Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Does non GMO food exist?

Recently I was told of an organization called "Millions Against Monsanto".  This group spends its time trying to figure out the horrible things that Monsanto is doing to humans, animals and the environment.  Now, I can't really defend them.  They did and have been responsible for some great advances in the early 20th century.  Also, my great-great grandfather worked for them in the 1920's, after he sold the family farm in Carondelet.  So, at that time and for my ancestors, the company has always treated us well.  Now, I did see that Monsanto is 85% owned by Pharmacia.  So, they are the real ones at fault, not Monsanto.

What is important to note, is that the Monsanto between 1901 and 2000 was a different company that the one that is run now.  Different direction and different products.  Now, I am torn because the company has done many bad things and I don't really want them shut down, just restructured, as they are a major contributor to St. Louis. 

Now, the question on everyone's minds is about Percy Schmeiser.  The biggest thing on everyone's minds is about this Canadian farmer.  There are still no facts at how Monsanto found out but the farmer had neighbors who were growing Monsanto seed and Percy had come into possession of Monsanto seed, himself, without buying it.  So Percy has Monsanto seed and claimed that the wind blew the seed into his farms from the neighbors' farms.  While we all want to side with him as a David and Goliath struggle, the Canadian Supreme Court did find that Percy did in fact grow and sow the seed, himself, and knowing that he did not pay for the seed.  Monsanto sued Percy and all was settled.

Now, whether you believe the Canadian justice system or not, Percy basically planted Monsanto seeds on his property without paying for them.  That is against their contract and in this case he did something illegal.  To this day, Percy claims that he won all the court battles and that the seed flew onto his farm.  

Now that the gorilla has left the room, science has yet to determine if there is any positive or negative effects for GMO or GE foods on humans.  Some sides claim that if there is a toxin that kills weeds and insects inside of a plant, it may also kill humans in large doses.  But, anything can kill humans in large doses.  A Monsanto contact of mine suggests that Monsanto makes "non-chemical insecticides, higher yield traits, stress traits that help plants deal with low water availability, plants that need less nitrogen so you don’t have to use as much fertilizer and more."  

So, with that, are those traits that we could use?  Well, here is an idea...: what if a crop could be made that uses very little water and can grow in the worst of conditions.  Imagine growing a field of wheat in a desert.  What about growing apples hydroponically? I know that every year I plant tomatoes and every year I harvest just a handful of them.  The rest of them come under attack from insects and fungus.  I would be completely happy if there was a natural way that the fungus and insects would not attack my crops. For example: I know that there is a type of plant that repels mosquitoes.  Citronella and catnip both repel mosquitoes.  So, what Monsanto can do is create a wearable repellent that is made from oils or both plants and is all natural.  

While discussing the evil's of Monsanto with others, I thought about the bigger picture.  Are there any produce sold in my area that are not grown from GE or GMO seed?  So, a fun challenge lays ahead of me.  I want to go to some of the farmer stands around the city and ask if they use any GE or GMO seeds.  I want to do it out of curiosity to see if there are any farmers doing this and secondly to prove someone from that "Millions Against Monsanto" organization wrong.  



This is the truck of the Stuckmeyers.
They are located in Columbia Illinois and have many, many acreage where they farm.  They have a small stand near their home and have a large building where they sell produce and other goods on Route 3 towards Waterloo.  I asked them as they had a small farmer's market here and they do not use any GMO, GE or any genetically modified or altered anything, in their foods.  So, my goal in finding pure and natural foods shows this farm is still without Monsanto.  This also means that this cannot be the only farm around not using GE or GMO seed, so there has to be one near you.  Ask around.

1 comment:

  1. genetically modified foods (GM foods) have made a big splash in the news lately. European environmental organizations and public interest groups have been actively protesting against genetically modified foods or GM foods for months, and recent controversial studies about the effects of genetically modified foods like corn pollen on monarch butterfly caterpillars.