Industrial agriculture is striking and stark. Imagine immense plots spanning greater distances than 30 football fields. Imagine row after row of corn or soybean harvested by hefty tractors or, increasingly, laser technology. Imagine the already chemical-soaked hybrid seed sprayed with its third round of pesticides. Imagine dinner- what is it really? Today's farms would be unimaginable to our grandparents, and our great grandparents. Today's dinner plates and ailments would be, too.
Industrial Food: Environmental, Physiological and Security Concerns
- Environmental: Pesticides, herbicides, and genetically engineered crops have not created a more stable food system. Increasing crop homogenization and decreasing species diversification leaves us vulnerable to a pest, virus or bacteria that could wipe out an entire crop. Additionally, long terms studies have never been conducted on the effects of these chemicals or genetically modified crops on the natural environment. Many of them are known or predicted carcinogens. Though the chemicals do prevent pests in the short-term, the long-term public health effects are much more detrimental.
- Physiological: The long-term effects of these chemicals on humans have not been adequately studied. No clinical human trials on the effects of genetically modified crops have ever been published. Genetically modified food products are not allowed in Europe, Canada or Japan. Our meat and dairy products, treated with a high level of antibiotics and grown at an unnaturally rapid rate through the help of hormones, are also not allowed on European markets.
- Security: Governments around the world no longer accept meat or dairy products from the United States. They say the new proteins and hormones used to speed up growth have yet to be proven safe. Our government, on the other hand, says they have yet to be proven dangerous. This is a national security concern. If we are increasingly burdened by healthcare costs and citizens suffering from chronic illness, we weaken ourselves physically and economically. The security of our families and our nation depends on building our strengths, not managing our weaknesses.
The Immune System in Our Digestive Tract
Since 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tracts, the foods we eat along with the chemicals they contain significantly impact our health. As these foods travel down the intestines, they can corrode our digestive tract much in the same way that chemical toxins corrode pipes used in plumbing. This damage to our essential absorptive system leaves us vulnerable to a long list of autoimmune disorders and food allergies.