Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tainted Milk: Why Sustainable Agricultural Practices are Needed

Sustainable agricultural practices feed the soil with the nutrients it needs to grow healthy crops to feed you. Dying, chemically fed soil produces grains, vegetables, and other plants that are low in protein. Processing practices can also lower the nutrient value. Foods are tested for protein levels under certain situations. Food grown in poor soil simply lacking nutrients, and food processing managers who want to pass the tests without providing the nutrients have found a cheap cheat in Melamine, a chemical that shows higher levels of protein than really exists.

Melamine, a plastic that is poisonous to humans and animals (tainted dog and cat food in 2007), was found in the milk given to babies in Chinese hospitals in Beijing. The result, so far, is 6,200 sickened and 3 dead.

An article published on Huntington Post reports the following.
More than 6,200 babies have been sickened by tainted milk formula and dozens of infants are suffering from acute kidney failure, China's health minister said Wednesday as the death toll rose to three children.

The article went on to discuss the situation,closing the article with this:
Suppliers to the dairy companies are believed to have added the banned chemical, normally used in plastics, to watered-down milk to make it appear higher in protein. Inspectors will now start testing for melamine in all dairy products, Li said.

The chemical additive was at the center of a major pet food scandal in the United States in 2007. An estimated 1,500 dogs and cats died after ingesting a pet food ingredient manufactured in China that was laced with melamine.

This sad story is going to be repeated again and again all over the world as our food chain is centralized, processing leeches out the nutrients, and the soil our food is grown in is weakened and killed by herbicides and pesticides.

By buying organically grown and naturally grown food, you are telling farmers that you value this type of food. The message that "conventional" farmers are being bombarded with is if they farm without these additives (poisons) they will fail. The simple act of buying organic food shows conventional farmers that this is a lie, and they can make a living farming the healthy way.

My prayers and best wishes for full recoveries go out to the sick children and their parents. I send my condolences to the parents and families of the children who died.

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