Sunday, December 5, 2010
Where have all the farmers gone?
Data Shows 20 Percent Growth in Factory Farming In Past 5 Years
A new interactive web tool from Food & Water Watch provides a dramatic illustration of the increasingly consolidated animal agriculture industry in the United States. The advocacy group mapped USDA livestock census data from 2002 and 2007, providing a new way for concerned consumers to explore the origin of meat and dairy foods in the United States.
The trends revealed are striking. For example, nearly half of factory-farm egg-laying hens are located in just 5 states — Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, California and Pennsylvania. Overall, total animals on factory farms grew by 5 million, or more than 20 percent in 5 years.
“Whether you live near a factory farm and are subject to the groundwater contamination or air pollution it causes, or live thousands of miles away and eat the meat or eggs from potentially unsafe facilities, very few people are spared the risk that these operations bring,” said Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch’s executive director. “The purpose of the Factory Farm Map is to provide an easy-to-use tool that anyone can access to learn more about where our food is really coming from.”