The many cides of modern food production


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When it comes to modern food production, there are many "cides" to the story. You can't even talk about food production without hearing lots of different "cides" such as pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides. I thought we'd add another cide to the story and include genocide.

The word suffix "cide" means something is being killed, by the way. "Pesti-cide" means something that kills pests. "Fungi-cide" means something that kills fungus. "Herbi-cide" means something that kills plants (herbs). Similarly, "Geno-cide" loosely means killing a targeted group of people, usually for some evil purpose of control, profit or cultural extermination.

And isn't that exactly what the food corporations are doing to the world right now? Isn't it a form of genocide to intentionally contaminate the public food supply with toxic chemical additives, cancer-causing preservatives, hydrogenated oils, sodium nitrite, MSG, petroleum-based food coloring chemicals and more? Isn't it corporate genocide being committed against the people?

I find it interesting that if terrorists put a chemical in the food supply that killed a million people, it would be called a great crime against humanity, and we'd probably bomb some nation into dust in retaliation (see related cartoon, the Food Terrorists). But when a U.S. food corporation puts chemical additives into the food that ultimately kill a million people through heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes, nobody seems to notice. Food companies have been given a free pass to commit genocide by the very people who are supposed to be regulating them: the FDA and USDA in the United States, and other regulatory agencies in Europe, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.

This cartoon attempts to depict the cost in human lives of depending on a chemical-based agricultural system in the modern world. We spray chemicals on the food, mill it into a substance that's nutritionally worthless, contaminate it with cancer-causing chemicals, package it in wasteful boxes and plastic containers that create enormous landfill problems, then stuff it into vending machines that line the halls of hospitals, public schools, offices and museums. This is what we call "food." It is, of course, a complete lie. This "food" has almost nothing in common with real food from nature.

But that's what passes for the food that many people eat. Even if they're eating at home, most consumers still buy packaged, processed foods that contain all the same chemicals as vending machine food. Is it any wonder so many people are dying from preventable diseases in the western world? The people are being poisoned every day by the food supply. It's no secret. Many of the poisons are listed right on the label: Sodium nitrite, hydrogenated oils, FD&C colors, propylene glycol, aspartame, saccharin, phosphoric acid, high-fructose corn syrup and more. (See my book Grocery Warning for details on how to identify and avoid these harmful ingredients.)

If they only knew the other "cide" of food production, many those consumers would wise up and think twice about what they're buying. That's why informed people have increasingly decided to buy organic whenever possible. Organically produced food isn't subjected to all the chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. So it's healthier for you and easier on the environment (because where do you think all those chemicals go after the next rain? They end up down stream...) Plus, organic food has been scientifically shown to possess higher densities of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (plant-based natural medicines) compared to conventionally grown food.

So buy organic. Save yourself (and your family) from genocide. And read those ingredients labels. Don't buy foods made with chemicals you can't pronouce. Keep your diet clean, simple, sustainable and organic, and you won't become the next victim of a monstrous food industry that continues to commit "Consumercide."

By the way, I first heard this riff -- "pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, genocide" -- in a speech by David Wolfe, the co-founder of Nature's First Law (www.RawFood.com). He's also the author of several books on raw foods and cacao. His website is an online retailer of an incredible assortment of gourmet raw foods and truly healthy food ingredients. I shop there on a regular basis.


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