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The Problems of Agribusiness The Solutions for Individuals

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1 The Problems of Agribusiness The Solutions for Individuals
Sustainable Living The Problems of Agribusiness The Solutions for Individuals

2 The Problem: The Monsanto Company
The Monsanto Company is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation World leaders in the production of the herbicide glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup The leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seeds with a market share of % Annual revenue of $7.3 billion in 2006

3 The Problem Monsanto has taken out more seed patents than any other company EVER, removing the threat of competition Farmers that use Monsanto seeds must use Monsanto’s herbicide because it has been chemically engineered to recognize the GE plants only

4 Patent Infringement Monsanto has begun highly aggressive pursuit of family owned farms found guilty of patent infringement through use and sale of seeds containing GE DNA without initial purchase of the seeds and the technology. However, this DNA can literally invade a farmer’s field through wind pollination, therefore a farmer may end up with them as well as a law suit.

5 GE Bans GE crops have been banned in the European Union, Japan and a number of other countries and regions with which the United States has historically traded Therefore any GE crops domestic farmers produce cannot be sold to these places, reducing the United State’s gross national product

6 Why Would the US Agree to This?
Former Monsanto employees currently hold positions in US government agencies and offices including the FDA, the EPA and the Supreme Court Donald Rumsfeld is a major stock owner and made $12 million on a 1985 merger with Monsanto Attorney General John Ashcroft was the top recipient of Monsanto contributions during his reelection campaign for US Senate

7 GE Crops are Not Identified
Currently there is no system requiring identification of GE foods in grocery stores GE plants are being fed to livestock on massive scales The food you and your children eat could be genetically modified, and you will never know

8 Pesticides and Herbicides

9 Pesticides in a nutshell
A pesticide is a substance or mixture of substances used for preventing, controlling, or lessening the damage caused by a pest. This may be a chemical substance, a biological agent, antimicrobial or a disinfectant

10 Environmental Concerns Associated with Pesticide Use
Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species including non-target species, air, water, bottom sediments and food. Some pesticides contribute to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer In the US, pesticides were found to pollute every stream and over 90% of wells Pesticides hinder nitrogen fixation which is a major contributor to loss of soil fertility

11 Chart Compiled by the Pesticide Data Program of the US Department of Agriculture
Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Number of Samples Analyzed Samples with Residues Detected Percent Of Sample With Detections Different Pesticide Residue Total Detection Apples 774 727 98 33 41 2,619 Lettuce 743 657 88 47 57 1,985 Pears 741 643 87 31 35 1,309 Orange Juice 186 93 50 3 94

12 The Effect of Pesticides and Herbicides
on Wildlife

13 The Effect of Pesticides on Wildlife
Greater in fish-eating birds such as gulls or bald eagles, the use of DDT caused egg shell thinning in many birds of prey Exposure to a highly toxic insecticide can cause sickness or death to wildlife Once sick, wildlife may neglect their young, abandon their nests, and become more susceptible to predation and disease

14 Indirect Effects of Pesticides
When herbicides or insecticides are sprayed on field borders and other non-crop habitats, wildlife lose valuable escape cover and food Wildlife are exposed to insecticides when they eat chemical residues on plants or in insects

15 Effects of Pesticides Wildlife that are in fields or enter fields soon after an insecticide has been sprayed are exposed when they inhale vapor or when insecticides contact their skin or eyes. Granular formulations of insecticides are a real hazard to birds. Birds eat granules exposed on the soil surface, mistaking them for food or grit.

16 Health Effects of Pesticides
on Farmers, Workers and Consumers

17 Farmers & Workers According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 3 million workers in agriculture in the developing world experience severe poisoning from pesticides, about 18,000 of whom die According to one study, as many as 25 million workers in developing countries may suffer mild pesticides poisoning yearly

18 Health Effects of Pesticides on Farmers and Workers
SHORT TERM Abdominal Pain Dizziness Headaches Nausea Vomiting Skin and eye problems LONG TERM Respiratory Problems Memory Disorders Dermatologic Conditions Cancer Depression Neurological deficits Miscarriages Birth Defects

19 Health Effects of Pesticides on Consumers
There are concerns that pesticides used to control pests on food crops are dangerous to people who consume those foods Many food crops, including fruits and vegetables, contain pesticide residues after being washed or peeled

20 Health Effects of Pesticides on Consumers
How it works….. In the United States, levels of residues that remain on foods are limited to tolerance levels that are established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are considered safe The EPA sets tolerances based on the toxicity of the pesticide and its breakdown products, the amount and frequency of the pesticide application, and how much of the pesticide remains in or on food by the time it is marketed and prepared

21 How it works….. continued
Tolerance levels are obtained using the scientific risk assessments that pesticide manufacturers are required to produce by conducting toxicological studies, exposure modeling and residue studies before are particular pesticide can be registered HOWEVER, the effects are tested for single pesticides, and there is little information on possible synergistic effects of exposure to multiple pesticide traces in the air, food and water

22 Health Effects of Pesticides on Consumers
In the US, the National Academy of Sciences estimates that between 4,000 and 20,000 cases of cancer are caused per year by pesticide residues in food in allowable amounts Petroleum based chemicals are being found to cause significant attritional effects to the nervous system and immune system after prolonged exposure. Some of the illnesses include adult and child cancers, numerous neurological disorders, immune system weakening, autoimmune weakening, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, infertility, miscarriage, and child and adult learning disabilities, mental retardation, hyperactivity, and attention deficit disorders

23 Health Effects of Pesticides on Our Children
According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, children have been found especially susceptible to the harmful effects of pesticides. A number of research studies have found higher incidences of brain cancer, leukemia, and birth defects in children with early exposure to pesticides Scientists also think that the exposure to pesticides in the uterus may have negative effects on a fetus that may manifest as problems such as growth and behavioral disorders or reduced resistance to pesticide toxicity later in life

24 Organic Foods Composting Square Foot Gardening
Solutions Organic Foods Composting Square Foot Gardening

25 Organic Foods Organic is when organic produce and other ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation

26 Why Organic? It’s better for the environment – No pesticides means healthier soil, water, and wildlife. Buying organic supports small farmers – Organic farmers can earn a fairer price for organic produce compared to factory farming Organic farming is good for biodiversity Organic Farmers are growing a wide variety of non-genetically modified (non-GMO) fruits and vegetables, resurrecting many heirloom varieties It’s healthier for you and your family

27 Food to Buy Organic Peaches- listed as the worst with the highest levels of pesticides of all conventional produce Strawberries Raspberries Apples Grapes (& therefore Raisins and Juice! - many kinds of juices have Grape Juice in them) Nectarines Apricots Pears Cherries Lemons- especially if zesting, should definitely use organic Limes Bananas - heavy chemicals for the trip to America including Thiabendazole which Damages the Brain and Nervous System.  Kiwis Pineapple Cantaloupe from Mexico Tomatoes  

28 More Foods to Buy Organic
Potatoes Corn & Corn Syrup- most corn is now genetically modified!  Celery Cucumbers Spinach Lettuce Green & Red Bell Peppers Hot Peppers Green Beans - Acephate, Benomyl, Chlorothalonil, Methamidophos - Damages Brain and Nervous System, Cause Birth Defects Winter or Hard Squash Carrots

29 More Foods to Buy Organic
Rice & Oats - loaded with pesticides! Milk- antibiotics and hormones are forced into America's conventional dairy cow to increase profits Baby Food Wild Salmon Foods that are GE like Corn - there are more pesticides on genetically engineered foods so avoid GMO Foods Nuts - because of the high fat content, they hold on to pesticides more than others Anything you or your kids eat a lot of -  since pesticides accumulate, if you eat a lot of something that may not be listed here, lets say your kids eat peanut butter every day, then you should certainly avoid an excess of toxins by choosing organic for those items.

30 Farmers Markets Find out about your local farmer’s market and get involved! Speak with your money, buy only locally grown, organic produce

31 Composting

32 What is Composting? Compost is the end product of a complex feeding pattern involving hundreds of different organisms, including bacteria, fungi, worms, and insects What remains after these organisms break down organic materials is the rich, earthy substance your garden will love Composting replicates nature's natural system of breaking down materials on the forest floor Considered "the organic garbage disposal," composting recycles food waste into rich, dark, earth-smelling soil conditioner

33 Benefits of Composting
A convenient way to dispose of organic waste It saves space in the county landfill, which is good for the environment Homegrown compost is a great way to feed and nurture plants Composting does not smell, and it will reduce the smell of the rotting food in your garbage can each week

34 Types of Composting Vermiculture – composting with worms in a container Composting bin in the garden or under the kitchen sink Compost pile Trench composting in a garden Compost can be shoveled directly from trenches into garden Compost pockets throughout yard Plant directly over pocket after one month

35 Composting – Tips for Happy Worms
You need about 2,000 red wiggler worms for every pound per day of food waste You'll want a container with a depth of between 8 and 12 inches The bin should be located in areas where the temperatures are between 40 to 80°F Worms do not like a lot of noise or vibrations, keep them away from high traffic areas. Worms want an environment that is about 75 percent water, never let your compost get too wet or too dry It's best to feed worms once a week in small amounts. If you feed them more than they can process you will end up with a stinking compost bin as the garbage literally backs up

36 Composting Do’s The pile needs a proper ratio of carbon-rich materials, or "browns," and nitrogen-rich materials, or "greens." Among the brown materials are dried leaves, straw, and wood chips. Nitrogen materials are fresh or green, such as grass clippings and kitchen scraps.

37 Composting Don’ts Don't Use: Meat Bones Cheese Pet droppings Milk Fats
Oils Diseased plants Rubber bands Sponges Don't use garden soil or mix fresh cow, horse or chicken manure into the bedding. These emit gases and will raise the temperature of your compost bin. You could end up "cooking" your worms to death Do not dispose of glass, plastic or aluminum foil in your compost Although paper can be used as bedding, don't include paper with colored printing on it. Many colored inks are toxic to worms

38 Uses for Compost You can use compost as a mulch protecting the soil and shading out weed seeds. Nutrients are washed out into the soil with each rain to feed the roots of plants Compost is great for mixing into the soil, it helps a sandy soil hold moisture and nutrients better and improves clay soils too Compost mixed with some sand makes a super potting soil for growing plants in containers.

39 Square Foot Gardening Grow your own food

40 What is square foot gardening?
A simple and versatile gardening system that adapts to all levels of experience, physical ability, and geographical location. A great earth friendly way to do your part in helping to protect the environment An easy way to grow your own fruits and vegetables and teach your children the importance of eating organic

41 Location Pick an area that gets 6-8 hrs of sun daily
Avoid trees and shrubs where roots and shade may interfere Keep close to the house for convenience and protection Beware of areas that puddle after heavy rains

42 10 Basics of Square Foot Gardening
1. Layout: Arrange your garden in squares, not rows 2. Boxes: Build boxes to hold new soil mix above ground 3. Aisles: Space boxes 3 ft apart to form walking aisles 4. Soil: Fill boxes with 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 coarse vermiculite 5. Grid: Make a square foot grid for the top of each box

43 10 Basics of Square Foot Gardening
6. Care: Never walk on your growing soil, tend garden from the aisles 7. Select: Plant a different flower, vegetable, or crop in each square foot 8. Plant: Conserve seeds. Plant only a pinch (2 or 3 seeds) per hole 9. Water: Water by hand from a bucket of sun warmed water 10. Harvest: When you finish harvesting a square foot, add compost and replant with a new and different crop

44 Why garden this way? For home gardening raised bed agriculture means less work, less irrigation, improved soil, higher yields and no poisons. It creates a healthy soil to grow healthy plants to provide healthy food to feed healthy people. People suffer due to very poor diets. Growing our own food provides better nutrition

45 Some resources

46 Be a part of the solution!

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