Sent: 12/27/2009 1:10:36 A.M. Central Standard Time
Subj: corporate control of agriculture
As a typical consumer and as a mother, grandmother, I am horrified at the sorry state of our agricultural products and cost and delivery (global warming concerns).
#1 . . . Bioengineered produce
This is a frightening situation because agribusiness is forcing this genetic engineering of our plant produce because it benefits large agrifarming, but not the consumer. And the horrifying fact that engineered seeds transmigrate from the engineered fields to neighboring fields, contaminating those crops . . . especially endangering would be organic farmers and their yields. There is no benefit of taste or nutritional increase to this type of food engineering, and experimenting upon the general public is immoral as we do not know the results that will occur down the road over time upon our health and wellbeing.
#2 . . . Consolidated crops
It used to when I was much younger, that a trip through the country, the farmers' fields would display a wide variety of food produce. All kinds of crops were grown locally and available at the farm stands, fresh and delicious. There were no cardboard tasting tomatoes, but wonderfully tasting "heirloom" creations that would delight the palate. All kinds of greens and herbs and beans and potatos and onions and leeks, etc. and on and on. Now, however, we travel through fields of corn, corn, corn, (and most of it not for human consumption), and soybeans. Farm stands at the perimeter of the fields sell produce, not from their fields, but produce trucked in from California (to Illinois), from South America, from Florida, from Central America.
And, my children, now grown refuse to eat tomatoes, and refuse to serve them to their children. I can't blame them, because they taste terrible. And the greens all taste the same, no varieties of greens as we used to know. So, at a time that our population is becoming unhealthier, fatter, the very nature of the food we should be embracing and eating is becoming less and less palatable. And even worse, they are at risk for contamination by the very factory process of growing under which they are now raised. So, if we do consume the cardboard produce, we could easily be sickened by them as well. And nobody knows how to trace the source of the contamination.
And what about the transportation costs to bring these consolidated crops to the diverse markets they are needed, what about the carbon footprint to bring lettuce from California to the Midwest? What about the labor costs? What about the toll on the highways' maintenance? What about the fuel costs? What about the madness of this especially in light of a recession and with global warming concerns looming over our shoulder.
#3 . . . Archer Daniels Midland, etc.
There is something so frightening about a company having the power to force bioengineered products and HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUPS down the public's throats because they are politically connected. That is a scary story that has unfortunately come true. And now we are being forced to have corn grown to be added to our gasoline even though it does not improve our mileage, our engine performance, and costs more than much much much more highly effective products (switchgrass, algae, etc.) which of course are products that ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND does NOT produce or invest in.
And the fact that the HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUPS contribute to the dangerous obesity rise in our population (and especially in our children) should be cause for ALARM to the United States Department of Agriculture
#4 . . . Contamination and Food Safety
I referenced food safety and contamination earlier, but it deserves its own paragraph. As this problem increases we will only suffer and that is to be blamed directly to the United States Department of Agriculture for all of the reasons listed previously, and many more, such as insufficient inspection personnel, etc.
#5 . . . Sustainable Farming Practices
Crop rotation, Crop covers plowed under for nitrogen, replenishing the soil with organic nutrients, etc. . . The measures needed to keep our soil healthy and able to provide the nutrition that agribusiness farming cannot and does not provide. Also this requires healthy insect populations (bees, lady bugs, praying mantises, etc.), healthy bat populations (insect control, etc.), and more labor on the local level to make this happen.
It's now or never and as we are in an mindset for change for improvements with this administration, please make these changes come to fruition, for all our sakes and for all our good health and for the good health of this planet we are all riding on.
1725 Fieldwood Drive
Northbrook IL 60062