The Digital Decoding of the Organic Meat, Fruit & Veg Marketplace
It was interesting to see the attempts and attitudes across the pond during our recent visit this month to the UK, specifically towards both climate change and the so-called (in the US) the Slow Food Movement.
Not only are the debunking if not identification of the sources of until now (literally this year) well funded government and private “think tanks” that deny if not undermine real scientific evidence if not reporting of the increasingly toxic environment that surrounds both the debate and the planet (i.e. climate change debunkers) all of this going on at a pace unseen in the U.S. (for example), but further, and even more encouragingly, real progress in terms of “boots on the ground” if not grassroots activity (including business activity) is being made on some critical fronts. That even affect us Yanks.
For example, beyond the debunking of climate change deniers and in several countries, the Brits have enough scientific evidence (and it is widely disseminated) that pesticides caused the supposedly “inexplicable” bee die off over the last four years (as it has been widely reported in the U.S.). Further, there is widespread reporting in the UK about what happened to cause it. And no, it’s not some parasite or bug. That’s baloney.
The bees were returning to their hives not only with pollen (for those not in the know, bees are nature’s and man’s best free, natural crop “go” engine, growth additive, fertilizer and pollen disseminator) but also with toxins on and in the pollen they also carried into the hives. This caused literally, the brains and/or cognitive functioning of bees to deteriorate to the point where hive activity built into every little busy bee DNA (literally), from drone to queen, actually getting literally neurologically poisoned to the point that they started doing activities that actually destroyed the effectiveness of hives and honey production of bees, if not kill them off,including causing the bees in the hive to literally do the opposite of what they were designed to do since the beginning of the bees. In other words, the pesticide poisoning was not only decimating bee population, but creating destructive behavior antithetical to bee reproduction of species, pollination they induce by their activities, honey production, and crop growth. If not literal hive (or if you like bee society) function if not viability.
Kind of like Agent Orange (no pun intended). The Honey Bee Variety. Not to mention biological if not chemical weapons of mass destruction.
Particularly as it is becoming known even in this country, that many PEOPLE are also adversely affected by the pesticides now used in non-organic farming – commonly in the form of “allergies” but also mental confusion and neurological damage if not disease. We have met several people lately, including at our bank, who have been told outright by their doctors that they too are horrifically allergic to pesticides used in this country on fruit in particular to even consider consuming non-organic fruits and probably veg.
Further, the use of anti-biotics (particularly in a country like the U.K. which is still scarred by the so-called “Mad Cow” horror of the 1990′s (Mad Cow Disease) and was swept under the rug in this country, is literally a kind of Parkinson’s that can be passed to humans. Some studies show that pesticides can also CAUSE Parkinson’s.
For those who don’t know about the horrors of that particular horror, Mad Cow Disease also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a neurological disorder that literally rots the brain, among other exciting features, and is caused in humans by consuming meat (usually beef) from cows who were fed using the remnants of other animals, including sheep infected with scrapie). Not to get too far afield, but scrapie, which cannot be passed to humans (or so they think now) CAN BE caused by ingestion of human urine. Which also of course contains high levels of antibiotics too. Hmmm….if we can figure this out, why can’t the people in a position to do something about do the same thing, if not something about it.
Thus the increased sensitivity in Britain to the use of steroids and anti-biotics in all meats, not to mention the use of the same is being sharply reduced, if not about to be banned outright. The scientific evidence on that is also well disseminated even to the lay public and the industry. As are the dangers of using such methods and “additives.”
Not to mention that say British, Scottish and Irish dairy cows who are also fed organic grass (i.e. non-man made tampered food) and further and minimally medicated (i.e. little more than common medical treatment for an accidental bovine boo boo if not innoculation) actually produce MORE MILK, rather than less (the common argument used by companies in the past to get farmers to buy their chemically ‘enhanced’ supposed milk production boosters.)
In this country, 80% of the anti-biotics sold in the U.S. are sold to the meat producing market. Could that, possibly, maybe, be the reason the FDA just delayed its decision on this subject? Profit? Rather than public health?
Hmmm….in a corporate controlled political process, them’s the things that happen. That’s why money in politics and government agencies (if not Congress) which writes legislation and enforces regulation needs to be weened of its habit of relying on industry lobbyists who have a conflict of interest about such things, to do what our elected leaders should be doing (along with their staffs). Not going to corporate fundraisers.
That is what votes, not to mention American democracy is all about.
The reason that feeding man man pharmaceuticals if not other additives to food is such a huge sustainability if not human health issue, is that this habit (of feeding antibiotics to animals who are then eaten by us) is that it creates horrific breeding grounds for deadly diseases that used to be treated by antibiotics but are increasingly not useful because of anti-biotic resistance stemming from consuming antibiotic fed meat, and further also cannot combat diseases also commonly treated with antibiotics that are easily passed to and between humans, which are also increasingly anti-biotic resistant. Including urine tract infections. And further complicating this little problem, is that urine is also used for fertilizer. Including that which contains antibiotics, thus creating another problem that is intimately related to the issues discussed herein. As well as, get this, other medications. Further, somehow, the scientific poo-bas have failed to date to alert the farming community, industry and public, that because of this, the use of urine in any kind of food chain is not an “organic” component and in fact its use renders all edibles that it touches, not only “non-organic” but potentially the cause of food borne epidemics.
Think Bubonic Plague or say airborne Ebola, or even influenza, spread by Big Mac Attack and recycled waste water in that supersized Coke to go with it, not to mention that supersize order of fries on the side (contamination of potato crops in America by nuclear runoff is another issue that we won’t go into here but also plays a part in this horror show) that doesn’t filter out such things for drinking purposes as well as crop irrigation and animal hydration, and you won’t be far off the horror movie it is easy to see developing from this.
There have also been some interesting and widely disseminated discussions (including on the political level) to ban nationally in the UK, if not EU wide, any non-organic meats (i.e. those fed with anything other than say grass, and other required natural organic nutrients). No steroids or anti-biotics allowed. In any part of the food chain.
Furthermore, there are many grassroots efforts to reverse this trend and bring back the bees in Britain (although remember, for most rural British small farmers, bee hives are an ancient tradition that has never been abandoned but rather continually upgraded) in the “operating system” of organic beehives surrounded by pesticide free surroundings.
Guess what? It’s working.
Bees are back in Jolly Olde England. It’s the bee’s knees, one might say, but well, it looks like the “oh my god what’s killing the bees” panic in the U.S. over the last few years looks like the product of both incompetence, refusal to stand up to the pesticide/chemical/petroleum industry, and for some reason, an American public and farmers who didn’t understand that there is plenty of evidence (even without using the “translate” function on foreign webites or browsers (i.e. look no further than the UK), that demonstrates very clearly that while the U.S. was showing a remarkable lack of scientific interest, effort, or deliberate ignorance on the bee decimation here, the problem was solved in the same time across the pond and further, people (as in us everyday goofball nobody’s who didn’t go to an Ivy League) have taken mass action to counter this situation. No government action or funding required. No trust fund requirement.
No arrests, no sit ins. Just um, “Occupy The Family Farm.” Much less dramatic and visually not as explosive as rich kids in lower Manhattan being manhandled if not beaten by police.
And I’d say on this issue in particular, far more effective to the ultimate goal. Green if not sustainable management by objective, if you will.
Further, there is also evidence emerging on both sides of the pond, that dwarf wheat (genetically modified wheat) introduced into farming in the late fifties and early sixties despite huge alarms about the subject eminating from the scientific community that were ignored or debunked from that time to the present) has now been shown to have more of the natural enzymes and characteristics that include more sugar and gluten content (among other things including neurologically inducing food and carb cravings) which explains the gluten allergy explosion and its recognition over the last decade, the diabetes explosion, the obesity epidemic and other health dangers with dollar values attached that are now endemic if not pandemic, even if the causes have not been explicitly spelled out for the American consumer.
The irony is here that dwarf wheat, among other genetically altered food at the time was sold to the government (and forced on farmers if not the developing worlds) with the argument from the industries that manufactured and made profits off the sale of the same, if not the global development organizations and governments who are supposed to regulate such things in the name of preventing poverty and international development, that such projects and tactics as Frankenfood (genetically altered varieties of crops that supposedly would increase yield) would end world hunger because of larger crops, more food and less hunger. Egged on (if not funded by said corporations) by academics with letters after their names from Ivy League institutions who produced impressive reports that seemed to literally paper over the other side, if not bury their evidence and very accurate predictions. Including that frankencrops also are worse for the soil and require more irrigation.
What this has resulted in, sixty years later, is what we are discussing now.
The only winners here are the people who pushed these products and ignored the science of even fifty or sixty years ago.
Starting with huge profits of course for the chemical and pharma industry that produced such products.
For the rest of us (the 99%) instead what its done is help create the obesity epidemic world wide. A diabetics epidemic in developed countries. And god knows what other health issues at a time when healthcare (both public and private) is not only a mess, plagued by same issues, and unbelievably expensive as a result.
Another oopsie scored by Frankenfood. But one that they also benefit from a second time in the present, because many of our medications to treat such conditions are made by the same multinationals.
We leave you with the tantalizing thought for the day that is going to also tie into our marketing and other efforts. How, you’ll just have to stay tuned to this “bat channel” to find out.
However, we’re going to give you a tantalizing bit of info you can start to use now.
It has been widely reported that for about a year now, you can tell which kind of organic fruit and veg you can buy from the barcodes where you buy them. Despite no written warnings or labeling (as in consumer protection health affects labeling you can really trust domestically), the FDA’s current shameful decision to shy away from further regulation and labeling of the same sort) you can rely on another tactic that is the product of international treaties followed by every industrialized country. I.e. THE LAW.
Here’s the punchline and the action item.
When shopping for meat, always go for the free range, vegetarian fed, anti-biotic protein source. This also applies to alot of other food products.
E-coli (scientific name E. coli 0157:H7) is also is a mutation of industrial feedlot agriculture. That affects all aspects of food, from meat, cheese, eggs and even supposedly “organic” fruit and veg contamination. See Germany last year.
HOWEVER, the good news is that there are requirements for labeling that will help you for starters try to wend your way around industry lobbying, government incompetence, and general deliberately produced lack of or misleading information.
And when shopping for organic meat, fruit and veg, here’s an easy way to beat the FDA. If not across the pond, since these are regulations are ones that are part of international law adopted by the “industrialized,” “first world” nations.
1. Non organic, pesticide induced fruit and veg always has a barcode number that starts between 1-7. Avoid it.
2. Organic fruit and veg have barcodes that start with either 9 or 09. Buy it.
3. Genetically modified fruit and veg have barcodes that start with either 8 or 08. This also applies to meat. Avoid it.
4. Bar codes for organic food usually have five digits only. Look for it.
5. Processed food must also comply with these rules, although in general, if you can, avoid it. Preservatives, which are a staple of most, are also things to be avoided.
Including a project we’re working into our webisode series that will help you not only identify those things automatically so you don’t have to wear glasses or hunt for the bar code either online or in-store (i.e. waste time), but also help you go organic on a budget.
We’re cooking (with gas) as they say in these parts. Bon appetite and stay tuned to the serving of the next, um “course.”
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- Veg rustlers hit with conditional discharge after roadside lineup (go.theregister.com)
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- Manchester Uni contract raises questions on organic food market (guardian.co.uk)
- well well Morrisons has surprised me (thelocalfoodie.wordpress.com)
- Climate Warming Denial: Big Business (chimalaya.org)
- Human Placenta Deemed ‘Ultimate Slow Food’ (sfist.com)
- Kitchen apps: Riverford (guardian.co.uk)