Ownership of Product vs. Food

Those that own the food, own the people.  Most of us understand the dangers in patenting staple seed crops like corn, wheat, soy, alfalfa & cotton because these ingredients are key to the industrial food system. Of course, for now, there are still ways to opt out of the industrial food system.

Elements of these five "mother crops" are evident in almost every kind of processed food available on the shelves of any American grocery store. Considering Americans eat more than 30% more packaged, processed foods than whole foods, the connection to the severity of a controlled food system on a dependent population should be quite obvious.

How many people, for example, do you think know how to make something simple like peanut butter? Or how to cook oatmeal, rice or eggs without a microwave?  Or how to seed a pomegranate?

Not many.

In fact, many people might be surprised to learn that fruits and vegetables are actually grown in dirt.  Or that fish and shellfish live in the same water that is drilled for oil.  To some of us, these accusations sounds far-fetched; however, I started working with children's gardens several years ago simply because my neighbor's daughter was surprised by the fact a pepper came from a plant. She was nine years old at the time.

If this disconnect were limited to only the experiences of children, one might be able to somehow justify it.  After all, children aren't exposed to agrarian livelihoods any more.  Summer vacations are simply vacations now, where in past times, children were relieved from studies primarily to help on homesteads during the growing season.

Recently, a co-worker had expressed to me her frustration about the industrialized food system in which we find ourselves today.  She expressed to me that it was becoming increasingly difficult to read through the marketing on grocery store products. When something says, "natural," what does that even mean?

The fact is, it means nothing. Everything is natural at some level, even lead. Agribusiness has invested billions of dollars to ensure that GMOs aren't labeled because their products, they feel, are "essentially the same" as whole foods - except they're not really the same at all: they are genetically modified. We have no idea how GMOs will react in our bodies.  What agribusiness is really worried about is customer withdrawal once they are informed of what they are purchasing. 

The question is: if it were really safe, why not label the products and disperse the safety sheets?

The safety of GMOs hasn't been entirely examined.  GreenFacts.org says, "The main food safety concerns associated with transgenic products and foods derived from them relate to the possibility of increased allergens, toxins or other harmful compounds; horizontal gene transfer particularly of antibiotic-resistant genes and other unintended effects."

There are a number of reasons as to why a consumer may want to avoid GMOs, but it becomes increasingly difficult unless one is willing to prepare and process whole foods oneself.  If ever there were an apocalypse in front of us, this might just be it.

Photo credit: By lyzadanger