"The U.S. government is encouraging farmers to spread a chalky waste from coal-fired power plants on their fields to loosen and fertilize soil.
The material is produced by power plant "scrubbers" that remove acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide from plant emissions.
The substance is a synthetic form of the mineral gypsum, and it also contains mercury, arsenic, lead and other heavy metals.
The Environmental Protection Agency says those toxic metals occur in only tiny amounts. But some environmentalists say too little is known about how the material affects crops, and ultimately human health. According to Dr. Mercola, there isn't any grassroots movement to stop this practice. He encourages to bring your concerns about the agricultural use of FGD gypsum to the attention of organic growers everywhere.
Because it appears use of FGD gypsum may have trickled into organic farming as well, since it's not considered a petroleum-based soil additive, which is forbidden in organic farming.
One of the significant benefits of buying locally-grown, organic food is that you can oftentimes meet the growers face to face. You can ask questions about their growing practices and discuss your personal concerns with them directly. And that is a dialogue I believe must be revived.
We've become so far removed from our food sources, most people have no idea what they're putting in their mouths anymore. Approaching your local farmers and opening up a dialogue might be the most important thing any one of us could do."
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