Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Eat this.

In the spirit of holiday giving, I offer to you, dear readers, some "fun" facts I have gathered today while reading for my social policy class. Assuming that most of you have not yet had the chance to study the "American Social Welfare Policy: A pluralist approach" (5th edition) textbook (and if you have, you probably haven't yet gotten to Chapter 17: The Politics of Food Policy and Rural Life), I have picked out my favorite tidbits of knowledge to share with you now:

- Consumers, retailers, restaurants, and farmers throw away one-quarter of the U.S. food stock (almost 100 billion pounds of edible food) each year.

- The average length of a state food stamp application is 12 pages. Ten states have applications between 19 and 28 pages long. Most food stamp applications are longer than the applications for a federal firearms permit, a federal home mortgage loan, or a school bus driver's license.

- Over 70 percent of all antibiotics in the United States are fed to healthy farm animals.

- Agriculture is the most dangerous occupation in the United States.

- The life expectancy of migrant farmworkers is 49 years compared to the U.S. average of 75 years.

- A single Utah hog operation raises 2.5 million hogs a year, producing more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles.

- A "Free Range" label claims that a meat or poultry product (including eggs) comes from an animale that was raised in the open air or was allowed to raom. However, the regulations do not specify how much of each day animals must have access to fresh air. In poultry, the USDA considers five minutes adequate exposure to be considered free range.

- Every minute, the United States loses 2 acres of productive farmland to urban sprawl - shopping malls, housing subdivisions and the like.

1 comment:

smook said...

Tasty. I'm going home. And eating some snow. That's free range, sugar, caffeine and fat free. Tasty too. Especially when it's yellow. But since Gibson is a free range, organically fed, no preservatives type of dog, I'm sure the artificial coloring in the snow won't be too bad for me.