Pinch Those Pennies, Ma & Pa Farmers

But you are A) not alone and B) not to be among the first wave of new EPA regulations of livestock effluents. At least not if the Obama Admin can get this one right.

As does any other lover of burgers and steak and 'dogs (Oh Yum!) I don't for a minute enjoy the idea of paying $15 for grocery store sirloin. Nor $5 + for an 8 pack of pure beef wieners. I don't buy chicken frequently enough (ever?) to know the cost of a package of poultry fit for a family, but I do know that it doesn't matter a bit whether or not I ever visit the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico or any other recently enormously expanded Dead Zones in one of our nation's waterways. I do know that I, and everyone single person in these United States of America, is going to pay for dealing with those diminutions of said waterways by virtue of the higher costs for everything from sea foods to government financed clean-ups which are inevitable and growing ever more imminent.

To whit:
(From the WaPo online)

Animal manure, a byproduct as old as agriculture, has become an unlikely modern pollution problem, scientists and environmentalists say. The country simply has more dung than it can handle: Crowded together at a new breed of megafarms, livestock produce three times as much waste as people, more than can be recycled as fertilizer for nearby fields.

That excess manure gives off air pollutants, and it is the country's fastest-growing large source of methane, a greenhouse gas.

And it washes down with the rain, helping to cause the 230 oxygen-deprived "dead zones" that have proliferated along the U.S. coast. In the Chesapeake Bay, about one-fourth of the pollution that leads to dead zones can be traced to the back ends of cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys.

Just one more worry, eh. At least if you're head isn't secluded in the warmth and wetness of your own internal lake placid.

My hope, as stated above, is that the Obama Admin does indeed help the Big Boys of the Agricultural Industrial Complex find relatively affordable ways to mitigate this exorbitant (and, incidentally, disgustingly smelly) growth of natural human directly pollution in ways that allows for future regulation - FUTURE, not immediate!- of the far more common common family animal husbandry facilities (aka, Ma & Pa farms) which are contributing in equal amounts to the devastation.

Give 'em time and resources to prevent the inevitable "keep the government out o' my business" complaints which never A) resolve the problem or B) provide a solution that allows ma & pa to stay in said family run business.

On an unrelated but always relevant note, Happy Monday!


  1. Make the manure into methane to run Bloom Energy fuel cells! :o)

  2. As much as I love the occasional steak, the solution is pretty simple: As the population grows, the per-capita consumption of meat must...Must...MUST go down.

    Better for your health as well.

  3. The good Doctor Z did speak what I was think as I was reading the article.

    Hey now, Mon Frog'ami! Alas, though it must it most certainly shall not. Not for at least another couple of generations, and that's Only if the Gov't gets behind that realization. The principals of that body in this country can't even agree that we're roasting ourselves out of our own habitats! I'm thinkin' that marginalizing meat, no matter how rational and healthy, is FAR from likely in even the far future.

    Now, off to Burger Krap for some small sized sustenance!



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