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Binod 15 years. These companies are dominating the

Binod Gurung

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November 2, 2017

 

 

Monsanto is a major food
supplier. Monsanto has taken over the seed market. The controversy that
surrounds the Genetically Modified(GM) seeds produced by Monsanto is that the
GM seeds require chemicals like pesticides and herbicides which is not only
causing environmental change but also causing harmful effects on human and
animals.  More than 200 companies have
been bought by five giant companies Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow and DuPont
in the past 15 years.  These companies
are dominating the seed market and adapting the GM seeds. Monsanto has become a
world leader in production of GM seeds. Monsanto produces most of the seeds
needed to support world supply. The increased use of Monsanto’s GM seeds
especially corn and soy has taken over many parts of the world. This is
declining the use of heirloom and organic seeds. Farmers are using GM seeds as conventional
seeds are not available. They are being forced to buy new GM seeds every year
so as to avoid patent infringement. They have to pay a license fee if they want
to save that seed and re-sow them. They also have to buy herbicide and
pesticide required for the GM seeds which makes it hard for local farmers to
afford it.

 

    The agency that regulates organic foods are
USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and NOP (National Organic
Program). In order to produce organic foods, the farm must adopt organic
practices and submit application and fees to a certifying agent that us USDA
accredited. The application is then reviewed to verify if practices meets the
USDA organic regulations. An on-site inspection is conducted by inspector and
the inspector’s report is reviewed along with the application to check if their
practices meets the USDA regulations.  An
organic certificate is issued by the agent if it meets all the requirements.

 

           Foods that are
not used in the modern agriculture and were raised in the early human history
are heirloom foods. Farmers stopped producing them it was very difficult to
transport and produce. These foods were very soft and easily bruised. It took
very long time to grow and it spoiled fast. Heirloom foods are regaining
popularity as it is very nutritious and tastier. Most of the foods that are
produced now are genetically modified to meet the demands of people which
degrades the quality of it.

 

                        I support the American farmers
growing organic and heirloom foods. Organic and heirloom foods are much more
nutritious than the food produced by Monsanto. They use traditional ways and don’t
use GM (Genetically Modified) seeds. They don’t use chemicals that degrades the
quality of the food and also may have a negative effect on human and
environment to increase their productivity.  Using organic and heirloom foods also helps
maintaining genetic diversity. Using of the GM seeds has caused a lot of food crops
that were grown in early history to decline. The selling of non-hybrid seeds has
decreased from 5000 to 600 in 20 years. Slowly lots of the crops are being
extinct. Farmers should be provided resources and encouraged to grow conventional
crops.

 

                          General
Mills was originated in 1866 by Cadwallader Washburn at St. Anthony Falls, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 1869, Charles A Pillsbury and Washburn collaborated to form Minneapolis
Mills association. Both of them wanted to turn Midwestern water wheat into a
higher grade of flour. Washburn took the help of a French engineer to make his
product the best flour in the United States by improving his method. He
partnered with John Crosby in 1877 and named it Washburn Crosby Company. Their flour
was awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at first international millers
exhibition in Ohio. In 1888, James
S. Bell took the leadership of Washburn Crosby. In 1928, General Mills was
founded by James Ford Bell who was the son of James S. Bell by merging Washburn
Crosby with several other regional millers.

 

                         Two major foods sold
by general mills are cereals and yogurt. The targeted audience for the
mentioned products are Hispanics, baby boomers and millennials.

 

                          Foods are processed
and regulated following the proper food safety rules by more than 600 trained
quality professionals. Food safety education is provided to all the suppliers,
regulators and partners. They have more than 55 certified quality engineers worldwide
monitoring food safety. Comparing it to the regulation of USDA for organic food
production, the USDA conducts inspection and certifies all the facilities that
are used for producing organic foods.  Likewise, General Mills has third parties that
inspects, audits and certifies all the facilities by using globally certified
food criteria.

 

                     Slow
movement began on 1986 in Rome. It was started by Italian journalist Carlo
Petrini who was not happy with the plan of opening of a McDonald franchise in
Rome. He began slow food movement to protest against the opening of the fast
food chain. He was supported by group of Italian people who were against fast
food and preferred local food and traditional food production of foods.

Protestors ate homemade Italian foods and bowls of penne to show their
dissatisfaction with what was happening.

                       

       The basic philosophy of Slow Food
Movement is the concept of conviviality. It means to take pleasure in process
of cooking, eating and sharing food among friends and family. Its concept is to
bring all the family and friends together.

           

                    Slow food movement has expanded to 160
countries. It has 100,000 members and 1300 local convivia chapters in the
world. 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.

 

                        Taste
NY provides local produce to the people through stores and events. You can
purchase local food through their website. They are also taking initiatives to
open stores and vending machines at CUNY and SUNY campuses.

                        Fresh
Connect provides local foods to the communities through food box. Food box is a
program where all the participants are provided with a bag of local produce.

                        FINYS
promotes markets for locally grown agricultural products in colleges, schools,
hospitals and NY institutes.

                        Grow
NYC helps provide fresh and healthiest local foods to everyone through its
greenmarket. Its recycle program provides free training to reduce waste. Grow
NYC builds community and school gardens and also provides with education related
to natural environment.

 

The Farm to Table initiatives
complement the objectives of the Slow Food
Movement as the Farm Table initiatives it helps promote local foods. It
helps provide local food to low income communities. It also helps promote
locally grown agricultural foods in colleges, schools and hospitals. This helps
provide healthy and quality foods to everyone and also help farmers do
business.

 

       Food insecurity is a condition in which
the people has limited access to nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecurity
mostly affects the poor and low-income families as they don’t have enough money
to buy healthy food on a regular basis. Foodbank is a non-profit organization
that collects and distributes foods to hunger relief organizations like
homeless shelter, senior care, pantries and emergency relief programs. Food
bank runs by donations through which they make purchases and salvaged products.   Food desert is an area where there is
limited access to affordable and nutritious food due to lack of grocery stores
or other food vendors. Food desert is mostly seen in rural areas or areas with
low income families.

           

                             The basic
principle of SNAP is to provide nutritional support to eligible ow income
individuals and families. It provides monthly food expense to the eligible
individual or families so that they can afford an adequate diet depending on
the size of families and their income. The low your income the more benefits
you get. According to data from 2015, 3,039,108 people participate in SNAP out of which 1,049,800

 are 18
years old or younger.

 

                              The basic services of Single Stop at LaGuardia
Community College are: benefit
screening for Supplemental Food and Nutrition Program (SNAP) and Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food pantry,
financial and legal counseling, tax assistance and health care enrollment.  The resources provided by single stop to college
community regarding food security are they have food pantry available every day
in room C-107. Any students who has food insecurity can collect food from
there.  Single Stop also provides benefit
screening for SNAP. It helps you find if you are eligible for food stamps and
helps you apply for it.

 

                           The topic I found the
most interesting was the Monsanto controversy, heirloom foods and the slow food
movement. Monsanto being the largest seed supplier has taken the seed market.

It has not only caused environmental change by producing GM seeds which
requires pesticides and herbicides but also made it difficult for the local
farmers to produce conventional seeds. It has forced farmers to use GM seeds
which is really sad as slowly GM seeds will take over the world and the
conventional seeds will no longer be available. The increasing use of the
chemicals for GM seeds production will not only affect the environment but also
causes adverse effect to human health. The interesting thing about Heirloom
food is that it helps maintain genetic diversity. Many years ago, there were large
varieties of vegetables in different colors but introduction of GM seeds
reduced the number. Heirloom foods are not only healthier but tastier too. So,
farmers should be encouraged and provided necessary resources to produce
heirloom foods. It will help reduce the environmental change caused by the use
of chemicals for GM seeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citations

Kell John (July 14,2016) General
Mills Reveals How It Plans to ‘Renovate’ Yogurt Products.Fortune. Retrieved
from http://fortune.com/2016/07/14/general-mills-yogurt/

Barlett L. Donald and Steele B. James (May 2008).Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. Vanity
Fair. 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 of
the 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

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