Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hopeful News and Water Thoughts

Maybe there is hope on the GMO front.

This article reports the recent General Mills decision to forgo using milk from cows which have received rBGH (rBST), recombinant growth hormone, injections. (Good for them, only took 15 years of knowing how harmful it is.)

The article also details a significant push in the US Health Care industry to utilize natural food products and to support local, organic agriculture. Hmm note to self, I wonder how much quicker some patients would recover with plenty of hempseed derived food in their diets.

On a related note, in trying to determine whether Health Canada still has a ban on rBGH I came across this article from 1999, where it is reported that the Codex Alimentarius Commission "ruled unanimously in favor of the 1993 European moratorium on Monsanto's genetically engineered hormonal milk (rBGH)." So now I am wondering whether this remains the case. Certainly one would hope that a UN entity which claims to have public health as its highest priority would uphold such a ban, but considering the lengths to which some of these companies will go...

Oh well, the Yoplait story is still good news I think.

While I am on this positive-thinking track, here`s another one. Currently, in our concrete jungles, rainforest falls on the concrete, is directed into sewage systems and primarily ends up running straight into rivers and streams. This process increases erosion and loss of top soil. What if rainfall was directed in holding lagoons, designed to allow this water to filter back into the water table and for light irrigation use? Periodically, sediment could be extracted from these lagoons, dried out and reintroduced as top soil where needed. Also, brush which favors wetlands, such as willow, could be grown and harvested for natural gas and hot water production via composting, or for other biomass uses. Sewage systems already in place could be re-directed for this purpose as people shift to compost toilets, removing the solid human waste from the wastewater streams.

Admittedly, its not a new idea, I know it is being used in communities purposely designed for sustainability. However, I am not sure that it is really being looking at by as many existing communities as should be the case, especially in areas of decreasing rainfall. My suggestion is to get neighbours thinking about it and try to build it into a viable local option. As we shift from an economic model of waste and constant growth, this is likely to provide many sustainable business opportunities.

Just a thought.


linda said...

The Yoplait news is great news. Also on the horizon is Dannon.
I had noticed that some local commercial dairies suddenly had labeled their milk as non RGBH about three months ago. I thought that was odd considering how aggressive Monsanto had been in the past to prevent such labels. So I looked around and found that they were selling their dairy division. Initially, I found news that it was sold, but now I can't find that information, only the announcement that they were selling.
I commend the health care system for doing the right thing. Now if only school systems would unite and get something done about this as well, life would be grand.
I agree about the hemp too.

SoapBoxTech said...

I heard that same thing recently, about Monsanto selling their milk division. I just don't understand how a company churning out so much toxic shit gets to stay in operation.

linda said...

I keep going back to that Kissinger saying, which I am only slightly paraphrasing, "Control the food and you control the people". I can't shake the feeling that there is a larger purpose to Monsanto.