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A Christmas Gift: Help Heal Our Ailing Land

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"We were made to believe that synthetic agrochemicals are the panacea to low yield and will end world hunger. But today, people of the world, especially those in developing countries, are still in abject poverty and acute hunger. More than two billion humans are malnourished, according to reports of the United Nations.

"We were made to believe that synthetic agrochemicals are the panacea to low yield and will end world hunger. But today, people of the world, especially those in developing countries, are still in abject poverty and acute hunger. More than two billion humans are malnourished, according to reports of the United Nations. Multinational chemical industries have failed us all and have only exploited humans and manipulated the environment to their own advantage."

Raymond K. Bokor, Ghana Organic Agriculture Network, Kumasi, Ghana

Nowhere is there more evidence of the politics of health issues than in current food production: the proliferation of chemical agriculture, poor animal husbandry and manipulation of the DNA of plants and animals. Everyone has heard about these issues. Most people don't know enough to care.

This generation has been brainwashed into accepting chemical agriculture as the norm because that is all any of us knows. Since the end of the Second World War, we have been sold the concept that pests must be killed off with "pesticides" (insect killers) or farmers would not be able to raise crops and we would have nothing to eat except wormy and scabby fruit and vegetables. Farmers have been schooled in the importance of high crop yields rather than high nutrient value, and our modern medicine has not caught on to the connection between the degeneration of food and human disease.

Canada is far behind Britain, Europe and even some developing countries in putting two and two and two together to make this simple mathematical summation: We're sick because our food is sick, and our food is sick because the land is ailing!

Last month I wrote about the agricultural revolution in Germany as a result of the initiative of the federal minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, Renate Kuenast. She not only pledged a return to sustainable agriculture and chemical-free food she promised that her government would see that Germans could afford to buy it.

But right on the heels of her ringing statements to the German people, just prior to their federal election in September, heavy rainfalls flooded Germany, sweeping away whole cities and destroying farmland!

"Meteorologists warn that storms will keep increasing in the next 50 years," she said in a letter explaining her absence at the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Congress in Victoria, BC last August. "More rain, hail and floods in countries of the Northern Hemisphere. More aridity, water scarcity, drought and further extension of deserts in the Southern Hemisphere."

"It is well-known that some [weather] disasters are manmade. Interference with nature inflicts deep wounds and it is getting more difficult for nature's self-healing power to offset this. Scars strike back!"

Kuenast called for a change in the way people think about the food they eat, and IFOAM Congress participants were challenged to put organics first in their food budget decisions as a matter of survival. It's something for all of us to think seriously about this Christmas season.

Can you dare to eat organically for the Christmas holidays and make an issue of it with family and friends? You may eat less. You may even forego the turkey and go vegetarian. You may put organic raisins and oranges in the stockings hung by the chimney with care. You may decide to give your loved ones the gift of a totally organic celebration and then begin an organic food budget for 2003 a new resolution for a food revolution.

Take Renate Kuenast's advice. Think about it.

We've accepted the propaganda about the inevitability of globalization and world governance, but the fact is that we can help determine the future of our food. Chemical fertilizers, pesticides, livestock growth hormones, mad cow disease and genetic engineering of both agricultural crops and farm animals can be phased into yesterday. We can join people all over the world in a global federation of organic consumers.

Change begins with each of us. Be a trendsetter! Buy organic.

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