Archive for the ‘Unhealthy &/or Pollution Source Food’ Category

SAVE THE BAY-and prevent heart disease,cancer

May 6, 2011

I just viewed a taped interview of Cardiologist/ anthropologist Dr. Chauncey Crandall. He has studied heart disease in other cultures as well as providing treatment to patients in South Florida. He points out that heart disease does not exist in some cultures but is rampant in the U.S. and is totally curable. The two culprits are fat and sugar.

What is the source of the fat and sugar in the American diet? He like others mentions red meat. The meat we find in the supermarket today while it looks the same as several decades ago is totally different. Between 1997 and 2007 we added 6300 corn fed cattle and hogs every day to America’s CAFO food animal herd. Corn fed CAFO raised animals are now the only source of red meat and dairy in the supermarket. This meat is raised using corn feed, growth hormones, sedentary conditions and antibiotics to fatten the animal quickly. This produces an animal up to seven times higher in total fat than the pasture raised animal of just a few decades ago. This has also produced the dominance of field corn which is over fertilized by a factor of 3 to increase yields and has become, along with animal manure, the major source for the nutrient contamination of our Rivers and Estuaries.

Also those boxes, cans, jars and packages that dominate the center aisles of today’s supermarkets are totally different than a few decades ago. It’s not just a can of beans or a box of cereal. Each one of these products is designed using fat and sugar in just the right proportion to enhance sale of the product. Again all of this fat and sugar comes from corn. In addition to corn oil and high fructose corn syrup 12 other ingredients are added to addict consumers to these products. The best explanation of how this food is designed in the food laboratory is David Kessler’s Book “the end of overeating”

So it is not surprising that a group of scientists from the National Resource Council of the National Academies of Science assembled to make recommendations on Chesapeake Bay restoration conclude that Governments should encourage reduction in meat consumption. They might have concluded that people not buy the bulk of supermarket food.

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Baltimore Sun-Panel-An Innovative Idea

May 5, 2011

The Baltimore Sun reported on results of a 9 member Scientific panel which noted that the proposed best management practices (BMPs) being adopted by Maryland for Chesapeake Bay cleanup have not proven to be long lasting nor effective. Some of us who have followed the long term failed effort to restore Chesapeake Bay agree. The Maryland response to the EPA mandated Total Maximum Daily Load Program was a missed opportunity to directly reduce fertilizer application rates to corn and to treat farm animal manure which total to 94% of Delmarva’s nitrogen pollution. Instead the State is proposing to implement a number of BMPs which have been implemented to some degree for several decades without recordable result. USGS recently reanalyzed the farm dominant Choptank Watershed which showed a 53% increase in nitrogen pollution over the last decade. This watershed has extensively implemented the BMPs. The USGS scientist commented that we should have seen some pollution reduction by now.

One action suggested by this report “urge citizens to eat less meat”, could be effective in reducing pollution by reducing the consumption of corn based products. The other dominant product is corn based processed food. Both of these products are currently under attack as the cause of America’s obesity epidemic and health care cost disaster.

To AG Committee Chairman-Failed Farm Policy

May 2, 2011

2012 FARM BILL

It is now well documented that the United States is the unhealthiest society in the World. We now have epidemics of obesity, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. The evidence is overwhelming that over consumption of corn fed fatty meat and corn based hi- sugar, high- fat content process food is the cause. Even more importantly long term is the destruction of our topsoil and the nutrient contamination of every river and estuary Nationwide caused by corn overproduction and overlooked short cuts in production methods.

US. Farm policy has encouraged corn over-production since the end of World War II, resulting in a glut of cheap unhealthy corn based products which dominate supermarkets. Its time to reverse this flawed agricultural policy and make these products more expensive and therefore less dominant in the American diet.

Three actions required to do this should be enacted now:

  1. Reduce fertilizer applications rates by half
  2. Require minimum soil management criteria specifically minimum crop rotations and cover crops as recommended by soil scientists.
  3. Require treatment of CAFO manure.

Suggest that you call the following expert witnesses:

1.Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health ask him to brief you on the 2010 World Cancer Study and Harvard’s Nurses Health Study.

2. Authors Magdoff of The University of Vermont and van Es of Cornell University to testify about minimal soil management criteria. Also Iowa organic Dairy Farmer, soil scientist, and author Francis Thicke PhD.

3. EPA’s Benjamin Grumbles who chaired the 2008 Gulf Task Force Action Plan, which reported the continuing failure to restore the great Mississippi Watershed.

4. Current Chairman of the USGS National NAWGA assessment, which monitors water quality Nationwide including the Chesapeake Bay and other estuaries.

Nothing could be more urgent than changing the declining direction of the nations health and Natural Resources.

BACON or Repair Bills-How to Use Corn

May 1, 2011

There is increasing conflict over where the corn production in America should go. The attached from the Wall Street Journal is the opinion of the CEO Larry Pope of the Smithfield Company. As you know if you have read our posts, corn is overfertilized by a factor of 3 and is the major cause of nutrient pollution of our rivers and estuaries and it requires denuding vast areas of our Country, which along with short cuts in soil management has destroyed half our topsoil. Certainly after paying this terrible price we should use corn in the most effective way possible. Just a few years ago the amount of corn used for ethanol was insignificant today it may be as much as 40% of the crop.

So where should the corn be used to be most useful? No that’s the wrong question. Where should it go to do the least further damage?

First lets look at corn as a food or as a raw material to produce food.

It is the primary raw material in the production of processed food. These are the bottles, cans, boxes and bags found in the middle of the supermarket that according to former FDA head David Kessler are produced using high fructose corn sugar, corn oil fat, and salt in just the right proportion to make them addictive and a major cause of our obesity epidemic.

The primary use is still as feed for food animals and most goes to feed cattle and hogs. In 2009 and 2010 studies were published which looked at the long term risk factors for various cancers, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. These studies all reached the same conclusion. Corn fed Cattle and Hog based meat including processed meat is the leading risk factor in the initiation and development of these diseases.  These studies are all archived on our site.

But since this post is prompted by Smithfield. Lets look again at writer Mathew Scully’s experience at a Smithfield farrowing facility in North Carolina as described in his book “Dominion”. “ they lie there in iron crates covered in their own urine and excrement with broken legs from trying to escape or just to turn, covered with festering sores, tumors, ulcers, and lesions. They chew maniacally on their bars and chains or lie there like broken beings. When they are due they are dragged to other crates to have their piglets. Then its back to the gestation crate for another four months and so back and forth for seven or eight pregnancies until they finally expire from the punishment”.

Given the poor choices between cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and equipment repair. I would prefer to continue to pay the cost of our small equipment repair. But a much more appropriate choice would be to see Mr. Pope behind bars where he belongs for animal abuse and killing people who eat his bacon. Of course we no longer do.

Governor’s Answer- Via the Secretary of Ag

April 22, 2011

Agricultural Secretary Earl F. Hance

4/22/11

Dear Mr. Secretary,

Thank you for your prompt response to my letter to the Governor. I attended a meeting in Denton a year ago called because the Choptank River had just been designated as the most polluted River in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. At the meeting a scientist who has been monitoring Choptank subwatersheds for 30 years pointed out that 80% of Choptank nutrient pollution came from farm fields. A representative of Industrial Agriculture cited the many actions taken by farmers cited in your letter.  A scientist with the Wye Agro Ecology Center presented a study, which attempted to shift the responsibility to septic systems. An obviously confused member of the audience asked. Why are we here if so much has been done? Industrial Agriculture though widely initially supported in academia nationwide has turned out to be a conceptual failure fast losing support. The overconsumption of meat, sugar and processed food the products of the system are now recognized as the primary driver of our Nations poor health.

History is loaded with conceptual failures. Look at the history of the automobile and the history of flight and space travel. Usually when a conceptual failure occurs it is soon apparent. Not so with Industrial Agriculture and Food Production. It has taken more than a half-century to recognize the full extent. The environmental issues including the loss of half the nations topsoil and the nutrient contamination of most rivers, the Gulf and other Estuaries including Chesapeake Bay were apparent by the eighties but the massive health issues including the dietary dominance of CAFO red meat as the primary risk factor in cancer and heart disease are just now becoming apparent.  Just this week a study of CAFO supermarket meat Nationwide including Washington DC revealed that 50% of the meat was contaminated on the outside with Staph bacteria and half of that was resistant to more than three of the antibiotics necessary to treat infection. The National media did not pick up this story only Reuters and Daily Finance. Compared to the enormity of this nationwide health and environmental calamity the national media pays little attention.

It takes 14 times more land to denude the earth’s surface to plant corn, feed the corn to animals in CAFOs rather than eating the much healthier plant food directly. This is the basic conceptual flaw but we have exasperated the problem by taking short cuts in soil management, overuse of fertilizer, overuse of carcinogens in the production process and the basically flawed CAFO process of raising animals in their own feces described by Johns Hopkins as perfect pathogen incubators. You cite 400,000 acres planted in cover crops. Farmers did this at taxpayer expense.  Many acres are not covered in clear violation of sound soil management practice. Most of the proposed BMPs such as building manure storage sheds or housekeeping pads are proposed at taxpayer expense. How much should taxpayers pay to correct a basically flawed system?

I urge you to do a comparative cost study of the Industrial system considering the cost of the environmental and health issues and compare that to a combination of organic vegetables and pasture raised meat. I believe the result would be surprising. I do agree that Maryland farmers are in a competitive situation and cannot unilaterally take action and be competitive. I also agree that farmers in other areas of the Country particularly the great Midwest are doing less than Maryland. But Maryland farmers have an added burden of protecting the Chesapeake Bay and this they are not doing.  You should be saying to the EPA. We will cut fertilizer applications in half. We will require a minimal 3 crop rotation plus winter cover. We will treat all CAFO manure. We will do this but only if it is done on a National basis. All the research required to understand the full picture is available on our website fixingourfood.com. It is time for everyone including consumers to be aware and take action.

Sincerely,

Ps. Please suggest to the Governor that he also visit sustainable organic and pasture farms on his next visit to the Eastern Shore.

How Untreatable Infection Gets to Your Kitchen

April 18, 2011

According to a study (clik here) released last week researchers have found high levels of antibiotic resistant staph bacteria in grocery store meat exposing people to really bad skin and respiratory infections nationwide.

The most significant findings from the study aren’t the level of bacteria they found, but rather how the bacteria in the meat was becoming strongly resistant to antibiotics farmers put in the feed to allow animals to survive the filthy conditions in CAFOs. Johns Hopkins’s scientists call these facilities “perfect pathogen incubators”.

This is one more reason to be very careful when you’re handling raw meat and poultry in the kitchen. You can cook away these bacteria. But the problem is when you bring in the raw product, you almost inevitably contaminate your kitchen and your hands with these bacteria, which are easily spread to other people and food.

Our recent tour of 8 restaurants in Talbot County revealed that all the meat came from CAFO’s. Is your restaurant aware of these issues or are they contaminating their cooks, their kitchens, and your food with antibiotic resistant staph bacteria?

Recent efforts by the Congress to eliminate antibiotics from CAFO feed has failed due to the power of the Agribusiness Lobby led by the American Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, The Corn Growers Association and the various meat producers. These are the same people who still fight the Gulf Task Force in efforts to restore the Gulf of Mexico and are currently suing the EPA to stop efforts to restore Chesapeake Bay. Is this lobby running the Country as they appear to run the State Of Maryland (see Gov. O’Malley post)? If so who is at fault the intimidator or those who allow themselves to be intimidated? Call your Congressman and ask him or her.

IOWA CCI-Citizens for Community Improvement

April 14, 2011

STOP THE FACTORY FARM ATTACK is the logo for this very active Iowa Community Group. They recently stopped an effort by Governor Branson and the Factory Farm Lobby to deregulate factory farming by defeating 5 factory farm deregulation bills. A glance at the National Factory Farm map shows that Iowa is one of the States completely deep red indicating extreme density. Others include Nebraska, Kansas, Eastern North Carolina, Southern Minnesota, and Southern California. States including Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland New Mexico and many others have Counties with extremely high density. Example: Chaves County in New Mexico produces more CAFO manure, all put on nearby fields untreated, than the combined populations of LA and Philadelphia. If you live in one of these extremely dense Counties, which you can determine from the State map, or if you live within 3 miles of one of these facilities you should insist that public health officials check the air quality at your property for pathogens and ammonia. Also read the article in Johns Hopkins Magazine entitled Pharmacology, which you can find under Pathogens on our reference page. These facilities are hot spots for aquifer and surface water contamination. The only facilities ever tested by Maryland MDE showed aquifer nitrate levels 200 times the normal background level for Delmarva aquifer nitrate contamination. CAFOs, the legal nomenclature, are sometimes called factory farms or animal factories. The concept is the worst ever conceived by man and they should be eliminated. Currently all of the meat sold at the supermarket or served at restaurants comes from these facilities. When you buy this meat you are feeding your family a product that is produced in filth. Johns Hopkins calls these facilities perfect pathogen incubators. When you buy this meat you are supporting the massive abuse of farm animals that is too despicable to describe here. If you want a description from eyewitnesses please look at our archive under animal abuse or ask me to describe some of the abuses that I have personally witnessed. Look for pasture raised, Organic Raised for cattle only, the Food Alliance label requires minimal pasture time, when buying meat and dairy products or buy directly from Pasture based farmers, some are listed on our site. The term range chicken can be misleading and can only be verified by a farm visit. If the farmer refuses your request do not buy the product. Pasture farmers are anxious to show you their farm and production methods. My experience indicates that they respect and care for their animals. Factory Farms look at these animals as inanimate production units.

SPORTS STADIUMS-Not Unique,Not Cool Mr Kruk

April 11, 2011

New stadium facilities have increased food venues featuring grilled meat, sugary drinks and other bad food. Epidemiologic evidence is overwhelming that eating more than a modest amount of hamburger, sausage or cheese steak featured at these stadiums will increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and increase the risk of early death. Grilling meat produces 2 known carcinogens. The haze of grilling hangs over these stadiums.

The opening of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, featured former Philly slugger John Kruk shown eating a tray of junk food including a Philly Cheese Steak. Kruk’s big belly is visual evidence that the epidemiology is correct. This is a person who should be ridiculed and pitied for his ignorance not put on public display. Kruk throughout his career wanted to be viewed as a cool outlier. What he is not smart enough to realize is that eating bad food is the American norm. IT is not unique and not cool. Is this the example for our kids that baseball wants to portray? Do these broadcasters have a responsibility to understand and be sensitive to the health consequences of their actions on young people and the future prospect of better medical and environmental health for the Country?

I hope that someone close to major league baseball and football will send this post to a responsible person in these organizations and tell them to read the medical reports. Some of the more recent are archived on this site.

Please Give It Up- Message to Industrial Ag

April 9, 2011

We will come back to the farmers who made substantial investment in the basically flawed Industrial Agricultural system following World War II with the encouragement of many in the academic community. Lets look at the hard facts:

1.Industrial Agricultural has destroyed half of Iowa’s topsoil with substantial loss nationwide. My early teachers told me topsoil was one of two assets that made our Country great.

2.Industrial Agriculture continues to destroy the Nations ground water and surface water including Estuaries such as Chesapeake Bay through overuse of fertilizer. Our  water resources are our second major basis for greatness.

3, The Industrial system is incorrectly called a food production system. It is not! It is a meat, sugar and junk food production system now recognized as the primary risk factor for cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke, the major causes of out of control health care cost.

4.Other chemicals used in the growing process such as atrazine, antibiotics, arsenic, and growth hormones are major contributors to poor health. CAFO animal facilities are described by Johns Hopkins University as perfect pathogen incubators producing many viruses including flu viruses and the MRSA virus which kills more people each year than aids. Even more importantly the fatten fast CAFO process produces products up to 7 times higher in fat than pasture raised products. Most scientists agree that overconsumption of fat and sugar are primarily responsible for the Nations poor health.

5. Despite efforts to keep the abusive treatment of 5 billion animals a closely held secret there is sufficient evidence to support the truth that massive systematic abuse of food animals is inherent in the Industrial CAFO production process and that animal abuse laws and principles of the Nation’s major religions are being violated.

The Academic Community is split with many scientists still supporting the flawed Industrial System even as more sustainable organic/pasture systems emerge.  I believe they simply cannot face up to the failure of a system which they once heralded as the system that would feed the world. I urge them to please give it up. Readers of this post can use the references archived on this site. A small book titled “A New Vision for Iowa Agriculture” by Francis Thicke an Iowa organic/pasture dairy farmer with a PHD in soils science plus archived major studies on cancer and heart disease will be helpful to readers who may want to consider these thoughts as they make daily buying and eating decisions.

But getting back to the farmers. The Country would be better off reimbursing them for their investment which it could do with the money saved in health care cost and the cost of restoring Chesapeake Bay and our other major natural resources. Any initial cost is worth the price to stop the long term destruction caused by the Industrial system.

To Senators Cardin & Coburn-Please stand up

April 5, 2011

I am writing to you because you had the courage to stand up to The American Farm Bureau, the Fertilizer Institute, the Corn Growers Association and the various meat and dairy producers in opposing continuation of ethanol tax credits. The Agribusiness Lobby has successfully opposed every environmental restoration effort since President Clinton’s blue ribbon Gulf Hypoxia Task Force recommended fertilizer application reductions in 2000. They have recently successfully opposed Maryland Governor O’Malley’s initiative to control CAFO manure, regulate septic systems and even to plant trees. This lobby represents only Industrial Meat and Dairy Producers. They do not represent the growing number of sustainable/organic meat, dairy and plant based producers.

In March of 2009 the National Cancer Institute epidemiology study of the eating habits of 500 thousand 50 to 70 year olds revealed that daily consumption of modest amounts of pork, beef, lamb or goat increased chances of early death by 30%. In 2010 studies by the World Cancer Research fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research, which included 100 Universities and cancer research groups, studied all of the Worlds cancer research and concluded that we should avoid red meat and processed meat the primary product of the Agribusiness Lobby and eat more plant products advocated by organic and sustainable farmers. The Cardiologist who chaired the evaluation panel stated that the same issues that produce cancers produce America’s number one killer, heart disease. Harvard’s 3-decade-old Nurses Health Study also published in 2010 confirmed this. Health care cost in the US are the highest in the world and are primarily caused by treating these and related diseases.

So now we have the Agribusiness Lobby producing products causing massive water and air pollution, the destruction of half of the Nations topsoil, massive animal abuse, but also the primary cause of the Nations out of control health care cost. When is somebody going to stand up to this lobby and say enough is enough. Perhaps the two of you are that somebody.