Saturday, 15 September 2007

Pesticides in Farming, Driven by Supermarkets.

Agri-business, food processors and supermarkets have totally taken over control of our food, from the time it is planted, (or born) to its purchase at the retailers. They have degraded its nutritional value, and contaminated it with chemicals:pesticides and herbicides on crops, and antibiotics and growth hormones in animals. This is before it even reaches the processors where additives and more go into the mix.

This whole process is referred to by its protagonists as 'efficiency' but nothing could be further from the truth! It's simply convenient to the corporates, who centralise control.

Food manufacturers attempt to sqeeze more and more profit from food:..."the increasing 'fractionation' of foodstuffs into smaller and smaller biological components and ingredients and then the recombining of these fractions into 'value-added' retail food products. Such activity has spawned a massive food technology industry whose practitioners have been increasingly involved over the past ten years in 'adding' health 'benefits' to foods and beverages.
..........Corporations are often mainly concerned about sourcing a product with the least cost and then move the product where it can be sold at the highest price. In many poor countries workers in rural areas receive less than five dollars a day, with health and environment regulations unlikely to be enforced, again helping to drive down costs. It is remarkable how cheap labour characterises the supposed 'efficiencies' of the food supply chain. Behind low cost food can be even lower cost labour. Transnational corporations are experts at reaping the economic benefits of globalization while pushing the economic, social and environmental costs onto the public.
........some economists now openly argue that consumers in the developed world no longer need their own farmers because countries can import food from poorer countries more cheaply."*

The alternative to this crazy system is to cut these corporations out of the loop, and for us, the customer/consumer to deal direct with local farmers. This action would also benefit populations in the developing world who should be able to decide about their own food needs and the farming system they want to use.

*Quotes from 'Food Wars', Tim Lang and Michael Heasman.

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