December 26, 2012

Natural Foodie: A worthy resolution for 2013: Love thy mother

By Avery Yale Kamila
Staff Writer

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To prevent excess food waste, order smaller meals, serve smaller portions and plan out your meals before hitting the market. If you must throw out food, be sure to compost it. This way it's not totally wasted, but becomes a valuable builder of soil fertility. 


Whether it's peanut butter, bagged salad greens, hamburger or chicken, food recalls due to bacterial contamination have become a regular part of life in America. The one thing the vast majority of recalls share is that the food was produced in a factory setting.

In addition to being a welcoming environment for disease, megafarms (a relative rarity in Maine) tend to use environmentally destructive farming practices, such as overgrazing, chemical fertilizers, monocropping, synthetic pesticides and a lack of cover crops.

Even more troubling from an environmental standpoint are the factory farms that raise animals. Traditional farming methods, where a few pastured animals were part of a diversified farm, create greater ecological balance by recycling animal waste into soil fertility. However, factory livestock farms have become significant sources of air and water pollution due to huge concentrations of animal waste that are too massive for the surrounding land to absorb in the form of natural fertilizer.

The nonprofit group Farm Forward, which works to end factory farming, calculates that 99 percent of the country's meat, dairy and eggs come from factory farms. The best way to avoid factory food is to buy directly from a farm or food producer you know and trust.

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


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