There’s been a lot of noise on the foodie twitter/blogosphere about the EPA’s reluctance to ban Atrazine. As someone who grew up in the midwest, and who has relatives who grow corn and soybeans, let me tell you, that stuff is everywhere. I’ve also long wondered whether the sharp increase in agricultural chemicals was in some way responsible for the cancer cluster in which I grew up (the Zion Nuclear Power Plant didn’t help either). But we all got our water out of Lake Michigan, and all those chemicals were running into the lake. Here’s a piece from the Atlantic about the issue: Birth Defects With Your Corn? – The Atlantic Food Channel
Maryn McKenna actually went to our family farm and interviewed my grandmother, who was put in isolation for months after surgery because she was an asymptomatic carrier of the MRSA infection. Maryn’s book, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSAcomes out in March, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it (and not just because she wrote a nice portrait of my beloved grandmother and my favorite aunt). CBS has been doing a series on the same issue this week, including the encouraging news that when the Danes stopped feeding prophylactic antiobiotics to pigs, they saw antibiotic resistance in humans go down, and their pork industry saw an increase in business. Civil Eats has the roundup.
Again, all signs keep pointing to the long-term unsustainablity of industrial farming. Or as farmer Carole Sayle asks in the Atlantic: Can Small Farms Feed the World?