CAFOs are not a necessary evil

Posted by Jennifer Dolan on October 18, 2012 in Columns and Editorial, Featured2 | When it comes to the opposition to the proposed CAFO in Saratoga, many people identify the issue as a “not in my backyard” or NIMBY because for so many people, all their meat, dairy, and much of their produce comes from factory farms. But some of us make the decision to buy from sustainable farms, which doesn’t necessarily equate to only small farms.

If you don’t want pesticide residue on your produce, purchase certified organic. If you don’t want meat and dairy that comes with a heavy dose of antibiotics, purchase pasture raised. Smart pasture operations or SPOs are not only more humane, produce a higher quality product because animals are fed their natural diet (therefore contributing Omega 3 fatty acids to the meat and dairy produced), but they actually make farmers more money without taking government subsidies.

An SPO includes hundreds of cows, not thousands. There is less of an environmental impact largely because cattle graze on grass rather than being fed corn that requires pesticides and large amounts of water. If an SPO came into Saratoga, 49 high capacity wells would not be required like the proposed Wysocki project. Drawdown would not be an issue. Nitrates in the groundwater would not be an issue. Paying and paying again through heavier taxation would not be an issue.

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