October 19, 2012
What we eat has changed more in the last fifty years than it has in the last thousand years. (Food Inc.) The industrialized food industry today is literally killing America. The numbers for obesity, diabetes and cancer are on the rise every day. Four out of the top ten killers in this country are food related. (Pollen) Somewhere along the line farmers lost sight of what they were doing and decided that money was the only thing that mattered. Large producers and agriculture businesses have taken over the farm subsidies programs which have resulted in food types that are not healthy for Americans. What green farming means to America is a greater value of life. Green farming encompasses what type of soil is used in planting, pesticides, fertilizers and any chemical additives. It also includes how the plant is harvested. For animals it includes; what they are fed, their living conditions, how long they live and the overall environment they are kept in. “This isn’t just about what we’re eating. This is about what we’re allowed to say, what we’re allowed to know.” (Schlosser)
What does “organic” mean? “Simply stated, organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.” (Organic.org) Organic is the only option today to guarantee that people are nourishing their bodies, not ruining them. Since October 21, 2002, the following guidelines were established by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) to ensure consumers know the exact organic content of the food they buy. (organic.org) If the consumer sees a USDA organic label on any of their foods, they can be sure that at least 95% of the product is organic. This is great for the consumer, but the main issue today is that many small, local farms produce all organic, and USDA certification takes a considerable amount of time and money. Therefore, many family run farms do not have the labeling to back them up. Organic is not only better for the consumer but it is better for the environment as well. Only .5% of farmland is currently run organically leaving 99.5% of farms to ruin the environment by expelling toxic waste into the air, streams and soil putting all living things at risk. There is another fight happening right now in America that many residents are not aware of. This is an increasingly large problem in of itself because Americans are ignorant of the effects of what they are putting into their bodies. This year’s election marks the first time that there is going to be a proposition on the ballot dealing with food labeling. It is currently only happening in California and it is called proposition 37. People are saying that if it passes this November in California, it is going to pave the way for the rest of the country to follow suit. “Prop. 37 (The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act) requires clear labels letting consumers know if foods are genetically modified. We already have food labels showing nutrition, allergy information and other facts consumers want to know. This measure simply adds information telling us if food is produced using genetic engineering.” (carighttoknow.org) What Are Genetically Engineered Foods (GMOs)? A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a laboratory by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature and is purely experimental. (carighttoknow.org) Monsanto is the company that invented the weed killer, Round-up. They engineer seeds, mainly corn and soybeans that are resistant to round-up and they are also the makers of this insecticide.