Eating Agent Orange and Drinking the Kool-Aid

Chemical farming causes insects and weeds to grow hardier in order to withstand the increasing amounts of insecticides and herbicides in use today. My husband pointed me to an article in The Wall Street Journal on April 2nd about the Western Corn Rootworm that is destroying GMO corn.  76% of our nation’s corn crop is GMO corn and, as such, it is infused with a pesticide-producing gene right in the corn itself so farmers don’t have to buy more pesticide–at least that is what the company that sells the GMO seeds tells farmers. However, this article states, “In recent years, insecticide sales have surged, partly in response to resilient pests.”

The chemical companies are making a lot of money, first from selling their patented seeds, and then, selling more chemicals when the weeds and insects develop resistance to those poisons. Insects have been in the world for a very long time and are far more adaptable than humans. Not only are we eating pesticides because it is now “in the genes” but pesticides and herbicides are showing up in our rivers and streams, in our fish, and in our well water.

One chemical company is proposing a chemical insecticide that will save us from this nasty rootworm, Agent Orange. According to the Center for Food Safety, “Agent Orange was the chemical defoliant used by the U.S. in Vietnam, and it caused lasting environmental damage as well as many serious medical conditions in both American veterans and the Vietnamese.” The USDA wants to approve for use a dose half as strong to kill the rootworm. It will also require farmers to use patented seeds because after a half a dose of that deadly chemical, nothing but their seeds will grow in that poisonous dirt. There is only one way out of this: buy organic and sign the petition to prevent the USDA from allowing Agent Orange to be sprayed all over our food and land.

Drinking the Kool-Aid refers to an event in 1978 when a large number of religious people drank Kool-Aid laced with a lethal amount of poison in the belief that they would wake from death together on another planet in a state of bliss. Who could fall for such a ridiculous promise but desperate people? And who thinks that the rootworm won’t be back even stronger in just a few short years so that a stronger dose of Agent Orange will be needed?

Currently, it takes three years to turn a chemical-using farm into an organic farm. Three years to wipe away the chemical abuse caused by the lesser chemicals we use now, and return to the gentler, safer method of farming. Organic farming won’t make anyone rich, certainly not the chemical companies, but it will better enable us to care for one another, to reduce disease and allergies, and to bring back healthy streams and rivers without fear of these poisons showing up in our fish and wildlife. Our children and grandchildren deserve this.

God has made us for each other, to care for each other, to spend time with each other, and in some profound and miraculous way to love each other as He loves us. We have a never-ending supply of love from God through Jesus Christ. There is nothing we need to do but accept the precious gift of love through Jesus Christ who allows us to forgive wrongs and start again. Our families, our marriages, and our churches need our forgiveness. So does our earth.

Our nation’s organic farmers want to feed us good food and they are doing just that through life-giving and soil-energizing methods. They do not drink the Kool-Aid the chemical companies offer, and nor should we. Reward their method of caring for us and our earth by buying organic, even if it costs more. Their effort is well worth it. Our earth is worth it. The article in the WSJ ends with this quote from a University of Arizona professor, “We’re at a tipping point now where it’s early enough to make some changes. If we continue on the same trajectory as we have been, that opportunity will be lost.” We simply won’t recover our good earth in three years time if we use Agent Orange. It will take much, much longer.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. –Genesis 1:11-12

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