Here's day 10, folks.
July 10, 2006
Up 'til now I’ve been focusing this journal on eating more alive, organic food and my withdrawal from the ridiculously unhealthy and made-exclusively-for-profit foods that are manufactured by corporate pushers. That’s the way I think of those companies who keep merging and pooling together their resources in order to gain more market control and make more money. But now I’ve been finding out more about the agri-business of food and being honest with myself about how eating the foods I have for most of my life supported the bloated incomes of people who are sinfully greedy.alive, organic food and my withdrawal from the ridiculously unhealthy and made-exclusively-for-profit foods that are manufactured by corporate pushers. That’s the way I think of those companies who keep merging and pooling together their resources in order to gain more market control and make more money. But now I’ve been finding out more about the agri-business of food and being honest with myself about how eating the foods I have for most of my life supported the bloated incomes of people who are sinfully greedy.
I’m watching a documentary called, “The Future of Food.” It describes how the Monsanto Corporation created “Round-Up” (you know, the stuff that kills anything green) and then sold to farmers. Sure, the farmers discovered, it kills weeds, but uh oh -- it also destroys their crops! Whoops. They didn’t tell us that part. So the next step in Monty’s plan was to genetically engineer corn that was “Round-Up Ready.” There was an actual clip from a Monsanto Round-up promotional film that they used to convince farmers. It described the Round-Up Ready Corn as a miracle; made crops grow faster and more abundantly, no weeds, etc. So the farmer’s just think, “Hey, sounds good to us,” and buy tons of the stuff.
So now Monsanto takes advantage of an earlier supreme court decision (that passed by majority of one) that allowed a scientist to claim a patent on a bio-microbe (a live bug) he genetically engineered. (This decision was in direct conflict with our 1st amendment, which states that the “ownership of life” is not allowed.) So Monty immediately sets out to buy up patents for dozen of seeds that were previously being safely stored in seed banks. They own about 80% of all the varieties of corn we eat! There were dozens of varities – now America eats 3 to 4 different varieties of corn. Same thing with potatoes.
But back to our story. Some farmer’s didn’t want the Round-up Ready corn seeds. They kept doing things the old fashioned, simple way. But those unfortunate farmers had to deal with the problem of genetically engineered Monsanto seeds being blown into their fields from the fields of neighboring farmers (apparently a normal phenomenon). Making a living became suddenly more complicated for these simple farmers.
Monsanto began sending out spies – yes, spies - to check for their GE seeds in the outlying areas of the fields owned by the farmer’s who turned down Monsanto’s poisoned apple. Then guess what they did? They began systematically suing these innocent farmers for patent infringement! Talk about a wicked queen. And this happened all over the world. In America, Canada, India. Monsanto won every time -- getting a huge chunk of the innocent farmer’s profits! That freakin’ kills me. This is the way of our world. Unless we do something about it.
What can we do? First of all, we can do a little research. I found “The Future of Food,” video with a simple search on my local library’s website. It’s worth it to care about the state of the U.S. agriculture. Because, lemme tell ya, what little I’ve learned so far has scared the bejesus outta me.
You can also boycott GE foods and demand tougher organic standards. Lobby for labels that designate GE foods from non-GE foods (most of Europe already does this). Start by asking the produce manager of your grocery store. We have more power than we think we do and it’s sitting right in our wallets. When it comes to GE foods, the issue is not “Shall we eat it until we can prove it may harm or kill us?” (Which is exactly the approach the powers that be are taking.) It’s also about huge, bullying companies like Monsato deciding what varieties of corn we can have access to, messing with our food at the genetic level without our consent, suing farmers into bankruptcy and doing the same thing to others countries’ farmers – and worse. And they are not the only bullies on the block.