By Rachel Stewart
Every day we constantly fuel ourselves with the endless variety of delicious and savory stuff that we consider food. The processed and packaged junk is so far removed from its original source the ingredients are unpronounceable. We have forgotten that we are not only consumers of food, but also participators in agriculture every time we vote with our dollars at the store, restaurants, etc. no matter the product.
Traditional agricultural systems focus on rotating fields, a sustainable practice that revitalized the soil with essential nutrients such as nitrogen. Today most farms practice monoculture. Miles and miles of the same grain, majorly corn, feed our nation. Family labor is now replaced by large-scale mechanization and our disregard of the ecology of farming has led to the current environmental crisis. Food is no longer a culture, but a commodity.
From this commodification creeps a monster, a Monsanto monster. I’m sure the names “Roundup” and “Miracle Grow” ring some bells. Monsanto is a bio-technic company that patents and produces genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s. Blue and green chemically coated seeds eventually turn into what we put in our bodies, but not without a heavy dose of herbicide. These seeds are resistant to herbicidal chemicals (also produced by Monsanto) and sit idly as everything around them dies. As more and more herbicides and insecticides are used, resistance builds up and increased quantities of chemicals have to be sprayed more often to achieve the same amount of food yields as before.
So are you Roundup ready? Studies have shown that adverse effects are now being seen in pregnant women, in people’s heart function, hormones, in fish, water, amphibians, soil, nitrogen fixing bacteria and much more. Seventy-five percent of air and water tested on the planet contains Roundup. The chemical, glyphosate, in Roundup triggers over 40 plant diseases and 1 billion pounds have been sprayed on American agriculture since the 1970’s.
Why should we care then? Not only does this directly affect human health and wellbeing, but it also could prevent us from ever going back and it could doom the future of mankind. Dramatic? Perhaps, but pollinators such as bees don’t fare well with chemically-coated plants, which has caused the population of bees to decrease globally by ⅓. Think about whether you would like the bee to disappear. Where would you get your food? “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live,” said Maurice Maeterlinck. What if you only had four more years?
Check out realfarmacy.com to see what you’re eating and to learn what companies we get food from which are owned by Monsanto.