Sunday, January 15, 2012

Corn and Meat, what do we eat?

Yesterday morning, as I was making dal and rice (not for breakfast but to feed my hungry face later in the week when I will be busy and w/o cooking time) I was reading some factoids about corn. And how 60% of the corn that is grown in Canada is fed to...yep, you guessed it, cows. It makes me sad, frustrated and amused on so many levels. Sad because corn is not the natural diet of cows, grass is. Its like telling humans to naw on tree bark for breakfast. Yum?! I think it would put me in a lot of pain trying to digest that stuff. So I can only imagine the kind of pain cows are in when having corn and other grains that they arn't suppose to eat being shovelled down their throats. Euw.

Its also frustrating because of all the resources and space that growing all of this corn takes. Did you know that mono-cropping corn takes 3 times the amount of fertilizer than any other crop?! So where does all that fertilizer come from? Usually oil. And that fertilizer costs farmers a lot of money, which then goes into the pockets of the rich kids down at Monsanto, BASF, Pioneer, and Syngenta. Can you imagine the amount of fresh veggies, and organic grains that could be grown if corn was taken out? Even if only the corn that is fed to animals (which again remember are NOT even suppose to eat corn) was taken out, that would be 60% of all the corn, that's a lot of land. And that's a lot of money saved on fertilizer. I know people say that its not possible, but I disagree.

Why do I become amused? Simply by how crazy our food system is. How did it get this way? What makes us think its ok to feed living-beans stuff that hurts them? What makes us think growing one crop for miles and miles is a good way to treat the earth and feed ourselves? If we take a look at a forest what do we see? I know I don't see only trees in one section, moss in another, and ferns in another. They grow together. They provide the nutrients needed for one another, they live as a community that provides nutrients for each other.

But, back to reality. Our situation is far from a forest oasis. So where do we go from here? I think we need to let go of our attachments to what we think is normal. Its not normal to consume most of our food from plastic packages. Its not normal to have farms that span kilometers and kilometers. Its not normal to raise animals in such small confinements that they cannot move. Its not normal to have to deal with water pollution caused by too much animal poo in the water. I could go on, but you get the point. All of these "not normals" can be changed though. I would love to hear your ideas, and what you are doing to create new normals.

Thanks for letting me express these ideas and feelings, even if they don't involve my bicycle.

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