By Joe Mercola
Commenting on an AlterNet review of a 2010 book edited by Daniel Imhoff, The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, Dr Mercola dives into the three big lies of Big Food: Industrial food is cheap, efficient, and healthy.
Lie #1: Industrial Food is Cheap
The retail prices may be low, but they fail to include impacts on human health, the environment, and other shared public assets.
You will ultimately foot a much bigger bill, paying your part of hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, medical expenses, insurance premiums, declining property values, and mounting cleanup costs.
Lie #2: Industrial Food is Efficient
Industrial food animal producers rely on heavily subsidized agriculture, large infusions of capital, and lax enforcement of regulations. High productivity and domination of market share should not be confused with efficiency. When you measure total cost per unit of production, or even net profit per animal, you find that confinement operations come with hidden costs.
Lie #3: Industrial Food is Healthy
Industrial animal food production heightens the risk of the spread of food-borne illnesses. And it is no coincidence that rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity are at an all-time high. What’s more, respiratory diseases and outbreaks of illnesses are increasingly common among CAFO and slaughterhouse workers — and spill over into neighboring communities.
According to AlterNet:
“Food production that is safe for the environment, humane to animals, and sound for workers and communities gives us the best chance for a food system that is safe and healthy for eaters and producers alike.”
The cheap dollar menus at fast-food restaurants and sales on meat in your grocery store at prices that are often less per pound than the price of tomatoes are courtesy of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, otherwise known as CAFO or factory farms.
These buys may seem like a steal, but they are no bargain when it comes to your health, the environment or the animals’ welfare. In the new book The CAFO Reader: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories, you can get an inside look at the real, tragic effects of factory farms, as told through a collection of over 400 photos and 30 essays.
The three lies above came from an excerpt of this book … and they begin to reveal the true price of CAFOs.
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