TAILIEUCHUNG - The Hidden Costs of CAFOs Smart Choices for U.S. Food Production

Adding oxygenates to gasoline has the effect of making the engine run leaner: since some oxygen is already present in the fuel molecules, the total amount of oxygen (from the air and from the oxygenates) relative to carbon and hydrogen in the fuel is greater. Running the engine leaner reduces the emissions of CO substantially; it also reduces the emissions of unburned hydrocarbons to some extent. Since the largest source of CO emissions is the automobile exhaust, use of oxygenated fuels substantially reduces the emissions of this pollutant. It is for this reason that, since January 1995, the oil companies have to offer this ‘reformulated’ gasoline in. | . Union of j Concerned Scientists ISSUE BRIEFING The Hidden CostsfCAFO September 2008 Smart Choices for . Food Production Over the past several decades . food production has taken an unwise and costly turn. Until recently food animals and crops were produced in close proximity frequently on the same farm in an integrated self-sustaining way that often had benefits for farmers and society as a whole. But animal production has undergone a profound transformation that has disrupted this balanced system. Our choice of food and agriculture policies has promoted the rise of massive CAFOs confined animal feeding operations that crowd many thousands of animals closely together in a small space and separate them from crop farming. CAFOs have well-documented problems that come with high social and economic costs Air and water pollution produced by unmanageable mountains and lagoons of manure CAFOs vs. Smart Pasture Operations for Cattle CAFOs Higher incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that make human illnesses harder to treat Diminished quality of life in numerous rural communities Beef and dairy products that are less nutritious than they could be Fortunately the United States can make choices that will put production of abundant food on a practical and healthy track. The contrast between CAFOs and a more modern approach to raising cattle described here as smart pasture operations SPOs is illustrated in the table below. SPOs take advantage of both new technologies and natural efficiencies to produce better food without many of the costs and problems associated with CAFOs. SPOs Massive thousands of animals Mid-size hundreds of animals or smaller Extremely crowded facilities Less crowded facilities Unhealthy conditions lead to excessive antibiotic use and drug-resistant bacteria Healthier conditions reduce antibiotic use Cattle eat a diet feed corn and soy they cannot digest properly Cattle eat their normal digestible diet vegetation such as grass Feed is usually

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