The notion that we are a free people or that “free-markets” work in all our best interests is a myth that is slowly eroding genuine personal liberties. No better example of this misguided concept can be better demonstrated than by how wealthy special interests determine what we eat.
I could have spent this past week researching a subject matter that is close to my heart. But then I would have gotten very little personal tasks done that needed to be done. So I consider myself fortunate to find a piece on the Organic Consumer Associations website that did an excellent job of conveying a timely topic that can’t be stressed enough
In their piece, Climate Chaos: Boycott Genetically Engineered and Factory-Farmed Foods, Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins have provided us with one of the most detailed assessments I have ever read that frankly spells out how industrialized crop production and factory farming impact global climate instability, even more so than the mere production of fossil fuels. I encourage everyone to read the entire article and absorb its wealth of information.
It hits virtually every aspect of the food we eat from the farm to the table and how the concentration of power to achieve this by those, motivated only for profits, has not only negatively impacted our health and economy, but threatens the sustainability of the planet itself To whet your appetite I’ve provided a few paragraphs below from their article to indicate just how rich the information is that Allen and Cummins’ efforts have produced here. Learn its message and share it with as many people as you can.
Traditionally conservative World Bank scientists estimated in 2009 that animal farming worldwide emits at least 51 percent of the world’s greenhouse gasses every year. (3) In spite of these truly alarming statistics, the focus on efforts to mitigate climate change have not been directed toward reversing or reforming unsustainable, climate-disrupting farming practices. In spite of the fact that industrial agriculture exceeds the combined U.S. green house gas emissions from transportation, energy production and industry, the farm and food emissions are ignored and trivialized, and thus unregulated.
A large share of factory farming’s greenhouse gasses in the U.S. come from using fossil fuels in 25 million tractors, and millions of combines, mowers, balers and other farm implements. Another large and increasing share of those gasses come from nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer production and use, and the spraying of ever increasing amounts of insecticides and weed killers as pests develop a tolerance to all but the most deadly and polluting poisons.
The animals we raise, mainly on CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), and the feed we grow for these animals are responsible for a huge share of the excess greenhouse gas emissions and climate chaos we are experiencing. Currently 92.5 percent of U.S. farmland is devoted to grazing animals and grain production: corn, soybeans, wheat, rye, oats, barley and cottonseed for confined cows, hogs, chickens and turkeys. Consequently, most of our farmland produces food for meat- and milk-producing animals. This inefficient use of land produces a majority of the most destructive greenhouse gasses: methane and nitrous oxide. Only 7.5 percent of U.S. farmland produces vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts and berries for direct human consumption. (4)
We can survive indefinitely where all people have ample food supplies. But by allowing a small wealthy elite to control the vast amount of resources that are inherently all of ours, we are dooming not only ourselves but future generations as well. It is becoming more and more clear that our elected officials are working more for these special interests than they are for the rest of us. So how can we achieve the means to turn things in a direction that favors every man, woman and child? Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins offer this.
We need to change our food habits. We need to stop eating factory-farmed meat and milk products. Since over 90 percent of all non-organic meat, dairy and eggs in the U.S. come from factory farms, we need a nationwide boycott and marketplace pressure, in the form of a CAFO labeling campaign.
A drastic reduction in sales of products from CAFOs will lead to a major increase in the sales and consumption of organic, pasture-raised and grass-fed meat and animal products, which today account for only 5 percent of the market. As we boycott all CAFO products, which means choosing vegan menu options in most restaurants shopping more carefully in grocery stores and farmers markets, we need to eat more organic, climate-friendly vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grains. If you eat meat and drink milk, make sure that is pasture-raised and not raised in an animal prisons, such as confinement feedlots, hog hotels and massive dairies. Ask your grocer or butcher where the food comes from and how it is raised. Stop eating meat that is glued together with pink slime.
If WE the people change our ways, by default we can change the system. The only thing we have to lose is the repression of the mega-corporations that currently hold our lives in their greedy little hands.
“This is not a futuristic vision that must await more research. The appropriate technology for a world-wide shift to sustainable, organic agriculture already exists, and each year it gets more efficient and sophisticated.” – Will Allen & Ronnie Cummins