Last night, I went and saw Food, Inc. and left depressed and convinced that I will never eat pork, beef, chicken, soy, wheat, or corn again. I am going to live off organically grown nuts and the chard in my garden. That’s it. Oh wait, nuts have to fly too far to get to Alaska, so scratch those. Can a person survive off chard, turnips, and chives? That’s all I was able to grow this year. Damn.
Ok, so obviously my plan won’t work. But it is truly sick how much power and control a few mega-corporations have over our entire food supply. Sick. I wanted to literally throw something at the screen when they started talking about Monsanto. According to their website, “Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more.”
Help farmers, my ass. Moe Parr really appreciated all your ‘help’ when you sued his ass and forced him to retire after 50 years in the seed cleaning business because he couldn’t afford his legal fees anymore. I felt horrible for this man. That part of the movie made me cry. It is just.not.fair.
Monsanto genetically modifies soybeans – the seeds – so that they wouldn’t die from pesticides. And because they’re genetically modified, Monsanto can legally patent their seeds and sue any farmer that saves those seeds from one year to the next. Monsanto soybeans account for some astronomical percentage of all soybeans grown in the US. If you are drinking soymilk, tofu, yogurt, or edamame chances are you are eating their product.
So, maybe you are thinking, why don't they just buy non-patented seeds? Well, that is exactly what some farmers do. But you better hope your neighbors don’t have Monsanto seeds either. One farmer was also sued because Monsanto seeds blew into his field. Seriously. Farmers are so in debt producing heavily subsidized crops for monopolies that require certain farming ‘standards’ that their hands are tied. If the only corporation buying soybeans is Monsanto and you are a soybean farmer, what are you going to do? If you only make $18,000/year how are you going to fight a billion dollar company?
Food, Inc. also goes in to meat production, the evils of corn, and the industrialization of the food industry. It was absolutely appalling watching some of the egregious ethical violations some mega-companies don’t think twice about.
Thank God there are still people like Joel Salatin. I wonder if he has a 30-something son that I could marry? Food, Inc. made me realize how much miss doing environmental work. I’m not leaving Juneau anytime soon, but I think eventually that is going to be what gets me. I wish there was a way to do really meaningful national work from a really beautiful rural area. It sucks that you either have to give up nature or career. I love my job, but it’s not my passion.