Fork Full of Noodles with Krish Mohan-168-An Organic Problem
The price of organic foods is higher than we want it to be. But why? From labor costs, to the USDA’s certification, to cor porate interference, and more the price is determined to not help feed the world. So what are the alternatives? Watch to find out more!
Back in the old days, when humans were wanderers and hunters and gatherers, the food we ate didn’t come with labels. It didn’t say “Organic” or “All-Natural” or “Sprayed with Pride by your local Monsanto Poison Dealer!” It came from that bush near the mountains or from that thing you killed. You hoped that you had enough and that tomorrow would bring more success and more food. And the hope that, Og-Tuk-Tuk didn’t poop too close to the food bush! His drinking is starting to become a real problem for the tribe
Food today isn’t about survival, it’s about a culinary experience. We talk about what wine needs to paired with that fish we didn’t catch or how much of a cow’s blood we’d like to ingest with our A1 or how smelly do we our pee to smell after eating asparagus! Everywhere you go restaurants have food contests with pounds after pounds of food. A block away there’s a homeless person with a sign that says “Will work for Food!” We look at it as a sport, while the homeless and the poor look at it as a monetary system in exchanged for labor. Restaurants are playing March Madness with our nutrition while the homeless and the poor are attempting to play the game of Life with missing pieces!
We have a whole channel dedicated to experience food from the way it’s made, to the way it’s eaten and judged. That’s how much of luxury we treat food to be, that we have people judging something that people poured their heart and soul. They’re so passionate about the taste and aesthetics of the food as well as the ability to feed the world, and we just look at that and say “It’s too dry!” Fuck you! Hunter-gatherers would’ve eaten you and said “Well he would’ve lasted longer if he wasn’t so damn picky! We had no choice but to eat him, his negativity and cynicism was a liability to our survival!”
Today our concern about the experience of food is with the label attached to it. Yes, that’s right, Identity Politics has invaded our food! The hierarchy we’ve created with labeling determines the cost. The organics are hella expensive. The All Naturals are pretty expensive. And Monsanto are available slow murder you and your genetic code at a low low price! So it begs the question of why organic food is so expensive?
By using logic, organic food has less stuff in it. Read the label of a organic food product and you’ll see less stuff. Simplicity. If you read the label of something Nestle made there’s chemicals no one can pronounce and we just accept that to be just fine. I mean it might as well say “Candy Bar built backs of lower income communities who’s resources we stole because we believe in profit over anything! Oh plus this sugar substitute that decreases your neurons! Take a break, from thinking!” And most people would just go “Eh, wouldn’t put it on a shelf if it was all that bad!”
Ok, so lets you have a child and that child would like to be a basketball player. In order to do that they have to run drills, do workouts, possibly join a team and also wait for a growth spurt. Or you can put a bunch of hormones and chemicals in your child to get bigger. There’s a slight chance that your child will become those monsters from Space Jam! The first option probably won’t cost as much as the foreign elements being put in your child. So why is accepted that adding foreign elements to your food is ok to be cheap?
Remember how the food chain works? If you put chemicals in the food that is ingested by the children, the children now have chemicals in them. And eventually whatever eats your child will also have pesticides in it! So by being pro-chemicals and pesticides that have known to cause disease you’re really anti-food chain. Which is just as big of a problem as Og-Tuk-Tuks drinking problem.
Well the argument is really that Time is money. No, time is a measurement of how much procrastination we can get away with, within one rotation of the planet. It is not money. This is classic Capitalism, looking at something that’s been doing just fine forever and then adding it’s limitations to it so it can feel superior to everyone.
And we did try the time as money thing. Remember? Back when we brought ships loads of humans into this country and forcibly asked them to donate their time to do work for us…what was that called? Oh right Slavery! So Time is Money is really pro-Slavery argument! This is proof that Capitalists that believe in that phrase are rebranding slavery and trying to sell as an organic supplement. Kale shouldn’t taste like oppression and shouldn’t be paired with the wrong side of history!
The cost of organic farming increases when they have to use alternatives to pesticides which cost more. And there are other natural ways that nature has provide to keep pests and weeds at bay. At current, there are no incentives offered to reduce using pesticides to farmers. So they keep spraying and those runoffs pollute the water supply and can cause cancers.
This increase in the use of pesticides is causing damages to our bodies and water. It’s going to get so bad that in the next few years, the local organic market is going to sell organic water. 100% elements that nature made. None of the poisons and chemicals humans made to make water taste better. Water is refreshing all on its own and doesn’t need Mango-Berry to be better!
So a bottle of water is $6 because it took nature a long time to make those things and you don’t want nature to feel unappreciated right? Wait, does nature understand the concept of money? Doesn’t matter, it’s about the appreciation of nature through currency. Less is more, baby! And Capitalism loves take advantage of that phrase! “We give you next to nothing and you give us everything!”
That argument makes nature corporation’s slave. And if Nature decides to run away or revolt against us, we’re probably not going to win. The end of that Civil War will be called extinction.
And if Walmart’s customer base is saying they want a savings on organic that means it’s too damn expensive! And if Walmart wants to get into the organics game, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the USDA would pull back on their stringent rules. And I’m sure labor won’t be an issue with Walmart organics. If they aren’t paying their in store employees jackshit, I doubt their farmers will get much better.
And really if you look at the wages of Walmart it’s clear that the Waltons probably subscribe to the Time is Money sentiment and once they know how long things take to grow without human tampering, they’ll probably go back to these conventional farms and just slap the word “Organic” on their food. And realistically it should be said with air quotes. All things sold at Walmart should have air quotes. “Spaghetti” “Produce” “Employee”
This is another issue for the industry. It’s become a marketing gimmick by competitors. So to separate themselves from these phonies, they have to get the coveted USDA badge which is more expensive. It’s like they’re entering a club to the right thing and they have to pay for it, while the purveyors of evil and get away scott free. I think they should have to buy into a badge that says “USDA Toxic”! If we need to know what the USDA considers organic, we should know what it considers toxic too. We should probably tattoo that right on the CEO of Monsanto & the Waltons!
But that’s the need to control the supply because companies know we will give in to our bodies demands for nutrition. You know, to adhere to basic rules of life. So through the use of USDA regulations and price gouging they get to charge more something that everyone wants. This is the opposite way that supply and demand should be working!
Increase demand means there should be more supply and less costs. If we are to make a efficient distribution network, the costs would be lower and push for more ethical means to get this out the people. The costs go up when it becomes rare. That’s how it should work. And the fact that it isn’t proves the greed that most Capitalists are swimming in. And we’d all see that if we weren’t drinking poisoned water!
And it really is about the control of food. If organics are so expensive that we are waiting on Walmart to save the day and our wallets, we’re really in trouble. And that kind of power vacuum in the food industry lets companies like Monsanto to fill the void. And they’re doing it under the guise of feeding the world by gorging their wallets. There is an obesity problem and most of it is in Monsanto’s bank.
Interestingly enough, I doubt you’d support Monsanto, if the banks decided that they weren’t going to accept their money in their vaults anymore. And then Monsanto will have a to take all the blood soaked, time filled money and hide it under a very large mattress. A mattress they genetically modified to fit all their cash. If Monsanto became like the guy the hides their money in the walls and the mattresses, we’d divest immediate and cops would probably throw them in jail.
The point of these seeds is that they are around for one growing cycle and then they die. Through genetic manipulation, Monsanto has manipulated the plant for this purpose. On top of that they’ve been doling out patent and royalties clauses to farmers in India that led to Monsanto owning 95% of India’s cotton farming. Which is racist, that in a country of brown people they owned the white plant!
And by controlling the seed, Monsanto effectively is controlling life! Monsanto thinks their God. Which means corporations are no longer people, they’re Gods. And since there are so many corporations involved in just the manufacturing of food it’d be practicing polytheism. And if that is case, most polytheistic God have flaws and eventually get defeated by some other God. So this might be nice, the corporate Gods might just eat each other alive. It’s ok, they’ll save money on their cannibalism because I doubt that funky meat is going to the USDA organic label!
But here’s the thing, the idea behind Genetically Modified Organism is to help feed a growing populous. And until sex becomes a tiring and boring for humans, our population is going to keep growing. And I’m not banking on our species’ celibacy. Not when our sexual education is based around turning produce into sex symbols. Now I get that there is nobility in the idea genetically modified organisms but since it’s a part of greed modified capitalism, it’ll never actually feed the growing planet!
Now Monsanto claims it wants to produce more, conserve more and help farmers by 2030. Wait what about the farmers today? This seems like an ominous sentence that makes the claim that Monsanto will be absorbing all farmers by 2030. The vagueness of their language proves that they want to produce more food and conserve more money by owning 100% of the farms! And they’ll probably use their genetic modification to turn all the plant white.
Also they’re going to kill all the farmers, maybe. Or they’re going to turn all the farmers of the world with autonomous Farmbots and the Monsanto can control both the lives of the seed and farmer!
This means that we emulate nature instead of try and dominate it. That’s mostly what we try to do. Nature comes out and says “Hey humans, would like use my soil to grow food for yourselves and evolve!” And we respond with “No, we’re going to take it! Because we’re awesome and then we’re going to modify and make it more expensive! And then we’re going to salt the earth and kill all the farmers that respect you! Suck our dicks!” And Nature is like “You’re aware that I can probably kill you very easily. I invented your evolution I can easily undo that! I mean intellectually you’re like half way there already, so it can’t be that hard!”
Anyway, Regenerative Farming uses closed nutrient loops to enrich the soil every growing season so it can grow more in the next. It uses tendencies that occur naturally on our planet, so the farms would heal themselves and grow stronger after each growing season. It’s the Wolverine of Farming!
With regenerative farming, there’s no chemical run-offs in the water supply. Just all natural food that grows with the aide of other animals and natural systems and has the potential to be maintained by the proper use of automation. So the labor costs decrease…as long as we don’t tell the robots about how Time is Money. We do not need them learning that shit.
The other option we are exploring, albeit slowly, is Vertical Farming. Now Vertical Farming has taken a lot of flack in the past. “You can’t farm in the sky, that’s ain’t where the Earth is” Earth is a planet…nevermind…I don’t want to ruin the surprise for people. Vertical farming is using hydroponics, climate control and lighting to grow crops stacked on top of each other instead of in fields that take up a very large amount of horizontal space. Now this idea isn’t really going to gel with Flat Earthers.
But a lot of companies have failed due to the increase of rent in urban areas. That means gentrification isn’t just affecting people of color but also plants of color. They’re trying to get all collard greens & corn out so they get that sweet Monsanto cotton & snow peas to come into these neighborhoods. That’s why they invited the kale to come in there in the first place. Everyone knows collard greens & corn lead to gang violence on kale.
But thanks to a San Francisco company Plenty, Vertical Farming is now being revived. This idea is to produce more food at a cheaper price. This can be achieved by using gravity to feed the plants that are in recycled trays. There’s no soil and in a climate controlled building. And all the variances in temperature, lighting and so on, is controlled by a computer.
And it should say something that Vertical Farming has to be done in a Climate Controlled environment. It should tell us that the climate right now is so terrible that the only way to save our at risk food is to bubble them up and protect them….well from us.
Now this can’t take care of all the plants, but a good bit of them. Kale, basil, mustard, other greens. Root plants are harder to grow, but that’s why looking at various options like Regenerative Farming would be valuable.
Now tons of people would look at this idea and say “Robots can’t make people food!” They sure can and will. We will talk more about automation and algorithms in the next few weeks, but this does help us our food problem. Vertical Farming means using urban areas to make more food and deliver right to your doorstep. Fresh.
Most produce, organic or not, has to sit in a truck and then a grocery aisle for a while. Aged. Road worn. They’re exhausted. Sure they’ve seen the world, but now their stuck in a crate at a Whole Foods staring at the face of Jeff Bezos telling his employees to keep working for the greater good…of his wallet! That’s the fine print on that poster, that only the produce can see. Human eyes aren’t strong enough to see it. If produce could talk they’d warn about the dystopia we’re about to walk into.
And if anyone is excited about the prospects of Amazon Go, you really shouldn’t. Bezos owns basically every consumer product now. And with the acquisition of Whole Foods, which I spent a while talking about why that’s bad, it now includes Groceries and people’s food supply! Amazonbasics has determined what the basics of anyone life should be. And food is not a part of it.
But with the use of AI, climate controlled, indoor facility to grow foods, it takes the price of food way down. There’s no labor or pesticide cost. And with the mix of Regenerative and actual sustainable farming we can enter an era where our food is not at the mercy of government regulation and capitalistic greed. It can get to a point where we can ask, “Where was this corn grown?” And then point to a building and we can know exactly what’s in our food!
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!