As promised, I’m back with some more information about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Or, what the government and Big Ag try to pass off as food :p
I believe that it is possible that the Big Ag companies thought that creating these GMOs may have been a good idea at the time. But clearly after almost 20 years of use, they are creating more harm than doing any good. Both to the planet, and to the well being of the Beings who eat these products.
Let’s start with the dangers of mono-cropping. Here’s a definition: “Monocropping is an agricultural practice in which the same crop is planted year after year, without practicing crop rotation or resting the soil. While there are some distinct advantages to this technique, it is environmentally questionable and can potentially lead to serious economic problems for farmers, as well.”
Traditionally, ie: before GMOs; farmers would rotate crops, as well as let some fields go “fallow” for a season in order to rebuild the soil. Why would we need to “rebuild” soil? Each crop has different nutrient requirements and each affects soil balance differently. Some crops, like corn and tomatoes, are heavy feeders leach nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil. So, if you plant corn in the same spot year after year, that plot of soil will run low on nitrogen and phosphorus more quickly. This is what is happening now with mono-cropping. Depleted soil also means that the resulting food grown in that same spot year after year, will have fewer and fewer nutrients year after year. Rotating crops can also reduce the risk of soil borne fungi and pests.
Allowing a field to go fallow means that the farmer will not plant anything in that soil for one or more seasons. This allows the soil to rest and to regenerate some missing minerals from past crops. Mother Nature will take care of the process by blowing in seeds from wild plants and what we commonly call “weeds”.
In Canada most of the corn and soya grown is GMO. Organic corn growers account for only about 1.8% of farms! Corn and soya are grown as feed and for ethanol mainly, and use up the majority of farmable land in our country.
From Statistics Canada: “Organic operations are certified through certifying bodies accredited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. According to the new regulations, producers can be either “certified organic” or “transitional”. Transitional producers are those who were in the process of undertaking the three-year process of having all or part of their operations certified organic at the time of the 2011 Census of Agriculture. In 2011, certified organic operations represented 1.8% of all farms in Canada. The proportion of corn for grain growers was slightly below this national average at 1.1% of all farms reporting corn for grain. They accounted for 0.8% of all corn for grain seeded area (Table 7). The prevalence of genetically modified corn somewhat reduced the likelihood of producers seeking organic certification. In Ontario, the largest corn for grain producing province, 71.3% of the total corn area was seeded with genetically modified corn. In Quebec, 73.8% of corn for grain was genetically modified.
That’s a lot of monocropping and GMO corn! Which is basically either being made into ethanol fuel, (which has recently been declared to be of no environmental help at all!) or it is being fed to the cows, chickens, lambs, pigs and other animals that we eat. It is also being put into our domestic pet foods for cats and dogs. All of whom are not biologically meant to eat grains at all, let alone GMOs. When a cow eats grains and soya, it causes the acids to build up in their stomachs and intestines, which in turn causes pain and discomfort, and suseptibility to disease, hence, the overuse of antibiotics. Think of the pain and discomfort the last time you ate something you shouldn’t have. Chickens are not vegetarians, and also should not eat grains. They should be outdoors pecking on the ground looking for bugs and worms, and the odd seeds that fall from plants. Modern farming practices that keep animals locked up in barns with no natural light and no room to move around are not only harmful and inhumane to the animals, but the resulting meat is not healthy for humans to consume. If you’ve read this far, this article here may be of interest.
I believe that it is possible to responsibly and sustainably use our farmable land mass and grow and raise enough food for all of us. Get rid of the monocropping feed corn and soya that no human or animal should be eating anyway, use those fields to humanely raise livestock, and plant healthy, non-GMO foods. The world doesn’t have a food shortage problem, we have a shortage of healthy food problem. We consumers need to tell food producers with our wallets exactly what we want to be eating. We want clean, non-GMO fruits and vegetables, and we want humanely raised meats. Is that so difficult?