New research shows the Tyson Fresh Meats animal slaughtering facility in Hillsdale was the top water polluter in Illinois among major agribusiness operations in 2014.
That year, the Tyson Fresh Meats plant released over 2 million pounds of pollutants into the state’s waterways, according to the Environment America Research & Education Center’s report.
The environmental advocacy group examined the “water pollution footprints” of Tyson Foods and four other major agribusinesses, Cargill, JBS, Perdue and Smithfield, in Illinois and other states. Forty-four percent of the nation’s pork, chicken and beef is produced by those five companies, according to the report.
Researchers analyzed the most recent 2014 data from the federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) on pollution discharges into waterways from the five major agribusinesses. Among the findings, Tyson’s facilities released the most pollutants nationwide — nearly 21 million pounds.
That’s more pollutants “by volume than even Exxon Mobil or DuPont,” according to the environmental group.
A new report tracking the effects of climate change over the last five generations of Americans shows young people in Illinois and across the country have inherited a “hotter, more extreme” climate.
For its “Dangerous Inheritance” report, the Environment America Research and Policy Center examined changes in average temperatures, precipitation and sea-level rise over the course of five generations — from the Baby Boomers to Generation Z, defined as those born between 1995 to 2009. Researchers include climate projections for today’s Generation Alpha, or those born between 2010 and 2025.
Younger generations in Illinois and across the country are facing warmer temperatures plus more frequent and extreme storms than when the Baby Boomers were entering adulthood, according to the report.
Eating less meat or none at all has the potential to significantly shrink an individual’s diet-related carbon footprint and “can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation,”according to a recent study published in the journal Climatic Change.
The study examined the diets of 29,589 meat eaters, 15,751 vegetarians, 8,123 pescatarians (vegetarians who eat fish) and 2,041 vegans between the ages of 20 to 79 in the United Kingdom. Participants took a “food-frequency questionnaire” asking how often in the last year they consumed 130 different food items. Researchers were able to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat and warm up the planet, associated with the various foods.