The Cost of Denial

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.

Natural Weight Loss

cotton

The Cost of Denial

What about farmers in the rest of the world?

The websites of chemical companies would have you believe without GMOs and chemical crop protection, there would be mass starvation and environmental destruction.

In fact, the exact opposite is true.

Our government, combined with the chemical companies, are the two bullies in the alley who’ve delivered to farmers everywhere a 1-2 punch.

Let’s take a look at India.

For years the price of cotton was low around the world because there was more cotton than people needed – and most companies buying cotton choose the lowest-priced source.

Then US farm subsidies artificially reduced the price of American cotton and suddenly, the cheapest cotton was coming from America, not India.

Even though the cost of living in India is a fraction of what it is in the US, suddenly Indian farmers couldn’t make a living.

That was the first blow.

Now you have the follow-up blow.

Desperate Indian farmers got calls from companies using Bollywood movie stars and Hindu deities to help sell the farmers on “magic” seeds.

With literally nothing to lose, Indian farmers borrowed money to buy the seeds and the companion chemicals, never realizing the price will increase each year.

After the first year, they find out it costs much more to maintain their crops due to the ever-increasing prices of seeds and chemicals.

Yet they’re still plagued by insects and, like all promises of magic, the yields are disappointing at best.

Before long, the money lenders are knocking on their doors and there’s not enough revenue from the crops to pay the debts.

More than 160,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the past decade.

The favored method of suicide?

Ingesting chemical pesticides.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, with the urging of and $12 million in funding from the World Bank and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, did an unprecedented survey of agriculture around the world designed to determine the best solutions for feeding the world.

More than 400 scientists and 30 countries participated, including nongovernmental organizations and nonprofits from those countries who have on-the-ground experience working with farmers.

The resulting report, released in 2008, looked at many aspects of farming, from reducing hunger to improving rural livelihoods to long-term development, that are healthy for people and the environment.

It also looked at the impact of government subsidies encouraging farmers to dump the surpluses from countries like the US on the global market and destroy local markets.

The survey report’s sweeping recommendations include returning to more “natural” and traditional farming methods (away from GMOs and chemicals).

Giving women the right to own the land they farm was another recommendation (women still aren’t allowed to own property in many countries).

Building roads so farmers can get their crops to market was a simple but obvious idea.

Finally, they recommend ending subsidies.

Not surprisingly, Syngenta claimed on its website it would take 3 times more land to feed the world with organic farming practices, and that organic farming offers no health benefits.

(Syngenta has since changed the information offered on its website.)

Syngenta claimed social science was taking the place of scientific analysis.

“Social science” is often invoked when an idea is being discredited.

To many people, social science is unfairly perceived as one step removed from pseudoscience and a step and half from quackery.

The complexity of human behavior and the value of a human life have no place in business.

In the Akola region of Maharashtra, India, where there were 5,000 suicides from 2005 to 2007, a local textile company started contracting with a few hundred small farmers to grow organic cotton for them.

The textile company pays a fair price and trains the farmers how to grow organically.

The farmers seem happy and the textile company has been able to provide organic cotton fabrics to meet the growing global demand.

There have been no farmer suicides since the program started.

That is social science.

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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