate what we eat, we won't see any changes unless laws are passed to prohibit these types of practices. When I make my food choices, I also keep in mind that meat production is resource intensive, regardless of whether it is factory farmed or not. Meat should only be eaten in moderation, if at all.
05/15/2008 5:50:00 PM CDT
jesika says ...
I live in small tx hill country town. You can't buy anything organic at the one super market we have. We have to travel to Austin to go to whole foods if we want a good selection of organic/ hormone free foods. My family started a little farmers market here last year, but people just don't seem to "get it" that conventinal farming is so unhealthy. I'm not sure if it is the price difference, or just that some people just aren't aware of the dangers. It just seems smart to spend a little bit more for safer foods.
05/15/2008 5:55:27 PM CDT
Ivette says ...
For years, I've seen many of the info posted on this issue on the internet, and it I cannot understand why people continue to support such unsustainable ways of farming. I believe more and more people are wakening to the fact that we cannot continue this path. At our home, we are starting to grow our own vegetables, and raising chickens for eggs. We feed our chickens organic feed, and don't spray our property at all. We believe sustainability should start in the home...
05/15/2008 5:57:02 PM CDT
Glenda C. says ...
Factory farming is becoming even more of an issue these days, as more people are coming to recognize it. It has a terrible environmental impact, and is especially terrible for the animals. To protect themselves, companies keep their practices secret; because if everybody knew what happened in slaughterhouses, nobody would want to buy their products anymore. Not to mention whatever chemicals and hormones the animals are pumped with, humans will end up ingesting as well. So yes, factory farming is a major issue that needs to be talked about more. I wish that more people would recognize its negative environmental impact, and that more environmental speakers would discuss the harms of it. I'm glad there was something posted about it.
05/15/2008 5:58:49 PM CDT
Janet says ...
The most meaningful way to stop contributing to global warming is to stop eating meat. You don't eat it, factory farms go out of business. It really is that simple. Instead of finding excuses for continuing to eat dead animals, just say no!
05/15/2008 6:38:53 PM CDT
Dee says ...
Aside from the fact that use of the word farming is technically a tad misleading since it refers more to growing plants than to raising animals (animals would generally be ranching). Factory farming of any sort is generally a bad idea. I grew up around this stuff. What it does - to the plants or animals, to the worker, to the land, to the water, even to the communities - in many ways resembles some horrific nightmare. Weirdly manipulated, be that via hormones, antibiotics, hybridizing, or even GMO if they can sneak it in, plants and animals that are far from what nature created and functioning far from what was intended...if not ill. Abused workers whose rights are violated and whose employers often fail to follow even common sense safety rules - and as a result workers are often sick or injured. The land is often worn out and/or contaminated. The water is frequently full of bacterial and/or chemical contaminants. The area's people and wildlife get strange diseases at high rates. Neighboring, smaller farms and ranches are bullied into doing whatever, however the corporate farm wants - or they're driven out of business for refusing. There's a reason why this now city resident won't drink unfiltered tap water, buys meats that are at least free of hormones and antibiotics, buys dairy without rGBH, and buys organic produce. I don't want to feed that corporate sickness machine. It goes far beyond global warming.
05/15/2008 9:08:54 PM CDT
Shannon says ...
I'm telling everyone I know to read the Omnivores Dilemma, by Michael Pollen. The entire storyline revolves around where the ingredients for his meals are coming from. Clearly there is a large, thoughtful community of people just like Pollen and us, who for a variety of reasons are turning away from the old 20th century "Fordist" technology of factory farms and returning to find our "roots" in our local communities. There are many ways in which we can get back to basics. We can: Make mindful decisions about where we shop and what we buy. Stores such as Whole Foods are a great choice, but still not always "everyday" accessible to lower income families. Local growers-markets are becoming more economical and they are fun. We need to have a variety of healthy, sustainable choices. Cut back on meat. Pollens' book impressed upon me the stunning amount of energy that goes into the production of meat, so - my husband and I have cut way back and enjoyed surprising results, one of which is that we are really incorporating a lot more vegetables into our diets. That has to be better for us, right? We still get plenty of protein from beans and nuts and we eat 'meat' once or twice a week. The upshot is that 'meat' has become a treat to us, something that we appreciate rather than take for granted. And because we eat so much less of it now, we really take our time picking it out at the store and can buy the best cuts and choose organic which would have been cost prohibitive before. Another surprise our new lifestyle has offered us is a rediscovery of my love of cooking. Since our way of eating is changing, I have to find new and varied recipes for the weeks' menu, often vegetarian! I don't know much about vegetarian cooking -so I have had to delve into all sorts of new and interesting cookbooks. It's been a trip. Finally, I believe that buying local is the best thing we can do for the larger environment and for our own communities at the same time. If we support our local growers, they'll stick around rather than sell off to developers, and in turn we'll have more open space and less hopscotch development creating domino effects on the environment. Additionally, locally grown and raised means our food is more closely under our own watchful gaze where we can see if pesticides are being applied, too much water is being wasted, animals are being inhumanely raised, etc... Green markets such as Whole Foods help sustain these growers and ranchers. They help sustain our communities and so should we. Buy local!
05/15/2008 9:58:11 PM CDT
Micki says ...
Everybody should be aware of everything that Factory Farming involves. Not just the use of tainted food, chemicals, antibiotics, growth hormones, but how the animals are treated. It is part of humanity to have compassion and respect for all living beings, and that includes our food. I have done extensive research into factory farming, and the abuse and emotional suffering these poor animals go through, is immeasurable. And have you ever thought about what the stress hormones these animals release do in your body? Then there is the transport to the slaughterhouses, which in itself can be horrendous...and then there is the slaughterhouse! Anybody who has ever realized the abuse that goes on there, and the inhumane methods of killing, would either never eat meat again, or would make sure that they would only buy meat that came from a slaughterhouse that treated and killed the animals humanely (such as beef that comes from the Blue Goose Cattle Company, sold at Whole Food). Think you're safe with organic meat? Not necessarily! The standards that organically-raised animals are supposed to be treated under in the slaugherhouses are sometimes not upheld, due to a shortage of facilities - so the animals often go to a regular slaughterhouse. So if you eat meat, make sure you do all the research first - research the farm they came from, and the slaughterhouse! Chickens and pigs are treated and killed in the worst manner of all. The same goes for milk products. It's not good enough not to want to know, not to want to do the work. Care about your food, no matter what it is. And care about the sources they come from. Support local farmers, and fight to have the new laws of sole government slaughterhouses abolished, so that the animals can stay on their small farms from beginning to end, and get the life they deserve.
05/16/2008 12:18:27 AM CDT
Maggie says ...
I have wondered for a very long time why the government subsidizes corn and soybeans production on huge farms that monocrop year after year when neither high fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated soybean oil apear on the food pyramid, thank god! So why don't they subsidize fruits and vegetables, grown sustainably and organically? A single farmer can receive hundreds of thousand of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to produce products that have been implicated in disease processes, go figure! Wish it was called the FOOD BILL rather than the farm bill, more people might pay attention to it!
05/16/2008 4:02:45 AM CDT
Kara says ...
I recently finished reading "Real Food: What to Eat and Why" by Nina Pollack. It is chock-full of statistics and compelling information about the lack of quality in food that has been factory-farmed, and how we as a society have lost so much in good health both by eating low-quality food in addition to processed "food". I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in knowing more and doing better with their nutrition. I'm really grateful that our Whole Foods provides a number of options for local food that has been raised traditionally. We can get several kinds of milk from local dairies, eggs and butter from a local farm, and grass-fed beef as well as several produce items. My family's grocery bill has been steadily climbing as I have learned more about getting quality food and made a commitment to eating well, but it is a top priority for us and I'm willing to budget less to other areas of our lives. We have also cut back our meat consumption significantly, so even though we eat it less often it is of a high quality - from a local farmer, raised humanely with plenty of access to pasture and no antibiotics or growth hormones.
05/16/2008 8:26:26 AM CDT
Carla Pullum says ...
I am so glad I found this blog. I am so new to this organic thing and just thought it was for rich people trying to eat healthy. Not know ing that this effects everyone. The benefits and how our food is produced so much information. How do we process all of this? I am sharing this with my kids tonight is family night! Thanks for the article.
05/16/2008 4:14:52 PM CDT
Jerry says ...
Welcome to the Green Family, Carla! We're growing in size and influence by the day and I'm delighted that you've joined us. The status quo cannot be changed without activism, so make your voice heard: contact your political representatives regularly and work to transform your neighborhood and community. thanks, jerry
05/16/2008 8:15:35 PM CDT
Bev says ...
I was posting on a breast cancer support site and one of the ladies was telling me how they are fighting in a community in SE Texas over the spraying of a chemical called Command. It is an herbicide and the active ingredient is clomazone. There is a list of 73 endocrine disruptors on the EPA's list... Clomazone is not on the list, but it has not been on the scene for very long, considering it was not the herbicide of choice for most farmers and not as much is published about it. In my opinion, the EPA is not being totally forthright in their information about ALL pesticide (which include herbicides). Command is used as a pre-emergence for crops like cotton, peas, pumpkins, soybeans, sweet potatoes, tobacco, winter squash, wheat and rice. The comment on the post was that there was at least a 7 mile drift from the herbicide, killing all in its path. The ecological damage was very apparent. I found an interesting argument involving its use and winter squash... The EPA is saying it is "a reliable supply in the food commodity". A "commenter" was making claims against the EPA. The "EPA has failed to conclude that the tolerance would be protective of the public health." Then went on to say, " the tolerance is unnecessary since there is 'no actual demonstrated need' for the proposed use of clomazone in order to produce an adequate or safe food supply and no emergency condition which is uncontrollable with herbicides for which tolerances already exist." The EPA concluded that the commenter incorrectly interpreted the standard for approval of tolerance under Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act section 408. They claimed the commenter was trying to deny a "tolerance solely on the basis of a calculation of the risks posed by pesticide residues on agricultural products. Instead, the Agency must balance these risks against the benefits of the pesticide for food production." SOURCE: http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/herb-growthreg/cacodylic-cymoxanil/clomazone/clomazone/clomazone-tol-squash.html This is the agency that is saying what is and isn't okay to go into our food source. You know, the stuff we as moms (and dads) lovingly and trustingly give to our kids thinking it is 100% safe -- to nourish their bodies so they can grow to be strong and healthy? But at who's expense? Or who's gain? How much have chemical companies contributed to political campaigns? Indonesia is ahead of us: In 1986, Indonesia banned 57 types of pesticides. Farmers were taught Integrated Pest Management (IPM) -- where they are taught to distinguish between good and bad bugs, the good bugs being predators of the bad bugs. According to Sjamsoe Soegito of the Indonesian National Development Information Office, in 3 rice crop yields (18 months), farmers reduced the number of pesticide sprays from 4.5 to .5. The yield rose from 6.1 tons to 7.4 tons per hectare (2.471 acres). The government saved 50 million in pesticide subsidies. And the ecological impact has been nothing but good. How much oil can be saved (lowering demand) if farmers didn't have to treat their fields and crops several times a year? Again, back to supply and demand rules with oil... Less fuel needed, possibly lowering the cost of production? Lower prices in the store? Less government assistance needed? More supplies of oil available, thus lowering the price there as well? Would that be a realistic model? And how much does our federal government give to farmers to subsidize use of pesticides? How much of the money saved can be put back to THE PEOPLE for health care? Hmmm...
05/25/2008 10:59:15 AM CDT
Bev says ...
I have established a bog site where I show what misuse of pesticides can do to a body. I am living it with breast cancer. You can visit my blog at http://bitchinboutbreastcancer.blogspot.com/. I go into why I think so many women in their 30s and 40s are being diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank you, Whole Foods, for providing this former farm girl with sustenance I can confidently feed to my family -- away from industrialized foods...
05/25/2008 11:10:48 AM CDT
Laura says ...
I would like to buy from Whole Foods factory and sell on ebay. How can I sign up to be a reseller?
02/28/2014 8:48:20 AM CST

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