In the late 1970s I studied with a top biochemist in Canada, Ross Hume Hall, who predicted in his book Food For Thought, that North Americans would be exposed to increasing amounts of four foods to the point of boredom and ill health. These four foods were corn, soy, wheat, and milk.

A recent report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that corn, wheat and rice now account for 60 percent of total human caloric intake. This food lend itself best to processed foods and are the most profitable ingredient for manufacturers because it can be turned into so many high-priced items when the grains themselves are cheap. Farmers are encouraged to grow these foods because they have insurance if crops fail and federal subsidies to keep prices up.

Our food processors are vertically integrated, meaning that often they control both the growing and the processing of consumer products for these foods. Smaller farmers are being driven out of business because the costs of chemical farming, high yield seeds, and energy guzzling massive farm machinery designed to keep down planting, watering, and harvesting costs can only be borne by the biggest agricultural firms.

The federal government also encourages corn cultivation for ethanol production in the name of renewable energy, driving up the prices for a major food crop and making it less available for those who really need the calories the food can provide.

As discussed in a recent Mother Jones article, and described in Dr. Mercola’s newsletter,, the artificial incentives of the promise of high yield seeds, federal support, and insurance against loss are causing midwestern farmers to convert open land and native grasses to the growing of corn, even though the Department of Agriculture has concluded that this pattern is unsustainable and will be risky for our food supply in the future.

The article points out that not only is this change not good for long-term agriculture but it is also a drastic step towards more climate change. The grasslands absorb a great deal of carbon greenhouse gasses, while the corn and soy fields do not.

A paper by the University of Tennessee and Bard College researchers indicated that an up to 36% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could be saved by returning to the grasslands which could be used to graze healthy grass-fed cattle, instead of feeding cattle on corn and soy.

A recent paper by South Dakota State University researchers found that disappearing grasslands in the Western corn belt, rivaled the rates of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and Southeast Asia. Just in the last 5 years, 2 million acres of native grasslands have been replaced by corn and soy crops, in spite of the recognized risks of drought and exhaustion of the soil through aggressive monocropping.

And the use of genetically engineered soy and corn is also dramatically distorting the farmer’s decisions regarding what and how to grow their crops. The high cost of the pesticides to which the GE corn is supposed to be immune helps to diminish the profits hoped for from larger yields and also the Companies providing the GEOs lock the farmers into buying new seed year after year instead of using seed from last year’s harvest.

On the home front, more and more people are being diagnosed with sensitivities to wheat and corn. The no-gluten sections in grocery and natural food stores are growing immensely. And judging solely by the number of ads for ant-acid remedies, reflux medications, and probiotic supplements, the glut of wheat, corn, and soy-based foods is destroying our nation’s ability to digest foods.

Without traditional agricultural methods, traditional genetics, and a real variety of foods in our diet, our health, and our environment are threatened. Traditional societies are known to consume some 3,000 different species from their local environment throughout the year. These societies have virtually no heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and other degenerative conditions. And contrary to popular belief they do not die young unless killed by predators or other humans.

For your family’s sake and that of our climate, soil, and food for the future, put your food dollar into a wide variety of foods and reduce the intake of processed foods based on corn, soy, and wheat. Move to rye, barley, spelled, or other traditional grains for your carbs, and eat a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, preferably organic, as a larger proportion of your diet. And eat a greater variety of protein sources, like nuts, seeds, organic cheeses, humanely raised eggs, and so on.

Our variety need not come from more varied colorful boxes or artificial textures and artificial new taste sensations from non-food flavorings. It needs to come from a variety of simple, natural foods which will taste great if they are organically grown, minimally processed, and eaten fresh or minimally cooked. Do your family, yourself, and the world a favor by making your food more interesting, more healthful, and tastier!

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