Archive for the ‘Fresh Water Depletion’ Category

Our Food our Genetics

January 13, 2012

Former FDA Commissioner David Kesslor in his book, “The End of Overeating” explains how consumers are manipulated by food companies to eat their products using just the right amount of sugar, fat and salt to appeal to the consumers pleasure center and overcome the bodies natural mechanism to control overeating. On December 27th the 60-minute program showed these food technologists tasting various combinations of flavors and making the decision on which food would appear on the supermarket shelves. The host questioned whether this process was in the best interest of a population suffering from epidemics of obesity and diabetes. That question was answered in the Harvard debate of December 20th (see our blog post) by two of the top nutritionists in the Country who agreed that 75% of the food on supermarket shelves is unhealthy. The World Council on Genetics in the attached paper explains that agriculturist and food technologists make these decisions based on the food that they want to produce and sell. Increasingly that food is corn based. Our genetic makeup was formed beginning 10,000 years ago when people ate mostly vegetables and the animals were all grass fed. Our Genes were formed when we had an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 0.79-1. Today the healthier societies such as the Greek orthodox societies who have restrictions on the amount of animal products and the Island of Japan have n6 to n3 ratios between 2-1 and 4-1 while corn based societies have unhealthy ratios of 15-1 with the US approaching 17-1. The food on supermarket shelves is therefore not compatible with our genetic makeup and is the cause of our epidemics of cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In addition the grain, mostly corn is produced using too much fertilizer, pesticides, and soil production shortcuts which cause the destruction of water quality and massive soil loss in the US and other producing Countries.

Ogallala Aquifer-The return of the Dust Bowl?

March 21, 2011

Most US. Aquifers are being seriously damaged by overuse of water including our own Delmarva shallow and deep aquifers but perhaps the most serious is the Ogallala Aquifer that underlies the great plains an area extending from South Dakota down to well South of the Texas panhandle including portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. The Ogallala was the largest underground body of fresh water in the world and it does not replenish itself. Twenty percent of US corn comes from this former 1930’s and 40’s dust bowl. The dust bowl ended when pumping equipment was developed to reach the Ogallala Aquifer. Most of the irrigation is done using flood or rotary systems which waste exponentially more water than plant’s use. Its even less efficient than the use of oil based chemical fertilizer to grow corn. On the bright side there are 15,000 acres of corn produced in SW Kansas, which use precision irrigation developed by Kansas State University (see reference #76 under solutions). The Ogallala has gone from an average depth of 240 feet to an average depth of 80 feet in 50 years. In Happy Texas, at the southern end of the Ogallala water has run out. The grain elevators have gone out of business, the land has been put into the Government subsidized CRP program and the town is in depression. Happy is the canary in the coalmine, predicting the fate of much of the great Midwest and perhaps the return of the Dust Bowl. This loss of water could trigger a World food disaster since many areas of the World are now dependant on American corn exports. Officials of the Ogallala Research Service, a division of USDA, see no way to stop this inevitable disaster and are hoping that changes in water use practices and development of draught resistant seed will provide another 60 years of water and a soft landing. All of us can help the Ogallala and improve our exposure to cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and stroke by eating no CAFO produced beef and pork, no High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) the primary uses of corn and more pastured raised meat and organically produced vegetables. Federal and State governments could help by stopping all subsidies of the industrial system including cover crops and ethanol subsidies, which are throwing good money after bad to prolong a basically flawed concept. Further Government could help by mandating nationwide precision management of water, mandating enforcement of their soil management guidelines, requiring CAFO manure processing, and banning CAFO antibiotic and growth hormone usage. Perhaps Government’s most effective help can come from consumer education. Benjamin Franklin said “we have given you a Constitutional Republic if you can handle it”. The jury is still out will people react in their long term self interest or will their own addictions and the influence of special interest groups prevail (US farmers fear the return of the Dust Bowl –  London Telegraph)

Which of our finite natural resources will deplete first our topsoil or our water?

As I learn more about our Industrial meat, dairy and processed food system, I appreciate the foresight of one of greatest minds that ever lived.

Nothing will benefit human health or survival of life on earth more than evolution to a vegetarian diet–Albert Einstein 1879- 1955