Siracusa’s Refineries Don’t Pollute Very Much At All.

Free range cattle in Siracusa
This grazing area is like a Cheesecake Factory for free range cattle. Rainwater pools up in the ancient coral so they can drink fresh water all day. There’s vegetation everywhere.  In the background, to the north, you can just make out a large refining facility in the city of Priolo.

These grass-fed, peaceful mammals have spent much of their pre-food lives grazing in a pasture less than a mile from my home. They’ve dined on nothing more than grass, weeds, water and the occasional government-mandated veterinary intervention that all commercial livestock destined for human consumption must ingest here in Italy. The only pollution their little cloven hooves are exposed to are the occasional plastic wrappers that blow into their plot from the medium sized city located directly to their west — lovely Siracusa.  Otherwise, they spend their pre-grill days and nights enjoying gentle Mediterranean breezes, world-famous Sicilian sunshine and an occasional rain shower.  None of these waddling, four-stomached creatures have given any thought to the profitable and efficient oil refinery complex to their north across the Bay of Augusta.  It is highly unlikely that they have ever been effected by the production of hydrocarbons taking place there.  In fact, the ISAB/Lukoil/ERG facilities near Priolo are some of the cleanest and top-performing in Europe according to a recent study. That is very good news to me because I eat beef occasionally and buy most of my food locally.

Free range cow in Siracusa
Cinzia, a local free range cow, asked me if I knew her cousin, Bethany, who moved to Boston a couple of years ago.

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