Community Health Impacts of Factory Farms – Steve Wing


In just the past century, livestock production has shifted from pasture based farms to factory operations. This overcrowding of livestock for meat production isn’t just inhumane for the animals, but also pollutes the air and water for people living nearby. Steve Wing talks about the impact of factory farms on the environment and the people.

Publications & Reports


Reports & Studies:

  • A case control study of environmental and occupational exposures associated with methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage in patients admitted to a rural tertiary care hospital in a high density swine region, Leah Schinasi, Steve Wing, Kerri L. Augustino, Keith M. Ramsey, Delores L. Nobles, David B. Richardson, Lance B. Price, Maliha Aziz, Pia DM MacDonald and Jill R. Stewart, 2014:

Blogs & Websites:


Social Media:

Organization: Food and Water Watch

Organization’s Website:

Organization’s Facebook:

Organization’s Twitter: @foodandwater

Organization’s Instagram: @Foodandwaterwatch

Steve Wing received his Ph.D. in epidemiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is currently an associate professor. Recent work has focused on environmental injustice and health effects of ionizing radiation, industrial animal production, sewage sludge, and landfills. He has collaborated on health and exposure studies with communities and workers impacted by threats to environmental and occupational health.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think factory farming exists?
  • How would our world change if we no longer had factory farming?
  • Do animals have the right to a certain quality of life? What would that look like? How would it change our current farming system?

Take Action

Things you can do…


Conferences, Meetings, & Events:


Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Center for Food Safety

The Center for Food Safety is a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization seeking to protect human health and the environment by preventing the use of harmful food production technologies and by encouraging the use of organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture.

Socially Responsible Agricultural Project
The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP) works throughout the U.S. helping communities protect themselves from the negative impacts of factory farms, officially called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). SRAP gives family farmers, ranchers, and other rural citizens the tools needed to develop and sustain ecologically sound, economically viable, humane farming alternatives to industrial-scale agriculture.
Natural Resources Defense Council

Natural Resources Defense Council, Peter Lehner’s organization, includes facts and additional resources about food waste on the NRDC website.

Humane Society of the United States

The nation’s largest animal protection and advocacy organization, the Humane Society of the United States seeks to combat animal cruelty.

North Carolina Environmental Justice Network
  • Steve Wing

    Associate Professor The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill … Read More