The Birth of Our Chemical Addiction

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

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chemicals

The Birth of Our Chemical Addiction

How did we get here?

How did we get to this place that leaves our lives and our children’s futures at such grave risk?

How did we create this world where manmade chemicals have invaded every part of our lives and threaten our climate, our health, and our futures?

How did we come to believe we can’t survive without the help of artificial, toxic, and harmful products on and in our food?

Are we destined to become an abandoned planet by committing “ecocide”?

In part, the answer lies in our passionate but damaging love affair with chemicals.

Most people think our dependence on synthetic chemicals (which we define as toxic substances manufactured for a specific purpose) to grow food began in the 1940s or 1950s.

But our dangerous liaison with chemicals started even earlier than that.

The Chinese were using arsenic sulfides in agriculture as early as the year 900.

By the 1300s, arsenic, lead, and mercury were being used in Europe for all sorts of things, including medicines.

The work of a German chemist named Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) created the great divide between “book” chemical farming and experiential “biological” farming.

In the early 1800s, chemistry was still viewed as a “pseudoscience.”

Chemists and alchemists were the laughing stock of scientific societies throughout the 1700s.

Scientists and other intellectuals frequently called them quacks.

Liebig believed man and science could replicate the most valuable resources of nature – sugar, salt, and nutrients – so man would never again feel vulnerable to the whims of nature.

He believed the stuff soil is made of – humus or organic matter – wasn’t necessary as long as we could replicate its mineral and nutrient content and manmade minerals and nutrients would be superior to nature’s because they were made by man, who was superior to nature.

The study of chemistry started as curiosity about the nature of the stuff of life and then developed mechanical arrogance.

Liebig was the originator of the idea (although not the slogan) “better living through chemistry,” and he started the trend of trusting academic scientific research on agriculture over the experience of farmers.

His laboratory and “scientific” methods inspired many Ivy League and land-grant university agricultural programs and are still used today, even though many of his original theories were long ago debunked.

A German, Liebig accused England of “robbing all other countries of their fertility” by stealing the bones of the dead from the battlefields in a craze for fertilizer.

And it’s true:  England did harvest bones from whatever sources it could.

Ground-up and buried bones were considered important sources of soil nutrients.

In the 1800s, the idea of staying on one’s land was highly appealing.

Great Britain was in its heyday as an empire.

Americans had established vast plantations and estates.

The ruling classes had invested lots of money in big homes and big cities, and the desire to control nature by improving the production of natural resources was strong.

Better yet, creating essential resources through chemistry and making money from it seemed like a great idea.

The stigma among the upper classes against engaging in trade was falling away, and educated young men were looking for ways to make their fortunes.

Liebig and his group believed in the idea promoted by anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan.

Morgan believed people could be categorized into 3 evolutionary groups:  the savage, who subsist on hunting and gathering; the barbaric, who use primitive agriculture and domesticate animals; and finally the civilized, who have the ability to write and are at the peak of the social hierarchy.

Liebig and friends placed themselves at the top of the civilized world.

These men believed it was their God-given right to control nature, and they had no respect or appreciation for anything beneath them, whether it was the lower classes, other races, women, or nature.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Organic Manifesto, go here Organic Manifesto: How Organic Food Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

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