I was wondering this morning about when did food production start to go wrong. I've only done a little reading with Wikipedia being my jump off point, but I thought I'd share two links:
Factory farming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One thing I found interesting from a perspective pov:
If I read that correctly, we're raising the same number of pigs on fewer than one tenth the number of farms. That was a bit startling.Livestock production has become increasingly dominated by CAFOs in the United States and other parts of the world. Most of the poultry consumed by humans was raised in CAFOs starting in the 1950s, and most cattle and pork originated in CAFOs by the 1970s and 80s. CAFOs now dominate livestock and poultry production in U.S. and the scope of their market share is steadily increasing. In 1966, it took one million farms to house 57 million pigs; by the year 2001, it only took 80,000 farms to house the same number of pigs.
It almost makes me think that we don't have to go all the way back to Grok - 50 or 60 years ago, just about all four legged farm animals were grass fed.
"I puked like a hero for the rest of the night," Anthony Bourdain, 2002. (After spending the day eating ant eggs, bugs, and larvae, and drinking some gelatinous alcoholic stuff.)
I earned a degree in Environmental Resource Management. After college I got a full-time job with the USDA doing soil conservation work---mainly working with farmers to prevent soil erosion through different crop rotations, reduced tillage, increased greenspace...but also had to dabble in things like manure storage facilities. It was after a trip to a hog farm---that was feeding it's pigs grocery scraps (including the boxes and plastic that the foods came in) that I became vegetarian. I was too young to have known of or sourced out "pastured" animals. I simply believed that this was the way MOST of the animals are produced---and I guess that is true. CAFOs are bad stuff...period. But even in the world of the USDA---they WANT animals off of the land because then the soil isnt degraded and waterways "theoretically" stay cleaner. Keep them all penned up then write up a 500 page nutrient management plan (that a farmer does not have the time or often the know-how to comprehend) to deal with all of that poop.
Check out my blog on nature and nurture!