Today, a common farming practice is called ‘Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations’, or CAFO. As the name implies, it involves a dense population of farm animals… think chicken, turkeys, cattle, or pigs… all crammed into a sheltered facility and raised for market.
The goal of CAFO?
Getting the biggest, fattest end-product for the lowest cost. Prices are determined by weight, so the bigger the better.
What are the commonalities amongst these operations?
First, there is little room for movement for the animals, so they get very little exercise. No free range here.
Second, they are fed a diet high in grains and fructose, quite the opposite of their natural diet. Why? This diet is scientifically proven to pack on the pounds to fatten them up for market.
Third, the animals are fed a steady stream of chemicals. Antibiotics. Growth hormone. Animals are huge customers of Big Pharma.
The result of all this is exactly its intention… a maximisation of profit for the producer. The nutritional quality of the end product? Irrelevant.
How does this relate to life in North America today and the epidemic of obesity?
Well, physical activity is lower today than perhaps at any time in history. In general, we live a sedentary lifestyle.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is bang on with the CAFO diet… lots of grains and sugars, ideal for increasing body fat.
Our environment is full of chemicals: we eat, drink, and breathe them every day. GMOs. Fluoride in our water supply. Prescription drug use. Growth hormone in our milk (US, not Canada).
It’s no wonder obesity and poor health is as prevalent as it is today. North Americans have adopted a CAFO lifestyle, the perfect storm for gettin’ ‘em plump for market with no regard for a quality end-product.