Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crap Fountains And Biosolids On Your Food

Just north of my little town is a cow farm. Every time I drive past the place I hit the little "recirculate" button on our car so that no outside air can get in. The stench is positively wretched almost any time of the year. During the winter (which I call the "rainy season" because of the climate here), the smell is somewhat tolerable as long as you drive too fast, but the cow dung is nice and soggy and fermenting. During the summer, though, the smell is overwhelming as the cow turds ripen in the heat.

And then there is a nightmare even worse than the usual nasty stench: several times in the spring and summer, all that cow crap is liquefied and pumped out over the neighboring agricultural fields in an ungodly fountain of sh*t, turning the crops dark brown with a rain of feces.

Oh – my – God! Now say with me: Ewwwwww!

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. You're thinking, "Oh, get over it, Lab Rat! It's just fertilizer in liquid form. You're a biologist. You know the value of poo for growing plants."

Fine! But I just want to say for the record that the typical cow dung fertilizer is first allowed to compost. Thus the harmful bacteria and parasites are neutralized, along with most of the foul smell.

But then I came across this wretched article, which informs me that it has been perfectly acceptable – nay, encouraged by our government! – for farmers to use human sewage and industrial sludge to fertilize their fields!


Are you f*cking kidding me?!! Has the world suddenly gone upside down? You mean to tell me that I've been eating food that has had my neighbor's crap sprayed on it? If you've ever seen my neighbor, you'd be shaking as hard as I am!

Apparently this policy has been in effect for 30 years. I'm very disappointed in Jimmy Carter!

From the article: "About 7 million tons of biosolids – the term that waste producers came up with for sludge in 1991 – are produced each year as a byproduct from 1,650 waste water treatment plants around the nation. Slightly more than half is used on land as fertilizer; the rest is incinerated or burned in landfills. Giving it away to farmers is cheaper than burning or burying it, and the government's policy has been to encourage the former."

HALF?? That's 3.5 million tons of wastewater sludge on our crops!

In addition to the risk of carrying human disease, bacteria, and parasites, the sludge has been found to contain dangerous levels of arsenic, thallium, other heavy metals, and PCBs. Plus the drugs you flush down your toilet when they expire. I shudder to think what else. Anything that can be pollutants of our waterways.

The article mentions a recent court ruling where a dairy farmer sued the government for poisoning and killing his cows, which had fed on plants fertilized with this raw sewage and sludge laced with heavy metals and PCBs. He won his case. The judge in the case said that, in addition to using questionable data for their actions and policy, "senior EPA officials took extraordinary steps to quash scientific dissent, and any questioning of the EPA's biosolids program."

Yes, this is America. Not China. Not some third world nation. Not the sewage-filled tenements of some late-night plea for helping poverty-stricken families in Latin America "for just pennies a day". No, this is the USA, where industry reigns supreme over the health and welfare of our Twinkie-eating obese citizenry. Heck, using sludge on fields is a win-win situation, right? I mean, the EPA gets to claim that they are cleaning up our waterways, and farmers get a free source of fertilizer. Wow! Genius!

The sad thing is that the product of all this a-maizing arsenic-laced miracle of modern agriculture is food direct to your supermarket, and milk from poisoned cows. Heck, it's the "cycle of poo". Once you've eaten your thallium laced food grown in crap-sprayed fields you can take a dump and start the process all over again.

Sure, the victim in that lawsuit had cows that died, but how many other cows aren't dying, but instead are merely passing along their PCB milk to you and me and our kids?

So the next time you pour yourself a glass of chocolate milk or put a pat of butter onto your ear of corn, take a quick sniff and think twice about its source. There may be more than chocolate in that glass of yours, and the yellow of your corn may hide little physiological timebombs.

As for me, the next time I drive past one of those fountains of sh*t, I'll be wondering if it truly is cow manure that's being sprayed, as I had thought, or crap from the farmer himself!

Image taken from HERE.


Sparkling Red said...

Charming! Sometimes I feel the less I know about my food, the better. Then at least I won't incur psychological stress along with the various physical poisons.

But seriously we should all be aware of what's going on. It's pretty awful. Don't the politicians realize they're also part of the food/poo chain? They're eating as much of it as the rest of us.

unsigned said...

Have you seen what the average American eats? Their food comes out of a can, box, plastic tub, styrofoam tray, tube, sleeve or bag.

You'd think they'd be up in arms over having waste dumped on their produce. Then again they don't even know what lettuce looks like because they never eat vegetables.

If you don't care how much sodium benzoate and yellow dye #5 is in your food why would you care about feces?

The average dead American takes more than twice as long to decompose as any other nationality because their bodies are riddled with so many preservatives from eating fake food.

Wait until the zombie apocalypse comes. You'll be wading through a sea of slowly decomposing fat people! Ew.... Start buying shotgun shells now! Practice that head shot...

KimberlyDi said...

Ignorance is bliss. Thanks dude.

Grad Student Without A Cause said...

That's just disgusting.

(Can you get me discounts at I?)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see just how pervasive digital memory has become in our every day lives. It seems like everytime I turn my head, I see something with a card slot or USB jack . I guess it makes sense though, considering how much more afforable memory has become lately...

Ahhh... I shouldn't be complaining. I can't make it through a single day without using my R4 / R4i!

(Posted by cPost scPost for R4i Nintendo DS.)

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