Green-News: Wednesday 6.10.09

Image credit: snake.eyes

Antibiotics in the Soil and Veggies...

A new report in the Journal of Environmental Quality claims crops grown in fertilizer made with livestock manure actually absorb the antibiotics injected into cattle. Researchers point out that an alarming 70% of antibiotics produced in the United States are fed to livestock and 90% of those antibiotics are excreted in farm animal urine and feces. Putting vegetables at risk, even those grown on organic farms, exacerbating the fear over antibiotic-resistant bacteria; Environmental Health News investigates.

It gets worse! Last week it was discovered many pharmaceuticals, like cholesterol-lowering medications, painkillers and tranquilizers, are polluting our drinking water. Eek!

Also, in humans, antibiotics are over-used and misused. According to Dr. Fuhrman, doctors are too quick to prescribe antibiotics for conditions that will resolve on their own, like ear infections.

Via TreeHugger.

Image credit: Gavin Anderson

Cut Back Meat, Save the Planet...

You shouldn’t eat a lot of meat. It’ll boost your risk of heart attack, cancer and other diseases. But the rearing of livestock also beats up the environment, polluting water supplies and generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases. That’s why many scientists are scrambling to repurpose cattle emissions, i.e. cow farts, burps and poop, into sources of energy, specifically methane fuel.

Now, those systems cost money and might not always be practical. So here’s a simpler solution, don’t eat as much meat! It doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian, vegan or even flexitarian, but some experts insist if Americans cut meat consumption from 12 ounces per capita to only 3.1 ounces per day, roughly the size of a deck of cards, we’ll slow global climate change; Fresh Greens explains.

Not a bad idea. Especially when you consider Dr. Fuhrman’s food pyramid, he recommends eating foods like meat and dairy very infrequently.

Via Serious Eats.