Sunday, September 19, 2021

How often we have heard the phrase “You are what you eat.”   That’s becoming more true as more of our food supply is controlled by fewer than ten major companies such as Unilever, Nestle, Mars, General Mills, to name a few. Our biodiversity in seeds is controlled by companies like Monsanto with its genetically modified seeds sues farmers if they replant seeds rather than purchasing a new crop every year.

We tend to think of major food companies only in terms of a few products, but look at the web page of any of these companies, such as Cargill or Danone and you will see the enormous diversity of food and other products they control. Just four companies control 50% of the world’s seeds:  Bayer, Corteva, ChemChina, and Limagrain.

Legislation in the 1990s protected companies in their attempts to produce genetically modified seeds.  Bayer, probably the most aggressive of these companies, opposes the World Trade Organization’s attempts to protect diversity in seeds. No, Bayer just doesn’t make aspirin anymore. Look at the package of the foods you buy. You see the brand name, but not always the parent corporation. How to protect our disappearing diversity is also an environmental challenge.

Prayer for the Day

Surveying the beauty of the world you created, O God,

   We look for an endless variety of living creatures;

Putting our hands into the soil of your earth, O Lord,

   We mourn the loss of the diversity of your creation.

Spur us into action to protect the world you have given us,

   Even when it means taking on powers we do not understand.

In the name of the One who ran seeds through his hands,

   Even Christ Jesus our Lord, Amen.

Thoughts for the Day

Biodiversity starts in the distant past and it points towards the future.

            Frans Lanting, Dutch nature photographer

No piecemeal solution is going to prevent the collapse of whole societies and ecosystems.—a radical rethinking of our values, priorities and political systems is urgent.

            Maude Barlow, Canadian author and activist

Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture, and to drink of clear water that you must muddy the rest of your water with your feet?

            Ezekiel 34: 18