I watched the above video when it was shared with me and I have to say, I felt the need to respond to this.
First of all, I was a broadcast journalism major in college. I chose not to pursue that profession when I realized how “bought” the media was by advertisers and other corporate interests and that my idealistic desire to help the public would be thwarted. This video just proves my point.
For those of you not familiar with the Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) issue, basically, “science” has played God by altering the DNA of plants by inserting pesticides and other DNA of other plants directly into the DNA of corn, soy, cotton, papaya, rice and many other foods.
Monsanto is the company leading this trend and has been banned in many countries outside of the United States. Monsanto also manufactures Aspartame and Agent Orange.
There were several erroneous points brought up by Kevin O’Leary that I would have pointed out if I had been in Rachel’s seat. I think Rachel did a great job by keeping her cool and staying on point, but this post was really written for Rachel to let her know I support her efforts and to give her some more ammunition in her efforts at heightening public awareness.
First of all, the reason kids need to be concerned is that Robyn O’Brien wrote in her book “Unhealthy Truth” that allergic reactions requiring hospitalizing skyrocketed in the mid-1990’s when GMO’s were first introduced into the food supply. They nearly doubled. That’s statistically huge and Robyn should know since she was a Wall Street analyst and her own daughter suffered a severe allergic reaction when she was two years old that required hospitalization and her older son suffered terrible allergic reactions to dairy.
Second, the allegation that the ONLY way for “poor Asians” to get vitamin A into their diets and not die or become blind (which is a very emotional appeal to viewers designed to illicit a response and is very misleading) is by feeding them GMO rice is totally FALSE.
Sweet potatoes are easily grown in barrels and even Hefty garbage bags and can be grown on roof tops or even slabs of cement. They are extremely high in Vitamin A. In Okinawa, a Japanese island during WWII, the islanders often ate sweet potatoes with their garden vegetables exclusively and call it “imo” and even have a saying that has survived down to this day “Have you had your imo today”. Okinawans have the world’s largest percentage of centenarians (people who live to be over 100 years old) per population in the world.
Leafy Green vegetables are also significant sources of vitamin A and can be grown year-round.
Echonet.org is an organization out of Florida that is dedicated to teaching volunteers how to eradicate world hunger by various organic farming methods from roof-top gardening in tires and container gardens and they have a seed bank for varieties that grow well in various climates.
This is one of the plants they use in Third World countries to prevent vitamin A deficiencies:
The Moringa, also known as the Miracle Tree, is the most popular plant in the ECHO Global Farm. It grows fast, is used as fire, and the seeds are drained out and used to make olive oil. This plant is also nutritious, grows rapidly, and the leaves are edible. This plant is often grown in Haiti because it contains Vitamin A. Babies in Haiti, and in other third world countries, that do not receive enough Vitamin A go blind as they get older. Although people who live in Haiti receive enough starch foods, such as yam and potatoes, they are not getting enough nutrition. If you cut up a teaspoon of the Moringa leaf and add it to different types of food, you will have all the nutrition you will need for one day. This is an important plant because it is also used to purify water. This will be discussed in more detail in the Techniques tab.
Another person who lived in Japan who successfully used organic farming methods to produce high-yields of rice and other important crops was Masanobu Fukuoka:
Masanobu Fukuoka (福岡 正信?) (2 February 1913 – 16 August 2008) was a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He was a proponent of no-till, no-herbicide grain cultivation farming methods traditional to many indigenous cultures, from which he created a particular method of farming, commonly referred to as “Natural Farming” or “Do-nothing Farming”.
Fukuoka was the author of several Japanese books, scientific papers and other publications, and was featured in television documentaries and interviews from the 1970s onwards. His influences went beyond farming to inspire individuals within the natural food and lifestyle movements. He was an outspoken advocate of the value of observing nature’s principles.
He wrote several books one of which was “The One Straw Revolution”. His yields were consistently higher than that of the other farmers.
Lastly, this video was played in my permaculture class. Permaculture was a term coined by Bill Mollison and it’s a way of creating sustainable living methods and creating ecosystems that live in harmony with the environment. Geoff Lawton, his successor, has many videos and resources on this website www.permaculture.org and his wife is from Jordan where he planted a self-sustaining food forest in the middle of the desert:
We also discussed in class how Cuba survived the collapse of the iron curtain in Russia which caused a huge surge in oil prices that put this in a “peak oil” crisis shortage. They ended up completely transforming their gardening practices to 80% organic methods because pesticides are made from oil.
The solutions are out there. Monsanto just doesn’t want people to know about them. And Kevin O’Leary wants to scare people into believing that people will die or go blind or that Rachel is “inflexible” and “we don’t have a choice”.
We DO have a choice.
In fact, during WWII, many “Victory Gardens” were encouraged to be planted:
Victory gardens, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany during World War I and World War II to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort. In addition to indirectly aiding the war effort these gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” — in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown. This made victory gardens become a part of daily life on the home front.
Amid regular rationing of canned food in Britain, a poster campaign (“Plant more in ’44!”) encouraged the planting of victory gardens by nearly 20 million Americans during the course of World War II. These gardens produced up to 40 percent of all the vegetable produce being consumed nationally.
It was emphasized to home front urbanites and suburbanites that the produce from their gardens would help to lower the price of vegetables needed by the US War Department to feed the troops, thus saving money that could be spent elsewhere on the military: “Our food is fighting,” one US poster read.
Keep on fighting, Rachel! You’re doing great. And for the rest of us, please take the time to educate yourself and watch these videos and start your own gardens and share this with others. And if you’d like to support Rachel, please go and “like” her Facebook page: