Wednesday, September 11, 2013
It is not conventional farming. Chemical farming has only been in practice on a wide scale over the last 50 years, bio-engineered farming much less.
Examination of every famine, every drought, every devastation through disease and pestilence in our history reveals the result of poor farming practices - concentration of too many animals in one area, poor and impractical use of water, failure to diversify crops and poor soil management and crop rotation practices.
Now, the use of chemicals, monocropping - that is, planting of only one variety of crop over vast areas, and crowded factory farms - confined animal feeding operations, depletes formerly healthy soils and aquifers without renewal, pollutes entire water systems, and goes far beyond the carrying capacity of any one piece of land where it is practiced. After short term initial increases in crop yield, chemical and factory farming produces fewer, and lower quality, food crops. It sacrifices nutritional value of crops and meats, and sacrifices human health, in exchange for turning what were food crops into storable commodities of questionable nutritional value and questionable health safety. It treats failures in the system, such as animal infections due to poor feeding practices, with drugs that not only mask serious underlying problems, but which also travel through meats and waterways to our bodies, and create drug resistant bacterias, promoting damage to our organs and the organs of our children, and increasing danger from more, and more powerful, diseases.
The model for this kind of corporate "farming" and profiteering is cancer - the never ending need to increase growth to survive. This is a recipe for disaster, as is every high stakes pyramid scheme. Truly conventional, traditional farming methods - soil building, prolonged grazing on adequate pasture for ruminants, sustainable water use methods and management, rare to no use of pharmaceuticals, understanding of living foods, diversification of crops to serve as a check against disease and pests - are modeled on sustainable, living cycles and have been tested and developed over more than 10 thousand years.
Because of the enormous profits taken by the few controlling bio/chem/Ag corporations since their conversion from chemical suppliers, during the first world war, to: adapting their chemicals and genetic research to farm use from the 50's on; control of taxpayer subsidized commodities; corporate patents on seeds and life; and chemical and pharmaceutical sales promoted as going hand-in-hand with use of patented seed systems and confined animal operations, corporate media machines have worked feverishly to promote the consumption of their commodity products, and to carefully and aggressivley mask the vicious cycle and downward spiral of this ultimately dead-end 'farming' system.
The incredibly sophisticated, elegant and highly sustainable traditional, truly conventional farming methods of smaller, diversified farms, suitable to the landscapes in which they exist, don't only increase the fertility of soil, protect water sources and supply, create nutritious crops and healthy animals from which come healthy Omega 3-rich meat, fish and dairy, and protect the biodiversity naturally resistant to disease and devastation. They also protect communities and economies: providing jobs at working wages that help keep families intact, and keeping money circulating within communities instead of sweeping profits gleaned from taxpayer subsidized exploitation of land and workers to corporate tax shelters and corporate offshore accounts. The cost of cleaning up: harm to landscapes and water supplies; the health care costs of illnesses resulting from not only chronic pollution of bacteria-laden offal and pesticides, but herbicides and pharmaceuticals washed into waterways; of poor nutrition, and the cost of treatment of illnesses related to pathogens bred in factory conditions, is immense, and has been hidden from the public by carefully orchestrated media campaigns touting the desirability of these very things that cause such harm.
The solution always present to these problems, and the effective check against food shortages, is traditional - truly conventional - farming. Without a corporate media machine behind it, widespread diversified sustainable farming has proved on its own again and again to work incredibly well, and has managed to continue on despite enormous threats and damage from the corporate Ag machine.
Now true farming biodiversity itself is threatened by corporations cashing in on lucrative genetic seed patents and related sales of chemicals and bio-triggers needed to sustain the growth of their seeds. This has been accompanied by reckless control of all research on the safety of genetic modification by the corporations who own the seeds being examined. Despite this control, scientists have felt compelled to release some results to the public showing in credible detail some of the dangers of lab-originated genetic modification. The process of genetic modification in laboratories has itself been show to be dangerous, as the "firing" of genes into plant cells has been show to be imprecise, with frequent unintended and often harmful results. Disingenuous disavowals of these dangers on corporate owned and sponsored websites compare lab-originated modification to natural crossbreeding and crossbreeding traditionally by growers. Very credible studies have now become public showing damage to human organs from genetically modified crops, especially to the human stomach and liver. Although genetic modification has been touted by publicity departments and paid scientists as a panacea for drought and increased yield, virtually all currently genetically modified commercial crops have been engineered either with a corporate owned pesticide, or to resist sprayings of corporate produced herbicide shown to be harmful to human beings. Promised increases in yield hve not shown to be sustainable. Currently, over 90% of all commercially produced soybeans and yellow corn are genetically modified. Sugar beets, canola, and many other crops have been modified, with a push currently on to create widespread modification of wheat and alfalfa. Problems associated with health and fertility have been reported by farmers using genetically modified and hormone and anitbiotic "enhanced" grains as feed, but have been suppressed by controlling companies.
Genetically modified seed has been shown to contaminate other seed, and to result in a mutation of "superweed" and "superbugs" resistant to the current corporate supplied chemicals, necessitating development and purchase of newer chemicals and pesticide enhanced crops, and a vicious cycle of bigger, better, faster, more that is ultimately unsustainable on a number of levels. Damage to natural pollenators, and soil building organisms, by pesticide enhanced crops has been demonstrated. Because of the uncontrolled contamination of non-patented seed, and corresponding aggressive actions against farmers by the powerful legal teams of patent owning Ag multinational corporations - charging, among other things, conspiracy to violate corprate patents - farmers must get onto the wheel of this downward cycle if they want to, or have no other choice but to, continue to farm.
In the meantime, legislation promoted as "food safety" bills has been pushed into and through congress which inhibits small farms ability to operate, and thereby reduces their impact on the bottom line of corporate farms, while not actually addressing the historic reason for food safety issues - factory farm practices and pollution.