Last month I was invited to be the keynote speaker at BioFach, the European organic trade show. They asked me to speak about if, and how, organic food and farming can feed the world. This week, I will be sharing my speech with you in three parts (read Part 1 here and Part 2 here). Of course, the answer is YES! Modern organic farming CAN feed the world.
Reason # 4: Modern organic farming protects our health.
When I first started researching Organic Manifesto, I thought I would focus on whether or not organic food was more nutritious than chemical food. I quickly realized that it’s not the most important issue at all (although I believe organic IS more nutritious). And I also quickly realized that it’s not even about what you put into your mouth and whether it’s washed or peeled or not. Agricultural chemicals are SYSTEMIC. They are INSIDE our food, INSIDE every aspect of our environment and INSIDE our bodies—even unborn fetuses.
The shocking fact is that the chemicals being applied to farm fields across the planet are causing the following health problems:
Diabetes and obesity, both of which are endocrine diseases caused by endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Infertility, miscarriage, gender confusion, and birth defects, all of which are caused by hormone-disrupting chemicals.
Autism, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease and reduced Intelligence, which are believed to be caused by potent neurotoxins rampant in pesticides and insecticides. In America 1 out of 100 children born today will be diagnosed with autism. This is unacceptable!
Asthma and allergies, both of which are significantly on the rise.
Fatal infections and antibiotic resistance, caused by the overuse of antibiotics in animal production are growing at an alarming pace.
Cancer—especially childhood leukemia, which is directly tied to lawn and agricultural chemicals. Cancer rates are increasing, especially childhood cancer rates.
And a special note about GMOs: As many of you know, research on the safety of GMOs is very difficult, given the fact that you must get permission from the chemical companies to do any testing. However, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine called for an “immediate moratorium” on GMOs because they were seeing significant adverse health effects in animals fed a GMO diet, and also in humans, including: organ and digestive failure, infertility, accelerated aging, and reduced immunity.
That was two years ago. Before GMO alfalfa and sugarbeets were approved, which happened recently here in the States.
The sad truth is that we, and especially our children, are the guinea pigs in a vast chemical experiment. So we should not be surprised when we see the results are bad. Instead we should act immediately and strongly to do what we can to protect ourselves, our children, and our future.
The solution is modern organic farming.
Reason #5: Modern organic farming keeps us free and independent.
We spend a lot of time in the United States obsessing about freedom and independence, so I always find it ironic that we are so willing to be held prisoner to our toxic addictions.
Many, many years ago, I visited with John Seymour, the esteemed author of many books on self-sufficiency, and one of the original organic pioneers. We went to his small holding in Ireland while taking his self-sufficiency course. I remember him talking about how he and a bunch of his friends were taking their pitchforks and digging up GMO test fields in protest. At the time I thought he was a bit eccentric but totally loveable, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what a GMO was and why it was so bad.
Now I know. Now I understand and it’s worse than I could have imagined back then. And now, there are too many fields of GMOs and not enough pitchforks in the world to dig them up. Now we need to find different tools to fight, but fight me must.
Otherwise we are doomed to a world in starvation WILL BE the norm, thanks to the destroyed soil, caused by chemicals.
Otherwise we will be held prisoner to the last remaining fossil fuel keepers.
Otherwise we will be a sick and mentally impaired species who will have lost the spirit, the wisdom, and the ability to survive on this planet.
The only solution is modern organic farming.
Many people in America want to know, which is better, local or organic? And I always say that local is great, but organic is better. Why? Because local chemical agriculture contaminates local communities. But local organic agriculture heals and cleanses local communities. Organic AND local is the gold standard, because ultimately, isn’t every place local to someone, somewhere?
We are all one tribe.