The Health of the Land

There are plenty of things wrong with the way that commercial farmers are using the land to grow crops. In the name of farming for big profits, or according to the claims of the farmers themselves in order to stay afloat while the greedy supermarket chains force down the prices to rock bottom, they are forced to use a barrage of chemicals to ensure the biggest crop per square yard that they can manage.

If you were to stand nearby to a crop field on a hot still day and saw the tractors moving slowly amongst the young crops with long poles jutting out either side spraying what looks like water on them, you had better get the hell out of there in a hurry. That's because you really do not want to be breathing in any of what is coming out of those poles. Depending on the day and the stage of growth of the crops as well as the nature of the crops, those tractors will be carrying tanks filed with a cocktail of chemicals meant to:

The spraying goes on in batches throughout the life of the growing crops until they reach maturity and can be harvested. With some crops, most notably salad crops, following harvest they are then washed in a weak bleach solution to further rid them of any bugs or bacteria. Many crops, especially fruits are picked before they are ripe and have attained their full flavour. They are pumped with carbon dioxide gas when stored to force them to ripen artificially while in transit across the country or while being exported to (or imported from) other countries around the world.

The whole business is one of artificially forced growth with no respect for the soil that nurtures the plants and no respect for nature's own timetable in ripening them. As a result, those crops are contaminated with the residue of the cocktail of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that were sprayed on them by the farmers. The food industry says most crops do not contain any residues, but independent testing has proved this claim to be wrong. As a result, people are eating contaminated food made with what they have been led to believe is safe. The long terms effects to people's health of the build up of these residues over a period of years is not yet known, cannot possibly be known.

The lack of ripeness in fruit means it contains much lower levels of nutrients than it ought to. The over-farming of the soil has resulted in that soil becoming barely fertile and robbed of its naturally occurring minerals essential for the health of the crops and the lack of those minerals in crops means that people's diets are similarly lacking in the essential minerals that they believe they're getting from these fruits and vegetables.

The further down this road we travel, the worse it will get. What is the solution to this growing problem?

Organic Farming

Organic farming methods are more in harmony with nature. Very few chemicals are permitted. Although some are still used, they are deemed to be naturally occurring and do not leave residue in the plants. Artificial fertilizers are not used, the plants are fed on naturally produced compost and animal manure which enriches the soil and improves its crumb structure, which attracts more worms which further improve the soil's condition. Fruit is picked when it is ripe and sold at the local market or at the farm itself and produce is not transported to anywhere far away, but is kept within a reasonable radius of the producing farm.

Food crops that are free of pesticides and grown organically without artificial fertilizers are known to be healthier, taste better (this is NOT a myth) and not cause any allergic illnesses such as asthma or eczema etc. Organic farming methods work with nature and not against her.

We will be producing more articles on the state of the land and how differing farming strategies can help or hinder the soil that indirectly feeds us. This article has only touched on plant crops and not on livestock. This subject will be covered in other articles as they are published on this site.