I read on Washingtonpost.com today that there was another explosion, this time at a meat packing plant in Arkansas (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/23/AR2008032301111.html?hpid=moreheadlines. As there have been a few blogs in the past on our eating habits and the environment, I think this is an interesting article. There was also an explosion at an Imperial Sugar plant recently, making me wonder how often this happens. I know of many explosions at chemical plants and refineries but have not noticed this problem in the past at any type of food plant. We can add explosions and their related issues to the list of environmental hazards related to overeating and/or over processed food. Not only are there environmental hazards – which we frequently hear about – but human cost as well. It has been less than two months since the Imperial Sugar plant factory incident, where twelve people died and more were injured, and already it is forgotten by the public. The loss of human life needed to fuel our lifestyles is so easily taken for granted. This is not new – there has been a history of loss of life for the sake of progress – and there are so many tragedies, but these that have to do with our food supply seem so especially avoidable. With the technology we have available I wouldn’t think these “accidents” would be so frequent. The Imperial explosion was due to flammable dust – a source of explosions that OSHA (and companies) has been warned of but has been slow to enforce the needed precautions (http://savannahnow.com/node/462204 ).
I can’t say that too many of society’s problems are caused by food – but I do think our general excess and apathy have been problematic. Remember the lecture when Dr. Webber listed ways we could greatly reduce our gasoline consumption (drive slower, check tire pressure…)?