was one of my favorite pop songs of 2004. Along with “Naughty Girl,” it was the soundtrack to many fun summer moments. Now, however, everything is different: Britney is pregnant and the only “toxic” I’ve been hearing lately is in regard to things I commonly eat: milk and fish.
While reading a Salon article about the bad habits of Horizon Dairy, one of the nation’s largest “organic” milk producers, I was honestly troubled less by their poor adherence to organic standards than I was to read about all the stuff in regular milk produced by non-organic dairies.
An excerpt: These days, regular dairies can have up to 30,000 cows that are raised in huge contained barns with big lagoon ponds of manure out back. To keep all those cows healthy in such a confined space, they’re pumped full of antibiotics. They’re fed hormones to increase their milk production, and these conventional cows eat a tasty array of pesticide-laden feed. As calves, they’re fed chicken manure because it’s high in protein. Such milk is laced with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and hormones such as rGBH, a controversial drug produced by Monsanto.
And let’s not forget the pus.
As the USDA does nothing to improve organic standards for milk, the EPA is busy at work implementing its new “cap and trade” system to allow factories to pay fines in lieu of reducing their mercury emissions. The good news is that even if a factory in the midwest is producing excess mercury, we can still enjoy the benefits of their pollution in our own local fish, since mercury molecules spread globally through rain. So with the knowledge that we cannot avoid consuming mercury through eating fish, what should we do? Fish is good for you, and though you can get the same omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds, who wants to eat weird hippie food when you could be eating a buttery, tasty filet of red snapper? Basically, remember you should eat: no swordfish, very little salmon, and not as much tuna as you probably eat now. Print out this wallet card, if you need help remembering all the types of fish and their mercury levels.
Perhaps in response to these disgusting revelations, the Department of Agriculture today announced the creation of 12 new food pyramids to replace the old one! I personally find it a relief as I was just about to pass out from trying to stuff down my eleventh serving of pasta/bread/grain for the day.