young farmer vs. big pharma

posted April 3, 2008

Who should we trust with the health of the nation?

This You Tube video just served to remind me about the horror and deceitfulness of mega-pharmaseutical companies and the expense they’ll go to to manufacture our desire for pills. More and more pills. My own dad is on quite a number of pills, and at a conference I attended once in Boston I learned that the average American spends more than 2 dollars, and almost 3 dollars a day on pharmaseutical drugs.

That seems like a lot- 14 -21 dollars per week, which is quite a lot of money compared with the contemptible 9 dollars per week (2006) the government spends to support low-income women and children at nutritional risk. 

It would be naive to think that some medical treatments are not useful and prudent, but I would urge everyone to consider that the baseline health of our nation is deteriorating, and that cannot be stopped with a pill, only with a fundamental shift in the caliber of our diets.

logo_monsanto.gifOn the wall of the St. Louis headquarters of Monsanto is mounted, crucifix like, in the toxic idolatry of agribusiness: GLYPHOSATE– a hologram the size of a human (below).glyphosate.jpg
Yes, the company worships a herbicide, or more properly stated, their propriatary herbicide. This is the company that dominates our food chain with genetically modified seeds, a company that has a workbook for children explaining intellectual property rights, a company that intimidates farmers, and a company that manufactured the defoliant, agent orange, sprayed over Vietnam, which has caused thousands of children to be born malformed and vulnerable.  As a result of the spraying, a court case was waged against the chemical companies only to yield a dubious ruling in favor of the multinationals involved. 

On the other hand, we have the likes of Mr. Noah Fulmer who is the featured young farmer of the day- although actually he’s not a farmer. He’s trained in neuro-science, and he runs a non-profit called Farm Fresh Rhode Island, which runs the farmers market in Providence, and forges linkages between local growers and big stores, small restaurants, and the manifold commercial outlets of that fine city. 

noah-fulmer.jpgNoah is a young farmer-enabler, he mediates between the various parts of the supply chain–he is the logistician behind the magical convergences that we call “Farmers Markets” he, and his many thousands of allies across the country are “food systems professionals” They are advocates, lobbyists, farm-linkers, inspectors, land trustees, conservation scientists, land-use planners, coop-managers, produce people, distributors and restaurateurs. They are the folks who facilitate the provisioning of our food system, and even though they don’t get such brown faces as farmers do, and their work is sometimes invisible, they are like the tiny neurotransmitters–potent transmission enablers–let us champion them also!