So, reading the Times this morning, I find out that if the farmer left some of his acreage wild that the increase in honeybee numbers would actually increase his profit from farming, due to higher yields.
A variety of wild plants means a healthier, more diverse bee population, which will then move to the planted fields next door in larger and more active numbers. Indeed, farmers who planted their entire field would earn about $27,000 in profit per farm, whereas those who left a third unplanted for bees to nest and forage in would earn $65,000 on a farm of similar size.
This also applies to you, dear reader…don’t put all of your ‘health eggs’ in one basket by only consuming foods from one or two crops. Your beef, pork and chicken are raised on corn. Your vegetable oil is from corn. Your processed foods all contain a high percentage of corn and corn by-products. You are 90% corn if you don’t count the water. The genetic diversity that makes us up is shrinking lower and lower all the time.
Just like nobody has the job to consider bee health as a number one priority, so too there is nobody whose primary concern is your health.
Observing the tumultuous demise of honeybees should alert us that our own well-being might be similarly threatened. The honeybee is a remarkably resilient species that has thrived for 40 million years, and the widespread collapse of so many colonies presents a clear message: We must demand that our regulatory authorities require studies on how exposure to low dosages of combined chemicals may affect human health before approving compounds. [emphasis my own]
What is our food production system if nothing other than a way to dose us with untested combinations of chemicals? If you regularly eat foods that are highly processed and delivered to you in a box or a bag, ready to eat, just pop it in the microwave, then you regularly consume small doses of chemicals whose only testing is by the manufacturer. That manufacturer is not required to test the effect on you of that chemical when mixed with all of the other chemicals in your regular diet. NOBODY has that job. You, in fact, are the canary in the coalmine for this industry. The fact that two thirds of you are fat and getting fatter is proof that you are having a reaction to their products, but the advice from your government is to keep eating the same way, just less of it…yada yada.
You are just as vulnerable as the honeybee. Your diet is a similar desert compared to the rich and varied diet of even your parents. When I was a child you didn’t see entire states carpeted with corn and soybeans, to the virtual exclusion of all other foods. The problem is within our power to see, but we can only control the market in our one little way, which is to cut their processed foods out of our menu. We don’t have to drink corn syrup in our sodas, if we don’t buy them. We don’t need to eat tens of thousands of unverified chemicals if we buy our foods whole. No one is making us eat the easy meal, the cheap meal, the fast meal.
The evidence is piled high. The reasons to change mount ever higher. You don’t want to gain weight every year of your life. You don’t want to be a test bed for new and tasty chemicals, stabilizers and preservatives. Just change One Small Thing this week, stay on the outside edges of the grocery store.