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Adventures in Urban Homesteading

Environmental Benefits

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(For additional information about the environmental benefits of backyard FPAs, click here to read the testimony of a PhD candidate at the City Council public hearing.)

Raising backyard animals to provide some (or all) of a family’s dairy and eggs is beneficial in large part because it helps the family step back from the industrial food system. A few facts about our food system:

  • Each food item that Americans consume has travelled an average of 1,500 miles to reach their plate. In many cases (as with eggs and dairy) the energy use of transport is increased because the food must be refrigerated.
  • Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs) pollute surface and ground water
  • CAFOs contribute significantly to greenhouse gases through methane emissions, and release other hazardous gasses into the air
  • Animals raised in CAFOs are fed disproportionate amounts of grain, which is produced using large quantities of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
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