Have you ever stopped to think about the food we eat? Like where it comes from, what its made of and how’s it handled? Honestly, I never gave any thought to any of it either. I just assumed that the meat and produce I ate were nutritious and healthy. I thought that government agencies protected the public from harmful foods. I thought the label “organic” was just an excuse to make more money. Everything I thought.. was wrong.
I’m not here to scare you or make you stop eating certain foods, I’m here to shed some light on the other side of the story. The side that has genetically modified plants and animals. The side that shows how corrupt the very agencies are that were created to protect us. And the side that makes buying food so difficult.
I had heard and seen mention of GMOs (generically modified organisms) in my news feed, on blogs and sometimes I’m the media. I shrugged it all off. Those people were wack-a-doodles. I let it go and continued to buy the same junk week after week.
Then my friend suggested I watch a documentary called Food, inc in Netflix. I sat down one afternoon and watched the 75 minute film at my parents house. The kids were asleep on me after a busy day. I had one in each arm. It was turning out to be a pretty decent afternoon. And as I started to watch the film, I could feel my stomach turn, my mouth go up in horror and then the tears started to flow.
I cried through a majority of the documentary. I cried because off the cruelty to animals, I cried because of the blatant disregard for the general public, I cried for the innocent farmers and I cried for these two little people sleeping in my arms.
What have I been feeding the most important people in my life? I couldn’t answer that.
Again, not trying to scare anyone. I want to share why I bawled like a baby during this movie. Here is what shocked me the most to find out..
- Our food industry is essentially controlled by a few big producers – one of the biggest buyers being McDonald’s.
- If McDonald’s wants there beef a certain way (think bigger, cheaper, faster) then most of the producers follow suit. For everything.
- These food giants control their farmers with massive amounts of regulations that put them in debt. [Average farmer makes 18k and has 500k in debt!]
- Monsanto has genetically altered the soy bean and has a patent on it! It forces farmers to use their seeds or face being sued.
- Monsanto makes it money by suing farmers.
- Monsanto owns Roundup and modified their crops to resist the pesticide.
- Prior to being in the agriculture business, Monsanto was in the chemical industry. They were a major producing of Agent Orange and DDT.
- Farmers are paid to overproduce corn because its cheap and can be processed into a ton of different foods.
- Most process foods contain some form of corn. High fructose corn syrup is one.
- There is an illusion of choice in the grocery store, but only a handful of companies control the market. [See graphic below.]
- Animals are pumped full of growth hormones and fed corn diets so they grow bigger, faster.
- A chicken grows to full maturity in 47 days, almost half the time it took 60 years ago. [See image above.]
- The chicken is modified to have bigger breasts, since that is what people like to eat.
- The chickens bones don’t keep up with the rest of its body and most of them can’t walk more then a few steps with collapsing.
- The workers in meat packing plants are normally illegal immigrants, doing one of the hardest jobs, at the lowest pay.
- The workers become sick from handling so many animals in a short amount of time.
- The people in office that regulate these types of things were once employees of Monsanto. [Google Clarence Thomas, for one example.]
- There is litigation to stop people from bashing or even talking negatively about the food industry. [Oprah was sued for it!]
- The USDA no longer has the power to shut down facilities that repeatedly fail microbe testing. [Ie, e.coli, salmonella, etc.]
Is that not mind blowing?! I knew some of the information, but not all of it. There is so so much more too. Its scary. Its heartbreaking. And it has made me question our food more then ever. I didn’t know what to eat after I watched the film. I didn’t know what to feed my kids. My thought process on food has completely changed.
I went on a documentary and research binge. I watched 3 other films and searched the internet. [Ok, I searched Pinterest.] And honestly, I still don’t know what to do. I can’t look at meat or produce the same way again. I know that much. I know that I need to buy organic and local. I know this. But where do I start?
In the film they said that we vote what we get to eat at least 3 times a day. Every time we eat we are saying “This is what I want!” If we can eat more organic produce then thats a good start. If we can avoid the big companies, then thats a start. We can avoid companies affiliated with Monsanto, then that’s a start. If we buy less processed foods, then that’s a start. And a good start! We get to decide what we eat.
And if you are going to start eating organic, then maybe start with the dirty dozen. The dirty dozen is the produce that has the most pesticides and chemicals. I know organic is expensive. But if we are able to buy at least a few things that are not covered in chemicals, its a start.
Its going to be hard to change. I’m not sure how it will go for our family. But I know we can’t go back to the way we were eating. And we aren’t going cold turkey. I’m not throwing away everything in our fridge or pantry and starting over. I am making more conscience decisions when it comes to our food and hopefully soon, moving away completely from anything processed. I know I will keep you updated and share new information as it comes available. Not to scare, but to make sure everyone has the best information possible on the food we eat.
And here are some additional resources: