Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jellyfish and Industrial Farming?

So you're probably wondering what jellyfish and industrial non-sustainable farming have in common? A lot actually! And their connection, which is not an environmentally good one mind you, has implications that cause marine dead-zones that span the globe... and these nitrogen enriched bodies of water not only effect marine ecosystems but humans as well.

So what sparked this discussion? I have to admit it was this documentary on one of the nature channels, "The Rise of the Jellyfish", that brought my attention to this horrible mostly man-made atrocity. What really grabbed my attention though was the link between these jellyfish infused "dead-zones" and industrial farming. It turns out that nitrogen runoff from chemical fertilizers, as well as mass quantities of animal waist, seep into rivers and streams where they eventually make their way into the ocean sometimes spanning thousands of square miles hovering the coastline. These high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus create an algae paradise, so much so that massive algae blooms take over continually depleting the waters oxygen levels until they are so low that nearly all marine life in the area suffocates! All except jellyfish apparently... they thrive in such conditions! This ultimately has a rippling effect on not only the underwater ecosystem by those mammals on land (humans) that depend so heavily on the oceans bounty.

So what is the answer?

  • How about local organic sustainable farming!
  • How about using the land around you to farm in a natural non-detrimental way in order to feed local communities.
  • How about using nature's fertilizer; manure from herbivores (cows, sheep, etc.) or fowl to naturally fertilize the soil instead of relying on the nutrient depleting nitrogen infusing method of over tilling and chemically fertilizing.
  • How about more farmers raising grass-fed and free-range animals mimicking natures method of sanitizing the land (birds following herbivores as they scratch through the droppings), rather than adding to the influx of nitrogen in the soil with massive dumping sites for the mass quantities of manure that industrial farming produces.
  • How about we the consumer demand locally sustainably grown and raised products in season, instead of what you want when you want it for as cheap as you can get it.
  • How about caring about where your food comes from and how it got to your table, rather than taking the typical "I don't even want to know" stance.

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