It’s one of those days when everything I read is sending me in anxious circles, trying to find the beginning of things, to see the cause and the effect and then the cause again, like the Oroboros, that snake eating it’s own head.
We should be “green”, but green is becoming gonzo business. Who do we trust? Even the best of it is creating it’s own impact in ways like transporting organic goods and meeting supply and demand, managing food costs, and food shortages. Should we choose organic over local? Affordable over healthy? Does all of this make anyone else want to spin like a Dirvish? It makes you want to stop thinking about it, doesn’t it?
It’d be great to just shop, cook and eat like our parents did. To just gas up and drive. Buy stuff. Consume and have someone else work it all out. But then I think about stories like the one below and how we really must think about all this, know where and from whom are food comes, and what the impact of that food is.
Hey remember that crazy Richard Fleischer flick Soylent Green, where in the end they find out that they’re eating people? (oh, come on, if you haven’t seen it by now then you deserve to hear the ending!)
Toxic Fumes, Blisters & Brain Damage: The Cost of Doing Business?
Karen Strecker is bracing. She’s about to turn on the faucet, and there’s a chance liquid manure is going to stream from the spout. “I’ve been taking a bath and actually had cow shit pour into the tub,” Strecker says, matter-of-factly. She uses well water. “It’s nasty.”
Yet the threat of a sewage bath pales in comparison to a more dangerous problem: Breathing poisonous fumes. After years living next to Willet Dairy, the largest industrial farm in the state, Strecker and her neighbors in Genoa are reporting the kinds of health problems eco-watchdogs lose sleep over, from blistering eyelids to brain damage. Manure is known to release gases that, in high concentrations, are linked to those scary symptoms.
Strecker’s plight takes on national relevance as the EPA prepares to roll back air-pollution-reporting requirements for industrial animal farms like Willet in October – even as environmentalists warn that regulation is already too lax in New York.
Read more here:
So what is the answer?
Is it possible for a large dairy to operate in a manner that causes less environmental impact? Can we even produce enough food organically and ecologically to feed this country? To feed the world?