A farmer applies fertilizer to soybeans in Kasbeer, Ill. Scientists say one significant source of nitrogen pollution is fertilizer that leaks off of fields growing corn and soybeans to feed meat and dairy animals.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Meat has a greater impact on the environment than pretty much any other food we eat. As The Salt has reported, billions of cows, pigs, sheep and poultry we raise as livestock guzzle massive quantities of water and generate at least 10 percent of the total greenhouse gases attributed to human activity.
But scientists say we’ve been slow to acknowledge yet another side effect of our taste for meat: nitrogen pollution.