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Steven Van Verre/Shutterstock

Over the past 45 years, thanks to bedrock laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and persistent environmental advocacy, the air we breathe and the water we drink have become much cleaner. But the food we eat has become much dirtier. I’m not talking just about food safety in a narrow sense, but also about the broad, systemic impacts that farming and food production have had on our health and the environment.

"AZFO Birders at San Pedro River, Gray Hawk Ranch" William Herron/CC BY-SA 2.0

From the air, the San Pedro River looks like a green ribbon winding through the brown desert landscape east of Tucson, Arizona. For millions of birds, the river’s water and cottonwood and willow tree canopy are lifesavers during their migration. Nearly 45 percent of all North American bird species use the San Pedro at some point in their lives.

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.