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 Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes!

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Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes! Vide
PostSubject: Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes!   Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 22, 2019 6:41 pm

Let’s move past the green and gene revolutions to a microbiome renaissance

Broccoli Is Dying. Corn Is Toxic. Long Live Microbiomes! 04DACB4D-0B93-4AF5-BD5FC696FC1B1FFC_source

As food writer Mark Bittman recently remarked, since food is defined as “a substance that provides nutrition and promotes growth” and poison is “a substance that promotes illness,” then “much of what is produced by industrial agriculture is, quite literally, not food but poison.” Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Eliminating pesticides and transitioning to organic regenerative farming can get us back on track to nutritious food, restore microbiomes and protect our health. Let’s break all this down, and then talk solutions.

“You would have to eat twice as much broccoli today to get the same nutrients as a generation ago.” That is according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from 1975 to 2010, as reported by Planetary Health/Amberwaves. So much chewing! And in fact, the situation may be even more dire. Data going back to 1940, as reported by Eco Farming Daily, shows: “The level of every nutrient in almost every kind of food has fallen between 10 and 100 percent. An individual today would need to consume twice as much meat, three times as much fruit, and four to five times as many vegetables to obtain the same amount of minerals and trace elements available in those same foods in 1940.” Thank goodness for multivitamins, but we’ve also got to fix this.

Why are nutrients in our food declining? Well, for one, we are killing the soil it grows in. Prodigious use of biocides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, as well as synthetic chemical fertilizers and antibiotics) kill or disrupt soil microorganisms that allow plants to absorb nutrients. Also, increased atmospheric CO2 is accelerating photosynthesis; plants grow faster but contain fewer nutrients, which is expected to lead to worldwide nutrient deficiencies. Vegetables becoming more like sugary snacks? Not good.

Not only are plants getting less nutritious, they’re also getting more toxic. For example, over 90 percent of corn plants, the U.S.A.’s number one crop, are genetically modified organisms (GMOs), with genes inserted from other species. These genes allow corn to be sprayed repeatedly with multiple weed killers including: glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup, the most used herbicide ever), 2,4-D (similar to dioxin and Agent Orange) and dicamba. These herbicides are water soluble and systemic; they can go anywhere water goes, and they get inside the plant’s cells, so the toxins can’t simply be washed off before you eat.

Plus, GMO corn is also engineered with genes that enable it to produce multiple insecticides in every cell, which the EPA euphemistically terms “plant-incorporated protectants.” On top of that, GMO corn seeds are coated with neonicotinoids (associated with bee colony collapse and harm to other insects) and with bright turquoise fungicide, and the bags have a warning label not to touch the seeds with your bare hands or allow pets nearby. Of course, all of these genetic modifications become obsolete, as nature quickly evolves resistance, and we have created a toxic arms race. So, what does this mean for us? Well, because corn is in so many foods (corn syrups, oils, and products of corn-fed farm animals, etc.), we are often ingesting several toxins with each bite. Not good.

Broccoli exemplifies the “green revolution,” begun after World War II, when our munitions factories were repurposed for mass production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides, and large-scale industrial, monoculture farming began. GMO corn exemplifies the “gene revolution” of industrial agriculture of the last two decades. It is said this chemical and technological transformation of our food system is necessary to feed the world, but there is reason to be skeptical. It has only sometimes resulted in increased yields, while producing less nutritious and more toxic food, and much of that goes to animal feed.

Both revolutions are heavily fossil-fueled—synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, huge tractors and combines, processing and precooking, plastic packaging, refrigeration and long-distance transport—contributing to industrial agriculture being a leading cause of climate change.

Both revolutions are dangerous for human health. The epidemic of 20 chronic diseases—including diabetes, obesity, breast and thyroid cancers, stroke and autism—is highly correlated with the rise in production of “Roundup Ready” GMO corn and soy, both sprayed with glyphosate. Meanwhile, our less nutritious food reduces our ability to fight off these diseases.

Doomsday scenario? Well, maybe. Or time for a third revolution.

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