"In 1950 the United States produced about the name number of hogs as it does today, on significantly more farms, smaller farms and with many more workers. At first glance it could appear that the public has only benefited from our rapid agricultural industrialization, through lower food costs, yet the change has come with large hidden price tags that we're slowly beginning to discover.
The middle of a worldwide food crisis may seem an odd time to worry about a system that's delivered enormous amounts of relatively cheap and reasonably high quality food. But in fact long-term sustainability issues lie at the heart of decisions we'll need to make going forward, because the current system poses unacceptable risks to public health, the environment, our rural communities and the welfare of the animals themselves.
That's the conclusion of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, which recently released its report following two and a half years of work. After meetings held around the country, public hearings, on-site visits, input from stakeholders and reams of scientific papers, the troubles have become far clearer.
Read the full op-ed Big Farms Can Be Bad For Your Health on the Salt Lake Tribune's Web site.