Through the process of promoting an ecologically friendly and energy efficient green lifestyle, many hopelessly gullible people all over the world are caught up in the clusterfuck of misinformation–and that can be dangerous.
For the purposes of this article, I’m going to concentrate on the plethora of harmful lies that you’re subjected to about the food and farming industries, but beware of false prophets…and false profits…because there is plenty of horseshit out there for you to fall victim to.
On the other hand, there are many things you can do and should do to improve your carbon footprint–and even be a healthier human being. Stop eating shit, for example. There’s nothing good about being able to order a 3 lb Cheeseburger…except for the fact that it’s fucking delicious.
An estimated 25,000 people die of hunger every single day. In most places in the world, being able to turn down food is not an affordable luxury. Fortunately for us–the western world can afford to not only decide what we want to eat and when…but we possess the ability to feed the billions of people who live life in a constant struggle for food and water. Many individuals, however, feel differently.
Those who support a strictly organic food-producing planet have got their hearts in the right place, but their heads lodged firmly up their asses. Organic food can be great if you can afford to live on it. Locally grown produce is delicious and it is important to support a struggling independent farming culture; but just because organic food is the right answer for you, doesn’t mean it’s the best answer for everyone.
Those who rise up just to fight “The Man” without rational cause or reasonable information will have you believe that food science–or genetically modified food–is a dark cloud looming over our heads, threatening our very way of life. I’m no right-wing lunatic, and I’m a huge proponent of “fucking with The Man,” but there are important fights, and downright retarded ones.
Luckily, I’m here to set you straight–so watch out, fuckers! You might learn a thing or two…
1. Dumb Myth: There is no current government regulating system in place for Genetically Modified food.
Smart Fact: Sounds terrifying, doesn’t it? Genetically Engineered crops receive the highest amount of scrutiny and testing. The USDA, FDA, EPA conducts millions of dollars worth of testing, just to make sure this newly modified food is safe for you and me. This is not to say that you should always trust your government programs or that they’re always successful…but lying about it doesn’t help anything or anyone.
2. Dumb Myth: The effects of Genetically Modified food can not truly be known because they contain animal/plant crossbred DNA that may mutate.
Smart Fact: If you have any kind of rudimentary idea of how genetics work, you’d know that this is not the case. When biologists study gene splicing, they work with fish, frogs, rats, etc in order to better understand the biological structure, but none of these genes are ever crossbred with plants for consumption. It’s not true…so shut the fuck up.
3. Dumb Myth: People in Third World countries can’t afford GM crops. They’re poor. They don’t have the resources to purchase land and food.
Smart Fact: Who do you think you are, you selfish, arrogant cunt? People in poorer countries aren’t stupid. They have plenty of means to feed one another–they simply lack the technology. GM food is not necessarily more expensive, either. Modified hybrid crops are the only missing piece of the picture that separates our abundance of food, and their dangerous lack of it.
4. Dumb Myth: Genetic Modification is unnatural, and therefore wrong/against god/whatever.
Smart Fact: Unless you are living naked in the woods with no form of contact with the outside world, you are living an unnatural life. Like the Elephant Man, we humans decided long ago that we are not going to live like animals. Everything we’ve established in our society is based on some kind of scientific accomplishment and food is no exception. There is nothing wrong with the natural world, of course–but remember, nature also produces poison, drugs, violence, and disaster.
If you’re reading this article, you’re taking advantage of an unnatural resource. If you have any kind of pet, you’re taking advantage of selective breeding and genetic engineering.
5. Dumb Myth: Sustainable Organic Food can potentially feed the world.
Smart Fact: Even if we were to convert every existing plot of usable farm land into areas specifically for growing food using organic methods, we could only feed two-thirds of the world’s population. Who decides which 2 Billion people don’t get to eat?
6. Dumb Myth: Genetically Modified Foods are certainly a sign of Global Corporate Greed taking over (privatizing) a public marketplace of food.
Smart Fact: There have been many cases of corporate greed in the food industry–too many to count. This is unfortunate, but it isn’t a necessary byproduct of GM food production. How can it be? Vitamin A rice (or “Golden Rice”) is a prime example of the pure nature of genetic modification aiding the world.
In September 2009, the world lost a great man. Norman Borlaug was an agricultural scientist who traveled the world, aiding farmers in other countries by introducing new strains of crops. When he won the Nobel Peace prize, he was credited for saving the lives of a billion people. The benefits of his selfless and magnificent life’s work will last forever.
Agricultural scientists like Borlaug ensure that crops such as “Golden Rice” are not developed by or for industry. Their crops present a fully sustainable solution that requires no extra resources. They can avoid the negative effects of any particular environment and thrive in undesirable atmospheres.
Products like “Golden Rice” are often free of charge and restrictions to subsistence farmers so that the rich are not given special preference and the poor are never disadvantaged. Special care is taken that the crops do not adversely effect other crops or farmland.
7. Dumb Myth: Going ‘Veggie’ is like giving the environment a big fucking hug.
Smart Fact: Going Vegetarian or Vegan is a step in the right direction. Animal products leave a lot to be scoffed at as far as ecological waste is concerned–but sometimes Vegetarian food can have a larger carbon footprint. Hard cheese and other dairy products account for a significantly larger amount of carbon emissions than–say–chicken. Going Vegan is a much more effective way of reducing your carbon footprint…if you don’t mind looking like a pussy when your friends want to go out to eat…anything.
8. Dumb Myth: The introduction of Genetically Modified crops have led many traditional farmers to lose their livelihoods, or drive them to suicide.
Smart Fact: Farmers lose their shit all the time. You know why? Because it sucks being a farmer. Agricultural science is in place to aid and support them, but many farmers in areas like India are not supported or properly trained by their government. They are sold fake GM seeds or simply not informed on how to use them. Shock and scare stories run rampant, and suddenly, it is the evil of the science at fault…and not the inadequate training.
9. Dumb Myth: Buying Local produce is the fucking answer!
Smart Fact: Supporting local farmers and ma & pa stores gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. It’s a good thing–there’s no disputing that. When you buy food that needs to be imported…or when you buy produce out of season…it takes a lot to get your favorite fruits and veggies on the shelves. Carbon emissions by plane, train, or automobile are not the only thing to consider, however. Sometimes food manufactured elsewhere can have a much lower carbon footprint due to the conditions in which their grown. If you take the time to look at where your food comes from, you may find that the environmental cost of shipping food into or around the country may make ecological sense. And if you actually do look into where your food comes from this much, you’re probably batshit crazy.
10. Dumb Myth: Eating Genetically Modified food means we’re eating the genes of other organisms. Fuck!
Smart Fact: Scare tactics run rampant, especially through organizations like Greenpeace, that the consumption of genetically altered genes can potentially affect our genes. To put that statement in perspective, they want you believe that there is the very-real possibility that you literally are what you eat. There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever. In fact, you consume DNA when you eat anything. It’s unavoidable. You don’t turn into a pig when you eat bacon–and ladies don’t get pregnant when they swallow.
11. Dumb Myth: Organic growing methods are healthier, better for the environment, and help support Mama & Papa farmer.
Smart Fact: The debate between organic and genetically modified food is an important one, but it loses all significance one when it comes to feeding the world.
Healthier? Not necessarily. An overwhelming majority of Americans believe this claim although there is absolutely no evidence to suggest it. Many people feel that due to genetic resistances to pesticides, GM foods are given unhealthy amounts of toxins. Organic foods, however, because they are not treated with enhanced pesticides are often given drastically higher quantities of toxins to make up for their non-resistance to pests.
And remember the E. Coli breakouts in spinach and lettuce? Both were traced back to organically grown produce. Organic foods make up 1% of our country’s produce, but ultimately account for 8% of E. Coli outbreaks.
Better for the environment? In our society, we’re trying to make small steps toward being more “green.” Being more energy-efficient is easier said than done, but it is possible for a brighter and more sustainable future.
Organic food requires twice the amount of land to grow, therefore, farms who were forced to “go organic” have cut their efficiency in half. If the land is not adequate for producing a large amount of organic food, deforestation occurs. More farmland needs to be created…and that means leveling the playing field…and that means wiping out trees. Sound cool? Alright, let’s go for it.
Fuck ‘the Man’ and support Lil’ Business? Organic food is big business now. Giant companies like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s rake in billions of dollars a year; but that, of course, doesn’t make them bad. Years ago, major companies figured out that organic food was the new “thing” and hopped on that fucking bus.
Mom and Pop shops are a different story altogether–but those local independent farming resources are getting just as fucked by big business organic farms as anyone else. Five California farms are responsible for all $600 million worth of organic farming in the state.
70% of all organic milk comes from a single production company.
Of course the big business of organic food production is making tons of money–the product is fucking expensive! Less food is made per acre, and therefore, more costly and in higher demand. Yet, despite this, supporters of organic farming can still find a way to express their rabid anti-corporatism.
There are plenty of reasons to be anti-corporate and anti-globalization…but food production is hardly one of them. It’s important to investigate issues and ask questions–otherwise we float through our lives never giving a shit, and that’s bad.
But it is more important to make sure the information you’re getting is true, accurate, and without alternate agenda…only then can you escape from the grey dumbfuckery that causes individuals to put Hitler moustaches on Obama…or bang bongos outside of FYE.
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