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Archive for May, 2008

Over the last several months, Amy and I have been researching and discussing how we get our food. As most everyone does, we drive down to the store and purchase most anything we need or desire. But from a larger perspective…How do we get our food? Where does it come from? How is it grown? Has it been chemically treated? Is the way it is grown beneficial or detrimental to local and small farms? While there are several problems associated with our “industrialized” agriculture, the most disturbing aspect of it relates to genetically-modified organisms (GMO) and big-agriculture. There is currently a war being waged against family farms across the world that is being led by a chemical company-turned-seed company that most folks have heard of- MONSANTO. If you have not heard of Monsanto you have surely heard of or even used their most successful product – Round-Up.  Monsanto is the company that introduced Agent Orange, aspartame, and PCB’s (poly-chlorinated biphenals). They also supply nitrogen -based fertilizers. Now they would like to introduce us to their GMO plants.

How did all of this start and how does it affect farms?  The very condensed explanation is this. For the past several years, Monsanto has been patenting seeds. Once a seed is patented, it is now owned by the entity that submitted it. As an example, let’s say there are 10 different varieties of corn seeds available in our national seed bank. As long as Monsanto is the first entity to them, they may submit each of these seeds for patenting. Once the patents are secured, Monsanto will hold 9 of the varieties to themselves but will genetically alter the other variety that is left. The primary genetic modification that they have been making is to make the seed “Round-Up Ready”. If you have ever used Round-Up, it kills generally any green living thing it touches. However, “Round-Up Ready” plants may be sprayed directly with Round-Up and they will not die. While this sounds like a great idea, the long term does not look promising. This leaves the farmer in a situation where there is only one variety of seed available and it must be purchased from Monsanto at a dramatically higher price than traditional seed. In order for the seed to grow as it should, it has to be sprayed with Round-Up which also must be purchased from Monsanto. India is a major supplier of the world’s cotton. Round-Up Ready cotton seed was introduced to India several years ago and now Monsanto’s seed is the only seed available to them. Monsanto’s cotton seed costs approximately four times what traditional seed would cost. As a result, most farmers borrow money to purchase seed and herbicide. When the crops do not come in, many farmers are turning to suicide as an answer to the unbelievable pressure they are under. All the while Monsanto’s profits continue to increase. Farmers in the U.S. and Canada are also being sued in droves when it is discovered that somewhere in their fields Monsanto’s GMO plants are present in any number. These kind of tactics and this kind of agricultural model cannot and should not continue.

Here is a link to a documentary called “The Future of Food”. This documentary is available in its entirety though You-Tube and VEOH TV (requires a down-loadable plug-in) . Another great documentary on this topic is “The World According to Monsanto” which is also on VEOH TV.

In the future I’ll blog about some ways that we can support local farms instead of supporting large multinational “agriculture” companies.

~Pa

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A day at the zoo

Pa, Morgan, Eli, and Josiah having fun!As a stay-at-home mom and homeschool family, our days can be quite zoo-like.  It’s especially fun when Pa is home with us.  So I thought I’d share some pics of what our evenings can be like in our little home.  BTW, I did take the children to the Nashville Zoo this week.  I’ll post some about that a little later.

~Ma

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Babies & Blocks

What is it about babies and blocks?  Josiah loves sitting and playing with his blocks.  He also LOVES his big sister and brother.  He usually fusses  always cries to get Morgan to hold him.  He already knows how to get her attention.  Of course, she loves it!  She has such a strong mothering instinct and we love seeing her nurture her little baby brother.  Josiah’s newest development is waving bye-bye…just too cute for words.

~Ma

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Morgan nurturing another tomato plant.Eli filling his bucketEli doing a great job with the mulch!Morgan mulching around a watermelon plant!This year is our third year to do a home garden.  It’s amazing to me each year how much we’ve learned and we still have tons to learn.  It’s really great to work along side our children and allow them to learn some simple things.  Even though many times we’d rather just “do it ourselves”…the LORD is impressing on us to teach our children along the way.  Here are some pics of Morgan and Eli helping with planting and adding mulch to our precious plants.  We are learning so much…the miracle of the gift of the seed from our Great Creator!

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