The Food Chain in the U.S. is large and complex. In general, farmer and rancher food producers receive $1.55 of $10 spent by the consumer. The rest goes to marketers, processors, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. By eliminating some links in the Food Chain, more money can circulate within our local communities.
For every $10 spent on locally produced food, the farmers get closer to $9. For every $10 spent at a farmer’s market, as much as $8 is re-spent in the community. Local food producers, value-added products, and regional food hubs can help maintain a stable and resilient food supply that creates local economic growth.
Show-Me Food is a directory created by MU Extension at the beginning of the COVID pandemic to connect food producers with consumers. Producers are shown on a map, which makes it very easy to find local sources of food.
Missouri Grown promotes food and non-food products, retailers, farmers’ markets, agritourism and agricultural experience destinations in Missouri.
Known and Grown Program is building a resilient, equitable food community within 150 miles of St. Louis.
University of Missouri Extension Food Systems provides information on creating profitable, thriving farms and businesses to ensure a safe and affordable food supply. It offers a Missouri Food System Assessment to help communities understand their local food needs. Download the Moniteau County Food System Assessment.
Ag Intel is a resource to help Missouri producers learn about alternative agriculture opportunities.
Food Policy Networks supports development of state and local food policy networks.
Rural Health Information Hub provides information on developing local food councils.
Food Sleuth Radio helps listeners “think beyond their plates,” and connect the dots between food, health, and agriculture, and find food truth.
Center for Science in the Public Interest advocates for a healthier, more equitable food system.
Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture grows over 30,000 pounds of fresh vegetables for donation to the Central Pantry.
Civil Eats makes the connections between the environment, health, and sustainable food production.
Farm to Fork is the European Union’s strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system.
Food Safety News is daily news about food recalls, food science, foodborne illness outbreaks, and more.
Foodtank is a thinktank for food.
The Edible School Project is a nonprofit dedicated to the transformation of public education by using organic school gardens, kitchens, and cafeterias to teach both academic subjects and the values of nourishment, stewardship, and community.
Farm to School is local food and agricultural education available to child nutrition program participants.
While the world is panicking about feeding billions of people, one-third of food produced is thrown away uneaten. In the U.S., 40% of the food generated is wasted. Wasted food has far-reaching effects, both nationally and globally. About 95% of discarded food ends up in landfills and is the largest component of municipal solid waste at 21%.
Over the past 50 years, the production of “food animals” for humans has made a major change in the Food Chain. Now food animals are raised in “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” or CAFOs. The massive numbers of animals packed into CAFOs causes disease to spread easily. To reduce the disease problem, 80% of all the antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to food animals prophylactically. This overuse of life saving drugs is causing antibiotic resistance. It has become a worldwide health crisis.
Fifteen years ago, antibiotic resistance and other problems were identified in the pivotal report, "Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America.”
Missouri has over 500 CAFOs, and many more unpermitted facilities, called “Animal Feeding Operations” (AFOs), for swine, cattle, and poultry.
See MDNR CAFO webpage for more details.
Both CAFOs and AFOs generate huge amounts of untreated animal waste that is applied to the land as a fertilizer for plants. The waste contains antibiotic residues, pathogens including viruses and bacteria, nutrients, and heavy metals. It can be applied anywhere in the state with no limits on the amount applied.
In most cases, the CAFOs do not have an adequate Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) to properly avoid waste runoff to the Waters of the State. AFOs are not required to follow any rules so there is nothing known about waste quantities generated or land application areas.
Read more: Literature Review of Contaminants in Livestock and Poultry Manure and Implications for Water Quality.
The Rap Sheet on Smithfield’s Industrial Hog Facilities in Missouri
The Socially Responsible Agriculture Project (SRAP) reviewed three decades of public records to determine northern Missouri Smithfield CAFOs spilled more than 7.3 million gallons of hog waste on land and waterways. Annually, there was an average of 28 spills totaling more than 300,000 gallons of waste.
CAFOs are designed to vent the toxic air pollutants out of the facility into the air surrounding the facilities without any regulation. Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and extremely hazardous small particles can travel some miles from the facility.
Zoonotic diseases (also known as zoonoses) are caused by germs that spread between animals and people. Crowded conditions and prophylactic use of antibiotics create an environment ripe for viruses and bacteria to evolve and jump from animal to human populations.
The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic (H1N1pdm09) virus contained viral sequences related to human, avian and swine lineages that originated from animal influenza viruses and merged for the first time. It had a greater transmissibility than seasonal flu and caused significant fear around the world. The diseases originating in CAFOs can be “amplified” into a community sometimes many miles.
Learn More: Zoonoses Transfer, Factory Farms and Unsustainable Human–Animal Relations
EWG Study and Mapping Show Large CAFOs in Iowa Up Fivefold since 1990
Livestock manure driving stream nitrate
Assessing the relationship between groundwater nitrate and animal feeding operations in Iowa (USA)
Double trouble: Wisconsin's land and water are inundated with pollution from animal manure and excess farm fertilizer
Exposing Fields of Filth: Factory Farms Disproportionately Threaten Black, Latino and Native American North Carolinians