Fish, Shrimp, Crab, and a Host of Other Critters Threatened in Gulf

The Gulf of Mexico is one of the world’s biggest seafood grounds. Like your fish, shrimp, and crab with oil? The first of the oil slick is reaching the Delta refuge today after fisherman attempted to collect as much shrimp, crab, grouper, and the like yesterday that went well into the night. The Delta is a mix of salt and freshwater, habitat to 40% of U.S. wetlands, and some 400 species of wildlife including “endangered species like American alligator, brown pelican, Arctic peregrine falcon and piping plover, tens of thousands of wintering waterfowl with numbers peaking during the SPRING and nesting with their young especially large numbers of wading birds that will be up to their bodies in oil, while literally thousands more shorebirds will be on the tidal mudflats and deltaic splays.” The grasses in the marshy delta will die back from the oil. There are also numerous furbearers and game mammals as year-round residents. And let’s not forget giant sea turtles. We better not hear from huge hunt clubs in the next few years lobbying to hunt in this area after what we’ve already done to the animals here.

Also according to there are a plenty more critters in peril:

Commonly observed species include greater and lesser yellowlegs, long-billed dowitchers, dunlins, western sandpipers, avocets, black-necked stilts, Wilson’s plovers, killdeer and willets.

Raptors are a common sight on Delta NWR. The most commonly observed species include American kestrels, northern harriers, red-tailed hawks and turkey vultures. Black vultures, Cooper’s hawks, merlins, red-shouldered hawks and sharp-shinned hawks have also been seen on the refuge. Ospreys are common winter visitors to the refuge.

Untold numbers of passerine birds (songbirds) utilize the refuge as a resting and staging area during the spring and fall migrations. Deer are frequently observed by the refuge staff on the natural pass banks, manmade spoil banks, and the marshes associated with these features. Swamp rabbits are found over much of the refuge, and populations appear to be stable. A number of furbearing species make their homes on Delta NWR. The most abundant of these is the nutria.

The marshes and waterways of the Delta NWR support a diversity of fish species. Speckled trout, redfish, flounder, blue crabs and shrimp are important saltwater species found on the refuge. Catfish, largemouth bass, and various sunfish species are found in the freshwater areas of the refuge. Delta NWR is an extremely important nursery area for both fresh and saltwater fish species.

We all know the ramifications of giant oil spills by now. I blogged not long ago that the devastation of the Exxon Valdez spill is still evident in some areas. And since an earlier oil spill from a leaking pipeline fouled 160 sq. miles of this fragile Delta the very beginning of April that went largely unreported, some critters in this area are already experiencing a double whammy.

What really bothers me is the lack of reporting on just how much drilling goes on in the Gulf both past and present because according to the same website, “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services or USFWS Managment Goals for the wildlife refuge soon to be unundated with oil is “Waterfowl habitat management, marsh restoration and management and oversight of oil and gas development and production.” There’s that word “management” again. Is this anything like the management of wolves, better described as an unwarranted, unscientific slaughter on behalf of the cattle industry, or the management of our mustang horses, another unwarranted, unscientific slaughter on behalf of the cattle industry?

The USFWS is a department within the Department of the Interior headed by Ken Salazar. It looks like the USFWS does more good for industry than for our wildlife like wolves and horses and is more and more reminiscent of the Bush administration not an administration that seeks to base its decisions on science. In this case of not one but two oil spills in the Delta Wildlife Refuge this month, maybe the USFWS also serves the oil industry more than the wildlife its name infers, “service to our FISH AND WILDLIFE,” because there are an awful lot of rigs in the gulf.

I was amazed. Look:

(Picture is from Wikipedia).

Is it just me or are we a tad overdone on the drilling? Fisherman stated that if you go out at night it looks like a major city out there full of lights from all the rigs. We only have so many coastlines from which we can get domestic oil and I’m sorry the Arctic is undergoing enough with ice melt, compressed land rising up rapidly resulting in wet bogs drying out making wildfires more and more likely in Alaska, and not to mention the marine life that is adversely affected by it all.

For those that argue man isn’t affecting earth enough to cause environmental problems—this oil spill is a huge environmental problem that doesn’t go away overnight and affects generations of wildlife and habitat. According to “The CYP1A levels were unequivocally higher in areas polluted by the Exxon Valdez spill than in other nearby areas. The study shows that wildlife in a large spill area has been continuously exposed to residual oil, decades after the event happened. Future research and action plans will therefore need to acknowledge the extended lifetime of residual oil and the associated impacts on wildlife.” A website states: “Fish cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) is a widely accepted environmental biomarker, detecting biological effects of several xenobiotic groups present in aquatic environments, when evaluated in target tissues of a biosensor species.”

Oil spills don’t just happen in the U.S.; worldwide oil spills have fouled plenty. Remember, “What happens to the beast, happens to the man” my favorite quote by Chief Seattle? Think twice about the environment. Everything we do affects generations of humans down the line too. We are after all part of the animal chain.

About CYP1A levels:

Watch some of the really good videos coming from ABC News GMA where Sam Champion has been reporting about the spill and the whole Delta area.


Put Down That Soft Drink; High Fructose Corn Syrup NOT Like Sugar

According to an article this week on Science Daily’s website, “A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain.” Rats with access to HFCS gained much more weight than those with access to table sugar even though caloric intake was the same. There was also an abnormal increase in body fat especially the abdomen, and more circulating blood fats or triglycerides.

Psychology professor Bart Hoebel, a specialist in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction said that all the rats that drank the HFCS got obese “across the board,” more so than the rats fed high fat diets where not all gained weight. This should be of major concern because there is an effort to push HFCS to be the same as sugar. I caught an ad the other day that conveyed that very message.

Watch the ads that are circulating.

Did you catch the end of the second one? The woman said “in moderation” HFCS is fine.
It’s hard to moderate HFCS in the U.S. when it’s in all types of products. I found some in canned chili—chili?

The results of a study involving two experiments between HFCS and its link to obesity was published online March 18 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior also. The experiments show not just weight gain but traits of obesity characterized by excess belly fat and higher levels of triglycerides.

There is a paragraph in this Science Daily article that shows the difference in chemical composition between HFCS and sucrose or table sugars. It’s validated by the website of the Corn Refiner’s Association called However, SweetSurprise website suggests, “Once the combination of glucose and fructose found in high fructose corn syrup and sugar are absorbed into the blood stream, the two sweeteners appear to be metabolized similarly in the body,” while Science Daily’s article reveals that it may not and the chemical composition of HFCS and the manufacturing process may be the culprit of quick obesity.

Something cause the rats to get obese and fast. The rats were fed the same amount and type of rat chow along with water sweetened with either HFCS or regular sugar. The scary part, “The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.”

I think needs to revise the info on its website so as not to MISLEAD the public and pull the commercials above.


BLM’s Wild Horse Management Program a Travesty for American Icon

Our wild horses out west have been under attack by our own BLM, (Bureau of Land Management)for far too long. There is a massive ongoing slaughter called “management.” It seems the public grazing land that specifically allows for free roam by America’s wild horses/burros is degraded. The horses are to blame. Never mind that of “the 12.5 million animal units the BLM allows to graze on public land, our wild horses comprise less than .3%, three tenths of a percent.” There are only 37,000 wild horses/burros left, “Aside from the general environmental degradation issues, ranchers erect fences that obstruct the movement of wildlife, reducing access to food and water, and isolating subpopulations.” This is validated on one of the videos. Clearly an overabundance of cattle on public land once issued as a place for our free roaming horses/burros by the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act has taken over and ultimately caused the degradation. Yet the BLM is determined to blame/reduce wild horse numbers. This is an unfair governmental attack on our wildlife again. PublicLands.htm.

And taxpayers are paying for it. Per a HSUS, (Humane Society of the U.S.) article, “We have got to get off the current treadmill of spending millions of tax dollars rounding up wild horses and caring for them in captivity, and instead make wider use of fertility control as a humane population management tool.” Caring for them is a big understatement.

The Bush/Cheney Administration in the interest of corporate America undid the 1971 Act that calls for humane practices toward our wild horse populations. So the BLM chases them to exhaustion by helicopters, corrals them in overcrowded conditions with little food and water, then loads them in rail cars meant for cattle and sends them to slaughter. The horses are unbalanced in the cattle cars, fall over and are injured.

Read the original 1971 law that protected these horses:

It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands

Further on in the Act, the BLM is allowed to determine whether or not there are excess animals threatening the ecology. By excess it’s meant “wild free-roaming horses or burros (1) which have been removed from an area by the Secretary pursuant to application law or, (2) which must be removed from an area in order to preserve and maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and multiple-use relationship in that area.”

It doesn’t take an Einstein to see the travesty here.

When the BLM decides there are excess horses, the BLM is allowed to remove those animals in following order and priority, “The Secretary shall order old, sick, or lame animals to be destroyed in the most humane manner possible.”

This loophole is being overworked. According the Animal Welfare Institute, “92.3 percent of horses arriving at slaughter plants in this country in recent years were deemed to be in “good” condition, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter. The horse slaughter industry makes a greater profit off of healthy horses and therefore purposely seeks out such animals.

Another argument, much like that used for the slaughter of the Yellowstone wolves is states rights vs. federal. But, “Horse Slaughter is a Federally Regulated Industry.”

The HSUS article also stated, “Last summer, in response to self-inflicted financial problems and mismanagement, the BLM announced that it would consider killing 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros in federal holding centers across the United States rather than implementing common sense, cost-saving management methods.”

Fortunately for our horses members of Congress evidently see the skewed logic and injustice by the BLM because HR 1018, ROAM, (Restore Our American Mustangs), has already passed the House. In addition to prioritizing on-the-range management over roundups, H.R. 1018 prevents the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses, as well as the wholesale killing of healthy wild horses. And the ROAM Senate Bill S1579 is currently making its way through the Senate. It reinforces the protection of America’s wild horses/burros as was intended by the first Act in 1971.

But every 5 minutes a U.S. horse is slaughtered for consumption while S1579 moves to become law, and more healthy, beautiful wild horses are rounded up by an exhausting run with helicopters, corralled and neglected.

Call or email your senators to pass S1579 quickly. We’re fighting for another American icon that represents the spirit of America.

Watch the following video of a horse that looks much like the black stallion “Freedom,” who was captured during one of the Calico roundups and managed to jump a 6 ft. fence in a small area, then bust through a barbed wire fence. That’s the “spirit of freedom.” Freedom reminds be of the black Alpha Female wolf #527, that was shot in Yellowstone. Both animals were leery of humans.

I’m leery of humans too anymore, especially those that represent corporate America taking over our public land and causing American icons like the wolf, the mustang, and the bear to disappear. Humans like this remind me of the corporate machine in the movie Avatar that embraces the idea to overcome with little empathy and no remorse. It’s not a pretty picture, and it’s getting worse. Our civilized society is anything but.

Chief Seattle must have been a very wise man because his words from a hundred years ago still pertain to what is happening to America’s wildlife right now, “…What happens to the beasts, happens to the man.” The U.S. has corralled people against their will more than once its history.



Heart Attacks Among Young Women on the Rise; Take Your Fish Oil Supplements

I caught a segment of Good Morning America this week that featured a married woman with 2 children, 12 and 9. She was the picture of health, ran 5 miles a day, ate healthy, and thought she was in the best shape of her life. After lifting something, she got a sharp pain above her elbow, and just thought she pulled something. But her arm continued to get numb. She became lightheaded. She had a heart attack at 39, and ended up in a hospital with 2 stints in her heart.

Well, she survived and was determined to keep her healthy lifestyle. 5 years later she had another heart attack. Now she takes prescription drugs, exercises, eats healthy, and gets CHECKUPS even though there was no previous history of heart problems in her family.

Heart attacks are on the rise among young women, and it looks like it doesn’t matter what shape you’re in. It appears that part of the problem recognizing heart problems in women is that the symptoms are different than a man’s symptoms. It’s not all about tightness across the chest and inability to breath. I was surprised to find that pain in the jaw, or neck is also a symptom. Among other common symptoms is nausea/heartburn, shortness of breath, and real fatigue.

According to GMA, “Women are less likely to get full treatment for heart disease. Researchers are now studying younger women for signs of heart attack. Exercising and eating right helped this woman recover and quickly, but there are steps that she could have taken even further.”

It just so happened that I saw a commercial for fish oil earlier that promised a healthier heart due to the Omega 3’s. But I’ve been hesitant to continue to take fish oil pills due to mercury or other bad juju that might be in there. I try to eat fish, but taking fish oil capsules is so much more efficient. So I looked around to see if anyone did the research to find out. I ran across a NYTimes article that delved into that very subject, According to that article:

Studies have found that most of the widely available supplements contain little or no mercury, dioxins or PCB’s. For one thing, most companies use species of fish that are lower on the food chain, like cod and sardines, which accumulate less mercury. And many companies distill their oils to help remove contaminants.

A report by Consumer, which conducts independent test of supplements, examined 41 common fish oil products and found none contaminated with mercury or PCB’s.

Good to know. I went out an bought fish oil supplements again.


Whitehouse Turkey Pardoned Again; First Thankgiving Dished Up Deer

There is a short lived tradition that’s been going on since President George H. W. Bush officially pardoned or gave a reprieve to the turkey donated to the Whitehouse for Thanksgiving. And President Obama is no different. Today he pardoned a huuuuuuuge turkey presented to him and his family named “Courage” and sent it off to a petting zoo.

I hope President Obama realized the docile, sitting turkey he was petting was doing so because he probably couldn’t walk well due to size. So the turkey stint at a petting farm somewhere probably won’t pan out.  As an article in Newsweek explains:

“99 percent of turkeys sold in America come from the roughly 270 million raised on factory farms each year. These birds are bred to be so literally broad-breasted that by the time they are 8 weeks old, they can’t walk.”  This year’s Whitehouse turkey from the National Turkey Federation was pretty large, and didn’t get a chance to walk around. Someone carried it in and set it down. Hmmm. It’s a shame that industrialized farming has not only done this to the turkey, but also taken most of the natural flavor out of it in the process. As the article went on to say: “The result is bland, mushy meat that we have come to equate with tenderness, but in reality processors inject the dressed birds with saline solutions and vegetable oils to improve “mouth feel” and keep the oversize breasts from drying out.” Nice real nice.

The good thing is there is a growing number of breeders out there going back to the traditional “heritage” turkey that is free range and full of flavor. Two of these breeders with online stores is Local Harvest and I know someone commented on one of my blogs that she had a hard time finding a free range turkey. I’m eating at a relatives but my husband did bring home a fresh turkey from a farm in Huron Township, on the corner of Sibley and Merriman I believe, as a thank you for a welding job. It’s not an industrial farm by any means so the turkey should be tasty, although I didn’t like the thought of the turkey getting the thumbs down because of us.

Thanksgiving is not about the chow for me anyway. It’s about getting together with family. But for those that look forward to traditional fare at Thanksgiving and immediately think turkey, think again. This should be of interest to Michiganders. The first Thanksgiving dished up deer not turkey. Some more actual facts:

1. The first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration in 1621 that lasted for three days.

2. The feast most likely occurred between Sept. 21 and Nov. 11.

3. Approximately 90 Wampanoag Indians and 52 colonists – the latter mostly women and children – participated.

4. The Wampanoag, led by Chief Massasoit, contributed at least five deer to the feast.

5. Cranberry sauce, potatoes – white or sweet – and pies were not on the menu.

6. The Pilgrims and Wampanoag communicated through Squanto, a member of the Patuxet tribe, who knew English because he had associated with earlier explorers.

7. Besides meals, the event included recreation and entertainment.

8. There are only two surviving descriptions of the first Thanksgiving. One is in a letter by colonist Edward Winslow. He mentions some of the food and activities. The second description was in a book written by William Bradford 20 years afterward. His account was lost for almost 100 years.

9. Abraham Lincoln named Thanksgiving an annual holiday in 1863.


Michigan HR Bills 5127- 5128 Stopped; Revised Bills Provide Help for Farm Animals

About a month ago I wrote a blog about stopping two Michigan House Bills (HR 5127 and 5128) that would condemn farm animals to the status quo for several years more. By status quo I mean the same inhumane animal care decided by the USDA that has turned a blind eye on the suffering of food animals for years. But according to an article on the Democracy in Action page of the Sierra Club’s publication “The Mackinac” those two bills were stopped.

The same articled reported that The Sierra Club led the effort to stop these bills with the Humane Society of the U.S., “exerting significant pressure on the legislature” to revise the bills for real change. There was a threat of a ballot initiative. A ballot initiative or popular or citizen’s initiative “provides a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a public vote.” Evidently the CAFO industry in Michigan wanted none of that because a public vote means a heck of a lot more public scrutiny, an expose of the horrific lifestyle of CAFO animals is more like it.

The combined effort resulted in a new bill that gives”three species of confined animals more room to move.” That would be pigs, egg-laying chickens, and calves. Although the ag industry has 10 years to adopt this bill, it’s a victory over corporate agriculture and I hope a trend for more animal rights within the ag industry that have been non-existent for far too long.

I believe farm animal rights is directly connected to tainted food. Poorly treated animals equal sick animals. That’s why they were given antibiotics for years. If live animals are treated horrendously than the facilities that process the dead carcasses can hardly be any better. The latest recall of half a million pounds of ground beef was a wake up call for many. For a couple of people it was a death toll.

When we have to rush to our freezers to throw out food that may make us ill or even kill us reform is needed big time. Every little step counts. Thanks to those that took the time to contact their reps too. Between organizations like Michigan’s Sierra Club, The Humane Society of the U.S., and hundreds of other organizations that work tirelessly behind the scenes and involved citizens that bother to let their reps know what they want great things can be accomplished one step at a time.


BPA Found in Canned Foods

ABC News reported that BPA could be found in canned foods. How it gets there is a mystery but levels of Bisphenol A are high. It was stated that a child that ate one small serving of a canned vegetable could quite easily be ingesting the limit of BPA in lab animals. That’s far too high.

Consumers have been warned about storing food in plastic, especially when that plastic container is also used in the microwave to heat the contents before eating because of BPA. Bisphenol A leaches from the plastic into the food. Baby bottles pose the greatest risk to children. And children suffer the worst from BPA especially the unborn fetus. BPA causes premature births and defects because it is a phthalate and phthalates are endocrine disruptors meaning they interfere with hormones.

I did a blog on BPA and other chemicals in plastics. I even suggested that BPA may be the reason for so much male pattern baldness, which is directly related to overproduction of certain hormones. The reports of defects in male babies from phthalates are horrifying. And it’s not a small percentage. One in three hundred baby boys are affected. Read the blog:

Now we find that cans and food are a bad recipe too. Don’t think frozen food goes unscathed either. I just got home from the supermarket. Passing along the frozen food aisles, I picked up a couple of those entire “ready to cook” meals. You know the ones—in the PLASTIC bags.

And we wonder why cancer is on the rise? We’re gathering far more toxins from the air, earth, water, and food we eat than our grandparents. The FDA is investigating how and why the BPA is in canned food. Hopefully, we’ll soon seen BPA free canned goods.


Statement That Organic is Not Healthier is Misleading; It’s Not About Nutrition

Organic has never been about nutrition. A peach, is a peach, is a peach. It’s got X amount of calories, holds the same spot on the gycemic index, and sports the same carbohydrate count whether it’s organic, white, blue, or regular store bought. Organic is about growing produce without pesticides, synthetic fertilizer, and over-processing.

Organics ARE healthier but not necessarily more nutritious. They are healthier because there are no added toxins by way of pesticides. What I mean by “added” is that a lot of the produce we eat contains natural toxins that can adversely affect someone who is sensitive to them, i.e., potato skins. Sometimes these natural toxins can prove to be fatal. For a list of natural toxins in common foods we eat read:

Having said that, why on earth would we want to eat food with added pesticides/toxins? It’s sprayed on the produce from the time the fruit or vegetable is small so that the pesticide is in the actual skin increasing the toxicity. Worse yet are genetically engineered seed kernels like corn that basically have Bt genes right inside. Bt is a natural organism that produces toxins to protect the plant from pests. So Bt is natural but only as an organism living outside of the food we eat. Besides store bought produce tends to be blah, hard as a rock, and is usually stored so that by time it is on the stand the nutritional value has declined.

What I really don’t understand from the ABC news article is that it stated: “Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.” I think the report missed the fact that our perception is not about actual nutrition but deriving health benefits by buying more purely raised and/or processed foods. I looked at the ensuing comments on that article and it looks to me like most people do indeed get it, that it’s not about the nutrition. If you happen to catch someone in the health food aisles, they are usually reading the ingredient labels. So I don’t quite understand the study they did to ascertain what consumers actually perceive? And insinuating we are wasting money by buying organic is even more misleading.

I know I’m paying to be pesticide free, not for more nutrition. And I’m not too sure about spending more money. I was just in Whole Foods in Ann Arbor today and it didn’t look like this latest report had any impact on true organic groupies. Besides at $1.99 lb instead of $.99 lb at the farm market, Whole Foods organic nectarines were twice as large. So I’m getting the same amount for the money. Since I’m not picky, the subject of another blog of mine, I shop sales on food and get a variety in my diet. I don’t care if I eat nectarines and mangoes this week, bananas and guava the next. Not being picky has its virtues. Having organically grown goods available is a blessing.

Health is something we can’t buy, but we can nurture it. The less pesticides/toxins the healthier our society. Anyone that is expecting a baby should be fully aware that currently 1 out 150 children have autism and that it has lately been linked to an overabundance of toxins. Less is better in this case and many—just food for thought.


Cancer is more easily preventable than cureable

I just read a very interesting article on ENS (Environmental New Service) website. It included a letter to Congressional leaders from medical and scientific experts urging Obama’s Cancer Plan to expand to include cancer prevention. The article stated: “It is now beyond dispute in the independent scientific community that environmental and occupational exposures to carcinogens are the primary cause of non-smoking related cancers. An October 2007 publication on environmental and occupational causes of cancer by one of us (Dr. Richard Clapp) further emphasized that the increasing incidence of cancer is due to preventable exposures to carcinogens in the workplace and environment.”

Since 1975 exposure to cancer causing agents in the environment has increased. Remember the early 70’s the Clean Air and Water Act was enacted because we were polluting horribly. All the reports I’ve read say our air and water have indeed cleaned up a great deal since the early 70’s. Yet this letter states that more work related and environmental pollutants are causing the majority of cancers and that trend began in the mid 70’s. Hmmm.

The NCI still claims 94% of all cancers are caused by smoking, obesity, sun, yada, yada, yada and only 6% to environmental factors. But that consensus came from a 1981 report from Sir Richard Doll in the U.K. Here is where motive changes how we should view Sir Doll’s report. He was also a consultant for Monsanto, and the asbestos industry. Just before he died in 2002, “Doll admitted that most cancers, other than those related to smoking and hormones, “are induced by exposure to chemicals often environmental.”

This was scary stuff I was reading. We’ve been mislead for quite awhile. We are not causing our own cancers as much as we have been lead to believe. There is a list of cancers increasing at a rapid rate caused by factors not under our control. It is clear that other agencies besides the NCI need be involved in the prevention of cancer like the EPA, FDA, and OSHA. The agencies that can control the rise of preventable cancers because what we are breathing, drinking, and eating is affecting our health.

And as far as new cures for cancer, this letter had disturbing facts, but not hard to believe. I’m helping my mother through the aftermath of cancer and do not trust that the standard route works all that well either. My suspicions were confirmed when I read:

Furthermore, the NCI has touted the imminent success of new cancer treatments – promises that have seldom borne out, and which have been widely questioned by the independent scientific community. For instance, in 2004, Nobel Laureate Leland Hartwell, President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Control Center, warned that Congress and the public are paying NCI $4.7 billion a year, most of which is spent on “promoting ineffective drugs” for terminal disease.

Well then, there you have it. Cancer is more easily preventable than cureable.

Read the very candid letter from the medical and scientific community and list of cancers on the rise and their causes:


The Connection Between Food Sources and Carbon Footprints

I’m behind on blogging but that doesn’t mean I haven’t noticed issues hitting the news lately. The other night I caught just 5 minutes on CNN’s Cafferty File that ticked me off at the stupidity of our media. Cafferty reported that the U.K. did a study and it turns out that raising sheep for food adds to the U.K’s carbon footprint big time. By time Cafferty was finished explaining that eating lamb is adding to global warming he was shaking his head and grinning. So he ended the segment by posting the question: “Are you willing to change your diet to combat global warming?”

I wanted to smack him up the side of the head. Or better yet, take Cafferty and Wolf Blitzer, who joined in the merriment, on an impromptu visit to a large CAFO and have them inhale the fumes from a pink tinged open air lagoon of waste that oozes methane into the atmosphere. Another reporter that did that almost passed out.

The reporters at CNN obviously didn’t take that into consideration. As a major news source one would think they would be up on articles like this:, or or or any of dozens written by our own Dept. of Agriculture or CRS (Congressional Research Service) reports to Congress that show our food animals are detrimental to the environment.

On it stated that a U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Health reported that 5 tons of animal manure is produced annually for every person in the U.S. Considering our population is 300 million and 5 tons equals 10,000 lbs., well I just found my calculator doesn’t have enough decimal points so that’s 1 billion, 500 million tons of manure annually. The water that is polluted as a result is a whole other blog!

So what’s not to understand here? A billion tons of manure is a heck of a lot of methane. Since the U.K. loves its mutton, I can see where their report came from. Sheep top their list of carbon footprint devils.

And where does Cafferty live that he hasn’t noticed we’re a nation of obese people eating far more meat than any other country on earth? We want national health care so we can continue to neglect our own health? We should be willing to change our diet to save ourselves, yet we don’t do it. No one considers that our obesity might end up being a detriment to our ever getting national health care because obesity is a ridiculous and preventable drain on any health system for the disease it produces. By following the guidelines for healthy eating, we will help ourselves, help the environment, and possibly stop the horrible abuse of food animals by eliminating CAFO’s altogether.