GMOs Won’t End World Hunger – Organic Farming Does the Trick

GMOs Won't End World Hunger - Organic Farming Does the Trick

According to a recent report from Agro-ecology and the Right to Food, sustainable, organic small-scale farming could potentially double food production in the areas of the world where hunger is an issue. The report speculates that in five to ten years, the world could see a huge leap in crop cultivation if these practices are adhered to.

This is definitely something that the GMO companies, such as Monsanto, do not want you to know; it could put them out of business.

A wonderful example of the power of small-scale organic farming is found in Russia. There, over 35 million Russian families grow their own organic crops on land totalling about 20 million acres. These crops are grown by small family farms on gardens less than an acre in size.

From their individual gardens combined, these 35 million Russian families supply about 92 percent of all of Russia’s potatoes, 87 percent of its fruit and 77 percent of its vegetables, according to recent statistics. This equals out to 71 percent of the entire Russian population fed by organic family farms.

Russia’s population is approximately 143 million people. The population of the United states is about 314 million people. If such organic farming success is possible in Russia, it is certainly possible here, if enough land is dedicated to this pursuit.

Unfortunately, much of United States farmland is used to plant GMO crops. Statistics from 2001 show that over 88 million acres of U.S. land were used for planting GMOs, and the numbers have increased since then. Monsanto and other GMO companies have spent a great deal of money on campaigns trying to convince us that GMOs can ‘end world hunger.’ This claim is egregious and inaccurate in many ways.

The main misconception regarding world hunger is that there is not enough food to go around. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The real issue is distribution. Grocery stores throw out huge amounts of food each day, and the wealthy members of the population have more food than they can eat.

Those around the world who suffer from hunger and starvation do not have access to the food; the food grown in these countries is often shipped to wealthier countries, and the pay that the farmers receive often isn’t even enough to feed their families.

In a recent article published by the Huffington Post, John Robbins highlights another flaw with Monsanto’s claim to ‘feed the world.’ His article focuses on a strain of GM rice known as “golden rice,” which has been genetically altered to produce beta carotene. GMO companies claim that golden rice could prevent death and blindness in the developing world.

GMOs Won't End World Hunger - Organic Farming Does the TrickHowever, in reality, the soil is not right in developing countries to grow this rice. Furthermore, a great deal of water is needed for its cultivation, and most farmers in these countries do not have access to it. According to Robbins, “an 11-year-old-boy would have to eat 27 bowls of golden rice a day,” for the beta carotene content to be worthwhile.

Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, says, “we won’t solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations.” This kind of change starts at home, by giving business back to small-scale organic farmers, and by collectively addressing the global need for efficient food distribution to places that need it.

Russia’s example is encouraging, and shows the benefit of all American’s taking a stand against GMOs. Aside from all of the potential health and environmental hazards that GMOs may cause, we simply do not need them.


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