World hunger is a problem that seems to get mainstream press every once in a decade, you know, when they are not busy talking about the Kardashians or Lindsey Lohan. It is rather unbelievable how quick tabloid news took over the “news” landscape. Talking about the Kardashian line at whatever store it is at now is more important than starving in countries like Zambia.
It is amazing what sort of propaganda can be bandied about, even by institutions such as the U.N. In 2002 Zambia felt strongly enough about Genetically Modified Food (GMO) that despite famine, they refused to accept GMO maize (corn) from the UN food relief program.
In 2005, no doubt backed by intensive propaganda they related and again receiving the GMO maize, though they asked to be given regular corn instead. In the 2007 UN release Africa Renewal they speak of food fortified with Iron, Vitamin A, Folic Acid and Zinc. What they don’t discuss is that this food probably also has other additions.
In a 2002 review of GMO “products” there are eight varients of corn that are modified to be insect resistant. There were nine types that were tolerant to herbicides. The grand daddy of them all were the three variants that shut down the plants reproductive ability.
86% of the corn grown in the US is genetically modified. This is pretty scary stuff. The increase need for plants resistant to herbicides is due to an increase in “cocktail” herbicides. Weeds have simply grown too resistant to any one herbicide. It makes me wonder how much of this resistance allows any herbicide or pesticide for that matter leech into the plant matter.
Organic (but more expensive than herbicides so unthinkable methods for weed control due to costing more) methods that can be employed are drip irrigation- feeding water directly to the plants you wish to grow in a controlled manner, good old fashioned manual weeding, tiling, ploughing and crop rotation can all provide relief from this constant battle to beat back weeds.
We have a War on Drugs that punishes people for using drugs. Heavy drugs often force people to use more and more to get the same effect. People scratch their head and wonder, How can they do that to themselves? I look at the method of weed and pest control and see this same method employed. The main issue here is it is not just affecting the person following that practice, it will haunt us all.
Now onto our modern issue, maximum profit at all costs. Three varieties that do not produce viable seed. Cook a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him forever. Or something like that. Well, I think it would be the right place to teach people to fish. Will it cost some profit. Monetary, sure. Their hearts and souls, I would suggest most people at these firms could afford to do some growing in that vein, Also keep in mind these numbers are from 2002. Perhaps one day when I have more time (hahaha) I will attempt to find more current sources. I find these sobering enough.
I try and consider how I can keep myself and more importantly my children away from GMO foods. I am of the mind that I will have to spend more time researching our food sources. I will have to spend more time re planing our menu within these new (no doubt in my mind) restrictions. I will do more research on the corn, but it frightens me. Sugar Beets had a 95 percent GMO rate in 2010 (though was under controlled growth in 2011)- damn, just when they were about to be added to my menu… I kid.
Perhaps it comes down to eating less but eating good food when I do eat. I know I can’t afford the volume of food I currently consume at organic prices. There will also be a lot of research into what organic brands really live up to a high standard. Buzz words often act like a bug light on an August night, drawing all manner of pests.
And now for something a bit uplifting.