The one thing I know about this is that “somebody” knows the answer. When we were all farmers, or at least 97% of us, it was all very organic in every way. We just did not think about the word “organic” because it was just who we were before chemical fertilizers. This was before the word “organic” was used for marketing to get your whole paycheck. At first, it was just a way of life for us – “the good life”. So let’s look back to the 20th century, just in the USA, to see how we went from a nation of organic farmers to a nation of consumers of unhealthy foods with proven health hazards.
In 1935, there were 6.8 million farms in the United States. According to the USDA, in 2000, there were less than 2.2 million farms. Then, we went from a nation of farmers to a nation of chemical agribusiness for the most part, with promises of chemical-based agriculture that could feed the whole world with a lot of cheap food without a lot of hard work. So let’s look at some time lines.
DDT was first used in the United States as an insecticide in agriculture in the 1940s. Some of the first chemical fertilizers came to the farms in this part of the world in the 1940s, the same year a British agriculturalists named Sir Albert Howard put a book out called An Agricultural Testament telling us how all chemical fertilizers are bad for us in every way. Now remember this the next time you say, “How was I to know?” And, “Shouldn’t somebody fix this before it kills us?” From day one, somebody told us about the dangers of the chemicals in our food chain – the land, air and water. Lady Eve Balfour wrote “The Living Soil” in 1943 and it was the first book about what we were getting into with chemical farming. Do you see how fast it took somebody to see what we where getting into, not long at all.
Now how about the birth of the words “Organic Farming”? Well, here in the US, it seems to me it came from somebody named J.I. Rodale, who published Organic Farming and Gardening magazine in 1942, which is now Organic Gardening magazine. Research from his farm, the Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania, has been here providing us with info about the need for organic farming and how to farm organically from the 1940s. Then, we were being informed about the need to go back to the small farms in the 1960s, for whole fresh unprocessed foods grown local in an organic way without chemicals. At this time, we had just started to go down the wrong road. We did not even have all the health problems that have come from chemical foods, but books and info were telling us to turn around and go back to the simple life, which was almost around the same time big corps were figuring out that they could make a “KILLING” from feeding us cheap chemical foods for a lot of money. Then, a great book, Silent Spring, got the first small part of the masses into a movement for organic foods and the need to move away from the chemical world we had fallen into – I’m glad someone was doing something to help fix the wrongs. Silent Spring was published in 1962. We all need to know how a book by a biologist named Rachel Carson exposed DDT and how its effects as a harmful chemical and pesticide were harming our food, people, animals, the environment, and the world, not just the USA.
In Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote, “For the first time in the history of the world, every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” She wrote this in 1962. Then we had the 1970s. Not a lot, but a few good things came out of the ‘70s – a counterculture, a revolution of supporters to stop death by chemicals. The world had its first Earth Day and one of the first acts to ban DDT (1972). But a little too late in 1985 when Dr. Arnold Schecter, a professor of Preventive Medicine, said, “In the United States we’ve found that not somebody but everybody’s got dioxin in them.” It is sad that we have had this info the whole time right from the start. But big corps have more money to fill our minds with lies, and authors just have facts they put into words, not radio or TV with actors and props.
When somebody tries to get the word out, they’re called environmentalists in a bad way, like they’re some radical stoned hippies. But today, they’re educated consumers. And yes, some of them have graduated from being stoned hippies to educated hippies. They have a voice because they are part of our middle-class that is purchasing food. That makes them somebody making a demand for organic products. The power of the consumer over corporate involvement with our food is on somebody’s side if somebody uses it. We have to use this power right now while we can. We now know what they told us were lies, how they could grow all the world’s food chemically. So now we know chemicals in our food network are bad. We need to stop all the GMOs and pesticides in our children’s food; the synthetic fertilizers in our rivers, lakes, and drinking water; the antibiotics and hormones in our animals’ feed and factory fish farms. Faster foods with longer shelf life and more food miles is what it is all about for the food factories.
So here we are in the 21st century. We know that we started with about 7 million farms in the United States, and now we have around 2 million; it looks like somebody lost about a million farms every 10 years. Do you see why every time I write I talk about the need for somebody to become a farmer? It’s not that we need more than we can use, it’s that we have less than 2% of farmers left to grow our food for 98% of the consumers in the USA. It’s just bad math. It doesn’t add up and that’s why we have food factories.
So the same year (1940) that chemical-based agriculture was pushed on us, somebody gave us books about the dangers of chemicals in our world. Then, 20 years go by and we are shown the effects of this chemical life in 1960. Then, 20 more years and we are told that all of us have a dangerous chemical (dioxin) in all of our bodies. Do we need to wait 20 more years to see the effects of GMOs and all of the chemicals that we use today and what it can do to our babies? Let’s stop, read and learn about how we can work together to stop this kind of madness – death by chemicals. As I have looked at all the bad that has come from the chemical world we live in over the years, I have often wondered why “somebody” is not doing something about it? Now I realize that I am that somebody, and maybe you might be somebody, too. Think about it; who is that somebody? As always, what the hell do I know anyways, I’m just an old farmer.
All the best to you all,
The Bio-Farmer, Mike Dial
Who Owns Organic? It would seem a lot of growers lay clams to it, some have trade marked it, others have used it on GMOs, some say it is just the name of their brand and has not a thing to do with what is in it, so what makes this such a powerful tool to sell with, is it the word, is it that we think it makes it better, is it that we think it makes us feel better, is it that we think the word makes it a fact, I think we need to always look at who owns the word organic, and how they are using it, for good or bad, you will see that it is not all for good, so lets not let them run with a word doing bad things just because it sounds good,
let’s make sure it is good, and by the way you own the word, anything that lived or that is alive that contained carbon is organic, so if you just read this you are organic!
I would like to emphasize what Hippocrates said in 431 B.C. “ Food should be our medicine, and our medicine should be our food” and it is not like we have to look that far back, our grandparents would tell us that an apple a day would keep the doctor away. Did you eat an apple today ? I know that the apple is not the cure-all, and I know my grandparents did not think it was. What they did know was the healing powers of fresh fruits and vegetables, and without them there would be no vitality or longevity of life. I can steal hear my mom telling me to eat my vegetables or I would not get some fresh fruit after diner. Now days I hear parents asking their kids to eat fruit, how can this be? Maybe kids are smart and if the fruit is not delicious why would they want to eat it. So if it is not delicious is it even nourish in most cases no, so are they bad kids or is it bad fruit I think it is more on the fruit than the kids. If it was delicious we would have to tell them same kids to not eat too much fruit. I work with a young man in his 30s one day on the farm I gave him a strawberry he said he did not like them, I must have given him the look because he ate it, and with a big smile he said that it tasted like strawberry jam. It hit me he had never had a fresh strawberry and if he did it was a bad one for 30 years no fresh berrys! so we picked blueberry and he told me he had never tried them before, big smile and so on with all the deferent types. Good news after 30 + years he is enjoying the fruits of life I am happy for him. To thank that he is not the only one to live so long without eating berrys. So two days went by before I went to a few stores to buy some berrys to see how they tasted it been a long time since I ate someone elses. All this time people had been telling me they will only eat my berrys I always tout they were just being nice. Now I know why kids grow up not eating fruit, it’s not delicious, why would they? So back to why we need to grow our own, so our kids will know the gifts of life, you see when we put the load of growing our food on a few farms they have to grow for food miles shelf time to make a profit. So it is not about it being delicious it is about making a profit and we can not blame farmers for wanting to make a living, if they picked when ripe there would be no shelf life and no profit. So now days we have a big movement for local foods and I love it. I have been working with a lot of good people to get the word out about buying local supporting local biz, farmers markets, small stores, and so on. I work with new and old farms to try to help them make it and to help to get the word out that we need to grow quality fruits and vegetables to feed our community. And in doing so they will pick up a following of famleys who will reward them for doing right. But I also see a lot of farms starting up just to cash in on the local food movement not to grow better fruits and vegetables, but just to say it is local, This is not the way to fix the food crisis in the USA or the world. So as always do not think that if it is locally grown that it is better, it might be better for the local economy but not for your body. How was it grown in a envomently friendly way with organics and biologists, or is it being grown with snthics, hormones, pesticides, fungicides, mildacides, growth reagaleters, GMOs and no care about the nutritional role that food should be in our life. And all it is just a way to take avenge of a movement to profit from a play on words “ locally grown” you will see them in our so-called health stores, I think if food grown from GMO’s pesticides and so on it is just as bad as food from 1000s a miles away, and we do not have the environment mess to deal with in our back yard. So it is always up to us to look at who is growing our food and how. Are they part of the fix or our they the ones we need to fix? And how can we fix what we do not know for sure, they seem like nice people they used the words natural, organic, locally grown and so on. It comes down to awareness and if we support, The California Right to Know, Genetically Engineered Food Act. And if passed this ballot initiative would make it mandatory to label all foods that use GMOs that are sold in California. We need to let our voices be heard, we do not want unwanted dangerous ingredients in our food supply. We spend are hard-earned money on what should be pure food for our baby’s and loved ones, we should have the right to know if we are about to buy contaminated food before we spend our money to purchase it of all things we should have the right to know what is in or food. So we as California’s can start to fix the future of our food, but as always its urgent that we work fast to get this measure on this November’s ballot, and the gathering of signatures will only last two months, FEB 18,2012 to APRIL 22,2012 we have a short time to do some work, to get involved go to (www.labelgmos.org) to get started. It is just a step in the right way but it is a big one, so we should make it. Why because if we can get a GMO label on our food, it is like putting a skull and crossbones on it, and most of us will not buy it in stede of true local organic agriculture, and Hippocrates could feel good about saying that food should be are medicine, and medicine should be are food, pure whole food from the earth not a lab. That is how isee it, The Bio-Farmer
The term organic foods refers to ‘organically grown foods’, meaning plants grown without the use of (synthetic) pesticides, fungicides, or inorganic fertilizers, and prepared without the use of preservatives. Foodstuffs must be grown on land that has not been treated with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides for at least three years. Organic meat is from animals fed on organically grown crops without the use of growth promoters, with only a limited number of medicines to treat disease, and commonly maintained under traditional, non-intensive, conditions. In the EU, foods that are labelled as organic must carry the name of the organization certifying their organic status.