I am an organic farmer in Ecuador. My wife and I moved here almost five years ago from Chicago to retire. I knew almost nothing about agriculture and even less about nutrition. The process of working on the land to make a living has changed me from ignorant to informed, when I learned how money and profits dictate what we eat, our health, and our environment. Monsanto is clearly the right target for its production of GMO seeds and glyphosate but it is not just that one company - it is many industries, and the system that we need to take into account. They are keeping us alive long enough to work and make money for them.
The agriculture and food industries make up almost 50% of the global employment and 20% of global GDP. Without food we perish and without the right food we do not thrive. The agro-food industries should be more important to us than oil, which is only 3% of global GDP. Many wars have been fought for oil, but what are we doing for our food? The irony is that they are now putting oil in our food, bringing the two together.
Current agro-industrial, conventional "green agriculture" is responsible for the epidemics of non-infectious disease, which include most cancers, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, allergies, Parkinson, Alzheimer's, autism, type 1 and 2 diabetes, and the list goes on. This agriculture is based on synthetic chemicals, many of which are formulated from petroleum and are often combined with glyphosate, amongst other pesticides. They kill life in the soil and then continue to kill life inside humans, namely our bacteria biome, leaving us defenseless against these non-infectious diseases.
The synthetic chemicals do not directly give us cancer; they inhibit our immune system which leads to the diseases mentioned above. This agriculture is also the prime reason for global warming, according to the 2013 UN Report on Trade and Development, "Wake Up Before It Is Too Late".
Conventional agriculture does two very damaging things, it releases carbon from the soil through constant tilling and it kills the soil bacteria, the one life form that can help us by consuming 50% of its diet in carbon. Bacteria is the most successful and most important life form on earth. It comprises 55% of all earth mass and makes up 90% of all human cells, both prebiotic and probiotic. We are killing this entire population in the soil and in our bodies.
Conventional agriculture is also responsible for using almost 70% of all fresh water, whereas organic agriculture may use less than half of that. The Rodale Institute 30 Year Study proved that organic agriculture will produce 30% more crop during drought because we build our soils with oxygen and large microbe populations to hold more water and for longer duration. California needs to switch all agriculture to organic, now. The same study demonstrated that organic agriculture will produce as much yield as conventional agriculture.
The food that is produced by synthetic chemicals lacks critical nutrients for human health and longevity such as minerals, phytonutrients, bacteria and antioxidants. As an example, there are about 3000 different minerals in the soil and the human uptake requires about 60+ daily. The only way to absorb this many minerals from the plant is the natural way, through bacterial mineralization (bacteria have a symbiotic relationship with roots - the plant gives them exudate nutrients and the bacteria feeds the plant minerals). Conventional agriculture kills the bacteria and then inoculates the plant with fertilizers of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium and sometimes calcium, sulfur and a few others. This falls short of what the human diet requires, meaning the enzymes in minerals will not enable the vitamins to work causing human cells to starve for nutrition.