“Soya is a business for the few and an epidemic for the masses.”
We drove 200 kilometres through a monotonous countryside covered with the low olive hue of ripening soya. Apart from the mountains and stunning areas like Patagonia I was told this was fairly typical of Argentina today. It was very different from how I had pictured it in my mind’s eye. Like many, I suspect, Argentina evokes images of lush green pastures, grazing cattle and rich forests.
I was travelling with a camera crew and journalist, Isabel Oakeshott, then political editor at the Sunday Times. It was part of a global journey of research for Farmageddon and a mission to expose the true cost of cheap meat.
During our time in Argentina, we heard harrowing tales of children near-fatally affected by blanket spraying pesticides over crops and communities. We saw thousands of cattle confined to dusty feedlots, not a blade of grass in sight. We spoke to people who felt their lives had been broken by living beside an industry geared toward producing feed for factory farmed animals an ocean away.
Argentina is the soya meal export capital of the world, accounting for nearly half of global exports; much of it is destined for Europe and China. Used to feed factory farmed animals, its affect on distant communities and the countryside, represent yet more hidden costs of cheap meat.
This next in the Farmageddon on Film series takes us to the epicentre of this vast industry and asks, could there be a better way?
For your copy of ‘Farmageddon: The true cost of cheap meat’, click here.