Sunday, April 19, 2009

I have recently learned of the strong arm tactics that are used by insecticide and herbicide companies to control our food supply. I was shocked and amazed that this has been allowed with no knowledge or vote by the people of the USA. I don't want to get on a political rant, or sound all "mother earth", but this has really made me mad.

Here are some stats for you to think about:
1. Less than 2% of Americans are farmers.
2. 90% of the varieties of vegetables grown in the beginning of the 20th century, are now extinct.
3. In the 19th century there were more than 5000 types of potatoes grown worldwide. Now only 4 varieties are widely grown.
4. Also in the 19th century the USA alone grew more than 7000 varieties of apples. Now according to the US Apple Association, the US grows about 2500 with only 7500 varieties being grown worldwide.

During WWI, nitrogen based bombs led to nitrogen based fertilizers. There are several sites you can Google to read on the link between the 2. I am only providing 1.

During WWII, nerve gas was invented. This was slightly modified to make insecticides such as DDT the hero of a generation. Now we are all familiar with the toxic effects of DDT.

All of this new technology promised higher crop yield, and cheaper food. By the mid 20th century, this technology along with new developments in plant breeding led to the Green Revolution.

Now we have large fields of only one crop being grown. This can lead to insects and disease. Remember all that stuff you learned about crop rotation in school? So farmers start spraying their fields. The more they spray, the more they have to spray. Jump to the 1970's. A company named Monsanto invents a herbicide to all of us by the name Round Up. This becomes the most popular herbicide in history.

The problem with this herbicide as we will learn in future posts, is that it has led to increased costs, polluted waters and increased health risks.

Now that I have scared the wits out of you, I want to encourage you to think about what you are putting in your mouths. Eating is a very intimate thing and we should all be very cognizant of what we are really eating.

I know the photo I chose is not of food, but the magnificent California Condor is the poster child of the effects of DDT. Just a gentle reminder from me of what just one animal has suffered.


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