Extracted from ‘The Future Is the Farmer’*
Julian Rose, who actively defends small farming in Poland and England form agroindustrial practices, including GM, writes:
The foundations of the supermarket society upon which our regular shopper’s aspirations depend – is predicated upon a continuous and uninterrupted increase in the acquisition of wealth. It soon becomes apparent however, that the material source of this wealth is not infinite, but finite; and that callously extracting these finite materials as though they were infinite does much damage to the fabric of the planet and brings much pollution to its vital arteries. So much so in fact, that by the beginning of the twenty first century, alarm bells have been ringing on an almost daily basis, warning of an unprecedented crisis lurking just around the corner – unless substantial remedial action is taken.
This farmer must pay the price for other’s insistence on living in the profit driven, fossil fuelled fast lane of unsuppressed greed. A lane that ultimately leads to global ecocide. He will not be approached by those who depend upon the ‘quality control’ technicians whose role it is to scrutinize the sanitised products which line the supermarket shelves.
Future shock . . .
Then, one day, some shocking news comes across the airwaves of the world. News that the majority of foods on sale in shops and supermarkets are unsafe to eat. That they are the cause of multiple sicknesses and unprecedented rates of cancer and heart disease. Epidemics are also spreading round the world that can no longer be controlled by conventional medicines and which the compromised human immune system is now too weak to fully resist.
A few days later it is admitted that normal resources of water have become largely undrinkable due to high levels of pesticides and hormones which have heavily polluted the rivers and streams that run through the desert-like, agrichemical soaked monocultural farms, whose produce still lines the supermarket shelves.
In hundreds of cities and towns, panic breaks out. People desperately seek advice as to what to do and where to purchase safe foods. The big chain stores try to reassure their customers and the mainstream media calls for people to be calm and listen to the advice of government. But the story is out and the old platitudes cease to have the desired affect.
Chaotic scenes become widespread as people become engaged in panicked attempts to stockpile what they hope are ‘safe foods’. However, the truth is that no one knows what foods are safe or not safe. What water is pure or polluted. What storekeepers are honest or lying. No one had ever thought that anything like this could ever happen; so preoccupied were they with their materialistic concerns, consumer preferences and nine to five jobs. It never occurred to them that they could be collectively complicit in triggering a global crisis of unprecedented proportions.
Not long after this announcement is aired, a group of people nervously gather outside our farmer’s house. A woman with two young children knock tentatively on the door, while some of the others are more openly agitated and even threatening.
The farmer comes slowly to the door and opens it. “What do you want?”
“I want to know if you can sell us any safe food. “My children are hungry and someone in the village said that on your farm the food is still not poisoned,” the woman replied.
The farmer stands silent for a while. Others shout out “We need safe food!” Eventually he turns to his wife “Well” she says, “You had better let them in.”
*The full five-page text may be read here.