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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 101

Thoughts: Why Haven't Fruit & Vegetable Eaters Been Told About This Toxic Waste Overload?‏

Earth Dieter Kara Pennington found this article to share with us...

The U.S. government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil. The material is produced by power plant "scrubbers" that remove acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide from plant emissions.

The substance is a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, and it also contains mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.

The Environmental Protection Agency says those toxic metals occur in only tiny amounts. But some environmentalists say too little is known about how the material affects crops, and ultimately human health. As you may know, coal-fired plants produce about 50 percent of the power in the US, and are a major source of environmental pollution. One of its byproducts is FGD gypsum (flue gas desulfurization gypsum). Not surprisingly, the standard solution is to develop a scheme to sweep the problem under the rug and make money doing it. In this case, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun promoting what they call “wastes beneficial uses,” in order to deal with industrial byproducts.

This is history repeating itself ad nauseum.

The plot to use of FGD gypsum on agricultural soils is virtually identical to the story of how the toxic byproduct fluoride was deemed beneficial to human health, once it became too costly for the aluminum industry to clean it up.If you’re not yet aware of how the “beneficial waste uses” of fluoride came about, you may want to take a look at it now, because these two stories are hauntingly familiar.

Ironically, while the EPA and USDA are recommending the use of this toxic byproduct on fields, the Obama administration is also in the process of drafting the first federal standards for storage and disposal of coal wastes. The White House and the EPA are currently at odds over how to handle the more than 125 million tons of coal ash and sludge waste generated each year, reports the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Associated Press, this action was prompted by a spill from a coal ash pond near Knoxville, TN, just over a year ago. Ash and water flooded 300 acres, damaging homes and killing fish. The cleanup will cost an estimated $1 billion. It’s logically challenging to accept that while an accidental coal waste spill is environmentally devastating, the willful spreading coal waste on farm lands, year after year, would be environmentally sound. Granted, the combined contents of the spill was likely far more toxic than FGD gypsum alone, but we’re still talking about adding toxins to our farm lands, and no matter how minute these toxins are, they will eventually accumulate.

Why would we want to do this to ourselves, and to our future generations?

What Can You Do?

There does not appear to be any kind of grassroots movement to stop this practice. Or if there is, I’ve not been able to find it. However, there is one thing I’d encourage you to do, and that is to bring your concerns about the agricultural use of FGD gypsum to the attention of organic growers everywhere. - Dr. Joseph Mercola

Washington Post December 23, 2009
Wall Street Journal January 9, 2010

Challenges: This makes me angry. I don't want to eat a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals. And I don't want my friends to eat this. I don't want my family to eat this. I don't want my children to eat this. I don't want strangers to eat this. I don't want anyone to consume this.

Triumphs: To be able to remind myself not to make the people involved in this wrong. They are doing what is appropriate to them in their world.

What I Ate Today:

Breakfast: 8 nectarines. Juice beetroot, carrot, celery, ginger.

Lunch: Grapes and rockmelon.

Dinner: Organic free range chicken with honey and rosemary served with avocado and baby spinach. Mmm mmm.

Dessert: No dessert.

Snacks: No snacks.

Recipe: Recipe for chicken.

Exercise: Run on the beach! Surfers Paradise. A swim in the ocean :)

264 Days To Go!!!

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