Health Hotline Magazine | April 2023
Eat Like a Regenivore to Help Save the P anet! By Lindsay Wilson CAFOs TO NO SAY
In the face of climate change, eating can be a revolutionary act. Indeed, the way you choose to eat has likely never been as important as it is now. Our current model of producing food is one that relies on high-intensity monocul tures, dedicated to producing a single crop or livestock species, using massive amounts of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. This industrialized model of agriculture to grow crops is harmful, and raising animals in this model using con centrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to produce meat, eggs, and dairy is partic u arly harmful—to the animals, to the water and air, to the communities in which they are located, to the people who work there, to public health, and to the climate. Once you re alize this, you’ll likely be ready to change the way you eat. The answer lies in regenerative agriculture, a system that builds healthy soil, enhances biodiversity, improves water quality, uses organic methods to grow crops, and rais es animals in a natural and humane way. 40 | Health Hotline ®
The Problem(s) with CAFOs Where to begin? Let’s start with the basics. A CAFO is a large facility where animals are kept and raised in confined environments (usually indoors, where movement is restricted) and feed (usually grain of some sort) is brought to the animals rather than allowing them to roam and feed in pastures, fields, or on rangelands. This system has been consolidated to where just four corporations own the majority of production—JBS S.A., based in Brazil; Smithfield, a subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate; Tyson Foods; and Cargill. These corporations have created a model of “vertical integration,” in which they own every aspect of the production chain, from the animals themselves, to producing the feed, to slaughtering, to packaging, turning the farmers who contract with them into virtual serfs, requiring them to “grow” the livestock with little to no choice in how they raise their animals. Additionally, because of industry lobbying and pressure, there is little oversight in these operations, including workers’ rights and safety. For example, even though agriculture ranks third among all occupations in fatal injuries, because of loopholes pushed for by the industry, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has limited standards to protect workers in the dairy, poultry, and livestock industries, many of them immigrants (including minors) and people of color.
Terms and conditions apply. See page 2 for details. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. *These statements have not be n evaluated by the Fo d and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Speaking of little oversight, CAFOs are a huge source of air and water pollution, yet there are few regulations to keep them in check. It has been estimated that each year, animals in CAFOs create between
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