Big Ag

Secrets of Big Agriculture, What Are They Hiding? w/Ocean Robbins pt. 2

Top 5 Common Foods That Cause Disease – Ocean Robbins Food Revolution

Huge egg recall highlights our broken food system, yet again The animals are sick and we're getting sick. Industrialized farming doesn't work.

A massive ongoing egg recall is yet another reminder that the way in which we produce our food is wasteful, cruel, and completely unsustainable. The Food and Drug Administration has recalled 206,749,248 eggs in nine states (Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia) since 22 people have fallen ill with salmonella.

The eggs were all produced at the same farm in Hyde County, North Carolina. This facility has 3 million laying hens, which produce 2.3 million eggs every day. It is the biggest recall since 2010, when 550 million eggs produced on two farms in Indiana were recalled. The farmers responsible at the time pleaded guilty to "allowing misbranded and adulterated food to enter interstate commerce"; they paid $7 million in fines and spent three months in federal prison.

These punishments are little consolation for the fact that our food supply chain has become so unreliable. The problem, however, is rooted in the industrialized, mass production model. When millions of laying hens are crammed into tight quarters, with no access to the outdoors, and egg production is ramped up to the absolute maximum with the aid of growth hormones and artificial light, the presence of illness should not come as a surprise.

The most shocking lesson for me after getting my own backyard chickens was how much manure they produce. I was not prepared for the sheer volume of poop, even from just five birds. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, laying hens typically produce around 4 ounces of manure daily, which is twice the volume of the 2-ounce egg they lay each day. Multiply that by 3 million hens and your store-bought eggs are being churned out in a giant steaming vat of feces. Is it any wonder salmonella likes hanging out there?

There is a better way of raising food and avoiding future mass recalls like this one, but it requires the counterintuitive approach of scaling back. A return to small-scale farming would result in healthier, happier conditions for birds and cleaner, safer food for humans, but it would also mean no more eggs for $2/dozen. Think about it:

Wouldn't you rather pay that price with your wallet than your health?

Take a stand against industrial egg production by seeking out local farmers or neighbors who raise their own. Eat fewer eggs or less meat so you can afford to pay more for a higher-quality product. Consider getting your own hens; they're very cheap, productive, and fun, especially if you have kids.

Email from Union of Concerned Scientists: Fight for farmers and healthy food in the Farm Bill

When you walk through a grocery store or sit down at a restaurant, you’re probably not thinking about the Farm Bill. Yet this massive piece of legislation has a huge impact on what kind of food is available, how much it costs, and how it’s grown. Congress votes on the Farm Bill every five years and the most recent version is set to expire later this year—so this is a rare opportunity for us to push for smart, science-based solutions that will help farmers, eaters, and communities. In fact a first draft of the bill is expected to be unveiled any day now. From farm to fork, we need to fight for a food system that supports farmers, makes healthy food available for everyone, and protects the environment we all depend on.

Fight for a food system that is healthy, fair, affordable, and sustainable

There are a lot of exciting Farm Bill proposals on the table this year, including one that would make healthy foods affordable for more consumers and deliver greater profits for farmers who grow those foods. But a first draft of the bill could come out any day and we're hearing it will likely include shortsighted and devastating cuts to programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), which helps families put food on their tables and has lifted millions out of poverty.

Congress is quietly drafting legislation that will affect us all—the next five-year Farm Bill. The investments Congress makes there will shape our food choices and costs, as well as how food is produced on the nation's farms and ranches, for years to come.

Mercola: Beyond GMOs and Fast Food Nation: Regenerating Public Health Industrial agriculture, factory farms and GMOs have devastated the environment, public health and rural economic development

The U.S. now spends more money on health care than any other nation, in large part due to damage to the environment and public health

Approximately 85 percent of Americans do not consume the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended intakes of the most important vitamins and minerals necessary for proper physical and mental development

We need to boycott GMOs and factory-farm food, and make organic, regenerative and grass fed food the norm by 2025

Email Professor Colby Glass, MAc, MLIS, PhDc, Prof. Emeritus