Thanks to the Ethicurian, I´ve added a new feature to The Slow Cook: an interactive map to the biggest polluting factory farms in the nation, provided by the environmental group Food and Water Watch.
Most Americans are just waking up to the fact that their beef, chicken, pork, eggs and dairy are no longer being grown on the green pastures of family farms but rather jammed together in the most horrific conditions in giant factory confinement lots.
Besides raising ethical questions about how we treat the food we eat, the quality of meat, eggs and milk, and the destruction that has been wrought on our tradition of family farming and locally produced livestock, factory farming has unleashed pollution from animal manure on a grand scale.
At the moment, I am unable to provide a link here to a site that state-by-state and county-by-county identifies where the nation´s most polluting factory farms are located, all in easy to use mouse-click fashion. You can find a link on the lower righthand side of the page under Bad Things in Food.
For instance, Iowa leads the way in polluting factory pig farms with 3,876. Even more startling is the diabolical consolidation of hog farms that has taken place there in recent years. According to Food and Water Watch, the number of pigs raised in Iowa has increased only slightly, from 13 million in 1987 to 15.5 million in 2002. But in that same period, the number of pig farms has declined by 26,465. That´s right, the number of hog farms in the state of Iowa has plummeted by 26,465 over a 15-year period. That accounts for all those mom-and-pop farms disappearing, and the business of raising pork falling into the hands of large corporations who do their business by jamming animals together in stifling, mind-altering conditions.
Welcome the era of factory farms. Something to remember next time you go shopping for that pork roast. And maybe a good reason to look for an alternative source.