When buying fruits and vegetables the higher price tag of choosing organic can be tough to swallow, but there is too much at stake to let that stop us. By now most most people are aware of the harm that chemicals used in conventional agriculture cause to our health and that of the environment but the problems go even deeper. When we look at the process to develop genetically modified seed and the pesticides/herbicides that are often paired with them it can be seen that communities and their lands are being exploited for the profit of a few. The main battle ground for this controversy is Hawaii where many big agriculture corporations have testing fields and use massive amounts of pesticides on them. These chemicals make there way into the water supply of local communities and can harm the inhabitants. How can we justify poisoning the land that sustains us? This poisoning is magnified in Hawaii because of it’s small area and concentration of agribusinesses but it is not isolated there, the problem is world-wide.
The companies insist they are using pesticides safely and following federal regulations while critics say the use of chemicals is putting the health of Hawaii’s people and the land in jeopardy. This is not a new issue and has been going on for decades. We can choose to believe the companies that have billions of dollars riding on the position that these chemicals are safe or the people that are fighting for the right to clean land and water. It seems like common sense that our bodies and the environment where not made to be bombarded with chemicals. If given the choice between a glass of fresh water or one with a drop of pesticide in it which would you choose?
This issue is not just happening in Hawaii but all over people and land are being exploited for profit. The “colonization of nature” under capitalism puts humans separate to and above nature, viewing the planet as an infinite resource for us to do as we please. This way of thinking has brought us to a tipping point where-climate change, species die off, deforestation and other human caused issues are quickly destroying the life giving earth around us.
It is becoming more important than ever to start looking at these issues and how our actions can have a direct effect on them if we want to live in a sustainable and just way for all living beings on Earth. How do we resist more ecological devastation? How can we create more resilience in these stressful times? How can habitats and communities be revitalized and empowered? Choosing organic is by no means going to solve the mountain of problems we now face but it is a step in the right direction!
If you want more information on the controversy in Hawaii check out pro surfer, Kyle Thiermann’s, youtube video on the subject. Pro surfers vs. GMO’s