- 28 - Malibu Compost in Sunset Magazine
- 15 - New Compost Teas AVAILABLE NOW!
- 01 - Malibu Compost featured on Garden Betty
- 04 - Product Preview: Get Ready for a Tea Party!
- 01 - Bu’s Brew now available through Williams-Sonoma
- 07 - SoCal Community Garden Program on now!
- 07 - Orange County, San Diego, & Inland Empire Community Garden Program
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- 09 - Santa Barbara County Community Garden Special
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- 23 - Soilove’s Norma Bonilla shares the love
- 15 - California Expected to Lose 100 Dairy Farms
- 05 - Garden BootCamp Teleseminar from Ardenwoods Nursery
- 10 - Biodynamics: Tuning In to the Heartbeat of the Soil
- 07 - Testimonial: Put the Bu in Butterflies
- 24 - Testimonial
- 18 - Using soil amendments
- 15 - Love in Bloom
- 09 - The Dish on Dairy Dirt: Ruminations on composted manure
- 22 - Herbicide in Our Watershed: Report reveals this Chemical Causes Birth Defects.
- 20 - One Cow, One Man, One Planet
- 12 - Documentary on bee colony collapse focuses on cutting pesticide use
- 05 - Ojai Premiere: “Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?”
- 25 - Garden Gossip - 4/22/11
- 22 - Testimonial: Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
- 20 - Garden Gossip - 4/15/11
- 18 - Demeter Association vs. Monsanto
- 07 - Testimonial
- 30 - The Power of Dirt
- 28 - Malibu Compost and Tomatomania!
- 28 - Garden Gossip: BD Saving the Planet (3/25/11)
- 24 - Mariposa Elementary Thanks Malibu Compost
- 24 - Living Each Day With Beauty and Inspiration
- 15 - The Harmful Effects of Miracle-Gro
- 15 - Garden Gossip - 3/11/11
- 02 - Testimonial by Judy Pearce
- 02 - A Soolip Wedding Preview
- 28 - Garden Gossip ft. Dan Bifano and Matthew Freund
- 18 - Malibu Compost at Luther Burbank Middle School
- 16 - Dirty Girl Gardening Is Lovin’ Malibu Compost
- 20 - Landscaper Testimonial
- 20 - Tea Party Workshop: This Saturday in Santa Barbara!
- 20 - Tea Party Workshop: Feb. 5 in Santa Barbara!
- 13 - Colum Riley interview on “Get Growing”
- 03 - Denise on “Garden Gossip” Radio!
- 02 - Shout Out from Ojai Valley Green Coalition!
- 27 - Randy Ritchie to Present at Cedros Gardens on October 30th!
- 22 - Bu at Photo Shoot for “C” Magazine
- 19 - Randy Ritchie (Malibu Compost) Interview with The Farmer Fred Rant!
- 18 - Bu’s Blend at Highland Hall Waldorf School
- 16 - Prest-o Change-o!
- 16 - Thank You Letter: Soil Web Workshop
- 17 - The Problem with Factory Farms
- 17 - Reconstruction
- 16 - Woman’s life goes from manure to manure
- 09 - Open Letter from Desiree Negrete
- 30 - No methyl iodide on our food
- 28 - An Open Letter to Gary Conklin and the Workers of the Conklin Dairy Farm
- 20 - Saving Tongass National Forest
- 20 - DOJ Turns up Heat in Monsanto Anti-Trust Probe
- 10 - Meeting BU
- 10 - Bu’s First Blog
If you eat meat, the odds are high that you’ve enjoyed a meal made from an animal raised on a factory farm (also known as a CAFO). According to the USDA, 2% of U.S. livestock facilities raise an estimated 40% of all farm animals. This means that pigs, chickens and cows are concentrated in a small number of very large farms. But even if you’re a vegetarian, the health and environmental repercussions of these facilities may affect you. In his book Animal Factory, journalist David Kirby explores the problems of factory farms, from untreated animal waste to polluted waterways. Kirby talks to TIME about large-scale industrial farming, the lack of government oversight and the terrible fate of a North Carolina river.
What exactly is a factory farm?
The industrial model for animal food production first started with the poultry industry. In the 1930s and ‘40s, large companies got into the farming business. The companies hire farmers to grow the animals for them. The farmers typically don’t own the animals—the companies do. It’s almost like a sharecropping system. The company tells them exactly how to build the farm, what to grow and what to feed. They manage everything right down to what temperature the barn should be and what day the animals are going to be picked up for slaughter. The farmer can’t even eat his or her own animals. People who grow chickens for Perdue in Maryland have to go down to the market and buy Perdue at the store.
We collectively refer to these facilities as factory farms, but that’s not an official name. The government designation is CAFO, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Basically, it’s any farm that has 1,000 animal units or more. A beef cow is an animal unit. These animals are kept in pens their entire lives. They’re never outside. They never breathe fresh air. They never see the sun.