Ag impacts on environment need closer look, says researcher

SAN FRANCISCO — Is your food making the planet sick? Are your pork chops, your corn chips, your steaks, your breakfast cereal polluting the air, water and land that everyone on Earth depends on to sustain life?

The answer, says a Pacific Research Institute researcher who has studied the impact that various forms of agriculture have on the environment, is not a simple yes or no.

“I think that the answer is that agricultural impacts on the environment are not nearly as simple as advocates would like the public to believe and that the natural and managed landscapes, like agricultural environments, are really interconnected and complex. Things aren’t just a simple matter of Farmer X does this and the consequence is Y for the environment,” said Amy Kaleita, environmental studies policy fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

Kaleita recently authored a study — “Is Your Food Making the Planet Sick?” — for the Pacific Research Institute.

PRI is a California-based free market think tank, founded in 1979, that focuses on various public policy issues including business and economics, education, the environment, health care and technology. PRI provides research and commentary to media as well as legislative testimony.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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