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Amanda Humbert

Dr. Erin Dietel-McLaughlin

FYC 13100

18 November 2010

Do you know where your nuggets come from?

As American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said ³The first wealth is health´. This is

indeed true since our bodies cannot properly function if not healthy, and by being healthy we

minimize problems and issues in life. It is also often said that what we are what we eat. If we are

a reflection of what we eat, we should be in control of our health. But are we? Gautama

Siddhartha, founder of Buddhism better know as Buddha said: ³Every human being is the author

of his own health or disease.´ However, this is no longer the case. Factory farms have taken the

lead in global health. Our well-being has been left in the hands of ambitious agribusinesses that

seek wealth no matter the cost.

A large amount of hormones have become part of our daily diet. Countless animals in

most agribusinesses are injected with hormones to increase their weight and to speed-up their

growth process. This is done for the sole purpose of more business; less input and more

revenues. In cows, for instance, hormones can increase milk production as well as weight. Even

though there is no substantial proof that hormone-altered products can in fact increase cancer risk

to those who consume them, numerous scientists assert that this is the case. This is merely a

nuisance compared to the cruelty it signifies to animals that are subject to these practices. Chicks

are now µforced¶ to reach their full growth stage within 47 days. Their bodies grow so fast that

their legs have no time to fully develop, and these chicks often cannot walk or stand for long.
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Cruelty does not stop with the hormone injections. Animals in factory farms go through

plenty brutal processes, and they live in inhumane conditions. Cows, chicks, pigs, and turkeys

are jammed and shoved into minimal cages were they cannot move. It is often the case that more

than 10 hens are forced in a small µbattery cage¶ which results in permanent loss of movement

and muscle activity.

Genetic engineering of animals, and mostly plants and vegetables has been increasing

during the years. As the Center for Food Safety Suggests, this new technology has ³invaded our

grocery stores and our kitchen pantries by fundamentally altering some of our most important

staple food crops.´ Biotechnologists have achieved to extract and insert genetic material from

one organism to another resulting in the emergence of novel products. They have successfully

inserted human growth genes into pigs making them abnormally large, and cattle growth genes

into fish, to say a few. As they attain their desired results, they release these creations into the

environment for them to propagate. According to the Center for Food Safety: ³45 percent of U.S.

corn is genetically engineered as is 85 percent of soybeans. It has been estimated that 70-75

percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves--from soda to soup, crackers to condiments--

contain genetically engineered ingredients.´

All of these sickly conditions and practices that farm animals and crops undertake are

unmistakably having detrimental results on our health. A recent study conducted by the School

of Public Health at Harvard University and the Faculty of Medicine of the University of

Montreal, among others proved that pesticides are harmful and have clear effects on our brains.

This study evaluated the relationship between urinary concentrations of organophosphates

(which come from pesticides), and attention deficit or hyperactivity disorders in children

between eight and fifteen years old. By extrapolating data from a j     
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   done between 2004-2006 to 1139 children and to coordinating interviews

with parents regarding the diagnosis of ADHD1 condition of their child, they were able to find

that: ³Children with higher urinary dialkyl phosphate (chemical compound) concentrations, ,

were more likely to be diagnosed as having ADHD.´ This indicates that the more our intake of

products that contain pesticides, the higher our levels of such chemical compounds; resulting in a

strong impact on our brains. In addition, genetically engineered crops and foods in general can

have fatal results on human health including, cancer, antibiotic resistance, toxicity and immune-


According to the   

  (CFI) 76 million

illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths that take place each year in the United States

are from food borne illnesses. These numbers suggest that radical and immediate change must

take place in order to stop this situation and to prevent loss of natural and organic products. It is

by consuming  
, and j , and a myriad of other companies that we are

continuing with these detrimental practices. Even if our options are becoming more and more

limited, we still choose what we buy and what we eat!

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