Is This Factory Farming's Tobacco Moment?
This is an in-depth story on the dangers of our current farming methods, I have only quoted some small bits that are relevant and will hopefully encourage you to click the link to the whole story.
The nation's chemical and energy-intensive food and farming system, Food Inc., is out-of-control, posing a mortal threat to public health, the environment, and climate stability.
Economically stressed and distracted consumers have become dependent on a factory farm system designed to provide cheap processed food that may be cosmetically perfect and easily shipped, but which is seriously degraded in terms of purity and nutritional value.
USDA studies reveal that the food currently grown on America's chemical-intensive farms contains drastically less vitamins and essential trace minerals than the food produced 50 years ago (when far less pesticides and chemical fertilizers were used). As even Time magazine has admitted recently, given the hidden costs of damage to public health, climate stability, and the environment, conventional (factory farm) food is extremely expensive. Much of Food Inc.'s common fare is not only nutritionally deficient, but also routinely contaminated--laced with pesticide residues, antibiotics, hormones, harmful bacteria and viruses, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and toxic chemicals. 1 Like tobacco, factory farm food is dangerous to your health. No wonder organic food is by far the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA), and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have shown that many of the nation's favorite foods are contaminated with a lethal cocktail of the most toxic chemicals, putting consumers, and especially children and infants (who are up to 100 times more sensitive to toxic chemicals) at risk. For those living in factory farming communities and working on farms, the constant exposure to the most toxic pesticides poses an even greater risk than the general population for cancer, birth defects, asthma, Parkinson's, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Alzheimer's, liver, kidney, heart disease, and many other ailments. Forty-eight percent of U.S. women now get cancer, as well as 38% of men.
The Environmental Working Group's study of EPA water quality data, and California Department of Agriculture's Fertilizer studies from 1985 to 2006.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Working Group, two-thirds of the U.S. population is drinking water contaminated with high levels of nitrates and nitrites, caused by nitrate fertilizer runoff from factory farms. Large areas along our coastlines, bays, and gulfs have become "dead zones" as a result of excess nitrogen fertilizer and sewage sludge flowing into them. Serious illness and death are directly attributable to high levels of nitrates and pesticides in drinking water.
The Environmental Working Group's 2008 Dirty Dozen Vegetables and Fruits (with the highest residues). Residue analyses from the United States Department of Agriculture. California EPA, Pesticide Use Reports, 1970-2006. Will Allen, The War on Bugs, Chelsea Green, White River Junction, Vt., March 2008.There is now conclusive evidence that exposure to farm and household chemicals (including body care and cleaning products) greatly increase your chances of getting cancer or other serious diseases. This is why there are large and growing clusters of cancers and birth defects in farm and urban communities all over the U.S. These clusters are a direct result of the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers on our farms, ranches, gardens, and lawns.