The Turning Point Towards The Organic Movement
As we begin to explore the organic movement, it seems only natural that we mention the recent passing of scientist and organic farmer Dr. G. Nammalvar. (Honorary) The good doctor will be greatly missed by the farming communities of many third world countries. He traveled impoverished parts of the world teaching farmers how to grow organic and how Mother Nature is actually pro farmer, even in the parts of the world that get very little rain. He believed that government’s involvement in farming was too damaging and spoke at many universities. His books on organic farming are scheduled to be translated into English very soon.
He died on December 30th 2013 at the age of 75. He was traveling to a protest of a methane plant.
What is the Organic Movement?
It is too late, is what it is. Some say that it is a renascence, rather than a movement or… shhh… revolution (Whispered) although many people believe that it should be.
Around 1920 or so, farmers used all natural methods with which to grow their crops and fight insects and weeds. With the world’s population growing at an alarming rate, it was decided first in Europe that we needed Industrial Agriculture. (That heavy feeling you just experience was the weight of impending doom and gloom. They felt it then as well but chose to ignore it).
The idea was obviously poorly conceived and not very well thought out. Soon there were massive farms practicing monoculture, or the growing of one crop on a large parcel of land, over and over, each and every year.
The land is not made for this type of farming. The nutrients needed for the same crop are stripped from the soil and can take decades to come back. However, in the late 30s and early 40s, chemicals were coming out in droves that put the nutrients (Or something like them) back. Insecticides were also raining down upon us from the chemical companies to fight the insects that loved the crops. Many species… which included some that were not targeted, were wiped from the face of the planet in one, felled swoop. Many small farmers were going extinct as well, waving farewell to their lands, homes, and the American dream through a cloud of DDT.
The History behind the Organic Movement
Environmental issues have plagued us now for the longest time. You may have noticed that no one really talks about Industrial Agriculture anymore. The fact is that it is the ugliest form of self plight man could have wished upon himself and the animals with which he inhabits this world.
Those chemicals got into the soil and poisoned it. The insects died all right. The smaller animals that ate them died. The larger animals that ate them died… and on it went up the food chain until it got to the top. Guess who is at the top of the food chain. (Smile)
If you have to ask, you have not been paying attention. Organic food and farming is coming back. It is too little too late for many, but it is coming. The damage is so extensive that it has even affected the climate and allowed several organisms and bacteria’s to gain a foothold in our world where they do not belong.
- The first is in the illnesses that have built a resistance to antibiotics. (Cattle) Think about this. Some very powerful person decided that we would give antibiotics to cattle to keep them healthy and fat. The organisms do what they do best and became resistant. The meat found our kitchens and we caught the organisms and became sick. The antibiotics that would have cured us created the organisms so they do not help and we… die. (lol)
- The second is a creation of a weed-killer you may have heard of called “Round-up.” It was a very effective weed killer that was so effective; it spawned a new and improved kind of “Super-Weed” that cannot be killed.
If we ever needed to bring back organic farming, it is now and it is too late. Still, moving forward has to start somewhere. The super-hero group called the Union of Concerned Scientists is not really a super-hero group… rather, they are the sensible scientists that are trying to correct the mistakes of their predecessors… mistakes made at the behest… nay, the order of politicians. (Sounds like a super-villains group) With these scientists looking for and often finding new and improved ways to get back to safe and organic farming, we may yet survive that big mishap in the food industry.
India is growing organic rice by the boat-load. The Republic of China’s President has declared that they will be making Taiwan an all-organic farming island. Zimbabwe has banned forever the first round of GMs and refuses to even debate the subject further. (Genetically modified crops and seeds that the original developers swore were safe in every way and that they were necessary if we wanted to feed the starving millions of the world. As it turns out… they are not safe)
These are just a few of the good stories coming over the wire. Another that will put a smile on your face is about how organic farmers fight pests. Today’s farmers have only begun to uncover the secrets of pest control that used to be common knowledge before the Industrial Agriculture revolution.
Farmers are finding the natural enemy insects of crop eating to be an effective weapon. Scientist are cutting bugs open and examining the stomach contents to determine which bugs kill and eat the farm-pest bugs. (Pretty CSI-Cool)
As much as we hate to give you bad news after all the bad news in the report, we do have a few concerns. The Food Safety Modernization Act is going into effect. It is aiming to force the shutdown of safe, organic farmers and allow unsafe farms to continue. Why would that happen… you ask? The act is designed to force clean up operations and do the things that would avoid the illnesses like the spinach scare a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, it is the farm that has to pay. Those farms that made us sick can afford the $13,000 for the act’s paperwork and necessaries, while those smaller organic farms say good bye, roll over, and bite the farm.
The Future of the Organic Movement
The obvious answer is that we will find a way to continue to improve the organic farm. Despite the fact that a new study this week shows that organic farm food is not more nutritious than non-organic. Still… less chemicals have to count for something.
If you type the future of organic farming into a search engine, the results are not that promising. There are arguments for and against and the world just seems so topsy-turvy on the subject. All we can say is that we are hopeful that we come to our senses and start growing organic foods that do not impact the environment more than the Industrial Agriculture revolution already has.