Thursday, May 14, 2009

So Where Does Our Food Come From?

Walk into a grocery store (or like I did the other day one of those crazy giant bulk goods stores where you can buy a case of motor oil next to a case of pineapple) and you see rows and rows of food - fresh food, frozen food, prepackaged food. But how many people ever think: Where does my food come from?

I find this one of the most disturbing phenomena in this country. People will spends days and weeks researching the best car, computer, or flat-screen TV, but will reach for just about anything to put inside our bodies.

Providing food to consumers used to be a regional enterprise where family farms would raise most of our basic crops. Now, according to Forbes magazine, the worldwide sector is worth about $4.8 trillion and growing. Mega corporations control everything from manufacturing of agrichemicals and seeds to food processing to retail.

Last year a French journalist and film maker, Marie-Monique Robin, created the documentary "The World According to Monsanto" which looks at the domination of the agricultural business by one company. Twilight Earth has posted the entire documentary on their site.

A little background info: Monsanto, the chemical company that brought you Agent Orange, is also responsible for the herbicide "Roundup" (and subsequent "Roundup Ready" seeds). They are also the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and are a developer of bovine growth hormones.

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