A “Better” Crop

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So the conversations about the dangerous impacts of climate change have just taken a new and more dramatic turn. In recent experiments where crops were grown in open fields with estimated future CO2 levels, researchers showed that zinc, iron, and protein levels in wheat and rice crops are likely to be reduced by up to 10%.

10% doesn’t sound like a huge impact, but keep in mind that an estimated one-third of the planet already suffers from zinc and iron shortages. Dr. Samuel Myers from the Harvard School of Public Health stated, “We found that close to 2 billion people are getting at least 70% of their iron and zinc from these grains and legumes. So reductions in those crops are potentially quite worrisome in terms of increasing those deficiencies.” He went on to say, “It is possibly the most significant health threat that has been documented for climate change. We found significant reductions in iron, zinc, and protein in rice and wheat, and we found significant reductions in iron and zinc in soybeans and field peas as well.”

So I guess the good news is that we don’t have to wait for the super storms or blistering temperatures to get us. We can just wither away slowly from food that no longer supports any nutritional value! As I read this report, the only thing I could think was “Gee, I bet the guys at Monsanto are partying like rock stars over this. “

If you don’t know who Monsanto is, they are the evil geniuses responsible for the majority of the seed used for commercial farming. Now, assuming you’re not reading this from underneath a rock, you’ve heard the term GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and their overwhelming negative impact on the world.

In the farming world, an example of a Monsanto GMO would be a corn plant that is genetically modified to be resistant to herbicides. That way, when you spray for weeds, you kill everything but the corn plant. It’s not at all a coincidence that Monsanto’s other main product line is Roundup – which is an herbicide. So basically, they make your vegetables resistant to their poison so they can spray it with their poison. Then they feed them to you without a label or any other warning to let you know that what you are eating wasn’t created by nature, but was dreamed up in a lab full of guys in white coats who took a break from counting their money to poison you.

The idea of “genetically modified” crops just baffles me. I’m no historian, but hasn’t farming been around for thousands of years? I’m pretty sure that if you hopped in your nearest time machine and went back a couple hundred years, you’d find that a genetics lab wasn’t part of your local cabbage farm. You know who else was obsessed with genetic modification? Nazis.

Yes, I just said that.

GMO crops have absolutely no benefit to humans. In fact, they are harmful to just about everything they touch. They cross-pollinate other “non-GMO” crops. They create “super strains” of plant disease. They are even modifying the genetic make-up of the bugs that feed on the plants, as they become resistant to the pesticides that the plants are resistant to, evolving them into science fictionesque superbugs.

So what is the solution to the GMO epidemic? Let’s ask Norman Borlaug, or as he is affectionately known: “the man who saved a billion lives”. Norman developed a strain of high-yield, disease resistant wheat which won him, among other things, a Nobel Peace Prize. Oh, wait – we can’t ask him because he is dead. He’s dead because he was born in 1914 and revolutionized the farming world in the 40’s and 50’s. Pretty sure he didn’t do it with a gene sequencer, either. He took what nature had given us, applied a little bit of genius, and changed the world.

Look, It’s simple: Look for that little “organic” label on your produce. GMO’s will not have a label, because who wants to advertise something toxic? But naturally grown foods will always have a label letting you know that your fares are as natural as the planet intended them to be. I’m in no way suggesting that everyone needs a bean patch in their backyards, but a little awareness in the grocery store goes a long way.

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Justin Gammill

He is "stealthy like a ninja at midnight, yet brazen like a champion Mexican fighting chicken". Justin Gammill approaches his topics in a manner that provokes thought, laughter, and the occasional “did he just say that?”. Chances are, yes, he most certainly did just say that. So, buckle up … you never know where the train of thought is going.

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