When we focus on the biosphere we are examining the big picture, for what is the biosphere but the phenomena of life itself? This week we will continue to illuminate the major causes weakening the human race, and driving the de-evolutionary process forward.
In 1966 I took an assignment with the US Peace Corp to work in Micronesia as a public health official. My responsibilities were to analyze the disease problems amongst the Yapese islanders and implement disease eradication programs.
At the time, the US Department of Agriculture was spreading the “technological advances” of the Green Revolution around the world, to “abolish poverty and feed the starving masses”, promoting and selling artificial fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and GMO seeds as the solution; the miracles of modern chemistry and modern science.
Yap was a lush tropic paradise with pristine lagoons and vibrant coral reefs, a fertile land with all manner of delicious tropical fruits and vegetables. In fact, so productive, that one of my fellow Peace Corps volunteers, who had been trained by the USDA under the Green Revolution dogma, came up with a “brilliant” solution for us to thin out what he determines to be an “overgrowth” of coconut trees— POISON.
Yes that’s right, his solution was to poison every third tree. That way we could easily thin out the trees and get a higher yield of copra per tree. It sounds crazy today, I know, but back then we were in the bloom of the chemical revolution—the magic of modern chemistry that would solve the human plague of hunger and disease. It was after all in the 60s when the then US Surgeon General, C Everett Koop, pronounced to the world that through the miracles of antibiotics mankind will gain control over disease within our lifetime. Chemicals and antibiotics were freely dispensed. I was given a 55-gallon drum can of DDT “to be used as deemed necessary”. I used it liberally on my scalp and on the heads of the islanders to kill head lice. Amazingly, we weren’t making the connection that as we poison the environment we are also poisoning ourselves. During the Industrial (1800’s) and Green (1900’s) Revolutions, our lack of understanding of humanity’s fundamental and intimate connectedness to the environment and life around us, set in motion the de-evolution process. And in the 2000’s it has accelerated.
Even today many don’t connect the dots—in fact quite the opposite—as witnessed in this interview on The Daily Show with Jon Steward entitled, “Little Crop of Horrors” (watch and Laugh): http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=227353&title=little-crop-of-horrors.
Last week I mentioned Raj Patel, and his important book, Stuffed and Starved
Our home is a global environment. China’s pollution is our pollution. Africa’s pathogens are our pathogens. And, unfortunately the United States Fast Food Franchises and Green Revolution Industrial Agro-cultural agenda are a major causative force creating the stuffed and starved worldwide phenomenon.
Initially in the 60s and 70s the Green Revolution was a success in increasing yields in the Philippines with rice, in Mexico with corn and in India with rice and wheat. But these countries had to pay a heavy price, as have other regions around the world, for adopting this philosophy. The Green Revolution concentrated on farmers who were already pretty well off and who occupied the most fertile lands in their particular region. Being a part of the Green Revolution meant that they had to embrace the following agricultural inputs and agricultural philosophies:
• A monoculture philosophy—planting one plant, using large tracks of land.
• Buy packages of hybridized seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
The initial success was used to convince more farmers into the “revolution”. But since their lands were on the hillsides, and the variety of plants selected (pressured to select) by the U.S. proved not hardy enough to survive well in the new environment, this caused the farmers to apply too much fertilizers and pesticides, thereby destroying the soil and making it utterly impossible to grow crops to feed even their own families. This exchange to monoculture came at a high price as the farmers lost their indigenous bio-diverse farming methods, lost their ability to survive on their land, and lost their land by the millions; moving into the slums of the cities (the “Development Project”), only to starve. But there is much more to all of this.
The FAO (the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), a specialized agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger, admits that there is more than one and one-half times the food to go around. The problem is that the cost of food is tied to the markets and the cost of food has risen dramatically. Tragically the starving people of the world don’t have enough money to buy the food they have in their region. What drives the price of food up?
Raj Pate sites six reasons: 1. The price of oil – as shipping costs goes up, so
So what is the solution?
The Green Revolution has created a distribution system dominated by just a handful of transnational industrial companies. Grains companies, seed companies and chemical companies. We now face a very vulnerable food system with 95% of our land geared to produce only a handful of commodities, exposed to environmental and economic shock.
The power and the wealth are concentrated in the industro-agro food complex: the grain traders, the processors, the seed companies and the large retailers and distributers. The first thing to do is to dismantle this industro-agro-food complex at the global level. The second thing is to take agriculture out of the world trade organization (WTO) so that there is no more subsidized dumping of grains from the north into the south. Countries now have no national food security. They are completely dependant upon the market.
And how can we help? The answer is to become knowledgeable and vigorously support concepts, movements and organizations such as Food Sovereignty, Eco-agricultural farming, Via Campensina and Permaculture. Next week we will focus on these solutions.
Clinical Note: Check out the new Cruciferous Sprouts Complex –Capsules. You can now find them under the Therapeutic Foods Tab and also within the shopping cart.
A quick note about the cruciferous sprouts: They activate a genetic transcription of the P2P enzymes, which are a very important part of the endogenous antioxidant defense system. It is well known in animal experimentation that if this system is down the animals become very sick, develop many types of cancers and age rapidly (so much so that their life span is 20% of a normal animal). The evidence shows that the P2P genes are very important for longevity and that it is imperative to maintain the function of the P2P genes at a high level.
The Last Quiz Answer: This wonderful creature is of course a baboon in the wilds of east Africa, taking a stroll through the marsh.
Permaculture is very exciting and with everyone getting on board could turn our world into a “Garden of Eden”.http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/index/