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« Ep.03/19: How InEquality Hurts Everybody—Talking with Chuck Collins of the InEquality Project | Main | Ep.01/19--Immigration and Borders: Horrors, Opportunities, and Needs—Talking with Jimmy Marcelin »

Ep.02/19: “No!” to More Factory Farms—Talking with Adam Mason of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Simpler OneEarth Living

A co-production of Jubilee OneEarth Economics and


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Today we feature a conversation with Adam Mason about a strategic campaign in Iowa led by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI). They want a moratorium on any new and expanded hog farms where thousands of hogs are confined in very small pens. AND, if you love eating a meal with some tasty pulled pork or bacon, or frequently pick up some quick food at fast food chains, you’ll want that campaign to succeed. Be sure to listen to this podcast. This podcast links those food choices to the factory farms which highlight deep ecological and economic problems with the global food supply system, a complex system that starts on farms and finds its way to our plates.

I (Lee) grew up on an Iowa farm and I remember the first time I saw a cattle lot that went on and on as we drove by it. The manure was pooled at one end. We rolled up the car windows to keep out the smell. But after that boyhood experience, it would be years later before I understood how farms were increasingly being run like industrial businesses, and the more that agriculture became agribusiness, the more the farm animals took a hit. Increasingly, beef, dairy, pigs, and chickens were moved off open pastures and free ranges. Instead, they were confined to feedlots and small pens on supersized factory farms, meaning that just as a factory puts together its product piece by piece, step by step, so the animals were fed and treated in a machine-like, computerized process that produces a marketable product in a set number of days.

As you listen to this podcast think about how you participate in this food supply system that is ruining the health of both planet and people. What it does to the animals is acutely unnatural and abusive. AND consider how what you eat gives you leverage to bring positive change.

We may just be on the cusp of a major revolution in how food is grown, both plants and animals, and what people eat. A commission called EAT-Lancet Commission came out this January with the “planetary health diet.” It’s called that because it’s a diet that simultaneously describes for us food that is healthy for the planet to grow and for people to eat. This commission says that a global agricultural revolution is as necessary as the reduction of fossil fuel use in our work to reduce Earth’s fever and engage all causes of climate change. The Commission also said: “Food is the single strongest lever to optimize human health and environmental sustainability on Earth.” This podcast helps us use that lever better.

The factory farms of Iowa destroy environments all the way from the soils and waterways of the state to the Gulf of Mexico. Because of its location between the two great rivers, the Missouri and the Mississippi, Iowa is the second greatest polluter of the Gulf. Agricultural chemicals and manure from factory farms run off the land into waterways, end up in one of the two big rivers, and eventually in the Gulf of Mexico where they create an enormous dead zone in the Gulf. No marine life can live in those zones.

For clean air and water, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is teaming up with the Sierra Club, as well as county and city governments. This matters to anyone who eats pork or chicken or cares about the Earth. Adam Mason serves as the State Policy Organizing Director for ICCI.

DONATE to Jubilee One Earth Economics

Earlier Episodes

Ep.01/19—Immigration and Borders: Horrors, Opportunities, and Needs—Talking with Jimmy Marcelin

This January podcast features an interview with Jimmy Marcelin, the playmaker at Safe Harbors, San Diego, where 100 to 300 immigrants arrive daily after crossing the busiest border crossing in the world, the Tijuana to San Diego crossing. In addition to ICE’s inhumane and atrocious activities, they also process some people who have papers or seek asylum. Some of these people, ICE delivers to Safe Harbors.

The Common Good Podcast #102FAIR TRADE in Schools and Congregations (12/1/18)

This episode features Lee’s conversation with Anne Pacheco and Diane Hartley on how they brought the Fair Trade Campaigns to their school and congregation—St Martin of Tours, LaMesa, California.

For most of us the news about free trade agreements, tariffs and trade wars feel quite beyond our control. But in this podcast we talk about a different paradigm of trade, and it’s the kind of trade over which we have lots of control.

The Common Good Podcast #101The Power of Small, Jubilee Circles to Bring Change in Mexico (11/1/18)

Ep.0219: “No!” to More Factory Farms—Talking with Adam Mason of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

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