Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Give Me Organic or Give Me Death!

I don't see myself as being particularly radical. I'm not one to go throwing out ideas that challenge the whole system. However, I find it incredible that the American public has not heatedly challenged the government to change its ways. While reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan it seemed as though the government was working for corporations rather than the people. Now, I'm not trying to tap into some inner hippy in me but it seems as though this whole situation is twisted. Currently the government pays subsidies to farmers to overproduce, however, this subsidies have progressively decreased in value under the influence of large corporations. This demands that the farmer grows more crop so that he can support himself and his family which only serves to drive the price of corn down, which is good for the large corporations. This has led to extreme discontent among farmers. Of course this discontent is nothing new and can be traced back to the Populist movement of the 1890s. Another thing that struck me about this cooperation between corporations and government was the two's complete disregard for the health of people like us. Jim Russel a microbiologist at Cornell discovered that if a cow, who is living on a CAFO, is fed grass or hay for a few days before its set to be slaughtered, the amount of E.coli contained in the cow's gut is reduced by as much as %80. This is the same E.coli that can be lethal if just ten microbes are consumed. However, this would prove inefficient for the companies at hand so the USDA refuses to require this sort of practice. This rant proved to be a little longer than I had hoped, but it is what it is. I can only say that we as American citizens who are educated on this topic have the obligation to speak out against this corruption and demand a healthier food system.

Photo found from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/3366720659/

-- Eric


  1. Haha! I understand technical difficulties! Great info, and it's not your inner hippie. I've been feeling like one myself, but I think it's an issue that can't be relegated to one side or another. Ethical issues touch us all.

  2. Eric were you really up at 3:57 AM? Anyways, I agree. I'm a far cry from a hippie, but I certainly don't like being lied to, especially when my well-being is at risk. It really is time that everyone pressure the government to force the corporations to consider more than their bottom line (maybe Lewis Lapham was right...).


  3. Wow! I feel like the government cares more about the big corporations than the American people. Wasn't the government created to protect the rights of the people? This seems pretty messed up to me.
    - Quinn Rhodes