There is a massive dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Depending on where you are from, it is as large as Wales in the UK, or New Jersey in the USA. For those of you that aren’t into those sort of comparisons, it spanned more than 8500 square miles when it was measured by scientists last summer.
And it all has to do with “food”.
The United States doesn’t really produce much. While it still has the world’s largest economy when measure via GDP, the vast majority of that economic activity is financial. Said differently, the USA administers to the global financial system, which is mostly digital. In terms of hard goods, the USA produces two things, food and weapons.
I will leave the blight of the arms trade for another post, and focus on how US food production is an environmental nightmare that is creating problems all over the world.
Food That Makes You Sick
There is no nice way to say this; the meat that is produced in the United States is dangerous to human health.
Much like tobacco or rum, the meat from grain fed animals isn’t dangerous when consumed using extreme moderation. Once a week would probably be ok, but talk to your doctor just to be sure.
Unfortunately, people aren’t so good with moderation (I’m NOT!!).
That is probably why the incidence of heart disease and obesity is so high in the USA. The food that people are eating makes them sick. What is toxic on your plate is toxic all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, and anywhere that food is exported.
The chemicals that are used to fertilize the grains that feed animals on factory farms in the US (and everywhere, really) don’t stay in the land they are applied to. They run off with the water that is used for irrigation, and find their way into the watershed.
In the US they collect in the Mississippi River, run down south, and kill off the oceans on a scale that has never been seen in modern times. Not to imply that this is the only dead zone, hell, there are more than 400 worldwide, but the Gulf of Mexico is the second largest one.
Really Need That Burger?
It goes like this: people crave food that is dreadful for them.
There are evolutionary reasons for this (if you believe in the church of Darwin), but the bottom line is: people love the crap food that came out of the chemistry department in the post-WW2 United States.
Take South Korea as an example. Prior to their decision to import US food en masse, and allow it to supplant their traditional diet, South Korea was a very healthy country. Now their obesity rate has risen by 60% over the last decade, and everyone is wondering why.
Maybe it is the toxic food that has been deemed safe by the US, who badly needs to be able to sell their noxious product both at home and abroad?
Some Unsolicited Advice
Don’t worry too much about all the antibiotics they have to shoot the cows up with, or the fact that the GMO corn that the animals eat is changing human DNA.
It must be fine, the FDA approved it all (TOTAL SCARSAM).
By the way, you might want to check out the veggy libel laws. It is basically illegal to criticize the food supply in the USA, so good thing this site is hosted out of the EU, and the author is in an undisclosed area of the developing world.
So if you want to do something to help this situation, don’t eat much grain fed meat.
Just think about a grain fed t-bone steak like a pack of unfiltered camels you have to smoke in 10 minutes, and you should be fine.
It is also worth considering that the FAO recently stated that we may only have 60 years of topsoil left. This means that within a generation, this problem will sort of solve itself in the form of a massive human die off, as the earth sheds its carrying capacity for a virus-like life form called humanity.
Of course, if you are rich, or have access to grass fed cattle, eat it as you wish. Turns out that when you treat the animals well, let them graze on grass and don’t pump them full of antibiotics and growth hormones in the 6th circle of bovine hell, their meat and fat is pretty healthy.
Also consider eating more legumes.
They are super yummy, basically the healthiest source of protein, can be farmed sustainably, and will help your gut cultivate healthy bacteria.
When the afore mentioned food centric human dieoff takes place, legumes are one of the crops that can help us revitalize burned out farmland with permaculture based farming systems that can literally turn desert into viable farmland.
Then again…there is the death burger…