For 12,000 years, following the mainly hunter-gatherer phase of human civilization, from the advent of crop agriculture and animal husbandry up until the end of the Second World War, most food and fiber was produced without the use of toxic chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, and animal drugs. This food was grown on small-scale family farms or ranches, fertilized and cultivated with natural inputs and was unprocessed or minimally processed before it reached our kitchens, i.e. produced in a manner that we would call today as “organic.”
Unfortunately, about a century ago, large chemical and armaments manufacturers, along with the fossil fuel industry, decided to replace natural food and farming practices with a “modern” chemical, energy-intensive, monoculture, factory farm (intensive confinement), processed food model. Modern, what we now call 'degenerative agriculture,' is championed and subsidized (with over $600 billion a year in subsidies) by the global financial and political elite, the GMO lobby, and an army of indentured scientists and agronomists. Modern hi-tech agriculture has promised to bring about enormous benefits: higher productivity and profits for farmers, food manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers; the elimination of world hunger and rural poverty; as well as reduced food costs, enhanced food safety, and greater convenience for the consumer.
But as consumers, environmentalists, natural health advocates, independent agronomists, and small farmers began to understand by the end of the 1950s, this Brave New World of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, monocultures, food processing, and monopolization, was a disaster. This wasw not only in terms of degenerating the soil and destroying biodiversity, pollinators, and the environment, but also degenerating public health as well, engendering among other calamities a mass epidemic of diet-related chronic disease, obesity, and cancer.
In the late-50s and 60s, scientists like Rachel Carson, and organic/biodynamic farm organizations like Rodale, Acres USA, and Demeter, begin sounding the alarm that traditional, organic farming, seed saving, and animal husbandry practices were actually far better and healthier than the new industrialized, chemical-intensive methods and products. By the late 1960s, the modern organic food and farming movement gained mass public support, growing steadily into a multi-billion-dollar powerhouse that began to threaten the paradigm and profits of Big Food, Big Ag, and the genetic engineering industry. Vandana Shiva and millions of organic consumers now characterize Big Food, Big Ag, and the GMO lobby, headed by Monsanto et al., as the “Poison Cartel.”
In response to the growing popularity of organics, powerful elements of the global elite, spearheaded by Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, Silicon Valley lab-meat entrepreneurs, multinational corporate agribusiness, and GMO/precision agriculture/Big Data firms, have declared outright war on organics and animal agriculture. These advocates of shutting down the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of organic (certified or de facto organic) small farmers, pastoralists, and rural villagers proclaim, without evidence, that organic and regenerative practices cannot feed the world.
Conflating small farms and traditional grazing with factory farms and feedlots, and nutrient-dense whole foods with highly processed foods and “food-like” substances, the cheerleaders and profiteers of high-tech agriculture have literally declared war on indigenous knowledge and practices, organic and regenerative agriculture, holistic grazing, and agroforestry.
The agro-technocrats claim that organic and small farmers use up too much land, that indigenous and traditional practices spur deforestation, that organic productivity (without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and GMO seeds) is inefficient; and that growing food hydroponically in containers without soil and gene-editing should be allowed to be labeled as “organic.”
They say that genetically engineered lab meat and dairy, grown in industrial vats, must become the norm. Most recently these warriors against organic (including misguided vegans and climate zealots) have announced that animal agriculture (the livelihood for a billion small farmers and rural villagers) should be abolished entirely in favor of fallowing and “rewilding” 75% of agricultural lands.
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