Thursday, October 13, 2011
Food as a Weapon
Why is there not enough food to feed all of humanity? We can send probes to other planets and deep into the far reaches of the solar system. We have technology today that can make foods faster and pest resistant. But is it healthy?
I remember listening to a late night talk show many years ago, the guest was an agricultural biologist who claimed that the food we eat today has only a fraction of the nutritional worth of foods our grandparents ate. We would have to eat two pounds of broccoli to gain the same value in nutrition as our ancestors gained in a single serving. Diseases are on the rise even though we have made so many advances in medicine. Or have we?
I submit to you that all of the problems we face as humans around the world is based on an illusion. It's like watching the Wizard of Oz for the first time and discovering the "man behind the curtain." Many of my friends and family will not even look there. They are embarrassed to think that they have been duped for all these years. Many think that I am crazy to think that my government would condone such things. But after all, they are of the same flesh and blood as us, capable of the same successes and failures. One only needs to look at where we are today to see that government has not been capable of controlling its own bloated growth, let alone act on behalf of markets and commodities. Why our Congress even gave up its Constitutional mandate to coin currency and set its value to private banks, trusting them to act with integrity on our behalf.
There are many ways in which the very wealthy can manipulate markets. But staying with food, there are now a few extremely large corporations both foreign and domestic that control possibly as much as 80% of the food supply of the globe. Some think it can be closer to 100% but living in an area where there remain a good number of independent family farms, I am not willing to make that leap. But the truth is that many of these small farms are being forced out by the conglomerates through the outright manipulation of the commodities markets.
A bushel of wheat will still feed the same number of hungry people as it did when it was first cultivated. The growth of any food crop demands the proper arable lands and the cooperation of nature. But it does not determine the amount of food crop available to feed the population. Remember in the biblical stories in Exodus, the temple granaries were full and yet their were people starving during a drought. It was used as a weapon to wield power over people. It took an act of divine intervention to convince those priests of Egypt to release the stores to the starving masses.
How many other times has food been used as a weapon? A practice still used today through subsidies, is to have farmers turn under a good harvest so as to keep the prices higher. The justification is that the farmer could not make a living selling the crops at a very low price.but the reality is that they are doing just that, only the government is making up the difference. Would it not be better to have that crop sold to either the free market or to the government? Instead of funding dictators and foreign governments that will use our "gifts" to oppress their own people and they themselves live in wealth and splendor, send tons of wheat to feed the masses?
People need not be punished for their prosperity unless they obtained their riches by cheating, lying, stealing from others. There are methods employed today that produce rich and abundant foods naturally, without the use of chemicals for fertilizers or pesticides. I myself have grown tomatoes in my patio garden and always have such an abundance to share with many of my neighbors. I have demonstrated how we can each grow a crop and share our harvests so well will obtain a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables and not have to buy them from high priced markets. Even when I must make a purchase, I go to markets that offer locally grown produce when available.
We live in a world that has become as much of an illusion as the science fiction film, The Matrix. And it is just as difficult for most of us to awaken ourselves and face reality. We have to do that now. The alarm has been ringing for quite some time and all we are doing is hitting the snooze button.