Today’s Homework – Beef, Corn, Health, Environment and Economics

In March the New York Times Magazine had a story about beef. This extremely informative article talks about how the cattle are raised, what they’re fed, and how all of this affects our health, the economy and the environment. For example, in nature cattle eat grass, which converts sunlight into food. But we feed them corn, which is grown using fertilizer, tractors and other products that use fossile fuel. So we’ve taken a SOLAR source of fuel and turned it into a PETROLEUM consumer. And the cows can’t digest corn, so they get sick and we have to feed them antibiotics. They’re miserable and we’re making the germs resistant to antibiotics. There’s so much more in the NY Times Magazine article

And the article’s author has a follow-up op-ed piece in today’s NY Times, talking about the effect on the Federal Budget of our focus on growing corn. “The problem in corn’s case is that we’re sacrificing the health of both our bodies and the environment by growing and eating so much of it.”