A citizen-led group in Nebraska is fighting Costco’s plan to build a huge chicken factory farm operation that residents in nearby cities say would pollute their drinking water.
Residents of Devils Lake, North Dakota, along with members of the Spirit Lake Nation Tribe are battling plans to build a hog CAFO in a neighboring community. They say the operation would pollute Devils Lake and area wetlands.
On the east coast, industrial dairy operations have all but ruined Vermont’s lakes and rivers. In North Carolina, industrial hog operations foul the state’s waterways with 10 billion gallons of feces and urine each year.
It’s no better on the west coast. In 2015, a federal judge ruled that Washington’s industrial dairy operations pose “a significant public health risk by contaminating water supplies.”
Whether it’s the animal waste and antibiotics from livestock operations, or the nitrates and pesticides from GMO corn and soy grown to feed the millions of confined animals, from sea to shining sea, industrial agribusiness, led by multi-billion dollar corporations like Tyson, is destroying our most precious natural resource—water.
State and federal regulators by and large use their power to protect corporate profits, not public health.
That leaves citizens to battle it out in the courts. But now some members of Congress want to eliminate even that last resort
Read 'From Sea to Shining Sea, Industrial Ag Fouls America's Waterways'
Vermont’s Franklin County is what Michael Colby, president of Regeneration Vermont, calls “Ground Zero” for the state’s dairy pollution.
Colby and his colleague, Teo Zagar, recently collaborated on a video that summarizes the impact of Vermont’s industrial dairy on the state’s waterways. The video features footage of factory farm-style confinement dairies, a seven-million-gallon manure pit under construction, and Lake Carmi’s cyanobacteria-infected water. It ends with a call to put cows back on grass and the culture back in agriculture.
We thought it fitting to share Regeneration Vermont’s video this week, the week during which the world celebrates World Water Day.
We also thought it fitting to renew our call for Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s, one of Vermont’s worst polluters, to help clean up Vermont’s waterways by committing to an organic pasture-based milk and cream supply.
The United Nations cites industrial agriculture as the number one polluter of the world’s water. If Ben & Jerry’s wants consumers to believe the company is committed to a clean environment, the path forward is clear: End your support of pesticide- and chemical-intensive GMO animal feed production by shifting to organic.
Watch ‘Forbidden Grazers’
Read our press release
Sign our petition asking Ben & Jerry’s to go 100% organic
Those are just a couple of the adjectives Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) used to describeTrump’s latest scheme to prop up industrial agriculture and Big Food, while delivering another hit to the health and well-being of America’s most vulnerable families.
Trump’s “America’s Harvest Box” plan would slash, by nearly half, the amount of money provided to families who are struggling to put food on their tables. Instead of being able to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, families would receive a box of government-issued “shelf-stable” food products such as peanut butter, canned goods (including meat from factory farms), pasta, cereal, “shelf stable” milk and other products.
In other words, some of the highest-calorie, least nutritious food available, most of it produced with pesticides.
Trump claims the “Harvest Box” food would be “preselected for nutritional value and economic benefit to American farmers.”
But the only farmers who would benefit under the Trump’s proposal are the already heavily subsidized growers of industrial GMO crops—the kind grown with massive amounts of chemicals, and used to make highly processed foods that dish up plenty of calories with minimal nutritional value.
Trump’s “Harvest Box” scheme has been met with widespread scorn, including from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which told Politico the idea is “a Rube-Goldberg designed system” that would be “costly, inefficient, stigmatizing and prone to failure.”
But that doesn’t mean the plan is dead on arrival. "America's Harvest Box" has the full support of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who recently told the Los Angeles Times the plan should be “seriously considered and debated."
Given what we’ve seen come out of the Trump administration so far, we can’t count on saner heads to prevail. So we’re asking you to ask your members of Congress to give Trump’s “Harvest Box” plan a big thumbs down.
Read 'Trumps 'Harvest Boxes:' A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea
TAKE ACTION: Ask Your Member of Congress to tell the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture that SNAP should promote good nutrition, not boxes of factory farm and processed GMO foods.
“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo
It’s time to wind down our spring fundraising campaign. But before we do, here’s one last word about our work on the regenerative agriculture front.
Regenerative organic agriculture is an idea whose time has come. This is a powerful, unstoppable movement.
It’s no longer a question of “if.” It’s a question of how fast—how fast can we scale up regenerative agriculture throughout the U.S., and eventually the world, so we can replace an outmoded, unpopular industrial agriculture model that does more harm than good with one that promises so many solutions, to so many problems?
Think about the issues that matter most to you. Is it health? Water or air pollution? Loss of biodiversity and wildlife habitat? The economic decline of rural America? Hunger and poverty?
Do you worry about global warming? Resource wars? Forced migration?
When it comes to food production, are you concerned about how workers are treated? Animals?
The regenerative organic agriculture model—farming with nature, not against it—promises solutions to all of these problems. It puts food production—and profits—back in the hands of local producers and communities.
It regenerates the soil, cleans the water, revitalizes local economies, produces healthier food, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, restores biodiversity and natural habitats.
It gives us hope.
Through our partnership with Regeneration International and other organizations, OCA has stepped up our commitment to this growing movement. Thank you for supporting this work.
Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s spring fundraising campaign
Is it mere coincidence that more kids today suffer from more chronic, hard-to-diagnose and hard-to-treat health problems compared with kids growing up in the decades before genetically engineered food ingredients became prevalent?
No, say Michelle Perro, MD, and Vincanne Adams, PhD, authors of “What’s Making Our Children Sick?” Perro and Adams say GMO and processed foods aren’t doing our kids any good. But even worse are the contaminants use to produce those foods.
From the book:
Eating processed foods that are high in carbohydrates, sugar, and hollow calories is the first problem . . . but it is not the main problem. The more insidious danger is foods that are full of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.
Doctors are witnessing a near-epidemic of chronic diseases in children including food allergies and food sensitivities, asthma, eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), obesity, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other debilitating mental disorders.
The solution? Most doctors try to minimize the symptoms, often with drugs that come with their own health consequences. Perro and Adams believe a better approach is to look at kids’ diets as a means of addressing both cause and symptoms.
Food as medicine isn’t a new idea—after all, it was the Greek physician Hippocrates who said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” But the concept is attracting renewed attention—even in Congress, where members of the House Hunger Caucus have created a Food Is Medicine Working Group.
Perro and Adams paint a detailed picture of the connection between industrial food and sick kids, and what parents can do.
Read ‘Can Food-Focused Medicine Cure Food-Related Disease?’
Buy “What’s Making Our Kids Sick?”
Raw beets provide many health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, boosting stamina during exercise and strengthening the immune system.
What could be better? Fermented beets. According to Mercola.com:
Fermenting your beets rather than eating them raw gives you all the health-boosting benefits of raw beets—which are made even more bioavailable through fermentation—plus the beneficial bacteria and enzymes that result from fermentation.
It’s easy to ferment your own beets—here are six recipes if you want try your hand at it. (Be sure to use organic ingredients, including organic non-GMO beets).
Prefer to get your veggies by drinking a smoothie? Try adding a scoop of fermented beet powder. You’ll get all the benefits of raw beets, plus the added boost for your gut health.
Now through midnight March 31, 2018, get 20 percent off Mercola’s fermented beet powder and most other Mercola products with this promo code: ORGANIC318. Mercola will also donate 20 percent of the product price to OCA.
Get 20% off a wide range of Mercola products with this coupon: ORGANIC318
Watch this video on why fermentation is so important for gut health
Read ‘The Benefits of Fermented Beets’
Real Food Is a Potent Ally Against Depression
Raw Milk Farmers Are Going to Prison
Study: How Coca-Cola Declared War on the 'Public Health Community'
This Farmer Turned Congresswoman Sees a Way out of America’s Health Crisis
Can CAFOs Force Stores to Buy Their Products?
Microplastic Contamination Is Found in Most Bottled Water, a New Study Says
'Organic' Doesn't Mean 'Humane,' and Trump Likes It That Way
Are You Ready for the New Wave of Genetically Engineered Foods?