The Politics On My Plate

monsanto

So I read about HR 933 just after talking to my mom about how my grocery bill seems to be growing new cells like it’s friggin’ skin.  I’ve been a conscious eater for way longer than I’ve ever admitted it–and have become moreso the older (maybe wiser too but I can’t judge) I get.  It’s kind of unpopular and a party pooper to talk about antioxidants and gmos.  Plus, it tows the line of cultural and social superiority–very first-world, middle-class whiny.

So I shut up and eat what I’m gonna eat and let you eat what you wanna eat.  Win-win.  But I have to say this: the food culture in this country is sickening.

Now since I’ve never been the popular girl anyway, I don’t know why I hesitate to spout my unpopular opinions.  This is probably one of them and for all 10 of you who read my blog that is all the disclaimer I can give.  Because I want you to care about the sickening food culture too.  For yourself, yes, but also for the children who are most likely to consume the food that HR 933 can make even more possible.  The other stuff–the economics of this decision for small farmers and stuff–well, I may deal with that another time.  But for now let me begin here:

I know Barack’s not Michelle’s mouthpiece and likewise that she is not his.  But HR 933 relaxing of regulations on high yield farming, which includes gentically modified crops, flies in the face of her healthful living campaign and reeks of hypocrisy.  Sure y’all can eat from your organic backyard farm but most of the population relies on grocery stores.  Where we can get bombarded with mutant food to feed ourselves and our families if we’re not careful and/or aware.

Let me clear: I don’t believe healthful eating is limited to eating organic fruit and vegetables–it’s making sure the fruit and vegetables you do consume have not been “genetically modified.”  Genetic modifying is kind of like the science behind  cloning Dolly the sheep.  It alters a food’s DNA.  Farmers might do that–often do that–by pumping foods with chemicals so that they can grow, say, a kiwi with the skin of an orange or just to grow more food.  Our population is growing and we need more food to feed it; GMOs offer the potential for high yield crops.  (Or so we argue without acknowledging how much food we actually grow and waste because it’s not pretty enough for grocery stores).

These chemicals are as lecherous as any in that non-decomposing stuff McDonald’s calls food.  Well, as far as we can surmise–their long term effects have not been tested or verified.  Therein lies one of the problems with this bill.

Healthful eating is also making sure our prepared foods are not loaded with corn syrup and soy that has been mutated in this way by companies like Monsanto.  That’s where most of our diets gets hacked.  You can barely buy dried pasta without lecithin–a soy product (and soy is often modified).

Which, in technical language, is why I think HR 933 Section 735 is some ol’ bull and Obama shouldna signed it.  It protects folks like Monsanto and leaves our food and those who eat it vulnerable.

HR 933, Section 735 namely, which is also called The Farmer Assurance Bill, is a spending bill; that is, it will help the government to hold onto some cash through the end of the fiscal year with provisions like the one that essentially protects Monsanto farms and their experimental food.   Sure that’s only 6 months (until the end of the fiscal year–September 2013), but it sets a dangerous precedent, probably follows one that my limited research hasn’t reached yet, that the USDA has little control over regulating the crops that feed our nation though it should.

Section 735 bars federal courts from stopping the planting and sale of the mutant food which seems to fail to regard the health problems that may arise now or in the future from those foods.

I understand President Obama’s attempts to avoid a government shut down with HR 933 as a whole.  I understand that this “little bill” is only 6 months–long enough to avoid a shutdown (did I understand that right?).  I do (or maybe I don’t?).   But really, Section 735 in particular still seems to come a a high human expense.  I feel like the food industry is giving the population forks and knives to dig their own graves.

Monsanto should have been shut down a long time ago; many other countries decided a long time ago that growing or selling crazy crops or at they least demanding such products be labeled just like organic foods are was in the best interests of their populations.

I’ve read a lot of emotionally charged writing on this as well as this more balanced discussion and was, still pretty much: aww hell naw.  I wish more people felt this way.  Our children need you to so they don’t grow into the health problems this kind of quick fix helps make possible and sadly, I think, almost inevitable.

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