Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network
Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network
Rescue Locally. Educate Globally.

Introduction to Herpetology Blog

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Protected: Corn: The Welfare Crop

This is a satellite image of the Mississippi delta hypoxia, which is thought to occur from nutrient overloading from farms along the Mississippi River

This is a observation of ocean color from MODIS/Aqua showing highly turbid waters which may include large blooms of phytoplankton extending from the mouth of the Mississippi River all the way to the Texas coast.

When these blooms die and sink to the bottom, bacterial decomposition strips oxygen from the surrounding water, creating an environment very difficult for marine life to survive in. Reds and oranges represent high concentrations of phytoplankton and river sediment.
Image courtesy of the NASA Mississippi Dead Zone web site.
Image courtesy of the NASA Mississippi Dead Zone web site.

Why Do We Grow So Much Corn?

If you have ever driven through the Midwestern United States, your mind may have wondered at the incomprehensibly vast expanses of corn fields. You may have assumed all that corn is growing there because consumers need it. If you thought about it a little longer, you may have also guessed that those fields are contributing to the health of the environment by helping to provide us with ethanol and bio-diesel to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Unfortunately, there is very little truth to either of those statements. In fact, despite being green in color, those fields you may have driven through are actually a huge ecological (and economic) disaster. 
























Red Cornsnake photo by Lauren Mitchell
Red Cornsnake photo by Lauren Mitchell CC BY 2.0
This post is neither meant to be disparaging to those who work the land nor of corn as a product. It is meant to use corn as an example to illustrate a distinct and pervasive problem that deserves much more attention than it is receiving.

"Big Ag" in the United States has little to do with supplying food for people and much to do with using political force to perpetuate profits at the expense of biodiversity.
Protected: Corn: The Welfare Crop
November 30, 2018
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Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network is a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation and animal rescue that focuses heavily on global conservation and herpetological education. Content is © All rights reserved, unless otherwise noted.
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