Advertisement

swine flu and pig farms

Wake-Up Call: Factory Farms Could Be Breeding Swine Flu

It’s too soon to be sure, but some observers think CAFOs are perfect settings for swine flu evolution.



Wake-Up Call: Factory Farms Could Be Breeding Swine Flu

Swine flu source? Raising pigs in factory farms may have led to the current flu outbreak.

WHAT IT MEANS: Whether it turns out that this swine flu outbreak originated in a CAFO or not, confined animal feeding has been linked to the rise of antibiotic-resistant germs like MRSA, as well as to environmental problems (think for a second about all the waste that a million pigs can produce in a day, then ponder where it all goes). To lessen the chances that an even worse strain of swine flu, or some other virus, could escape one day from a CAFO, take these steps:

• Ring a representative. The federal government needs to start supporting smaller-scale farming before it’s too late. “We don’t raise any more hogs than we did 65 years ago, but farms are a lot fewer and a lot larger,” says Martin of the Pew Environment Group. “More diversified farming systems are what we need to turn to for animal and crop production. The current industrial animal and monoculture crop model are designed for catastrophic failure at some point.”

• Defend yourself from swine flu. Health authorities don’t know yet how dangerous the swine flu strain may be; even if it continues to spread, it may not cause many more cases of serious illness or death. While the situation unfolds, protect yourself with the tactics that work against any kind of flu: Wash your hands often, cover your mouth with a tissue if you sneeze, throw it away, and yes, wash your hands again. See more anti-flu more tips in How to Keep Swine Flu Out of Your House.

• Meet your meat maker. When possible, buy pork and other meat from small, local producers whose animals don’t spend their whole lives shoulder to shoulder with thousands of their relatives. Shop at farmer’s markets and check with sellers how they raise their livestock.

Published on: April 29, 2009
Updated on: June 9, 2010



VIDEOS

FREE DOWNLOAD!
Download a FREE chapter from The Exercise Cure and learn how to get your daily dose of the world's most effective preventive medicine. Click here for your FREE copy!





Advertisement
Free Newsletter
Sign up for the FREE daily newsletter and get useful tips to keep yourself, your family, and the planet healthy and thriving.

  The Daily Fix
Authoritative reporting on the latest developments in health, food, and the environment

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!



Your Privacy Policy

BE SOCIAL WITH US!