After posting this, I will go into my backyard in Oakland, and trim kale, mustard greens, scallions, mizuna, marjoram. I'll make a salad, maybe grab a lemon from the neighbor's tree to dress it with. It may be the most revolutionary thing I do today... The absurdity of modern agriculture, shepherded by monolithic agricultural giants like Cargill, Monsanto, Beatrice, etc., under the protection of the government, continues to poison the well under the FDA's watch, by creating an American diet that is addicted to chemicals. The U.S. alone uses almost 1 billion pounds of pesticides per year. [See: EPA: Pesticide Use Statistics.] Those toxic chemicals go into the environment and into our food. They leach into the ground, and worse into the groundwater. Monsanto, the corporation that brought us tumor-inducing aspartame, and carcinogenic Roundup, has patented seeds as intellectual property, making it illegal for farmers to keep seeds and plant them for their next crops. You buy their seed, you have to buy the pesticides and fertilizers as well. And here have some NutraSweet for your Kool-Aid... In 2006, in one region in India, 1300 cotton farmers suicided, succumbing to the hardship of modern farming under the tutelage of Monsanto. Thirteen hundred. When I first heard of this phenomenon, I thought it was a dozen, a hundred at most. More than 17, 500 farmers killed themselves between 2002 and 2006. At least 17, 368 Indian farmers killed themselves in 2009, the worst figure for farm suicides in six years, according to data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Enter a woman, a heroine, an ex-nuclear physicist, Vandana Shiva. Besides being a physicist, ecologist, activist, editor and author of numerous books, Dr. Vandana Shiva is a tireless defender of the environment. She is the founder of Navdanya, a movement for biodiversity conservation and farmers’ rights. She is the founder/director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. She is also the founder of Seed Satyagraha, the nonviolent movement that empowers farmers to stand up to seed monopolies like Monsanto.
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