The word "America" has conjured up so many happy thoughts and visions by people coming here who wanted to taste her freedom and unendless possibilities of becoming rich-- or at least to lead a life free of want and hunger. Even though at the beginning of the mass immigration in the early 20th century, life in America was not always as wonderful as hoped for, I believe that most had to admit it offered more opportunities than the countries they exited.
So, is America still the land of opportunity with its many wonderful promises? I guess it depends on who you ask, what you read, or your own personal experience. Just today on Care2 - a great site which carries different articles of import each day -- I clicked onto "12 Toxic Fruits and Vegetables."
I'm sure you've read comparable warnings re how so many of our plant food products are loaded with pesticides. I still remember seeing in a 50s or 60s classroom film about the wonderful strides the United States had made by allowing small farms to be bought up and made into huge corporate farm land tracts. (In the 80s they would use these same "logic" to start the cruel cafos.) These would have the capability of feeding thousands and thousands of people. One thing I think they forgot to mention was that these huge farms would be liberally sprayed with pesticides to keep the land weed-free. Why let someone like Rachel Carson - a "nobody" warn against its use? Because Carson noticed that the spraying of DDT was killing the birds who ingested it, she was finally able to convince the powers that be to have it banned. Sadly the other pesticides were not.
So, today 50 or 60 years later, we are still eating pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables and meat from animals that have been injected with hormones and antibiotics. It amazes me that this does not seem to be considered an important issue by Congress, government generally, or the Presidents since the beginning use of pesticides. They seem to have more "weighty" issues. Of course they do, but the health of its people should be among them.
Mellisa Breyer on Care 2 listed the top 12 "toxic" fruits and vegetables:
*Sweet bell peppers
*Spinach, kale and collard greens
I could not help thinking when I read that list why does a country like America allow the continued use of pesticides to control weeds? Are we as "advanced" as we think we are? I also thought that at least I can buy plums, oranges, pears, and avocados! Sadly, this vegan can't just live on these four foods.
Melissa or "Mel" offered these suggestions re what she labeled "The Dirty Dozen":
"Try to buy these 12 fruits and vegetables grown organically. But also know that many small farms can't sustain the paperwork and fees to be certified Organic, even though they practice organic methods. If you stop at a farmer's market and want to buy products not listed as organic, ask the vendor anyway, there's a good chance many of the products were grown without the use of pesticides."
Thanks Mel and Care2. I do appreciate these insights. I hope people who can change the way our plant foods are grown are "listening."
And as an aside which relates to what's happening in America- just received an e-mail from Arianna Huffington: Offshore corporate Tax Havens: Why Are They Still Allowed:
She writes: "The bracing reality that America has two sets of rules-- one for the corporate class and another for the middle class--has never been more indisputable. One of the most glaring examples of this double standard continues to be the ability of corporations to cheat the public out of tens of billions of dollars a year by using offshore tax havens -- leaving the rest of us to pick up the tab........According to the GAO, 83 of the 199 largest publicly-traded companies in the country have subsidiaries in tax havens........Even more egregiously, of those 83 companies, 74 received government contracts........."
Somehow this is not the America I once admired. Who to go to for recourse to remedy these problems?
Sorry to say I haven't a clue.