Thursday, April 7, 2011
Agriculture and the environment: it's our choice
Who would ever think that agriculture would actually become a threat to the environment? We have gone from an agrarian society that took pride in the land we farmed because we lived off it, to a society that wants everything fast and fancy and on the whole doesn't care how it is delivered to us as long as it is convenient for us. We have sacrificed quality for convenience and are just now seeing the consequences of it. Industrialization of agriculture has left a void because it more and more is taking the relationship between the farmer and the land away and handing it over to corporate conglomerates only concerned with profits over truly cherishing the soil and what is grown from its natural seeds.
Surely, technology has a place in this modern world and there is much we can say regarding how it is has improved our way of life. However, in the natural order of things the way we grow the food that sustains our bodies, minds, and souls should not be tampered with by any artificial means whatsoever. It has affected our ability to work the land, our health, our economy, and our environment, and not always for the better. And in a future world where resources will be strained to the breaking point, relying on untested monoculture methods that strip our soil of nutrients and carbon is not a path we should be following.
In the coming years with biodistress, freshwater scarcity and population increases, we will have to work to get back to the ways of working and conserving our land and water with the natural ways that fed this world sustainably and adequately. As this opinion article states, we do have enough food to feed our world. It is a matter of accessibility and bringing it back to those who have that special relationship with our Earth who can best bring forth the fruits of it without the use of poisons that do not truly feed us.
And it is our choice. We can choose to allow biotech ag corporations to continue buying our ecosystems and controlling what we eat from the seed to the water to the plate, and then beyond as pharmaceutical companies step in with medicines to keep us feeling just good enough to keep eating the crap their biotech ag company allies keep shoving at us; or we can become vocal and demand that farming be returned to what it once was; a way to cultivate our sustenance in a way that always cultivated sustainability.
Labelling of GMO organisms is a must in the US. That along with equitable policies for farmers and an end to the subsidies that put small famrers out of business simply because they don't grow corn for ethanol must stop. We are playing a dangerous game with the biodiveristy of our planet by continuing to think that government always knows best. In this case as in many others, they and their corporate allies are showing that all they know is keeping it about themselves.
How do we change the tide?
* Disseminating truth
* Boycotts of GMOs
* Exercising our right to vote out politicians who continue to vote against the interests of the people and our environment and health
* Community farming where seeds can be saved
* Changing consumption patterns of food and water/irrigation methods
* STOP using land to grow corn for ethanol and animal feed thus causing price increases, and use it to grow FOOD.
Just a start.
And actually, GMOs are the "secondary" method that is only where it is because of collusion with governments, PR spin, and deception. Organic has been proven to maintain productivity, sustainability, and biodiversity. And while yes, price does remain an issue, more and more people are stating they are willing to pay a bit more to know that what they are eating is natural. I sure know I am.
People all over the world have already begun to become more aware of the pitfalls of GMOs because of that education and dissemination of truth. Perhaps that is why Congress is now putting up bills to make it harder for small farms. I say in that case satyagraha is in order. The more farmers who are made aware of the deceptive gestapo methods of Monsanto and companies like them and refuse to sign their contracts and plant their pesticide/herbicide laden "patented" garbage, the more chance we will have of bringing farming back to where it once was and in the process, saving the future and our environment for our children.
Please watch this video, become informed, and demand change in our food system starting with proper disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients. It is our right to know!