Monday, December 1, 2014

Exploration Eight: Lydia Freudenberg

The idea or fact that really amazed me was how the organic farmers saved not only their money but the environment. Joel Salatin really amazed me with how he took advantage of everything nature offered, and created a healthy, cost friendly farm. He makes sure that all his livestock is free ranged and grass feed. The animals are frequently moved around so that the grass is never over grown or over eaten, keeping a healthy balance. The mechanics of the farm are the cows eat the grass and create waste high in nutrients that help fertilize the grass. The cows are then moved and the chickens come into their place, picking nutrients from cow patties and fertilizing with their own manure. The pigs are treated with care in a barn atmosphere that provides plenty of mud and space for them to run around. Salatin just wants a healthy earth, and a healthy meal, and he is successfully doing/producing both of those everyday.

My research theme was if antibiotic induced livestock does harm to human health. I found out some really interesting facts and statistics that were rather scary from a pdf titled Consumer Union. Antibiotics were first introduced into the livestock farming community in the 1940s, and since then antibiotics have increased disease and illnesses not only to humans but to the animals having to endure the drugs. A frightening reality of the antibiotics is, "Humans are at risk both due to potential
presence of superbugs in meat and poultry, and to the general migration of superbugs into
the environment, where they can transmit their genetic immunity to antibiotics" (Consumer Union, par 5). So what Consumer Union is saying is that the livestock is becoming immune to the antibiotics that are given to them, thus the diseases they are trying to fight off are no longer able to be cured. The induced animals are then sold to humans who ingest the meat, filled with antibiotics and potential diseases like MRSA and E. coli. Humans than can either slowly become immune to the antibiotics, like the livestock, causing health complications down the road or have life threatening illnesses. Thus, the viscous cycle of antibiotic use is more costly than helpful. The second link is another neat website on the in-and-outs of animal injected toxins and environmental damages on non-organic farming. 

I liked how some of the research topics involved monoculture and how it can actually reduce the soils nutrients and thus the nutrient levels in the crop. According to organic farmers, you can't have a healthy farm without animals. I really liked how Mason talked about his bee hives and how the mass production of corn around his hives could have maybe been the result of some of his hives dying off. Nature relies on itself to sustain itself, and by removing one of the aspects, it can cause tremendous outcomes.

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