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Food monolith Nestle co-opts organic, then dissuades consumers from buying organic


Nestle

(NaturalNews) Nestle SA, the world's largest food corporation, has a business model that thrives on the worldwide propagation of processed food. And even though the multinational giant has acquired several smaller companies in recent years that some say cater to the organic community, Nestle's Chairman of the Board Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has conversely come out in opposition to organic and "slow" food, claiming that it cannot "feed the world."

It has become a tired mantra, and one that is simply not backed by sound science. But Brabeck-Letmathe has decided to peddle the lie that conventional and processed factory food is necessary in order to feed the entire world. He also questions whether or not organic food is any different from conventional food, a position that very conveniently supports his company's goals, but one that is dismally misguided.

As quoted in a recent Fast Company article, Brabeck-Letmathe makes the false pretense that organic agriculture (or "bio" agriculture as it is known in Europe) produces about 30 percent less yield than chemical-doused agriculture. He also alleges that clean, organic food is a "privilege" for "wealthy people," and that allowing people of all economic classes access to it is a romantic notion that is not scalable."

However, none of these claims are backed by even a shred of solid evidence. In fact, such false claims are positioned primarily to back the interests of Nestle rather than the interests of the people, as they are the same claims used by biotechnology companies to slander conventional and organic agriculture methods in favor of genetically-modified (GM) technologies.

Small scale, organic farming actually produces more yield and healthier food

Back in July, spokesmen from the African Biodiversity Network (ABN), a group that works to protect bio-diverse agriculture in Africa against factory monoculture and GMOs, came out in opposition to efforts by Monsanto and others to convert African agriculture to the same wide-scale agriculture models promoted by people like Brabeck-Letmathe.

Anne Maina, advocacy coordinator for ABN, announced publicly that genetic engineering provides no benefits over traditional, non-GM breeding techniques. She also alluded to the fact that African farmers will have more freedom and independence, as well as better crop yields, if they stick to "intercropping," "creative innovation," and other natural methods that avoid patented crops and heavy chemical use (https://www.naturalnews.com/033128_GMOs_Africa.html).

Back in 2010, a comprehensive study published in the journal Agronomy for Sustainable Development found that organic produce also has more antioxidants, phyto-micronutrients, and natural nitrate levels than does conventional produce. The French researchers who conducted the study came to the conclusion that, overall, organic food is nutritionally superior to conventional food (https://www.naturalnews.com/027854_organic_food_nutrition.html).

And a 2007 study published by researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U-M) found that organic farming methods can actually provide up to three times more yield than conventional methods, particularly in developing countries like Africa, which debunks the "poor yield" myth commonly attributed to organics (http://ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=5936).

"We were struck by how much food the organic farmers would produce," said Ivette Perfecto, a professor at U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment, and principal study author. "My hope is that we can finally put a nail in the coffin of the idea that you can't produce enough food through organic agriculture."

But just a little more than four years later, those with a financial stake in non-organic and chemical-based agriculture methods are still repeating the same unsubstantiated lies concerning organic farming. But the tides are clearly shifting as millions are embracing the benefits of small scale, organic agriculture.

How organic farming benefits humans, the environment

Try as he might to slight the growing popularity of organic, small-scale, localized agriculture methods, Brabeck-Letmathe's anti-real-food agenda will not prevail. There are just too many avenues for discovering the truth nowadays, and people are learning that organic methods benefit not only the environment, but also their own health.

The same U-M study explains that organic farming methods -- which involve rotating crops, planting a diversity of crops, and utilizing "green" fertilizers like animal manure -- naturally enrich soil with nutrients, and produce better food. And because there is no use of damaging chemical pesticides and herbicides in organic farming, naturally-occurring soil bacteria are inherently free to thwart harmful pests on their own.

In reality, the constant use of damaging chemicals on conventional crops is taking its toll on the world's soils. Besides depleting topsoil and eliminating the beneficial soil bacteria that naturally dissuade pests, conventional agriculture methods are creating massive environmental "dead zones" that are unfit for life. Conventional methods also require the use of artificial fertilizers, for which there is limited world supply.

Organic methods, on the other hand, are completely self-sustaining and self-renewing. If many more families across Africa were to grow small garden plots and raise a few animals, for instance -- rather than have their land converted to massive GM soybean fields -- there would be more than enough food to feed all Africans.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.fastcompany.com

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