repost from @belinda_vegan ・・・
The Link Between Toxic Algae and Our Broken Food System
First and foremost, these blooms are yet another reminder that we need to make significant and lasting changes to the way we farm and produce our food, especially in reducing nutrient pollution. According to the EPA, "animal manure, excess fertilizer applied to crops and fields and soil erosion make agriculture one of the largest sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the country." It is this nutrient pollution and over-enrichment that is primarily fueling the harmful algal blooms. And thanks to the important work of NOAA and other federal and state agencies, we know a lot more today about the growing threat that these blooms pose to the nation's aquatic ecosystems, public health and local and regional economies.
Pollution associated with industrial animal production or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) without a doubt contributes to nutrient over-enrichment which can be a factor in harmful algal bloom outbreak frequency and toxin production. North Carolina - home to a large number of industrial poultry and hog farms (third largest producer of poultry products and second largest pork producer in the US) - provides a unique window into this environmental problem. In June of last year, Waterkeeper Alliance, North Carolina Riverkeeper organizations and Environmental Working Group released a first-of-its-kind interactive map that documents the approximate locations of more than 6,500 CAFOs - large swine, poultry and cattle operations - across the state of North Carolina. If you're thinking, "all those CAFOs must generate a lot of poop," you'd be correct. Research associated with this project estimates that these CAFOs annually produce more than 10 billion pounds of wet animal waste and 2 million tons of dry animal waste in North Carolina.
The aerial views of the CAFOs reveal manure lagoons (aka waste ponds) from swine operations and their proximity to rivers, streams and other vital public water sources. These lagoons are often unlined and nutrients can leach out and find their way into nearby waterways.
Who you choose to eat is killing our planet.