harvest_kids

Vegetarian Genetic Suicide

DISCLAIMER: I am not a scientist, nor do I have any formal scientific training. However, I am blessed with the ability to read and make non-scientific assumptions.

An interesting discussion has taken place in my home over the last few days. Ever since we read the report GM SOY Sustainable? Responsible? we have been having a very good look at where and how we consume soy in our house. We have done an inventory of the few items that we purchase from stores and found that a vast majority have soy as an ingredient. We have now reduced our purchasing list again, either doing without or making it ourselves.

First a little synopsis on the above report for those that are not inclined to wade through a slightly technical read. (I found it riveting…. but that could be a personality defect) This report is possibly one of the most ground breaking and eye-opening reports that has come out about the disastrous and long term debilitating effects caused by GM infected food in years.

The report covers two things. GM (infected) Soy and Roundup (Glyphosate) from Monsanto. The two go hand in hand as one cannot consume any GM Roundup ready crop without consuming both components, the GM infected portion or the chemical Glyphosate. Soy is the ubiquitous add-in, filler, bulker and general protein supplement for food producers to add to their food. In addition there is a host of other by-products like Soy Lecithin and Soy flour that get added to most products.

Everything that we have been told to as to how bad GM foods are for us is probably only the tip of the iceberg. This Soy Report lists a host of results from tests on hamsters, mice and rats that were fed a diet of GM Soy or tests with concentrations of Roundup that were far below levels used in typical field applications as recommended by the manufacturer.

Here goes.

1)      Dilutions of Roundup corresponding to what would remain on crops after harvest (and on your plate) caused total human cell death in 24 hrs.

2)      Roundup residues at 800 times lower than what was found in typical animal feed caused human DNA damage.

3)      Roundup in concentrations far below agricultural use causes placental and embryonic damage.

4)      The study’s authors conclude that human reproduction and embryonic growth could be adversely affected by Roundup.

5)      Roundup is toxic and lethal to amphibians in concentration far below those typically used in agriculture.

6)      Roundup and AMPA (the stuff that Roundup beaks down to in the environment) causes irreversible DNA damage increasing the risk of human cancer. (As if we don’t have enough cancer causing issues already)

7)      Glyphosate (The main ingredient in Roundup) alters hormone levels and reduces the egg production in catfish.

8)      Glyphosate negatively affects many enzymes in the liver and intestines of rats.

9)      AMPA causes irreversible DNA damage.

10)   Glyphosate causes skin cancer.

11)   Glyphosate caused a 36% decrease in bird densities in area sprayed with Roundup.

12)   Mice fed GM infected Soy for 24 months developed ‘significant’ changes in their liver, pancreas and testes.

13)   Mice fed GM infected Soy showed increase aging of their liver.

14)   Several proteins (involved in liver function, stress response and calcium signalling) in the same GM fed mice were expressed differently to normal mice.

15)   Rabbits fed GM soy showed disturbance in how enzymes functioned in the heart and kidneys.

16)   Female rats fed GM infected Soy showed changes in the uterus and ovaries.

17)   In a multigenerational study using hamsters fed GM infected Soy, the hamsters had lost the ability to reproduce by the third generation.

18)   In the same study, the GM fed hamsters had slower growth and a higher mortality rate.

19)   GM infected DNA can be identified in the by-products of animals fed on GM infected foods. This includes meat and milk. The GM infected DNA is not destroyed by pasteurisation.

20)   GM infected DNA is transferred from mother to offspring.

21)   Live and viable GM infected DNA can survive passage through the human small intestine.

22)   GM infected DNA had transferred from food into the intestinal bacteria of humans (THIS IS SO WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS)

23)   GM Infected soy is less nutritious than normal soy.

24)   GM infected Soy had at least 12% less isoflavones (Cancer fighting compounds) than normal soy.

25)   GM infected soy has 27% more allergens than normal soy.

26)   GM infected soy crop yields are on average yields 9% less than conventional soy.

Quite a list isn’t it?

My personal opinion is that the people that peddle this stuff need to be personally subjected to a multigenerational test with GM infected foods. After 3 generations we will see if they have any interest in continuing with selling the stuff they so blatantly claim is no different from regular food.

Looking at the above list of conditions, disruptions, genetic damage and associated complications that are caused by GM infected food and the herbicide Glyphosate two things spring to mind. Firstly we are on a road to self destruction and secondly there is a pretty good case for a class action suit against the GM houses for genetic disruption to people.

OK, so now onto the title of my post. Vegetarian Genetic Suicide.

Vegetarians are an unusual bunch of eaters, They pose their particular brand of eating as the healthy option reciting reams of scientific fact as to why their form of eating is better for their health, environment and animals in particular. Now I don’t disagree at all with the above points. I will however propose a concern with ONE portion of the vegetarian diet, and it’s possibly the biggest concern and largest portion of their diets.

The impact of GMO on their diets, as well as the long-term impacts to their own genetics and that of their descendants. Now, I’m not a veggie basher, as I’m of the particular belief that people should have the right to decide how they live their lives. But please take the time to hear this argument because it’s not just directed at vegetarians but anyone that eats GM infected food. I also don’t believe this conclusion (presumption) has been raised before.

I believe that vegetarians are the one group of individuals that will suffer the most from GM Soy and GM infected food as they use soy, and soy derived products in a large part of their diets. Soy is the answer to the vegetarian’s protein needs, their milk needs, their TVP (Textured vegetable protein) hell almost anything can, and is made from soy. The biggest problem is that over 95% of the soy produced in South Africa is GM infected. This may not hurt the current generation of vegetarians, but their children and grandchildren are in for some very hard times.

Vegetarians aside, every one of us eats GM infected food every day. Every day you will be contributing to your own DNA disruption (or should that read destruction). Destroying your children’s future, reducing the chances of your children or grandchildren having a normal productive life and/or shortening their lifespan and quality of life.

There is another group of people especially in South Africa that are particularly susceptible to the effects of GM infected foods, they are low income earners that subsist mainly on maize meal (Pap) which forms over 50% of their daily diets. If all of the above is true (and I have no doubt it is) then what of the over 80% GM infected maize crop that we harvest annually to feed our nation. Are we going to start seeing health problems in the next few years that can only be attributed to GM infected foods?

What will the politicians say then? Eish… I don’t know…. But look at my nice car and house in Sandton.

As an aside, we had a bumper crop of GM infected maize last year, but neither the farmers nor the government can sell it anywhere in Africa because African nations won’t accept GM infected food, Saudi Arabia said thanks but no-tanks, and so did China, that leaves us with a white elephant that we can’t sell.

You as a consumer needs to take action! Speak to your store manager every time you go to the shop and demand GM labelling of food. Phone suppliers and demand GM labelling. Get onto the phone and bug your local political representatives, write to parliament and contact SAFeAGE to see where you can assist in the fight against GM infected food. If you can contact one person a week you can make a difference.

harvest_kids

Keeping Heirloom Seed Pure (Part 2)

One of the hardest seeds to keep pure is Corn or Mielies. Traditionally a staple South African crop that originated from the America’s, heirloom and Open Pollinated corn has now become more and more scarce and hard to source.

South Africa’s rich history of “mielie boerdery” has all but been destroyed by the large Agro Science companies with their hybrid and GM varieties, our own government has totally ignored the plight of subsistence and smaller farmers with their ill-considered thrust to supply this GM infected seed to small farmers throughout the country, destroying any traditional varieties via pollen contamination.

It is estimated that upwards of 80% of our annual mielie harvest is GM and you can be assured that if you are not growing your own you are certainly ingesting GM tainted food. This is especially true if you eat any grain fed meats, as these are predominantly fed with GM derived grains like corn and soya.

So how does one keep your OP or heirloom corn varieties pure? It’s a simple process as long as you follow a few rules and are aware of what your neighbours are planting.

The first and most important rule is stand size. Your planting cannot be less than 40 plants. This is the absolute minimum and double would be better. There is no way that one can effectively save seed from an OP variety with less than 40 plants. If you do, you will find that you have destroyed the genetic variation essential in heirloom and OP corn varieties that can never be recovered. Also with a stand size of less than 40 plants you will also find that a high percentage of your harvest will be poorly pollinated and kernels will be missing on the cob.

The next rule is that you should always plant your corn in a block, rather 8 rows wide and 8 rows deep, than planting one long straight row. As corn is wind pollinated the pollen is easily blown away if planted in a single row, whereas if planted in a block one plant will be able to pollinate the next few rows ensuring even pollination and maximum genetic spread.

Finally you will want to save seed for next year. Your best seed for seed saving will come from the centre of your block planting. This is seed that has the most pollen variation and the least chance of being contaminated by another nearby planting. Harvest a centre block of 3 or 4 rows for seed and use the outer rows for green mielies, or for grinding down as an organic mielie meal or animal food etc.

These three rules above if followed will ensure that you get a good harvest and ensure that your seed is genetically robust from year to year.

The next question is how does one plant more than one variety and still keep them pure? The answer is simple and very effective. Plant your stands of corn 4-5 weeks apart. This will give you an extended harvest of up to 4 varieties in a season and will allow you to plant and save pure viable seed from each one of these varieties. Bear in mind that a late planting will need at least 3 months to mature properly on the stalk, especially if you are saving seed that needs to dry out. Please note that using this method you will need to supplement watering during the dry periods.

Your biggest source of contamination (other than your own plantings) are what your neighbours are planting, as you will need to work around their planting / pollination dates.

harvest_kids

Book Review – You Can Farm

Now here is a man that needs to be listened to. I first heard of Joel Salatin in Michael Pollan’s book Omnivores Dilemma. Subsequently Mr Salatin is my new farming Guru. I would love to know what he has forgotten!

With a string of books that I’m slowly purchasing as funds permit Joel Salatin is without a doubt a man’s man and a gentelman farmer of the old order, where farmers farmed on small parcels of land that had a plethora of different crops, be it grass, pork, chicken, beef or eggs to list a few of the crops that this book covers.

You will never look at a piece of ground again in the same way. Joel Salatin is what many people in the self-sustainable movement aspire to become. This book runs you through many aspects of making your farm profitable, not something that many believe is possible. He does this on a small piece of ground that would be comparable to any small farm or large plot in South Africa.

His departure point is important, as you will need to bend your back to the soil and turn your back on any convetional farming wisdom. This is the wisdom that has gotten us into the mess we are in and big business would love to keep you trapped from day one. Joel Salatin gives you hope, and a clear understanding of where you need to get to, alsong the way he will show you how to do it.

If you are looking at becoming self-sustainable and looking for a way to earn more than one income from your property, this is the book to get, it could very possibly save your farm.