Over the last few years the Gates Foundation has sent millions of dollars into health and food programs in some of the world’s poorest nations. While eminently laudable, the other side of the Gates Foundations’ coin is of a definite benefit to their shareholders worldwide. In an address on agriculture, Gates said “Environmentalists are standing in the way of feeding humanity through their opposition to biotechnology, farm chemicals and nitrogen fertilizer.” What Gates’ speech did not mention is that each of those components is patentable, aggregates power and capital into the hands of a few, and requires cash outlay on a yearly basis for farmers. Which subsistence farmer can afford patented seeds, fertilizer, and herbicides?

Those biotechnological marvels (patented, costly to the farmer) also are designed to grow so quickly that they require nitrogen fertilizer (costly) to grow well. Quick, high nitrogen growth is also Nature’s signal, an invitation to pests, to take care of this tall, open-celled crop and recycle it into the soil. Fast growing crops are far more prone to pests and disease than slow growing, nutrient dense crops.

So, add (patented, costly) farm chemicals into the equation. Crops grown with the typical N/P/K of conventional fertilizers quickly deplete fields of the remaining 75 or so different minerals Nature requires for premium health. Crops grown in healthy, non-toxic fields with adequate minerals seldom need pest control of any kind. Mineral enriched fields in New Zealand don’t even grow weeds!

Do we wonder why huge multinational corporations link those three patented approaches so closely? Yes, we have increased the production of our nation’s fields sometimes tenfold since the advent of chemical agriculture, but at what cost?

As taxpayers, we subsidize all conventional corn, wheat, or soy in the country, whether we support that method of agriculture or not. Ask any conventional farmer whether they could grow these crops without your tax subsidies, and they would answer a resounding NO. Although each farmer, whether they raise soy, grains, chickens, pigs, cattle or fish on these grains, is making money here, the true beneficiaries of these government subsidies are multinational corporations. They purchase these taxpayer-subsidized raw materials- grains or meats- at extremely low costs and transform them into all the high priced, shelf stable, processed foods found in our grocery stores. Ever looked at the price difference per pound between raw potatoes and potato chips, between whole oats and boxed oat cereal? For more information, watch the film “Food, Inc.”, coming January 28 to Bozeman.

Now enters the lengthy national debate over health care, or rather, Sickness Care. Does our health insurance actually prevent us from getting sick, or does it just treat our sicknesses once they appear? Why is everyone, regardless of age, getting sick these days? Why will cancer sicken 1/3 of us? Why is diabetes so prevalent, affecting ½ to 1/3 of all Americans? How about obesity? Or heart disease? Or arthritis? Or infertility?

Nature’s beings, whether plant, animal, OR human, grow sick without the required major and trace nutrients on a regular basis. Nutrient rich, non-toxic soils grow nutrient rich, healthy plants and animals, which in turn give us food that keeps us healthy. The Gerson therapy for example, which provides concentrated, organic foods to cancer patients, has found near 100% recovery in patients not previously treated with chemotherapy and radiation. Nothing patented or hugely expensive, just concentrated, nutrient dense, organic foods, allowing the patient’s body to heal itself with the super-nutrition.

The New Year provides us with an opportunity to recommit to premium health, to PREVENTING the myriad of degenerative diseases that are so costly to treat. We can demand nutrient dense, non-toxic foods– farmers and corporations will listen. We can demand clean whole foods- with fiber, antioxidants, flavor, and minerals intact– farmers will listen. Walmart added organics and phased out hormone-influenced milk because families demanded clean foods. Our hard earned dollars have power, our own choices can keep us healthy. We can buy cheap food and expensive Sickness Care, or we can choose healthy nutritious whole foods and save our dollars for better things. The choice is ours.

***Reprinted from Bozeman (MT) Daily Chronicle