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the Earth is choking

Food and drink

'You are what you eat', some people say. I don't quite agree with that. I eat fish but I'm not a fish. I'm a penguin. Anyway, you get the general idea I'm sure. And if you eat rubbishy food, you can't really expect to grow up strong and healthy. But if you eat good-quality food, you've a good chance of doing so. That's just commonsense really. eating health-giving food
So how do know what food is good-quality? Unfortunately a lot of food that looks good really isn't good because it contains pollution. Pollution from what?

This is all to do with how people make food: growing it on the farm, processing it in factories, storing it and making it ready for you to eat.
couch potato

  • farmer spraying cropsMost farmers spray poisonous chemicals on their crops to kill off pests or diseases. Many of these poisons remain in small quantities in the food you eat. Some people believe that this may cause cancer and other illnesses. The poisons also pollute both water and air and can kill lots of animals by accident. They also kill a lot of humans by accident every year.

  • some farmers grow genetically engineered crops (see my guide about this). Some people regard GE crops as a form of pollution because once it's released, nothing can bring it back again. You can clean up oil spills but you can't clean up genetics spills. Genes are part of life and make living copies of themselves, sometimes millions of them. But, to be fair, there's no evidence that GE foods are toxic or dangerous because people have been eating them without problem since the 1990s

  • paarrrpp!farm animals make lots of pollution from their waste. Some of this gets into water supplies and, because animals like cows belch and fart (whoops sorry- rude word!) a lot of gas called methane, they can actually add to global warming. Methane is a very strong greenhouse gas, much stronger than CO2

  • junk food and drink suppliestrucks and aeroplanes used by people to move food and drink around make a lot of smoke and gas (like CO2 and nitrogen oxides) pollution

  • processed foodmuch of what you eat and drink gets messed around with in big factories to make what is called 'processed food'.
    Often things are put into food to make it look good but which might be harmful to people: additives, colour and other yukky stuff. tooth-rottersSome food like meat often gets contaminated with nasty bugs called bacteria which can make people very sick or kill them.

    Most things that you drink -- you know, things like soda -- are really just flavoured water. Every drink you gulp down comes in a can or plastic bottles which you then throw away meaning waste and more transport. Sugary drinks make you fat and spoil your teeth. Some of the flavourings and sugar substitutes may be harmful. Nobody really knows for sure.

    Don't worry though. You and your friends and parents really can help to cut this pollution. I've got some great ideas for you at the end of my guide.

    Pollution home page   Smoke and stuff from factories, cars and trucks 'War: Why are humans always fighting and killing each other?'  

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