IT’S becoming clear that we can grow all the food we need, and profitably, with far fewer chemicals. And I’m not talking about imposing some utopian vision of small organic farms on the world. Conventional agriculture can shed much of its chemical use — if it wants to.
This was hammered home once again in what may be the most important agricultural study this year, although it has been largely ignored by the media, two of the leading science journals and even one of the study’s sponsors, the often hapless Department of Agriculture.
The study was done on land owned by Iowa State University called the Marsden Farm. On 22 acres of it, beginning in 2003, researchers set up three plots: one replicated the typical Midwestern cycle of planting corn one year and then soybeans the next, along with its routine mix of chemicals. On another, they planted a three-year cycle that included oats; the third plot added a four-year cycle and alfalfa. The longer rotations also integrated the raising of livestock, whose manure was used as fertilizer.
The results were stunning: The longer rotations produced better yields of both corn and soy, reduced the need for nitrogen fertilizer and herbicides by up to 88 percent, reduced the amounts of toxins in groundwater 200-fold and didn’t reduce profits by a single cent.
In short, there was only upside — and no downside at all — associated with the longer rotations. There was an increase in labor costs, but remember that profits were stable. So this is a matter of paying people for their knowledge and smart work instead of paying chemical companies for poisons.
And though critics of this path can be predictably counted on to say it’s moving backward, the increased yields, markedly decreased input of chemicals, reduced energy costs and stable profits tell another story, one of serious progress.
- Big, Smart and Green: A Revolutionary Vision for Modern Farming (wired.com)
- Africa Economy: Cheaper organic fertilizers key in Africa maize farming (nzweek.com)
- Documentary Investigates Our Current Food System and the Solutions to World Hunger (articles.mercola.com)
To quickly recap what we discussed in part one of this interview, while glyphosate promotes the growth of more virulent pathogens, it also kills off beneficial bacteria that might keep such pathogens in check—both in the soil, and in the gut of animals or humans that ingest the crop.
“[W]ith glyphosate, we also see an additional stimulation of virulence, so we see increased ability to cause disease, as well as the loss of the natural biological controls,” Dr. Huber says.
It’s important to understand that the glyphosate actually becomes systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off. It’s inside the plant. And once you eat it, it ends up in your gut where it can wreak total havoc with your health, considering the fact that 80 percent of your immune system resides there and is dependent on a healthy ratio of good and bad bacteria.
Glyphosate—The Most Abused Chemical in the History of Man
Interestingly enough, when asked which toxin he would prefer to use if he had to make a choice between two evils, Dr. Huber says he’d take DDT over glyphosate any day.
“A lot of these materials can have a very beneficial use. I’m certainly not anti-chemical. But we have to use some common sense. What we have with glyphosate is the most abused chemical we have ever had in the history of man,” he says.
“… When future historians write about our time, they’re not going to write about the tons of chemicals that we did or didn’t apply. When it comes to glyphosate, they’re going to write about our willingness to sacrifice our children and jeopardize our existence, while threatening and jeopardizing the very basis of our existence; the sustainability of our agriculture… It doesn’t mean that it’s not reversible… But it means that we need to recognize what the concerns are, what’s happening, and then we need to change.”
According to Dr. Huber, we’re now seeing the results of a massive experiment based on flawed science and failed promises. We jumped in without the basic understanding of what these products do, and this was done just to support the bottom line of a few large companies, such as Monsanto. That’s madness!
Read more: Is This GMO Chemical Worse Than DDT?
Care2 tags: Allergies, Conscious Consumer, Food, Health, crops, dr. don huber, dr. huber, dr. joe mercola, Dr. Joseph Mercola, dr. mercoa, food safety, GE, GE feed, genetically-engineered, glyphosate, GMO, GMOs, infertility, joe mercola, Joseph Mercola, mercola, miscarriage, Monsanto, roundup, SDS, sudden death syndrome
- Is Your Food Sourced from the Plant Equivalent of AIDS? (articles.mercola.com)