Is your crop doing too well?

I very recently saw this video, entitled “2 minutes on Monsanto and GMOs”:

…and it reminded me of a documentary film that I saw not too long ago at the local independent cinema called “Big Boys Gone Bananas“. Let me start with a short synopsis of the film (though I highly recommend you go watch this if you can get your hands on it): There’s a swedish filmmaker and his company who film a documentary on the exposure of Nicaraguan banana workers to pesticides sprayed onto the groves while the workers are working; this is his first documentary called Bananas. The film that I saw is the story of what happened to the filmmaker and his company when they tried to screen Bananas at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. A mixture of threats, lawsuits, journalism, and free speech. It’s a thought-provoking film, which is why I recommend it.

Anyways, the first video above reminded of the documentary because it describes the influence of a huge corporation on our food system through the use of chemicals. It also reminded me to always be cognizant of the many faces and hands that worked behind the scenes so that my food could appear on the plate. We often hear about workers’ rights from unions and similar employee-representing organizations but there are many more who may not easily have a united voice or the freedom to share their side of the story.

After watching the documentary film, it really made me think about my love of bananas. I currently purchase my bananas from the supermarket (again, I live in Canada…not a banana-producing climate) and the two choices are regular or organic. I think of fair trade tea or chocolate but why am I not seeking fairly traded bananas? Which leads me to wonder if there are bananas supplied to my city that aren’t from the two major banana corporations? This is an introductory video on Fair Trade.

Not only is it important to consider how your food is grown but it may be worthwhile sometimes to take a further step back and wonder how the choice was made to grow the food that you eat. For instance, is it because the farm subscribes to a proprietary seed that grows in abundance and with few weeds…or does the farm save seeds every year…or do they try to propagate heirloom seeds? Monoculture or diversity? Is it possible for a crop to do too well…with too many pest-control products being applied?

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