I was born in the late 60’s and grew up in the 80’s. Many things have changed since the 80’s and especially in the way our food is produced. After WWII the way that food made it to our tables has changed greatly. My Great-Grandparents were farmers and most of the people in my family have had some type of garden most of my life. Many families during the late 50’s and 60’s started to have a 2 person income, and the 70’s brought about the women’s movement, and the days of stay at home mom for many was over. The way we started providing dinners for our family were starting to change also.
The days of the TV dinner had arrived to make things easier for the family on the go. They were developed in 1953 by Swanson’s, but there were earlier reports of others developing them but not really mass producing them for sales across the US. During this time your local grocers were more than likely buying from the local farmer using his/hers produce and eggs, possibly even different types of fresh milk. Things were about to be mass marketed to you and most people did not even realize it, and the majority still do not know where exactly the food they eat comes from. Food companies and manufacturers, and growers were about to be really big business because the average family was too busy to take the time to grow their own food anymore. The average family in the US both adult parents were now working to have double the income. So, no garden in your back yard, or acreage, you were going to have to rely on the local farmer or your local grocery. Many started going to the local grocery to do the one stop shopping for convenience and to save time. This is when the evolution of mass farming, or mass producing of fruits and vegetable sources had to evolve too to meet supply and demand.
There have been many different issues with crops grown in the US, such as drought, and then too much rain, tornadoes and hurricanes and pestilence throughout the US over the past 50+ years. We have used many pesticides to help with different types of bugs that destroy our crops, which in turn have caused problems such as birth defects and other illnesses. There are companies that have developed new technology to help with many issues that were just stated, and in my opinion they are not taking anyone’s health into account they are trying to make maximum profit. There has been a game changer in my opinion, and the big seed companies have no intention of turning back. It is now all about the profit and mass producing food and they have no concern for the health issues related to it, or the possibilities of future generations of healthy people. There are companies today that are genetically modifying the food that we eat to make them more drought resistant and more hearty to resist drought, and to produce more friut or veggies to meet supply and demand. I had not heard about much of this and did not pay much attention to it until I was taking a class in Culinary School and we were learning about GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms, seeds and plants. I was pretty shocked about what I learned and became pretty scared about it at the same time.
GMO’s have been in the American diet for about 20+ years now and I have often wondered about the increase in different health issues like cancer, and diabetes. There have been plants since the beginning of time that have mutated due to pollination or natural selection but what they are doing now is far from that, and not natural, a with new technology sometimes that is not always better! I am one of those people who would like lots of testing and many years of testing before they are putting all of this into the things that are on the shelves in a store near you. You are probably eating GMO stuff and have been for years and do not even know it. Regardless, I am sure that there are many people who think this is a good thing, and to them it might be. I am one of the people who do not believe that this is a good idea and I am going to tell you my opinion as to why.
One of the biggest seed manufactures in the world is Monsanto Corporation. They are the people who have made Round-Up weed killer, agent orange that was used in Vietnam, aspartame and saccharin that have caused cancer in laboratory rats. Why on earth would we want them to be making our? As I said earlier I was watching a video in Culinary School and I was made aware that they had developed a “Suicide Gene” in the seeds they are manufacturing. Farmers have been saving their seeds or “heirloom seeds” for generations and that was a way for them to save money and to make sure that they would be able to reproduce next years crop. Monsanto has created a super DNA type of seed that will not allow it to reproduce and if your crops are in proximity of a Monsanto crop they will cross pollinate and over take your heirloom seeds. The DNA from the seeds of Monsanto are dominant, they could make all other seeds extinct over a period of time no one knows how long but that should be scary enough to make that a non-issue…quit developing plants with the suicide gene makes sense to me they got the seed from someone to modify it should not be theirs to own for all time should it??????
There have been many lawsuits filed by Monsanto when the GMO seed crops have cross pollinated with someone not using the Monsanto seed, and they have had to pay royalties back to Monsanto. I will explain. Say you have 2 wheat farmers within 5-10 miles of each other and they harvest their crops. Both are taking them to the mill to sell their harvests, they will have them tarped off not to lose their valued grains but inevitably you will lose some. It is a windy day and some GMO grain is blown out and onto the farmers land not using the Monsanto GMO seed. The seed is now on the farmers land and will intermingle or cross pollinate with his crop. The farmer unknowingly has the GMO seed and would not use it in the first place more than likely, but will now be held accountable if his crop test positive for having DNA from Monsanto plant. There are people who work for Monsanto who go out and test peoples crops to see if they have any DNA from Monsanto. If they do they bring about a suit or harass the farmer and they win! To me this is absurd. If you can control the food source, you can control the whole planet. This should make you wonder what is really going on. Take a look at the lists of senators on the list of Monsanto that should tell you something. It is BIG business.
I have recently started to try and change the way that I eat my food and I want to know where it comes from. I have started cooking for different people who only wanted organic food used in their cooking. I have been going to farmers markets for quite sometime and the produce is really spectacular and not like what you get in stores, but it is normally very expensive. The reason I have started growing my own is I want to save money, and I actually know where it has been from start to finish. There is really big business in “Organic Foods” and your local grocer will carry them but the cost is great and I worry about whether they really are “Organic”. I like buying local, organic fruits and vegetables because you keep the money in your community, and help the cause of sustainable food. This has became a big passion of mine to make sure that I figure out how to produce some really good fruits and vegetables not only for myself, and my clients, but I want to start helping other achieve the goal of growing organic foods and getting others more involved. I think as we age we gain knowledge and start trying to stave off the aging process, and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I for one have started with my food, and food sources. If you want to get involved contact http://www.organicconsumers.org/action.cfm
I have recently started Aquaponics that is another story and I have written a story/blog about my take on that and there will be more developing as I continue my journey on discovering more into the Organic Growing of Food. I just hope that more will try to gain knowledge on where they are getting their food sources from and try and stay away from big business food like Monsanto, and other companies that are trying to monopolize our food resources.