My Private Thoughts and Public Adventures – An Artist’s Perspective Part III
By Judy Edwards // August 11, 2012
Health and Food
A WOMEN’S JOURNEY, ADVENTURES AND PERSPECTIVE
Part III of Judy Edwards Journey
How did this all happen in the first place?
I never should have asked myself that question because as I mentioned in my first blog, you only know what you know, until you know it.
My state of blissful ignorance was first rattled seven months ago when I watched the movie, “THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?”
THRIVE is a feature length film, which has gone around the world numerous times.
By following the money, it describes our global current state of affairs, and how we got where we are.
Things are not totally ruined, and there is tremendous hope for the future, but there are some things that are seriously wrong.
I used THRIVE’S investigative techniques when I looked into the food situation, that so affected the Aborigines and is creating havoc everywhere.
Follow The Money
I followed the money and learned that farming in the United States has changed more in the past 50 years than it has in the past 10,000.
I learned that we have a huge problem with enormous quantities of unhealthy food which all revolves around getting cheap hamburgers at the fast food chains.
It started with McDonald’s who to this day buy more beef than anyone else in the United States. In order to sell a cheap hamburger, they have to buy a large amount of beef cheap. In order to buy the beef cheap it has to be fed cheaply and fattened up.
Our farmers grow corn that is subsidized by the federal government, and sold to the CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations). It used to be called ranches.
Who Knew Fish Liked Corn?
The cows who are by their very nature grazing animals, are penned inhumanly and fed corn. The efficiency of this is so great that corn is now fed to pigs, chickens and even farm raised salmon and tilapia. Who knew fish liked corn?
This keeps the costs down, the animals and the workers unhealthy and disease that never existed in the food chain rampant. Think e coli and salmonella. Kevin’s Story is relevant to this discussion.
Once you know a little bit, It’s hard to let go of the impact that corn has on our diets, not just the cows.
I just think of the delicious ears of corn we used to enjoy each summer from the neighboring farms.
The majority of the corn now is GMO, (genetically modified organism).
Farming has become a factory. Where 100 years ago, a farmer could grow 20 bushels on an acre, they now grow 200!
These days, they are not using standard, tried and true farming methods. They are not rotating crops, and adding manure and compost.
They are constantly chemically treating the soil, genetically modifying the seeds so the seeds will grow bigger and better into more products.
These genetically modified seeds are such than when sprayed with chemical herbicides and pesticides they don’t die.
An interesting fact that I didn’t quite know before, was that once a large multinational corporation like Monsanto, modifies a seed in any way, which it does all the time, it is then patentable and they own the seeds.
Big Business and The Supreme Court
Monsanto, and their connection to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (who was a Monsanto attorney before he became a Supreme Court Judge) ensured the illegality of seed saving. But that was back in 2001.
Monsanto’s close ties have been paying off in Iraq with Article 81 which means that in the future, among other things, Iraqi farmers will be forced to plant ‘protected’ crop varieties defined as new, distinct, uniform and stable.
Seed saving will be banned, and royalties will have to be paid by the farmer to the registered seed “owner” (Monsanto).
Let’s get beyond Monsanto for a minute and find out besides feeding the animals where else does all this corn go?
Ninety percent of the 47,000 products in the average supermarket food have a corn product in it.
Unfortunately, we as a population are hard wired for salt, sugar, and fat which is rare in nature but our food at this point is so far from nature that these huge corporations just make more products that they know we will want to eat.
Think high fructose corn syrup which is adding to the diabetes epidemic, also baby food, beer and ale, cake mixes, canned vegetables, cereals, chewing gum, chips and cornmeal snacks, corn meal based foods, powdered sugar, pancake and waffle mixes, flours, mustards, puddings and custards, salad dressings, soups, pet food, sauces and gravies, thickening agents.
New Industry – Ingredient Solutions
I discovered a new industry in my research: an ingredient solutions provider.
Ingredion, Inc. is one of the world’s leading ingredient solutions providers. They turn corn, tapioca, wheat, potatoes and other raw materials into a myriad of ingredients for the food, beverage, brewing and pharmaceutical industries as well as numerous other industrial sectors.
Their starches, sweeteners, texturants and nutritionals are used by their customers to provide everything from sweetness, taste and texture to immune system support, fat replacement and adhesive strength.
They make foods and beverages taste better, baby powders and cosmetics smooth to the touch, cereals and crackers crisper, breads brown evenly, IV solutions and pharmaceuticals for patients in need, and much more.
How far away have we gotten from a garden, or a farm, or organic quality healthy food?
Somewhere along the way, quantity and profit become the operative mechanisms and we as consumers by our ignorance of it happening, just let it happen.
Amazingly though, as all this was going on, after thirty years of a rigorous side-by-side comparison, the Rodale Institute confidently concludes that organic methods are improving the quality of our food, improving the health of our soils and water, and improving our nation’s rural areas.
But, we have created a nation of ill health, spread it out into the world and then created another giant industry designed to care for the chronic and acute illnesses that plague us in part, due to the food that we eat.
to be continued….
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Judy Edwards is a painter and writer who lives in Brevard County, Florida. Edwards studied art at the Honolulu Art Academy, Rhode Island School of Design, Newport Art Museum on Monhegan Island, Maine and at the Ringling School in Sarasota, Florida. Currently, Edwards is a member of the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Melbourne, Florida.
In art, she places her current emphasis on investigating, creating, and manipulating colors with molten wax. Edwards says, “The additive and subtractive nature of encaustics lends itself to abstraction and is thrilling to work with”.
Visit her website at JudyEdwards.com to find out more about Edwards and her art.