Renewable Farming

Regenerative farming advocate urges reversal of industrial pork production

Dr. Joseph Mercola, America’s No. 1 online health advocate, is launching a broad-based campaign for “Regenerative Agriculture.” His alliance includes global activists for healthy agriculture such as India’s Vandana Shiva. 

April 13, 2021 Dr. Mercola has repeatedly challenged the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization about their Covid-19 mask mandates, lockdowns and urging global vaccines — while refusing to recognize proven, safe therapies urged by front-line physicians. 

Mercola’s first attack on “militarized” farming focuses on industrial hog production, featuring Iowa. His rationale:

“Industrialized hog farms in Iowa are polluting waterways and ruining the environment, yet they keep growing and creating an unsustainable level of toxic waste. The modern industrial agriculture system is not sustainable, but true regenerative farming can heal the planet.”

Dr. Mercola has more than a million regular readers, many of whom favor healthier lifestyles and a cleaner environment. They’re among the 1% of Americans who lead trends rather than go with the flow. Here’s what these influencers are hearing Mercola say, based on his careful research. (Mercola’s group has a staff of about 100, including many science-based researchers who verify medical facts.) These points are taken from the summary linked above, posted April 13, 2021:

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  • In 2019, Iowa had 3,963 large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — which refers to those with 1,000 animals or more — up from 789 in 1990.
  • As the leader among hog-producing states, Iowa had more than 22.7 million hogs in 2017, which produce 68 billion pounds of manure annually — at least 68 times the amount of fecal waste produced by Iowa’s 3.15 million residents.
  • Northwest Iowa’s watersheds are burdened by nitrate pollution — the result of unconstrained CAFO expansion.
  • In December 2020, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Food & Water Watch sued the state for not protecting residents’ rights to clean water and arguing that the increasing number of hog farms, with few pollution restrictions, were contaminating the Raccoon River with manure and fertilizer runoff.

Mercola’s report urges: “… We can all make waves that push agriculture away from industrial militarization and toward regenerative practices that have true potential to feed the world and heal the planet.”

We encourage you to study Mercola’s analysis, linked above. Many farmers with over 1,000 hogs are part of a vertically integrated system where financing, marketing and much of the management is based on corporate contracts. In effect, the operator does chores.

Once in that loop, it’s difficult to even think about an alternative such as a farrow-to-finish setup using hoop houses and your own non-GMO rations. But some hog operators are doing it, with financial success.