The State of our Food and Health.

October 18, 2015 by

The case of Food.

The current situation.

Solar Flare

Solar Flare

A huge ball of energy, the size of millions of 100 megaton hydrogen bombs or ten million times greater than the energy released by the explosion of Mount Saint Helen, is building in the solar atmosphere. It explodes outward spewing out an enormous coronal mass ejection directly aimed at earth. It hits our atmosphere one and a half days after the eruption and causes vast, widespread geomagnetic storms. The storms knock out the electrical power grid from coast to coast over most of the United States and Canada. The power is out for up to two months.

No electricity, no refrigeration, no meat, no fresh fruit and vegetables, no bread, no dairy goods – what would you do?

If this scenario was real – and it can happen, you would have to survive on dry goods and canned food. Not a pleasant thought. However , it demonstrates the degree to which this society is dependent on the system.

With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, people moved away from the farms and food independence. Big corporate conglomerates bought up the farm land and turned it from family farms into enormous chemically driven mono cultures. The same crop was grown in the same space, year after year. With the same plant variety utilizing the same nutrients from the soil, more and more chemicals were required. After a few years, the current crop just did not provide the expected yield and a new variety was employed.

Finally, instead of just crossbreeding different varieties of wheat, corn, soybeans etc., the next step was genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

GMOs were created to be unaffected by a specific herbicide, as in Canola or generate their own pesticide to discourage insects, as in corn and cotton.

The large food processing companies take over from there. Processing is what they do and the more processed the food becomes, the worse it seems to get. There are additives like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Monosodium Glutamate etc. which are all rather detrimental to your health.

The meat industry has it's own set of issues. Antibiotics and growth hormones are regularly administered to all types of live stock. The conditions in some chicken factories are beyond all decency. The same goes for these smelly cattle feed lots, with the stench spreading around for miles, where the inmates live up to their hocks in mud and manure.

Cattle wind up in the slaughter houses with this mixture stuck all over them. People wonder why there are these reoccurring incidents of ecoli contamination of hamburger meat on a regular basis.

This whole evolution was helped along and propped up by Government Subsidies and Marketing Boards put in place by heavy lobbying of big agribusiness interests.

Hello, my name is Gus Wollitzer. I am not a scientist or anyone special – really. Having grown up in the late 40s and early 50s on a farm in Germany, I go far enough back, to have observed what was. This gives me the opportunity to compare it to what exists today and to form an opinion about which system is sustainable and preferable.

Another change, that I observed over the years concerns the general health of society. It is true, people died earlier 70 years ago – mostly of infectious diseases. In fact, my own mother caught pneumonia in 1948 and was hospitalized. The doctor told us kids that she was dying – there was nothing they could do – unless they could get some penicillin from the American Occupational Forces. They did and she lived.

The change happened in the incidents of chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer. When I was a kid, I did not know of anybody with an allergy. These illnesses are very wide spread today and it makes me suspect, there is a connection between them and the Standard American Diet (SAD).

We will now take a closer look at each of the above mentioned issues. Before we dive into this and just in passing, I should like to mention a book I recently read. The author is Bill Bonner, the CEO of Angora Publishing, a very affluent and interesting guy. The name of his book is “Hormegeddon”.

The name comes from “hormesis”. It is what happens when a small dose of something produces a favorable result, but if you increase the dosage, the results are a disaster. This principal seems to apply to many things in life and everywhere else.

Bill named the end result of this phenomena “fubar”, a word he borrowed from the Navy. The last three letters stand for “Beyond All Recognition”. What the first two stand for, he left to your imagination. (Love that term!)

So, let's proceed. The first item we look at is:

The case of Mono culture.

Mono Culture

Mono Culture

As the name implies, mono culture (mono meaning “one”) is a planting of the same variety of crop over a large area.
It becomes immediately clear: This type of planting system has some obvious advantages for the operator. The lay out of the field can be arranged in such a way that most of the necessary functions can be accomplished through mechanization. Big equipment will do the sowing, fertilizing, spraying, irrigation and harvesting – very little labor costs.

Further, all the necessary materials, such as seeds, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides can be bought in bulk at a discount.

This system of agriculture represents the most common type of farming, practiced today in the US and Canada. It developed in the decades after World War II and is styled after the ideas of assembly lines used in manufacturing. This works fantastically for cars and refrigerators but it comes with a price in agriculture.

Growing the same crop year after year in the same field, depletes the soil of the specific nutrient this plant requires. This is counteracted by a continuous increase of chemical fertilizer.

Each crop has it's specific diseases and insect pests. By growing the same plant continuously in the same space, these hostile organisms accumulate and build up in the soil. The answer, again, is more chemicals.

The system eventually goes “fubar”.

There are other unexpected consequences to mono cultures.

One of them I observed firsthand myself as a teenager.

The area we lived in at the time was limestone country. The natural forests there were mixed woods, made up out of beech, ash, oak, maple with the odd spruce, pine and larch thrown in. One of the farmers decided, he could make a lot more money with his woodlot. He clear cut the place and planted a solid stand of red spruce. 4 or 5 years into their life, these trees had deposited a solid layer of needles on the ground below. The rainwater picked up the acid from these needles and as it seeped down, dissolved the lime in the earth. About one foot below the surface the dissolve lime crystallized out as a solid layer of hard pan. This stopped the roots from penetrating resulting in a very shallow footing for the trees. Many of them came down in high winds. It also dramatically slowed their growth rate.

After about 20 years, our man realized, he had made a mistake. He cut down the red spruce and proceeded to replant the lot with the natural species. However, now he had to get holes dug and the hard pan broken for every seedling. It was not a happy experience.

The case of chemicals in the environment.

Nitrates are necessary for plant growth. In healthy soil, they are provided by bacteria and microbes feeding on organic matter in the soil. There exists an actual food web in the soil with some pretty amazing exchanges taking place. Some of these bacteria produce nitrate, taken from the air, which are readily absorbed by plants. They in turn, feed on carbohydrates, photosynthesized by the plants and then exuded. One type of fungus produces phosphorus out of the soil and provides it for the plants, which they have a hard time getting on their own.

This ecosystem of micro organisms, fungi, worms and insects, besides producing food for plants, also aerate the soil and retain moisture and create a balance of macro and micro nutrients. This all contributes to a healthy, lush and tasty crop of plants rich on macro and micro nutrients.

Into this pristine and organic scene one enters in chemicals in the form of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. What happens, as a consequence of that, is not a pretty picture.

Synthetic fertilizers kill bacteria. Maybe they don't get rid of all of them but they certainly disrupt the natural balance in the soil. This scene gets worse when herbicides and pesticides are added into the mix. These compounds are designed to kill things and they do – very efficiently. Think of weeds as a cancer, then herbicide is the chemo therapy and as such, the overkill it causes is worse than the disease.

Prolonged use of chemicals, with no organic matter added to the soil, reduces the food supply of the soil micro organisms. This again reduces the population and the soil might not be totally sterile but close to it.

Mono culture typically plants the same crop for a number of years in the same location. These plants require certain micro nutrients found in healthy soil. Only macro nutrients in the form of NPK ( nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) fertilizer is added. The micro nutrients are rapidly depleted. This, seems to me, to be the main reason for the tomatoes from my garden tasting better than the store bought variety.

And then there is the over use of synthetic fertilizer. In order to maximize the crop or to maintain the yield of a crop from depleted soil, more of the stuff than required by far is dumped on the land. The excess nitrogen, being water soluble, becomes water borne and winds up in all kinds of places.

One of these places is the groundwater. Nitrate pollution of aquifers in agricultural areas are directly attributed to over use of chemical fertilizers. When the concentration of nitrates in the water goes beyond 10ppm (parts per million) menthemoglobinmia, also called blue baby syndrome, may result.

Blue Baby Syndrome

Menthemoglobinmia is a condition that prevents blood from carrying sufficient oxygen to the body. Some of the symptoms are shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, dizziness and loss of consciousness.

Monsanto has developed GMOs that are resistant to Roundup, the herbicide produced by them. They dominate the market, selling 90% of GMO seeds. That makes it necessary for all farmers and agribusinesses, who buy Monsanto seeds, to also buy Monsanto herbicide. In 2007 they sold 88,000 tons in the USA alone.

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. This compound does not readily break down. Being designed to kill living organisms, it does not easily bio degrade. In the groundwater, the process is slowed even further and the stuff accumulates.

In one study in Catalonia Spain, scientists took 140 groundwater samples and found 41% of them to contain measurable levels of glysophate. It is quite a dangerous substance, not only because it is so widely used, but also because it becomes air born during applications. Your body can absorb it by breathing it, skin contact and drinking contaminated water and it is associated with 20 different diseases, including birth defects.

According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff, glyphosate is hardest on the most beneficial bacteria in your internal ecosystem. Suppressing those good bugs, she says, appears to allow pathogens to proliferate, leading to ramped-up inflammation and a host of chronic diseases

Being a herbicide, it contributes heavily to the depletion of the soil by killing beneficial bacteria and other micro organisms.

In the meantime anti glysophate super - weeds have evolved. To deal with these, Dow Chemical dreamed up Enlist Duo". It combines glyphosate with 2,4-D a component of the Vietnam-era “Agent Orange” pesticide. This scary product is approve in both Canada and the USA. Dow Chemical is planning to sell 1 billion dollars worth of it beginning in the spring 2015. When and where will it end?

So here again, we have a situation that has gone “fubar”, even though it did not follow the usual pattern of “Hormegeddon“, since even a little bit of this stuff is unacceptable.

And then it rains and a lot of the NPK fertilizer gets picked up by the runoff water and carried in the nearby stream. The stream leads to a river, a lake and eventually the ocean. The nutrients in the fertilizer create a super environment in the water for algae to grow and growth happens to an excessive degree. When all this algae eventually dies, the resulting decay consumes all the oxygen and the water goes dead – unable to support any kind of life. There are now, by a 2008 count, 405 dead zones in the worlds oceans, ranging in size from 1 to 70,000 square kilometers.

Marine Dead Zones

Marine Dead Zones

There is a yearly recurring dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River that reaches a size of up to 21,000 square kilometers determined by the flow rate of the river – the more rain and water down the river, the larger the dead zone. This has been quite damaging to the income of the Texan shrimp trawler fleet.

Another case of “fubar”!

There is hope, however. The Black Sea went largely dead and was the largest dead zone in the world, during the centrally planned agricultural regime of the Soviet Union. It cleaned up between 1991 and 2001, after the fall of the USSR, because chemical fertilizers became too expensive and were discontinued. The fishery in that sea is back to business as usual, today.

The case of GMOs.

For thousands of years, people have domesticated plants and animals, creating new and improved forms of these organisms. This was accomplished by crossbreeding of compatible forms of the animal or plant species that had the ability of being cross bred.
You can't breed a sheep with a donkey but you can breed a donkey with a horse, so nature decides what can and can't be done. None of these new forms have ever exhibited any negative side affects.

In creating GMOs, scientists splice genes of wildly different species together. Combinations like rat genes in soybeans or chicken genes in corn. They use genes from insects, bacteria, viruses, fish and even scorpions. Combinations, totally random and not possible in a natural setting or in which nature would have any part of.

olmag.co/gmo-foods

GMOed Food

Monsanto and a few other companies have created a series of these new organisms. Some of them resist Monsanto's herbicide Roundup or they produce their own pesticide. Some do both.

The stated motivation behind all these GM crops was to make farming cheaper by eliminating the use of pesticides and to feed the third world. The fact that these new plants can be patented and that Monsanto makes farmers, who purchase their seeds, sign a contract stating, they will not save any seeds from the resulting crops, makes one doubt their “noble” goals. It rather looks like the company has created a monopoly for itself, which forces the users to purchase new seeds on a yearly basis and has put Monsanto in control of a large percentage of the world food production. This is confirmed by the fact, that a good number of GM crops are resistant to Roundup, which is also a Monsanto product.

The Food and Drug Administration does not require any testing on GMOs. They rely on the producing companies to provide them with the assurance that the foods derived from these crops are safe. Talk about the fox being in charge of guarding the hen house. The companies do conduct tests which one cynic describes as “being meticulously designed to avoid negative results”.

In its 1992 Statement of Food Policy, the FDA asserted:
“Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.”
But wait! According to biotech-giant Monsanto’s former director of corporate communications,
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”
So, if neither the U.S. government nor the U.S. food producers are responsible for the safety of genetically modified food, who is?
"The FDA has placed the interest of a handful of biotechnology companies ahead of their responsibility to protect public health. By failing to require testing and labeling of genetically engineered foods, the agency has made consumers unknowing guinea pigs for potentially harmful, unregulated food substances."
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety

So now we know Monsanto's real objective behind creating GMOs.

Very few independent studies on human consumption of GM foods have ever been conducted and none of them proved the safety of them. According to the scientists performing the tests, human consumption of these foods can result in toxic and allergic reactions, immune suppression, antibiotic resistances and various other serious illnesses.

Animal studies in almost every instance produced unexplained negative effects such as problems with growth, reproduction and organ development, damaged immune systems, bleeding stomachs and shortened life span.

According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, thousands of sheep, buffalo and goats died in India after grazing on Bt cotton plants. (Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis which is a toxin harmful to selective insects . Bt cotton is a genetically modified cotton plant that produces this toxin.)

Mice fed GM corn over a long time, had fewer and smaller babies.
More than 50% of babies from rats fed GM corn, died within 3 weeks.
The third generation of hamsters, fed GM soy, was sterile.

There does seem to be some issues with GMOs. The safety assessment done on them are too superficial.

The biggest problem with them, in my estimation, is the uncertainty surrounding them.

Monsanto says, they are safe for people to eat. Some of the animal studies raise a considerable amount of doubt concerning this assertion. In the meantime some 70% of the food we eat, contains GM products.

There is another problem with FDA regulations regarding GMOs. They are decades old and govern only one particular process of creating these plants, rather than the end product. In the meantime, a number of new methods have sprung up which do not have any rules or restrictions and the companies developing them are free to do as they please.

Clearly, new guidelines are needed. One of these should call for labeling GMOs or GMO contend as such, so people know what they are buying.

This idea has met with heavy resistance from the industry despite the fact, that 90% of the American people want it. If GM food is so safe, what harm could labeling do?

In the end the whole thing boils down to be a political problem.

The Biotech Industry hired 13 Senators and Representatives and over 300 former congressional and White House staffers as lobbyists. They spend 60 – 80 million dollars a year on lobbying Congress as well as the National Institute of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Agriculture Department, Health and Human Services Department, Food and Drug Administration and other agencies, to keep genetically engineered (GE) crops and animals unregulated and in the market.

The goals of this army's efforts are:

  • To fast-track approval of genetically engineered plants and animals.
  • Stop labeling.
  • Prevent other countries from regulating GM foods within their borders.
  • Safe guarding intellectual property rules by criminalizing farmers who have the gall to save their own seeds.
  • Protecting corporate patents.

Another really big concern is the revolving door between the government and the Biotech Industry. Monsanto and company hire government representatives and staff to lobby for them and the governments procure Monsanto executives to head the very agencies who are supposed to regulate the industry.
This chart demonstrates what is going on.

Monsanto revolving door chart.

Monsanto revolving door chart.

All Credit for this Venn diagram goes to Geke.us

To sum up, GMOs have been created and patented to increase the bottom line of the companies that own them.

The stated reason of “Feeding the Third World” might be a great justification, but is really a lie. Organic farming will do that in a much more sustainable way.

The results of GMOs on humans have not been tested and nobody can really know about the long term affects, since they have been around only for a few years.

The negative results of animal testing have raised a lot of genuine concerns about the safety of GM products.

Monsanto says they are safe – you can believe that at your own peril.

It seems to me, we the consumers – read: “Guinea Pigs”- are the subjects of a very far flung experiment by the Biotech Industry and I for one opt out.

Right now, a tremendous push is on to stop the labeling of GM ingredients. Ask yourself “why?”

Other folks around the world have their doubts about GMOs. There are now 26 countries with full or partial bans on GM products, up from 17 a few years ago. These include Australia, Russia, India, China, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary. Poland, Bulgaria, Greece and Luxembourg.

It seems the case against Genetic Engineering is a very controversial and emotional one.

Right now, we are approaching the first arrival of a GE animal as food on the market, in the form of GE salmon.

The Canadian Federal Government is struggling with the decision, to approve or not to approve. They have already given the nod to the production of modified Atlantic salmon eggs, but will they go all the way and say yes to the final product as human food? The future will tell, but if they do, the GE salmon still faces the judgment of the market.

Should the market accept these salmon, a whole series of other animals are in the pipeline, from chickens to cows and everything in between. The arrival of Franken foods.

The case of Processed Foods.

Most of the raw material produced by agriculture winds up with the food companies for further processing.

Bread, cheese and butter, salted and smoked meats, fermented and otherwise preserved foods have been sold for thousands of years.

With the arrival of refrigeration and other improvements in food technology, the variety of processed food exploded.

For most people, the fast pace of life does not allow the luxury of cooking from scratch and they resort to convenience foods.
Convenience food is commercially processed for ease of consumption, to make them easily portable or for increased shelf life.

Some of this food is ready to eat as is, like chips, crackers or candy bars, or it is frozen, like TV dinners and frozen pizza.

Some of them are prepared for a long shelf life at room temperature, such as canned food and others are ready mixes, like pancake or cake mixes

All of these foods are very convenient, without requiring much preparation and that is their main appeal.

They are also designed to taste good by the liberal addition of sugar, salt and trans fats and that again contributes to their popularity. In addition to these three ingredients, they are likely to contain a bunch of chemical compounds, such as monosodium glutamate, artificial color, artificial flavoring and artificial sweeteners. And then to keep the fat component from going rancid, Benzoate preservatives are added.

So lets deal with all these additives, one at a time.

Sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Sugar is a carbohydrate. It occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables as fructose and in diary products as lactose combined with other nutrients and fiber.

The refined white sugar, we are all familiar with, is sucrose which is a 50-50 mixture of fructose and glucose, processed from sugarcane or sugar beets. These two plants contain it in sufficient concentration to be extracted, commercially.

White granular sugar goes through a process involving enzymes and diverse chemicals, that is closely guarded by the processing companies. This leaves it as pure calories with no other nutrients of any kind.

Sugar cane is native to South East Asia, where it has been cultivated since ancient times. In the 18th century it was introduced into the West Indies and Americas, where it was cultivated in huge plantations.

It was then that sugar became available to the common people, who took to it with wild abandon. Today, the yearly world sugar consumption has reached 173 million metric tonnes of which Americans gobble up 43.8 kg per person and Europeans go through 36.7 kg. This is up from about 5 kg per person at the beginning of the 20th century.

A statement, recently released by the American Heart Association, identified sugar-sweetened beverages as the primary source of added sugar in the American diet.

Recent large epidemiological studies substantiated the connection between sugary soft drinks and overweight and obesity, which in turn can lead to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, some cancers, osteoarthritis and premature death.

The incidence of overweight and obesity have more than doubled in the last 30 to 40 years. The beginning of this increase coincides almost exactly with the arrival of High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

The Corn Refiner's Association assures us, that HFCS is the same as cane sugar and that the problem results from over consumption of the product.

Over consumption is definitely a factor, but cane sugar and HFCS are not the same, neither are they processed the same by the body.

Cane sugar takes a bit more time to digest and the release of glucose and fructose into the bloodstream is slowed.

With HFCS the fructose is unbound (not attached to any other molecule) and therefore enters the blood, and through that the liver, immediately. This onslaught of fructose triggers production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol. This is called lipogenesis. It causes damage to the liver- a condition known as “fatty liver.” About 70 million people are affected by this. The glucose in HFCS, which is readily absorbed, brings about insulin spikes. Insulin is the hormone that causes fat storage in our bodies leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia and more.

There are other artificial sweeteners, like aspartame (NutraSweet) and acesulfame-potassium. Two large independent studies tied these two products to preterm deliveries.

Scientists in Italy conducted three studies on aspartame using mice and rats. They found the sweetener caused leukemia/lymphoma and breast cancer in these animals.

What about people? There were some inconclusive studies - short term.

Are you willing to take the chance?

The story of the aspartame approval by the FDA reads like a crime thriller, full of double dealing and deception. You can can read it here.

When it comes to sugar, we like it too much to cut it out altogether. Just reduce the volume somewhat and when you do use it, take the raw unprocessed kind. This is the golden colored natural sugar, not the brown form. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added.

As for artificial sweeteners - don't eat them!

Artificial food additives.

A lot of these are chemicals, added to the food to change its color, enhance its flavor, keep it from going rancid and preserve it.

Most of them are synthetic compounds with recognized negative health effects and unknown, long term consequences, as a result of eating them.

They do not add anything to food in terms of nutrition or wholesomeness.

The main reasons for their inclusion in processed foods are marketing considerations. They increase shelf life, appearance and taste. All qualities, designed to increase sales.

Bensoates.

Potassium bensoate, sodium bensoate and calcium bensoate are compounds used as preservatives in processed foods and soft drinks.

In combination with vitamin C, contained in many sodas and juices, these chemicals can form benzene which is known to cause cancer.

This chemical reaction is escalated by elevated temperatures, like being stored in a cupboard instead of the fridge or being exposed to the sun.

Most of the products with this problem have been recalled and reformulated. Did they test every drink? We don't know.

There is a potential link between bensoates and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The studies have not been conclusive.

The FDA says, these chemicals are safe. Do we believe them? That is up to you. The most logical thing to do, instead of taking a chance with your kids, is to read the labels and don't buy the stuff.

Trans fats.

Small amounts of trans fats occur naturally in some animal fats and diary products. These we are not concerned about. There is even some evidence, that they might be beneficial.

Industrially produced trans fats are vegetable oil treated with hydrogen at very high temperatures and pressure to turn them into solids at room temperature. They appeared on the market in the form of Crisco shortening and margarine.

They were heavily used as ingredients in many foods and for deep frying until the early 1990s, when clinical studies produced evidence, they increased the damaging LDL cholesterol and decreased the beneficial HDL cholesterol, in people.

Increased LDL cholesterol levels lead to higher incidents of heart disease which is the number one killer in North America.

In the meantime, massive lawsuits and the resulting bad publicity, have motivated a large number of companies to drop trans fats from their ingredients list.

Even the FDA came around and removed their GRAS ( generally recognized as safe) label in November of 2013.

Trans fats are still around, though, and you can know them by looking for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the ingredients lists of processed foods.

Don't buy them. Trans fats are the worst fats around.

Conclusion.

It seems to me, that processed foods are the underlying cause of pretty well all of the the current epidemics of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease that we are observing today.

Our immune system fights everything in the body, it doesn't recognize.

There are many artificial additives in this food which are utterly foreign to any natural system and the immediate result of this is inflammation.

The immune systems reacts to anything, it perceives as a threat, like bacteria, viruses, fungi or any unnatural substances, with inflammation.

Many people consume this stuff on a continuing basis.

Add to this some food allergies, GMOs and the fact that even natural substances like sugar and flour can cause this reaction, when heavily processed, and you wind up with many cases of chronic inflammation.

That leads to chronic instances of the above diseases and there you have your answer to the question about the state of the health of our current society.

The solution.

Now, that we have taken a look at all this negative stuff, let us examine what should and could be done about it.

There are 3 basic systems of farming or food production.

The first one is the traditional way of farming that has been around for about 5000 years. It used primitive cultivars, animal drawn plows and lots of manual labor.

This era ended with the beginning of the industrial revolution and the arrival of the tractor. It is now ancient history and no longer relevant.

The new system it turned into is now called “Organic Farming.”

Organic Farming

Organic Farming

This system uses some mechanical aids like tractors, mechanical seeders, mowers, harvesters and cultivators, to name a few.

It utilizes crop rotation, manure, compost and natural pest control.

It also employs some improved plant species, developed by crossbreeding different related kinds resulting in a new variety with larger yields, greater resistance to drought or pests and diseases or any number of other desirable qualities.

This was the farming system in use when I was a kid.

The farmers, then, used a three year rotation:

The winter field in which they grew rye or winter wheat which were sown in the fall.

The summer field with summer wheat, oats or barley, sown in the spring.

The fallow field containing crops like potatoes, feed or sugar beets, corn and legumes like peas and alfalfa.

So this way, a specific location would grow a different crop every year . This preserved or even enhanced the fertility of the soil and interrupted the life cycles of diseases and pests specific to one particular crop by removing their plant victims.

Every crop takes a separate portion of micro nutrients out of the soil. Crop rotation prevents the total depletion of these nutrients.

They are replaced through the vital functions of micro organisms in healthy soil.

These Microbes and bacteria are fed by the organic matter added to the soil in the form of manure, compost and green manure. Green manures are legumes planted in late summer and plowed under the next spring. Legumes accumulate nitrogen on their root system and the dead plants act as additional compost.

The entire system hinges on the soil.

Living soil contains innumerable micro organisms. They are responsible for the regeneration and viability of the soil. Without them the soil goes sterile and dead. So it is prudent for any farmer or gardener to cater to the needs of the soil.

The organic system of farming does that and is therefore a viable system of food production.

After the second World War the organic farming system was largely replaced by what is known, today, as Conventional Agriculture.

One thing that disturbs me greatly is the term “Conventional Agriculture”.

This term describes the present day chemical driven, mono culture using, GMO infested industrial way of farming. When did this become “conventional”?

Anyhow, it is accepted as conventional now.

I have already dealt with all the negative aspects and the damage done to the environment by this form of farming, earlier on in this tale.

Conventional farming is not viable and way too destructive to the environment.

So what is the logical answer to all this?

Just like described in the book “Hormegedon”: Too much of a good thing turns fubar in the end, so does too much of a bad thing correct itself over time.

People exposed to a bad situation, will get fed up and revert to what they really want.

This will never be done by the government. It can only be achieved by the people through hitting the errant companies in the bottom line.

It seems that people have already decided what they want. Organic food sales reached 12 billion in the year 2000. This shot to a projected total of 54.9 billion by the end of this year - 2015 and will accelerate to 61.1 billion by the year 2017.

It will be the market who decides what system of farming and food production will prevail.

The Biotech Industry, supported by the governments, is way too powerful to fight any other way. Not buying their products will force them either to change or go bankrupt. And that, they will understand.

The Industry recognizes this threat.

The American House of Representatives just recently passed anti GMO labeling legislation. The consumer rights community dubbed it the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” act (DARK act). It will soon go before the senate. If it passes, there will be no disclosure of GMO content on any food label in the states. This, despite the fact that 90% of the American public want it.

It will also forbid the individual states from passing their own pro – labeling legislation.

On the other hand, there are 64 more enlightened countries around the world, who do require GMO labeling of their food by law. So much for the land of the Free and the Brave!

The struggle goes on. There exists, however, a number of very simple ways to do the right thing, if you are at all concerned about what you put into your body:

1. Buy only food labeled “organic”.
2. Grow your own food as much as possible.
3. Get very familiar with all the wild foods that grow all around us – sometimes in great abundance.

The name of the game is decentralization.

The Clean Food Movement is getting stronger every day.

Food companies are dropping GMOs, high fructose corn syrup, artificial color, aspartame and other toxic additives from their products.

According to the Natural News:

The Clean Food Movement is decentralized, grassroots movement that calls for total transparency about:

* What's in the food (including honest labeling)
* How it was grown or raised
* Where it came from (geographically)
* Whether it's genetically engineered
* What chemicals it contains (such as MSG and aspartame)

These days, food consumers are more sophisticated than ever, and they want to know what they're eating. They want to know what farming methods were used to produce the food, too, and in the case of meat production, they even want to know how those meat animals were raised and treated.

Advocates of the Clean Food Movement believe in honest labeling of GMOs in foods, and they believe in "food democracy" in the sense that consumers should have full access to accurate information about foods on the shelf so they can make informed decisions about what to buy or what to avoid.

The solution to the problem is clear.

The movement is accelerating and people like Monsanto will, like the horse and buggy, fade into history – unless they change their ways.

Join the motion and stay healthy!

Looking for organic food, organic garden supplies, outdoor clothing or field guides for wild greens, berries and mushrooms? Get them here.

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