How the BP Oil Spill Will Affect Your Food!
The news about the BP oil spill in the Gulf has been permeating the media now for 38 days! It’s hard to imagine that in this technologically savvy day that it could take so long to come up with legitimate ideas to stop the spill. Oil Spills have disastrous ecological effects, which are worsened each day the spill remains unresolved. Often, we wonder how marine life can possibly survive with the thick spill covering their home, and the answer is that much wildlife cannot. But what about the entire food chain? How does or how will this oil spill affect our food supply?Just how much oil is spilling into the Gulf each day? The standard number floating around is 5,000 barrels a day with 42 gallons in each barrel, although many speculate that BP is not providing the full-extent of the damage!
So how will this calamity affect our food sources as well as the food chain? While the oil itself is killing all kinds of marine life, we can’t forget about the tons of toxic chemicals dumped into the Gulf in order to try and disperse the oil. Now, people are worried that the harsh chemicals dumped into the Gulf are going to be inside fish and other marine life. And as the food chain dictates, one toxic fish may be eaten by another larger fish, which could ultimately end up on our dinner plate. Also, marine life that survive by eating plants are affected as they ingest plants with oil and chemicals on it, and then those fish may be consumed by other larger marine life. More stringent methods of testing our seafood will have to be implemented in order to avert a public health crisis.
Not only is marine life in danger as well as people who might consume the contaminated seafood, what about the people who make their living as commercial fisherman? Many prime fishing areas are now off limits. Gulf products account for about 5 percent of all U.S. seafood. According to a story in USA Today, most of the country will see little impact on the availability of seafood since 83 percent of our seafood is imported. If you’re an oyster lover, you may feel the effects more strongly. The Gulf is responsible for 67 percent of our oysters (41 percent from Louisiana). If your a seafood lover, find out about why you should not abandon sea food all together – there are some amazing health benefits!
For Louisiana, however, it’s a different story. They have an 8-million acre coastline that has been ravaged by the spill, which has affected many local fisherman, oysterman and shrimpers. As if Louisianans need one more struggle to overcome! Read about Paula Deen’s inspiring efforts to support the Louisiana seafood industry.
In response to a question about how the oil spill will affect marine life, Larry Schweiger of the National Wildlife Federation told the New York Times, “It is not a question of whether all these species will be affected now. It is when.”
Unfortunately, it is still too early to realize the extent of damage cause by the spill. Ecologists and other scientists know that there will be plenty of long-term effects, as history has already show; however, until this oil spill can be stopped or at least controlled, the food-chain effect and ecological damage is incalculable.