What’s up with that Butterball turkey? Sure, it’s cheaper, it’s available, and your mom used to make it, but…
That turkey was likely raised on a factory farm. Just what is a factory farm? According to the website, Sustainable Table,
“Many of today’s farms are actually large industrial facilities, not the green pastures and red barns that most Americans imagine. These consolidated operations are able to produce food in high volume but have little to no regard for the environment, animal welfare, or food safety. In order to maximize profits, factory farms often put the health of consumers and rural communities at risk.”
And there are many serious environmental and health concerns with eating factory-farmed meat.
1. Antibiotic Exposure.
When eating conventional turkey and other factory farmed meats, your family is exposed to antibiotics used in the process of maintaining the overcrowded conditions that exist on factory farms. This medication is used to keep the animals disease free in the packed, unhealthy environments they are kept in. In fact, more antibiotics are being used on animals in farming than in medicinal purposes for humans. This raises the risk of animals and people developing virulent bacteria resistant infections, which can be easily spread to children and the elderly.
2. Hormone Exposure:
Factory farmed bird may be injected with growth hormones to cause rapid growth. Many are also injected with spices, stock, water, and other favors that cause the turkey to have a mushier texture.
3. Global Warming and Air Pollution
Factory Farming Contributes to Global Warming and Air pollution. These industrial farms emit toxic hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and methane, while using massive amounts of fossil fuels to function. Factory farms are 90 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
4. Factory Farms Pollute Local Communities and Waterways.
People that live near factory farms breathe harmful gases from waste pools, and their drinking water is contaminated with livestock waste. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, “nitrates often seep from lagoons and spray fields into groundwater. Drinking water contaminated with nitrates can increase the risk of blue baby syndrome, which can cause deaths in infants. High levels of nitrates in drinking water near hog factories have also been linked to spontaneous abortions. Several disease outbreaks related to drinking water have been traced to bacteria and viruses from waste.”
5. Factory Farmed Turkeys and Genetically Modified Organisms.
They are fed genetically modified corn, soy, and grain. There are questions about the safety of genetically modified organisms and the consumption of genetically modified crops.
6. Factory Farmed Turkeys Live in Inhumane Conditions.
According to Farm Sanctuary, “Each chicken is given less than half a square foot of space, while turkeys are each given less than three square feet. Shortly after hatching, both chickens and turkeys have the ends of their beaks cut off, and turkeys also have the ends of their toes clipped off. These mutilations are performed without anesthesia, ostensibly to reduce injuries that result when stressed birds are driven to fighting.” How terrible!
Where Can You Find a Locally Raised Turkey?
Where can you find your locally raised turkey? You can use this resource from the Sustainable Table and Eating Well to search for one. Or at your local farmer’s market, or your local natural foods store. Place your order soon, and you’ll know you are making a step to protect your family and help the environment.
To learn more about eating non-toxic, green and healthy, please check out my new eBook, Eat-Non-Toxic: a manual for busy parents. In addition, visit Non-Toxic Kids for green parenting news; opportunities for activism; tips on natural living; and music, book and eco-friendly product reviews.
Join the Conversation
- Do you obtain your turkey from a local farm?
- Thoughts about buying a butterball turkey?
- If you buy your turkey from a local farm, what was the difference in taste from grocery bought?
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Katy’s new e-book since I believe in a healthy non-toxic diet for all of us especially our kids. Every purchase helps the site.
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