Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sustainable Farming and the world economy, the collapse, the recovery, the lifeblood of the world.

Years ago I was sent by my company to go work in Parsippany New Jersey on a special project for a few months.  There were 8 of us, from facilities all over the country.  We had fun, it was hard work and yet the company was nice to us considering the nature of the company and how they ended up treating all their employees just a few short years afterwards.  By that I mean they took all the jobs and moved them to India.  And of course in the process the customer service rating of AT&T went from high to the lowest in the industry.  And they brought the jobs back to the US, and the pay rate for those same jobs then became LESS than half what I made when I worked for them.  Oh well, this isn't about that, it's about what I saw when working in Jersay, as they say it there.  (Just a side note here, why is it that people from that region of the country are unable to pronounce words with the vowel sounds that they are spelled with?)(( a quarter is not pronounced "quataa"))

Anyway, attempts to understand the natives aside, we were all able to utilize the rented cars for us and partake in the rich and exotic local offerings.  We went to the nude beach, ate at the diner from Seinfeld, sat in traffic a lot, and one Saturday, I found myself alone with a car, and I headed out to Amish country.  Not such a weird thing, I mean I have always been into healthy foods, I have done my home canning, made my own preserves and such.  And gardened.  So I headed out to the Mecca of sustainable farming, Amish country.  It was not a disappointment, even though there were tons of factory made furniture for sale everywhere all claiming to be Amish, and in each little town every little store sold what they claimed to be Amish preserves and such, even though most listed corn syrup on the ingredients.  But I drove out into the heart of the area, and stopped at roadside stands and talked to the people out there.  And learned a lot about how these people have raised crops and made a way of life for themselves and done it without electricity, chemical fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and without the help of Monsanto. 

Some people think that it is not possible to grow commercial crops on a large scale without the use of chemical intervention.  And it certainly is something that is drummed into children in schools now, I mean it was something that was in all the textbooks when I was in school in the early sixties.  Chemicals make for greater  production at less costs and that is the only way to feed a hungry world.  I'm glad that isn't true.  Sustainable farming is something that works quite well with large commercial farms.  It's just that no one, or very few, want to try it.  Farmers all over the country are stuck in that cycle of it works, don't change anything mentality.  And of course the propoganda from Monsanto tells them that THEIR way is the only way to make money in America. 

Well, the reality is that the Monsanto way is the only way for Monsanto to make money.  Four things make up modern farming techniques.  Fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide and Genetically Modified crops.  The fact is that they are dependent on each other, and without one, the crops fail.  It is only by using all four that modern farming techniques succeed.  But there is an alternative, and it is by far and above extremely cost effective, more productive producing foods that are proven to contain higher quantities of essential nutrients, and have little to no damage to the environment.  If Monsanto could legally get away with killing off all the Amish to eliminate their example of how REAL farming works, they would.  They want to sweep them off the face of the planet so that farmers everywhere would only see the Monsanto way.  At least until the world population dies from starvation because of the failure of their system, the environment collapses from the horrific pollution problems and cancers and degenerative diseases kill off the rest of the population that don't starve to death. 

Yeah, doom and gloom, the sad part is that it is all true.  The use of neonicotinoid pesticides since about 2002 has led to the deaths of bees all over the world.  Along with other remarkable species like the Monarch butterfly.  The concentrations of this particular pesticide in drinking water in states in the corn and wheat belt is higher than the EPA suggested limit. These toxins are neurodisruptors and when consumed by humans cause Parkinson like symptoms.  For song birds and other birds that are beneficial to the environment by eating destructive insects, the stuff is fatal.  France has outlawed the stuff, other European countries are on the verge of doing the same.  The Russians refused to sit down to talks about farm exports until the United States takes action to reduce or ban them altogether. 

And the big chemical manufacturers keep making money.  Congress is funded by agribusiness.

There are very few congressmen and senators that would attempt to bite that hand that pays them. 

Well, they are paid by the US tax dollars aren't they?  Grow up!  Politicians don't get paid enough money to pay for reelection expenses.  They depend on the generosity of big businesses to pay them to do their bidding in exchange for buying them elections.  That's the scary part, if it was up to Monsanto, they would pay off their senators to make it open season on Amish and that would be how they would eliminate that threat to their monopoly on the farming industry in AmeriKa.  Fortunately, even Monsanto doesn't have enough money to pay for that.  Yet.

Anyway, let's just say that for now, if you, and all your friends want to eat food that is healthy, GM free, chemical toxin free, and grown in a manner that is good for the environment; then you have to BUY that kind of food.  There are sustainable farmers out there, they are in the minority, but they exist.  They will tell you that the higher production costs are offset by the premium that they receive for their crops at the retail level.  And of course even the wholesale prices of organic produce is far higher than conventional, and that makes the whole thing viable from an economic view.  (Sustainable Farming 1) (Sustainable Farming 2)  The thing is, that if we don't do something soon, then there will not be any choices left to us.  Fully a third of the food we eat is available to us because bees pollinate the crops.  If the pesticide levels get any higher in groundwater and the water systems then the entire ecosystem will fail.  Let alone what will happen with the huge numbers of people shaking and palsied and unable to work, drive, walk or do anything.  (these are not my predictions, see Dr. Mercola) 

I never thought about becoming Amish, but right now, it looks pretty good.  Well, right up until open season is legalized by a government that has time and again shown themselves that money in their pockets trumps the good and the livelihood of the populace at large. 

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