Robyn O’Brien had an earthshattering experience that changed her life. When her son experienced a severe allergic reaction to food, she examined our food supply and came up with some interesting conclusions. See her TED talk here: http://bit.ly/1pRqhtK
She was the keynote speaker at yesterday’s ShiftCon. She proposed a question that made me think about our government’s impact on the way food is grown here. “If there were two checkboxes at the bottom or our tax return: one that says you want your tax money to go toward spraying farms with Roundup, and one that says you want your tax money to help farmers grow food organically, which one would you choose?” Boy, that drove the point home. Because the fact is, we DO subsidize farmers to spray their fields.
And Robyn has talked to those farmers. She flew to Iowa and asked them –in person—about the spraying. And they said, much to their chagrin, that they signed agreements to buy Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds, and spray only Monsanto’s Roundup on those crops. And when the farmers couldn’t afford to do this, Monsanto loaned them the money to do it. So they’re sewn up into contracts upon contracts, making them beholden to a company that they now realize didn’t have their best interests at heart.
What’s worse, is that their soil has changed. It’s not the herbicide free, fertile soil of yesteryear. It’s the degraded, deadened, salty and increasingly dry soil of a new climate paradigm. It’s been “fed” not by healthy animal wastes, but by petrochemicals that leach into our waterways.
So we have a problem. Not enough money. Not enough water. Not enough fertility. And if the consumer starts pressuring the market to provide “healthy” food, those farmers who bought into the “conventional agriculture” paradigm won’t even be able to sell their Monsanto-arm-twisted crops.
So when I see this problem, I definitely think that the government has to step in.