Information, seasonal offerings and commentary on eating local foods, living a sustainable life and saving the planet.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Polluted water being used on crops, says U.N. report

A U.N. report says that, increasingly, waste water--often untreated waste water--is being used to grow food around the world. Locals are at risk for eating it on a daily basis. Because U.S. food imports are rarely inspected, does this also mean, with a global food economy, that America could be importing contaminated food?

At least 200 million people around the world risk their health daily by eating food grown using untreated waste water, some of which may be contaminated with heavy metals and raw sewage, according to major study of 53 world cities.

Urban farmers in 80% of the cities surveyed were found to be using untreated waste water, but the study said they also provided vital food for burgeoning cities at a time of unprecedented water scarcity and the worst food crisis in 30 years.

The study from the UN-backed International Water Management Institute (IMWI), said the practice of using waste water to grow food in urban areas was not confined to the poorest countries.

It's hard not to sound like a broken record, but it needs to be repeated: the freshest and safest food you can buy is locally-grown.

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