Saturday, December 29, 2007

Corny Food Fights

Fast, easy, and dirt cheap informs choices of what many gobble up with hopefully clean fingers, wooden chopsticks, silverware or the latest dorky spork. Though it looks steamy fresh, even smells divine, chances are excellent, it sprung from genetically modified seeds, had hormonal injections, was bred in a fishery, had poisonous chemicals sprayed on it, was irrigated with water filled with animal poo from a neighboring farm, or after being cloned - the animal was force fed and stuffed to the gills to get the best fois gras. Becoming more rare, food fit for toddlers and the elderly, actually arriving as Mother Nature intended from a local food source, rather than mass produced at an industrial farm. Organic farming, with all natural materials costs a royal ransom, making real food more available on the snowy white linen-laden, heirloom tables of the ultra chic and wannabe thin wealthy.

Agribusinesses are pernicious profit-laden businesses that farm on a Texas sized scale for the huddled masses. Industrialized corporate farm's choice of crops are based on return on investment with their public relations amped up to increase global market share by shouting look at us - we feed (some of) the world's poor and undernourished while spreading a small percentage of our profits to public television and other needy causes to enhance our benevolent image. Corporate corn, the cash crop - instead of being a primary food, it is sold to make energy products, like ethanol, making corn expensive for humans to even eat. But that is just the beginning.
(DPA Photo)

Because corporate corn soaks up water like a soil sponge, farming it decreases water supplies and inflates water bills as local population increase, placing a Herculean demand on antique water distribution and sewage systems. Mix in a few droughts and the cost of corporate corn grows Jack & the cornstalk high, while the evil additive High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) seeps and creeps into an astounding array of products. Subsidized corporate corn is cheaply put into every piece of candy, added to juice drinks, jellies, jams, and spread on other supposedly nutritious foods. Healthcare costs explode and it becomes unaffordable when one of the culprits, such as corporate corn masquerading as HFCS contributes to diabetes, hypertension and dental disasters, creating health crises the world over.

Meanwhile, corporate corn is a feed crop for the industrialized chicken farms that the finger lickin' good people use or the I'm lovin' it folks nuke to perfection to fulfill the demand for fast, easy, cheap food. Checking how the sizzling strips of bacon arrived on your plate from a stinky smelly industrial process hog farm, may just make the consumer love pigs in Charlotte's Web or Babe or see the New Year's good luck pigs in German zoos in the future. (AP photo)

Britain is implementing more government bans on junk food ads, especially on shows enjoyed by young people because of the increase in obesity and juvenile onset diabetes from fast food. Europe refuses grain from the US because they will not accept genetically modified seeds and destroy existing plant strains. Bacteria poisoning eaten by unwary consumer is cropping up all around the globe. China has had one helluva year as recall after recall made the leaders even do a promotional food safety campaign. Small farmers are being squeezed all the world over as water becomes more scarce as corporations, public private partnerships buy rights from broke governments and give tax subsidies to the corporate farmers.

Five kinds of pesticides that the (sic Chinese) ministry banned for their high toxicity have been seized and destroyed.

The ministry also issued six regulations on pesticide registry management to standardize labeling and control product quantities.

Food a source of delight for those with enough money to make good choices or even hedonistic ones. Just getting a meal once a day is a struggle for most of the world's population. Many who look healthy or are even plumper than most, may in fact be undernourished.

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto is a widely recommended and critically acclaimed book springing from the equally stunning, intensely researched Omnivore's Dilemma by the same author, Michael Pollan. Eat more plants and other practical insights are common sense offerings in his latest book about our food supply.

Get that Blood Pressure checked while enjoying something green, leafy tasty!

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