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Friday, August 9, 2013


Thursday is usually the day that I get all of my junque mail. Some of it is just that: junk, some of it is amusing (coupons for Viagra sent to MR. Harlan Bennett) and some of it is very informative and interesting.

I belong to The American Farmland Trust. Which, I’ll add, is a grass-roots organization that is dedicated to saving American family farmlands. They sent me a most interesting bumper sticker entitled NO FARMS NO FOOD. Most family farms don’t use GMO seeds for their crops, and most family farms also don’t factory-farm their animals. If you’ve never had real grass-fed beef, for example, you don’t know what you’re missing in terms of taste and texture. There’s another consideration as well: most factory-farmed animals are fed antibiotics because the conditions on the farms are so atrocious. So, the antibiotics are in the food chain, which means that the humans that eat the animal flesh ingest the antibiotics, which in turn means that the bugs that the antibiotics are designed to fight have a chance to mutate and become immune. Which means, of course, that THEN when you get sick and start taking antibiotics for whatever disease or sickness you have, the antibiotics are ineffectual.

So, what does this have to do with family farmlands disappearing? It means that there are fewer and fewer farms where you can go and get non-factory-farmed animal flesh and non-GMO produce. Unless you’re a member of a co-op, you just have to TRUST that the foods that you’re buying at the store are not tainted by being fed substances that are incorporated into their bodies. Like, for example, pesticides that have been incorporated into the genetic make-up of the silage and the grains that are fed to cattle, hogs, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys, sheep, goats – pretty much EVERY factory-farmed animal and plant out there. What the people at Monsanto and other chemical companies don’t take into account is that even if the GMOs are supposedly bioengineered to be sterile, they don’t stay that way. Because Earth has a high level of naturally occurring radioactivity, EVERYTHING that grows eventually mutates to a different form (which, incidentally, where biologically viable “sports” come from) to suit its environment. According to EuropaBio, all GMOs eventually become as fertile as the seeds that are NOT GMOs. Which makes cross-pollination possible – and a real problem if natural seeds, heirloom seeds and GMOs are being grown in close proximity to each other.

Most family farms won’t grow GMOs even when it’s lucrative for them to do so. So, the family farms have to start selling off their land to pay for upgrades in equipment and for taxes. There are a lot of family farms here in Texas that are going out of business because there are housing developments going in around them and they can’t afford to pay the taxes on their land. The ones that are surviving are all part of a co-op movement like Local Harvest. The food is a bit more expensive, yes, but it’s clean, it tastes better and by buying from the co-op farms, you are helping save farmland. If you’re a farmer or you’re thinking about becoming one, just click on the text here and you'll be able to find out how to do it.

Speaking of which, see y’all later – it’s time for me to go hit the weekly Farmer’s Market at Rice University. AND, if you’re interested in helping save American farmers’ land, here’s a link to American Farmland Trust: 

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