Binod GurungSCN 200November 2, 2017 Monsanto is a major foodsupplier. Monsanto has taken over the seed market. The controversy thatsurrounds the Genetically Modified(GM) seeds produced by Monsanto is that theGM seeds require chemicals like pesticides and herbicides which is not onlycausing environmental change but also causing harmful effects on human andanimals. More than 200 companies havebeen bought by five giant companies Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPontin the past 15 years. These companiesare dominating the seed market and adapting the GM seeds. Monsanto has become aworld leader in production of GM seeds. Monsanto produces most of the seedsneeded to support world supply.
The increased use of Monsanto’s GM seedsespecially corn and soy has taken over many parts of the world. This isdeclining the use of heirloom and organic seeds. Farmers are using GM seeds as conventionalseeds are not available. They are being forced to buy new GM seeds every yearso as to avoid patent infringement. They have to pay a license fee if they wantto save that seed and re-sow them.
They also have to buy herbicide andpesticide required for the GM seeds which makes it hard for local farmers toafford it. The agency that regulates organic foods areUSDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and NOP (National OrganicProgram). In order to produce organic foods, the farm must adopt organicpractices and submit application and fees to a certifying agent that us USDAaccredited. The application is then reviewed to verify if practices meets theUSDA organic regulations. An on-site inspection is conducted by inspector andthe inspector’s report is reviewed along with the application to check if theirpractices meets the USDA regulations.
Anorganic certificate is issued by the agent if it meets all the requirements. Foods that arenot used in the modern agriculture and were raised in the early human historyare heirloom foods. Farmers stopped producing them it was very difficult totransport and produce. These foods were very soft and easily bruised.
It tookvery long time to grow and it spoiled fast. Heirloom foods are regainingpopularity as it is very nutritious and tastier. Most of the foods that areproduced now are genetically modified to meet the demands of people whichdegrades the quality of it. I support the American farmersgrowing organic and heirloom foods. Organic and heirloom foods are much morenutritious than the food produced by Monsanto. They use traditional ways and don’tuse GM (Genetically Modified) seeds. They don’t use chemicals that degrades thequality of the food and also may have a negative effect on human andenvironment to increase their productivity.
Using organic and heirloom foods also helpsmaintaining genetic diversity. Using of the GM seeds has caused a lot of food cropsthat were grown in early history to decline. The selling of non-hybrid seeds hasdecreased from 5000 to 600 in 20 years. Slowly lots of the crops are beingextinct. Farmers should be provided resources and encouraged to grow conventionalcrops. GeneralMills was originated in 1866 by Cadwallader Washburn at St.
Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota.In 1869, Charles A Pillsbury and Washburn collaborated to form MinneapolisMills association. Both of them wanted to turn Midwestern water wheat into ahigher grade of flour. Washburn took the help of a French engineer to make hisproduct the best flour in the United States by improving his method. Hepartnered with John Crosby in 1877 and named it Washburn Crosby Company. Their flourwas awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at first international millersexhibition in Ohio. In 1888, JamesS.
Bell took the leadership of Washburn Crosby. In 1928, General Mills wasfounded by James Ford Bell who was the son of James S. Bell by merging WashburnCrosby with several other regional millers. Two major foods soldby general mills are cereals and yogurt.
The targeted audience for thementioned products are Hispanics, baby boomers and millennials. Foods are processedand regulated following the proper food safety rules by more than 600 trainedquality professionals. Food safety education is provided to all the suppliers,regulators and partners. They have more than 55 certified quality engineers worldwidemonitoring food safety. Comparing it to the regulation of USDA for organic foodproduction, the USDA conducts inspection and certifies all the facilities thatare used for producing organic foods. Likewise, General Mills has third parties thatinspects, audits and certifies all the facilities by using globally certifiedfood criteria.
Slowmovement began on 1986 in Rome. It was started by Italian journalist CarloPetrini who was not happy with the plan of opening of a McDonald franchise inRome. He began slow food movement to protest against the opening of the fastfood chain. He was supported by group of Italian people who were against fastfood and preferred local food and traditional food production of foods.
Protestors ate homemade Italian foods and bowls of penne to show theirdissatisfaction with what was happening. The basic philosophy of Slow FoodMovement is the concept of conviviality. It means to take pleasure in processof cooking, eating and sharing food among friends and family. Its concept is tobring all the family and friends together.
Slow food movement has expanded to 160countries. It has 100,000 members and 1300 local convivia chapters in theworld. It has 150 local chapters in US and 360 in Italy. They have opened offices in Switzerland,Germany, France, UK, Chile, Japan and New York city. TasteNY provides local produce to the people through stores and events. You canpurchase local food through their website. They are also taking initiatives toopen stores and vending machines at CUNY and SUNY campuses.
FreshConnect provides local foods to the communities through food box. Food box is aprogram where all the participants are provided with a bag of local produce. FINYSpromotes markets for locally grown agricultural products in colleges, schools,hospitals and NY institutes. GrowNYC helps provide fresh and healthiest local foods to everyone through itsgreenmarket. Its recycle program provides free training to reduce waste.
GrowNYC builds community and school gardens and also provides with education relatedto natural environment. The Farm to Table initiativescomplement the objectives of the Slow FoodMovement as the Farm Table initiatives it helps promote local foods. Ithelps provide local food to low income communities. It also helps promotelocally grown agricultural foods in colleges, schools and hospitals. This helpsprovide healthy and quality foods to everyone and also help farmers dobusiness.
Food insecurity is a condition in whichthe people has limited access to nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecuritymostly affects the poor and low-income families as they don’t have enough moneyto buy healthy food on a regular basis. Foodbank is a non-profit organizationthat collects and distributes foods to hunger relief organizations likehomeless shelter, senior care, pantries and emergency relief programs. Foodbank runs by donations through which they make purchases and salvaged products.
Food desert is an area where there islimited access to affordable and nutritious food due to lack of grocery storesor other food vendors. Food desert is mostly seen in rural areas or areas withlow income families. The basicprinciple of SNAP is to provide nutritional support to eligible ow incomeindividuals and families. It provides monthly food expense to the eligibleindividual or families so that they can afford an adequate diet depending onthe size of families and their income.
The low your income the more benefitsyou get. According to data from 2015, 3,039,108 people participate in SNAP out of which 1,049,800 are 18years old or younger. The basic services of Single Stop at LaGuardiaCommunity College are: benefitscreening for Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program (SNAP) and TemporaryAssistance for Needy Families (TANF), food pantry,financial and legal counseling, tax assistance and health care enrollment.
The resources provided by single stop to collegecommunity regarding food security are they have food pantry available every dayin room C-107. Any students who has food insecurity can collect food fromthere. Single Stop also provides benefitscreening for SNAP.
It helps you find if you are eligible for food stamps andhelps you apply for it. The topic I found themost interesting was the Monsanto controversy, heirloom foods and the slow foodmovement. Monsanto being the largest seed supplier has taken the seed market.It has not only caused environmental change by producing GM seeds whichrequires pesticides and herbicides but also made it difficult for the localfarmers to produce conventional seeds. It has forced farmers to use GM seedswhich is really sad as slowly GM seeds will take over the world and theconventional seeds will no longer be available. The increasing use of thechemicals for GM seeds production will not only affect the environment but alsocauses adverse effect to human health.
The interesting thing about Heirloomfood is that it helps maintain genetic diversity. Many years ago, there were largevarieties of vegetables in different colors but introduction of GM seedsreduced the number. Heirloom foods are not only healthier but tastier too. So,farmers should be encouraged and provided necessary resources to produceheirloom foods. It will help reduce the environmental change caused by the useof chemicals for GM seeds. CitationsKell John (July 14,2016) GeneralMills Reveals How It Plans to ‘Renovate’ Yogurt Products.
Fortune. Retrievedfrom http://fortune.com/2016/07/14/general-mills-yogurt/Barlett L. Donald and Steele B. James (May 2008).Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. VanityFair.
Retrieved from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/05/monsanto200805 Winslow Amelia(Oct. 11, 2012). What is an “Heirloom” Food?. Eating made easy.
Retrieved from https://eating-made-easy.com/what-is-an-heirloom-food/ Mercola (Nov 11,2010). Organic Food may become a thing ofthe past.Mercola Take control of your health. Retrieved from https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/11/how-monsanto-controls-the-future-of-food.aspx