of Article: http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/
A battle for the soul of
agriculture is being waged in California in a new sort of green revolution
-- and counter-revolution. Jackson West
"If we want to have bagged spinach and lettuce available 24/7, 12
months of the year, it comes with costs," lawyer Bill Marler told the
San Francisco Chronicle.
Marler would know -- he
represented the plaintiffs that came forward after an E. coli outbreak from
fresh spinach grown in California made customers sick in 2006.
But he's not talking
about legal fees and court settlements. Instead, it comes in the form of
environmental degradation as industrial farming attempts to fix the
problems it has created.
Distributors are forcing
farmers to implement guidelines that are fueled by consumer fears, not farm
For instance, sterile
zones demanded around crops mean more rodents, which means more rodent
poison, which kills the predatory birds which naturally control the rodent
Of course, the deadly and
drug-resistant strain of E. coli that these measures are trying to prevent
was created by the heavy use of antibiotics in feedlots.
"You have to think
about what's the logical end point of looking at food this way," noted
author Michael Pollan, who has criticized industrial agriculture in his
last two books. "It's food grown indoors hydroponically."
There is some good news
for greener farming. "In 16 years of handling nearly every major
food-borne illness outbreak in America, I can tell you I've never had a
case where it's been linked to a farmers' market," Marler added.