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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Lughnasadh Picnics - What To Buy?

Lughnasadh time, a time I write this, includes a celebration of the harvest of what we are about to eat that will also see us through the winter and into next year, but a harvest for who?


There is a lot of publicity leading to personal confusion about the overall corporate take-over of our food headed by monster companies like Monsanto, Dupont and Cargill along with their divisions and divisions of divisions.

I intend to now spend a lot of time on the Picnic "division" of this Bards In The Woods site to unravel this, and perhaps you can join in to help unravel this too?.

Most, if not all, of us are habitualized into buying and eating food with components from these monster corporations eager to own and control our food.

Even lovely home made bread from the farmer's market, or from home, can be of flour from seeds supplied by these corporations or even raised with the aid of some product from them.

A slow change and continual change of buying choices to change our habits seems to be the old way to go. Despite any enthusiasm to change, as with most things a "cold turkey" approach does not work.

My own choice is to sort out a week's food buying over one day a week.


First I consider what I can harvest from what I grow myself,
and what I may need to buy to continue and increase growing my own.
This can include bean sprouting and hydroponic or aquaponic growing with seaweed solutions if you are restricted togrowing indoor, eg, apartment.

Check out what is at local farmer's markets and farm shops.
There you can talk to people about what they grow, rear and make to find out what you are getting. If they will not talk to you, ignore them. Honest providers are proud of their wares and are eager to share what they do.

You will probably still have items on your shopping list still to buy and that's when the difficult choices happen.

I try to consider hanselling local small shops to see if they can help to supply quality items on your list. They may not today but if you speak of your intent they could listen and you could influence their own future buying and stocking.

Sadly, many folks skip supporting the small shops saying they are too expensive and time consuming as car parking is a fuss, for one.



Finally, I am at the supermarket. Supermarkets are probably outlets for 90% of food grown, produced and transported by these these monster food corporations and their divisions, with the supermarket chain probably being one of these divisions.

The long haul task here is taking an item from the remainder of your list and working out a more sustainable independent alternative.

An example could be a laundry detergent. What is your local alternative?

It is a challenge and it is said old habits die hard,but single steps change a lot.



One link in this chain we easily forget is why these monster corporations exist. The overall answer is that nearly all of us put them there. How?

We are aware that these monster corporations are fuelled by the funding of shareholders who only have one rule.

Maximize profits and minimise costs. Their dream is to earn a euro, dollar or pound for every 10c invested on costs.

Then when that is achieved, a euro, dollar or pound for every 9c invested, and do on ... and they do not care how.

Some people I know who raise and use funds to finance wind energy, solar energy, recycling etc. I congratulated for being ethical. The replay was "Ethical? We put money in these industries because we know we can make money with them as eco industries are a trend right now".

Their only wisdom is how the money works,
not how the industries they invest in work.

When we pay into insurance policies, pension funds and deposits into the bank, these are the engines that fund these monster corporations we despise ... so we have to find alternatives to these insurances, pensions and banking where we can.

Some folks tell me about green investing, but look into their portfolios and you will find companies where 99% of their info is about 10% of their activities that are eco ... and the rest, well, not see easy to find out.

A lot of habits to slowly change. Boycotting the monster food companies is not something most of us can do cold turkey overnight. We are also mis-informed about what we "should" buy and what we should not.

In short, if its local from local supplies much of what you are getting may not be connected to supplies from the monster corporations.

Some info to consider ....

The World's Top 10 Seed Companies
Company - 2007 seed sales (US$ millions) - % of global proprietary seed market 

1.Monsanto (US) - $4,964m - 23% 

2.DuPont (US) - $3,300m - 15% 3.Syngenta (Switzerland) - $2,018m - 9% 
4.Groupe Limagrain (France) - $1,226m - 6% 
5.Land O' Lakes (US) - $917m - 4% 
6.KWS AG (Germany) - $702m - 3% 
7.Bayer Crop Science (Germany) - $524m - 2% 
8.Sakata (Japan) - $396m - under 2% 
9.DLF-Trifolium (Denmark) - $391m - under 2% 
10.Takii (Japan) - $347m - under 2% 

Top 10 Total - $14,785m - 67%    [of global proprietary seed market] 
Source: ETC Group 

The top 10 seed companies account for $14,785 million 

- or two-thirds (67%) of the global proprietary seed market. 

The world's largest seed company, Monsanto, accounts for 

almost one-quarter (23%) of the global proprietary seed market. 

The top 3 companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) together 

account for $10,282 million, or 47% of the worldwide proprietary seed market. 

Click here for intense but interesting further reading ...

What I find disturbing is that the same corporations that control our food also own many divisions of medicine and medicine services. Grouped together, to me, this translates into a motivation to discover how to create food that "legally" make us ill without killing us, so that they can provide the medicine too and create more trade and custom.

Strangely, these corporations do not seem to create ways for us to be able to spend more on their products and services? Also how do these people in these corporations manage to isolate themselves from the cycle of "nutrition to bad health to medicine" they may create?

So to attempt to unravel the confusion of all this, the Picnic Section of the Bards In The Wood site pages will develop to inform and guide towards better, local and more community food, nutrition and medicine.

Not only is this to encourage healthier living on a nutrition level but healthier living from not being corporation owned and run.



Please contribute information and ideas to encourge, support
and build this Picnic project if and when you can.

In the winter, November, December, January, February,
this would be indoor picnics for Bards By The Hearth
while the rest of the year outdoor picnics for Bards In The Woods.

Meanwhile, enjoy your abundant Lughnasadh
while considering how to support your local safe food.

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