I read with disgust and trepidation about the Time Magazine CAFO article. CAFO stands for Confined Animal Feed Operation, it is basically a large factory where they grow animals for slaughter. Other than the unnatural “growing” of the animals, there is a huge problem: it is the process by which CAFO in some parts of this country, such as North Carolina, are allowed to pollute with impunity. I was shocked to read how these factories (they are not farms) are allowed to just dump their waste anywhere they want. As the article says, the waste causes severe problems for adult humans- you can just imagine what they would do to a child’s growing body and mind.
I said I read it with trepidation because we have no idea which products come from CAFO and which are from operations that are environmentally conscious. When I go to the supermarket, I see a slab of ribs, I have no idea of the environmental impact that they caused. And this is not just an academic exercise-it matters because saving a few cents a pound here could mean exposing my child to lethal toxins somewhere else. Perhaps in addition to ANDI Scores and all the other nutritional labels, produce should also come with the environmental impact labels -i.e. this piece of steak is carbon neutral. Perhaps the next generation of Super Markets!
I have already cut down my meat consumption drastically after watching the Food Inc documentary, and I try to only buy meat at places like Whole Foods or from local farmers directly,, which costs a lot but at least I don’t have to feel bad every time I read about CAFO’s and environmental pollution.