Friday, February 08, 2008

We Are What We Eat

“There’s many a strong farmer
Whose heart would break in two,
If he could see the townland
That we are riding to;
Boughs have their fruit and blossom
At all times of the year;
Rivers are running over
With red beer and brown beer.”
- William Butler Yeats, The Happy Townland

My lovely red cabbages are covered with white flies. I’ve salvaged lettuce, and the root crops (a few beets and last year’s potatoes) may survive long enough to eat. There will be more lettuce, even though I harvest a small salad daily. But, it’s back to the farmer’s market for the rest of my winter vegetable crops, and for any other produce I desire. Yesterday I finally gave in and bought some grapes from Chile. I can buy any vegetable or fruit at all times of the year without having to consider what might be “in season” locally.

Something has gone badly wrong with the state of agriculture in America – the disease, drugs, animal torture. Corporate dairy farms put us in danger of becoming mad cows unless we eat exactly what they tell us to eat. Panicked consumers are held hostage by terrorists in big pharmaceutical companies who sell us the drugs they make us need. Farmers must pay licenses to re-plant Genetically Modified Organisms growing from Monsanto’s hybrid seeds. These same farmers created the parent plants of Monsanto’s licensed mutant progeny.

Cloned cows and licensed lettuce, mutants modified by Monsanto. This has become our food.

Our vegetables and fruits and grains are mostly grown in fields doused with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics. Our harvests are tainted by chemical fertilizers, laced with pollutants, and possibly carcinogens. Our children eat produce grown for its looks rather than its nutritional value. Our food is selected by laboratory chemists whose mathematical formulas include how far the product will be shipped, and how long it can be stored without sacrificing its youthful good looks. What we buy to eat is often wrapped in stiff cellophane and vacuum sealed with an inert gas to retard spoilage.

Monsanto sues small farmers whom they accuse of using their proprietary hybrid seed without buying a license to plant it. Monsanto warns the FDA that dairies who dare to label their milk products as “hormone-free” or “not grown with antibiotics or GM organisms” are endangering the eating consumer by confusing them with misleading labels. The FDA does not require that Monsanto’s dairy products grown with their chemicals and GMOs must be so labeled.

I don’t know why I’m ranting about Monsanto when it was white flies that got to my cabbage. I should have sprayed the entire yard with pesticide. Then at least, I’d have cabbage to enjoy…


kate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juliet said...

Hello! I reached your blog by searching for fellow El Cajon gardeners I'm a relatively new gardener, and as I ready my small veggie garden for spring I will be keeping an eye on your garden and blog for local inspiration. I've been lurking for a bit, but I appreciated today's post, and it drove me from the shadows! Thanks!

Martha in Michigan said...

Someone doesn't get irony....

Weeping Sore said...

Hi Juliet, I can't get your blog to load for me. It looks interesting and I like your links, so I'll be checking back.

I deleted somebody's comment without realizing it. Nothing personal, just my lack of adequate caffeine to operate blogger.

Tina said...

I agree.
Was so angry the other day that I could only sputter a few words on my blog about the article in the Financial Post about using GM seed.

I seem to post an awful lot of rants lately - including one back in November about Jim Cramer actually advising buying Monsanto stock. Ugh!. When will people learn?!