Category Archives: Health

Monsanto Runs Into Wall. Yes!!

Say NO to Monsanto, GMOs,
and the patenting of life

The frustration about this company – Monsanto – and others like it has been running higher and higher over the last few years. (The free flow of information on the internet is a wonderful thing in this regard – corporate-bought media is no longer our only news option….) I think it may well be the most hated corporation on the web and on popular user-driven sites like Digg and Reddit. I would personally take great pleasure in seeing their buildings worldwide bulldozed and their fields razed – leaving behind only stone statue memorials that celebrate the greed and stupidity of man.

Today, however, I can share a beacon of hope. Read on!

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Also posted in GMOs

Monsanto Invents the Pig

Duration: 43 minutes

It’s amazing what humankind can do with a little effort and ingenuity. Who’da thought we could create an intelligent, four legged creature with a curly tail, that actually walks and makes cute grunting noises?

Stand by to be horrified at the lengths Big Biotech will go to take over the world’s food supplies. You’ll also be shocked to learn that pig and cattle farmers are seeing their livestock go sterile due to giving them genetically modified feed.

Without further ado, I introduce Monsanto – inventors of the pig….

Also posted in GMOs

The Bionic Burger

Long before Supersize Me or Fast Food Nation, Matt Malmgren was making interesting discoveries about fast food. In 1989, the trailing edge of the mullet era, he bought two burgers — he ate one and put the other in his pocket, intending to eat it later, but subsequently forgot about it. A full year passed before he pulled his old jacket out of the closet again, rediscovering the burger — and to his surprise found it still looked and smelled the same as a new one. It hadn’t decomposed.

When he told his friends about it, they didn’t believe him, so he repeated the experiment, several times over…. Today he has the world’s largest burger museum. All perfectly preserved with a chemical cocktail that discourages (much smarter) animals and insects from eating them.

Also posted in Consumerism, Pollution

Pandemic Ahoy?

Factory farming is back in the spotlight….

The 1975-77 TV Series ‘Survivors’

I’m showing my age here, but I was today reminded of an old British TV series called ‘Survivors‘ that was very popular in the late 1970s (nothing to do with modern reality shows!). It was a bit like Mad Max, but set in Britain, and after a pandemic rather than a nuclear war. The pandemic was, incidentally, a man-made affair. A lab experiment went horribly wrong when a test-tube crashed to the floor releasing a deadly virus. The scientist subsequently spread the contagion around the globe as he flew from convention to convention. Very few individuals survived.

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Also posted in Consumerism, Pollution

India Suicides: I Want My Father Back

I’ve made mention of the social and environmental costs of monocultures and genetically modified crops often. Amongst these has been many mentions of a humanitarian disaster occuring on a daily basis in India, where thousands of farmers have been committing suicide as a result of failed harvests — the failed harvests being the result of failed promises from the likes of Monsanto. The following documentary, produced in India, by Indians, paints the clearest picture of this situation that I’ve yet seen. In addition, the documentary compares the failure of those sucked into input-intensive industrialised agriculture with the success of those who have reverted to organic methods.

Also posted in Food Shortages, GMOs, Pollution, Society

A Farm for the Future

Seeing Permaculture promoted on the BBC is yet another positive sign of the times. In this 50 minute presentation, wildlife film-maker Rebecca Hosking returns to her farming roots – hoping to take over the reins of her family farm in Devon, UK – and duly considers exactly what kind of farm she wants to develop. Significantly, Rebecca looks at where the world is heading in regards to food production, and, in particular, thinks about the serious implications of peaking oil supplies on our fossil-fuel dependent agriculture.

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Also posted in Consumerism, Diversity, Global Warming, Permaculture, Society

Will Obama Allow Organic Farming and Farmers’ Markets to Effectively Get Banned?

A potential new legally enforced system of regulating how food is produced and processed currently before the U.S. Congress has profound and worrying implications for everyone who eats – and all those seeking to work towards sustainability. Significantly, the Bills before Congress may give a new ‘Food Safety Authority’ enormous powers of control – despite not specifically detailing exactly what this new authority intends to do with this power…. This post needs to be read, considered and acted upon by all.

Note: Feel free to skip my intro, and the background, and jump to the meat if you so desire.

I have a dream.

I dream of an age where governments stop pandering to big business lobbyists, and start incentivising a sensible, transitional shift to small-scale, localised food systems. This dream has our current dependence on (rapidly diminishing) supplies of oil – with its extreme cost in human life and economic and environmental destruction – effectively short-circuited. With current industrialised agriculture consuming ten calories of fossil fuels to create a single calorie of food, I see that this dream, if it doesn’t crystalise into reality, and soon, could quickly become a nightmare.

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Also posted in Geopolitics & Economics, Pollution, Society

Supermarket Secrets

Here’s a great behind the scenes look at modern supermarket and supply chain practices that have significant implications on the health of our environment, our animals, our food – and ultimately our own health. If you don’t have more than a few minutes up your sleeve, bookmark this page to watch when you do — as these are two full (and very interesting!) 49 minute documentary episodes.

Supermarket Secrets and Deceptions, Part I

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Also posted in Consumerism, Pollution, Society

Chemical Based Farming Systems Robbing Us of Nutrients

Full Report
(5mb PDF)
Executive Summary
2-Page Consumer Summary
Press Release

Nutrient levels in food supply eroded by pursuit of high yields

When we sit down to a meal of supermarket-bought produce, we like to think we’re getting a reasonable cross-section of the body’s nutrient requirements, but studies are showing that our chemical intensive monocrop farming systems are not delivering the vital ‘secondary nutrients’ that our ancestors enjoyed. Plants ‘flourishing’ on fast, soluble chemical fertilisers  get ‘lazy’ and do not develop the deep, healthy root systems that pull additional elements out of the soil. In addition, the soil micro-organisms that break down organic matter and minerals to feed to plant roots are being slaughtered through chemical bombardment and violent mechanised manipulation of their environment.

Essentially, we’re getting robbed, and having to pay for it in reduced health/vitality/longevity and increased medical bills.

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Also posted in Pollution, Soil

Water Worries

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink. – Samuel Coleridge (1772-1834). The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, II

If you look down on our earth from space, the predominant colour is blue. The surface of our earth is approximately 70% water. In that respect, perhaps our planet would have been better called the Ocean, than the Earth. Yet, excepting expensive, energy intensive and environmentally problematic desalinisation techniques (PDF), we cannot use it for our daily personal water intake requirements.

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Also posted in Pollution, Water