Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Fear Tactics That Hurt Family Farmers

Food Is Power and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us
Posted on Sep 6, 2009
By Chris Hedges

Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system. If we continue to allow corporations to determine what we eat, as well as how food is harvested and distributed, then we will become captive to rising prices and shortages and increasingly dependent on cheap, mass-produced food filled with sugar and fat. Food, along with energy, will be the most pressing issue of our age. And if we do not build alternative food networks soon, the social and political ramifications of shortages and hunger will be devastating.

Food shortages have been tinder for social upheaval throughout history. But this time around, because we have lost the skills to feed and clothe ourselves, it will be much harder for most of us to become self-sustaining. The large agro-businesses have largely wiped out small farmers. They have poisoned our soil with pesticides and contaminated animals in filthy and overcrowded stockyards with high doses of antibiotics and steroids. They have pumped nutrients and phosphorus into water systems, causing algae bloom and fish die-off in our rivers and streams. Crop yields, under the onslaught of changing weather patterns and chemical pollution, are declining in the Northeast, where a blight has nearly wiped out the tomato crop. The draconian Food Modernization Safety Act, another gift from our governing elite to corporations, means small farms will only continue to dwindle in number. Sites such as La Via Campesina do a good job of tracking these disturbing global trends. Read More

Here’s another article trying to use fear to convince consumers that family farmers have disappeared and large corporations are forcing people to eat junk food. This article simultaneously talks of the dangers of rising food prices yet advocates for a less efficient system of producing food. Every grocery store I have ever been in, other than a Whole Foods store, has fresh meats and produce available at the most affordable prices on the planet. The biggest fallacy with this tired argument that’s been put forth again is that anything can be grown or raised anywhere and that there are people lined up to engage in subsistence farming. Neither of which is the case.

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