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From Mammoth to Big Mac: about the industrialization of agriculture

In the easy-to-read book Of Mammoth to Big Mac tells author Staff Henderickx us about the food on our plates. An important story, because (the way we eat is the engine of our own history. Weekend.be it pre-publication.

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The industrialization of agriculture is based on four legs: machinery, fuel, transport and fertilisers. When, after the First world War, the United States, the horse and the ox replaced by more powerful and more efficient tractors, switched step by step the world of tractors. In 1980, the Soviet Union, it is even about more tractors than the United States.

After world War ii the mechanization of the landbouwgeen limits more: milking machines, pickers, maaidorsmachines, and so on. Also, fuel and transport were cost factors.

A new discovery was the fifth mainstay of industrial agriculture. In 1930 discovered the Swiss chemist Paul Müller is the first insecticide on a large scale will be used: DDT. It proved to be a panacea against the larvae of the colorado potato beetle that whole aardappelvelden kaalvraten. DDT killed also lice, fleas and mosquitoes in the tropics, malaria, typhoid and knobbelkoorts cause. Between 1950 and 1970, an annual 40,000 tons of DDT spread. The total production of DDT is estimated at 1.8 million tonnes.

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DDT was the first agent in the row of an array of insecticides and pesticides that are globally distributed.

In 1962 published journalist, Rachel Carson after four years of research for her book Silent spring, in which the catastrophic effects of DDT to humans and the environment demonstrated. DDT was wreaking havoc inflicted and the poison was found in the fat tissue of every living creature on earth, of veldmuisjes to polar bears.

Because of its toxic and carcinogenic properties, was DDT in 1970 in Europe finally banned. But DDT was the first agent in the row of an array of insecticides and pesticides that are globally distributed. Think of Missile, and Impact, Commando, Javelin, and Roundup.

The farmers get the board in the fall with a broad spectrum weed killer spraying. That destroys grasses, vogelkruid, violets, nettles and other ‘weeds’. A few weeks later it is recommended to spray with Avadex that the growth of wild oats prevents. Finally, it is advised to shortly after each other methiocarbpellets to scatter the slugs and snails to kill and spraying with an insecticide such as Ripcord – against aphids. But Ripcord also kills other insects such as spiders and fish in streams or rivers receive.

In the spring and more are to follow spraying with fungus and weed killers, groeiregulators and insecticides.In 1990, the world health organization, twenty thousand dead, mostly farmers, by the use of pesticides.

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More and more farmers are forced to work as farm workers or sharecroppers of large landowners.

Free trade for the agribusiness

The stranglehold of the processing industry, the distribution and the grootwarenhuisketens is further increased so that almost only industrial farms to their requirements in terms of quantity, quality and price can meet.

Large multinational corporations such as Cargill and Tyson Foods, dominate the voedselreservesen sale of crops and meat. More and more farmers are forced to work as farm workers or sharecroppers of large landowners. What free trade means in a world dominated by multinationalsondervonden the Mexican farmers. In 1990 concluded free trade agreement North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) opened the borders to subsidized Us landbouwproductenen ruined at a stroke, millions of Mexican farmers. The vacant agricultural lands were by Us companies grab. The landbouwcrisissengaven rise to peasant protest and revolts, but ooktot individual desperate measures and zelfdodingen. In India committed in 1991meer than 200,000 farmers committed suicide. Since 1980, the number of suicides in British and American farmers increased significantly.

Mad cows

With a minimum investment and maximum profit will be tons of eggs, dairy products and meat is ‘produced’ in fabrieksboerde rows. That industrial meat production threatens not only our health but also the environment. The livestock sector is responsible for 18 procentvan the greenhouse gases. The gigantic stables cause up to half of the agricultural water pollution. Moreover, to succumb to a lot of natuurgebiedendoor the expansion of the livestock and a lot of akkerlandverbouwd for soy, corn and grains that serve as animal feed.

Together buy the cattle, a third of the world production of cereals, 90 percent of soy production and 30 percent of the global fish catch …enough to the hunger problem in the world to solve.

Cows and pigs are fattened in pens where they barely even able to stand up. The beasts are slaughtered and processed to the conveyor by poorly paid workers.In the Central Valley of California, there is a concentration van1620 fabrieksboerderijen with 1.25 million dairy cows. They give annual milk yield of 6 billion dollars, but at the same time, they produce as much manure as 90 million people. After three years, they are exhausted and ready for the slaughterhouse. The Central Valley is at the same time, the boomgaardvan America. Aircraft spraying tons of chemicals on the fruit and vegetables. The sky looks gray-black by the pollution and the swarms of flies.

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Fifteen years ago I would’t do this with conviction confirmed. Now, the evidence is overwhelming. It is terrifying

Pulmonologist Kevin Hamilton, of Clinica Sierra Vistain Fresno confirms the studies which show that people diedicht at the mega fabrieksboerderijen on average live ten years vroegersterven: “We speak here also about birth defects, heart desease enslecht developed lungs in children who have a lot of time outside spend.We’re talking here about high blood pressure and an increased risicoop a stroke. We know the second highest degree of kinderastma in the entire United States. Fifteen years ago I would’t do this with conviction confirmed. Now, the evidence is overwhelming. It’s pretty scary.’

What an extreme marketing of live cattle, it was in the 1980’s by the ‘mad cow disease‘ demonstrated. In Great Britain were cows flour fed in which in addition to hooves, feathers are,sawdust and newspapers also carcasses of sick cows and sheep were processed.

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Investigation brought to light that the animal prions, the cause of the hersenaantasting were. Millions of cows had to be slaughtered to be

That flour that contained prions, animal proteins. Hundreds of thousands of cows were sick: they stared, attracted by their legs and died. Investigation brought to light that the animal prions, the cause of the hersenaantasting were. Millions of cows had to be slaughtered, but in the meantime many people beef of sick cows eaten. In 1993, it died a British girl to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. She was keen on burgers. By isolation of the prionenkon the connection with the mad cow disease to be demonstrated. But in the United States, each study excluded. In thirteen American states, it is even punishable to the quality of the American vleesin doubt.

So harnessed the Texas meat industry in 1998 filed a lawsuit against tv presenter Oprah Winfrey because she is in her talk show had confessed that they are not minced meat ate meat for fear of mad cow disease. Because there in the media clandestine filming of dewantoestanden in the fabrieksboerderijen appeared, was the undercoverfotograferen or filming is prohibited. The land of free speech? Meanwhile, a visit to a quarter of the American population daily, a fast food restaurant and eat the average American is three hamburgers per week. In total give the Americans 110 billion dollars per year on fast food.

Dioxinekippen

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The fresh breeze of a legbatterij on the breakfast table is a perverse breeze.

Each year 55 billion broilers grown. These cheap chickens are flooding the world market. A typical kippenkwekerij is a closed building, 15 metres wide and 150 metres long that for 30,000 chickens huisvestwaardoor for each hen over a surface of a sheet of paper vanA4-format. The lights are illuminated day and night, so that the biorhythm of chickens disturbed and they eat more. After seven weeks the kippenal for slaughter. The final product is not to see: half bald creatures that are barely on their fragile legs can stand, volgepompt with antibiotics. The fate of the hens is still dieronvriendelijker. During hunkort life of an average 72 weeks – normal life of chickens in eight to ten years – are they locked up in battery cages which consist of narrow metal cages. Which have been in Europe since 1999 have prohibited, but worldwide it remains at 60 percent of the hens captured in battery cages. The fresh breeze of a legbatterij on the breakfast table is a perverse breeze.

Belgium, in 1999, faced with a scandal that indirectly, the result of which mass production of meat. To chickens and varkenswas fodder for the feeding of which with pcbs and dioxin from transformatoroliewas contaminated. Dioxin and pcbs, even in tiny concentratiekankerverwekkend. Masses of infected chickens and pork, zuivelproductenen eggs were off the shelves to be removed. 7 miljoenkippen and 60,000 pigs had to be slaughtered and the production in2000 farms was for months blocked. As a result of the scandal had landbouwminister Pinxten and Health minister Colla resign from the government-Dehaene. The crisis led to the creation of the Federal Food.

Inasmuch as artists are the whistle-blowers of society, is the project of Koen Vanmechelen (the Cosmopolitan Chicken Project) is a great initiative. In 1998, the artist with the intersection of chicken breeds, omzo, the universal superbastaard to grow, a metaphor for the global, genetic melting pot.

Hormoonvarkens

The use of hormones in livestock animals faster fattening erupted like a etterbuil open in 1981, when the carcinogenic synthetic hormoondi-ethylstilbestrol (DES) in baby food was found. Meteenkwam in the European Union, a general prohibition on groeistimulerendehormonen. Because in the United States, these resources allowed blevenvaardigde the EU import ban on American meat.Because he is the battle aanbond against the use of hormones in the fattening farms was twenty-two years ago veterinary surgeon Karel Van Noppen vermoorddoor the hormonenmaffi a. The murder gave rise to the creation of a specialized body in the federal police, the hormonencel. Despite the heropfl akkering of the hormonengebruik in the nurseries and the emergence of new and difficult detectable products on the market, rumours that the government celwil memory. However, in 2009 were still 223 processes report prepared for hormonenzwendel. Some hormones such as the groeihormoonzijn prohibited in the livestock sector, but are difficult to detect.

Fortunately, there are a since 2014 to more reliable tests are developed for the growth hormone to detect. The improved controls had a direct result.So the company had to Danish Crown in Sweden 11,5 tonnes of pig meat recall in the supermarket chains Ica and Axfood, because the contaminated was found with the synthetic DES-growth hormone.

The augiasstallen

Large fabrieksboerderijen bring great heaps on. The concentratievan these companies contaminate the air, water and land and leads to a straightforward milieucatastrofes. Such ‘factories’ are a source of ammonia, greenhouse gas, fi ne dust, nitrate, and phosphate. In densely populated strekenzoals in the Netherlands and Flanders, this led to major problems of groundwater pollution by nitrates and odors. In the 1990s, examples of measures. In 1991, it was the first mestdecreet of power, a decree was modified in 2007. Each farm that is more than 300 kilograms of phosphate, produces or/and an agricultural land of 2 hectares or more cultivates, should data indicate in – manure bank. Due to stricter bemestingsnormen, by manure treatment for biogas and by custom fodder try the manure policy, the pressure on the environment todo decrease. In Flanders, annually 32 million tonnes of animal manure produced, of which half the cattle, 40 percent by varkensen 8 percent by poultry. In 2014 produced the Dutch livestock 74,1 million tonnes of manure, which 79 percent of cattle, 16 procentvan pigs and 2 percent of poultry. A farm with one hundred dairy cows produces the same amount mestafval as a village of 5000 inhabitants. Since 2008, hovering in Flanders, the number of cattle is around 1.3 million,the number of pigs around 6 million and the number of pieces of poultry around 30 million.

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Animal manure was for centuries a natural fertilizer to increase food production. By the decoupling of animal and pasture became animal manure to an environmental problem.

The number of horses in the hands of riding schools and private individuals is growing every year, in 2009, Flanders already 107.000 horses. Animal manure was for centuries a natural fertilizer to increase food production. By the decoupling of animal and pasture became animal manure to an environmental problem. In the past there were many mixed farms with relatively few animals on the meadows. Today, that giant fabrieksboerderijen with caged animals, the modern augiasstallen. But these stables are, as in the Greek mythology not cleansed by the rivers, but to pollute the rivers. In Europe fall the fabrieksboerderijen under the laws of ‘industrial plants’, they are bound to ‘the vervuilingspreventie and control regime’. In theory, every company should enough land area per animal to the manure to lose.That the practice is different, it is clear in Brittany. I remember the picturesque fishing villages where we enjoyed of les fruits de mer and the lively farming villages in the middle of swaying fields of wheat and weidenmet grazing cows. Today is Brittany, 14 million pigs per year, the top producer of pork. In landscape, risen metal structures with pigs constructed on metal grids, so that the manure in megacontainers can be captured.

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The Breton landscape is now dominated by the monotonous corn fields that serve as veevoedervoor the pigs and as a landfill for the pig manure.

Modern machinery, biotechnology, production optimization, cheap labour … all the characteristics of modern industry are applied to “brother pig,” as Francis of Assisi, the smart mammal called. Charles Trenetbezong the sea and the beautiful Breton beaches in the song ‘La mer’. Today, in the bays of Saint-Maurice and Saint-Brieuc, all fish, mussels, and oysters wiped out by the masses of the phosphate and nitrite that via rivers into the Atlantic Ocean solo. The Breton landscape is now dominated by the monotonous corn fields that serve as veevoedervoor the pigs and as a landfill for the pig manure. Fishermen, farmers,hotel and restaurant owners, small shopkeepers lost their and keep. Otters, rivierratten and wild pigs are dead aangetroffe nop the algenstranden. In 2009, attacked the first human victim, Thierry Morfoisse, a laborer charged with the cleanup of the toxic algenhopen. But the algenmiserie is just the tip of the iceberg, says

doctor Claude Lesne, of the university of Rennes: “The varkensmestbevat traces of pesticides, antibiotics and cadmium.’ In 2015, the sale of Breton mussels is prohibited due to the contamination immediately dangerous coli bacteria. The cost of this meat industry is voormens and the environment unacceptably high. Pork is turned into ‘spekvoor the mouth of the fool’.

The next

In 2006, disappeared in America for the first time, entire colonies of bees. The ziekteplaagkreeg the name ‘colony collapse disorder’. The phenomenon is caused by the farmers for concern because the agricultural production for eengroot part depends on the pollination by bees. Later, the European countries face this problem. Who was the mysterious bijenvanger of Hamelin? Probably are several oorzakenaan the basis of the sudden blame.

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Who is the mysterious bijenvanger of Hamelin? Probably are several oorzakenaan the basis of the sudden blame.

The winter is when that guy tipped. But it is certain that pesticides and neonicotinoid play a major role. They are neurotoxicity and affect the brain and perhaps the oriëntatiezinvan the bees. Because their immune system is weakened, the bees more susceptible to viral and fungal infections. By the monocultures disappear also a lot of flowery fields so the bees have less nectar hit. For chemiereuzen as Syngenta and Bayer, there is of course a lot of the game. Suppose that Europe and other countries the gif ban. For Syngentazal any ban, a loss of 1 billion euro to bring. The companies and some media avoid also the use of the word ‘gif’ and speak of ‘plant protection products’. They launched in the last few years all sorts of charmeoffensieven with rescue plans for the bijenpopulatie and keep a strong plea for flowery field margins.

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In 2013 banned the European Union the use of neonicotinoid ‘on crops that are attractive to bees’.

In 2013 banned the European Union the use of neonicotinoid ‘on crops that are attractive to bees’. Great Britain voted against.As a child I grew up in the 1950’s to the middle of the farm of mijngrootouders. I remember the beehives behind the garden. Not only many farmers, but all kinds of people were avid beekeepers.

I remember the meadows with beautiful flowers, meadows full of butterflies, grasshoppers and frogs. The landscape was a patchwork of fields and pasture surrounded by oak trees, hedges and hedgerows full of twittering sparrows,gezigzagd by streams with salamanders, stekelbaarsjes and pike. In the summer sounded the hum of the bees as an inseparable concert in erevan the sun. I stared in surprise to the bijenzwermen that as a living balloon in the trees hung down or was shaken by an underground wasps ‘ nest.

When I am in the middle of the 1990s returned was that beautiful biotope recreated in a maïsvlakte.

Tabula rasa

How much wealth and gezondheidmoeten children today miss? Doctor hiba Basu, a ecologistvan the university of Calcutta, has, thanks to field studies the direct link between decreasing bijenpopulaties and decreasing crop yields has been demonstrated. He also found a correlation between increasing deforestation and the decline in bijenpopulaties.

Europe felt the mood to hang and founded the European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF), a federation that the planting of trees around farms and randbebossing of fields and pastures, promoting. Flanders received a yearly grant of 240 million euros.

In the last instance accepted the European Commission (against all scientific advice) ‘groenbedekkers’ as fields of rapeseed as an environmental measure. 85 percent of the ecological focus area was by groenbedekkers completed.

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Freeck Verdonckt of Natuurpunt criticizes the minister responsible for Agriculture Joke Schauvliege: “The by its acclaimed greening is no more than an accounting operation. […] You can the farmers do not blame that they choose the path of least resistance. But this way, we will be the decline of biodiversity does not stop.”In the meantime, the file of arable and meadow birds such as the partridge, lark and lapwing in the last decades, in free-fall. The grey kiekendiefis all from Flanders disappeared. Fortunately, there will also be a limited revival of the bee-keeping going, totzelfs in the cities. In Westerlo, the company sells Biobest each year honderdduizendenhommelnestjes for greenhouses and fruitkwekers. Bumblebees are not susceptible to infection by the known factors and, therefore, provisionally an interesting alternative for plantenbestuiving.

The United Nations estimate that about 70 percent of the crops, of which 90 percent of the world food production concerns, are dependent on the pollination by bees. Hetverdwijnen of bees and butterflies is a sign of the deadening of the biodiversity.Natuurpunt reports that in Belgium, more than 30 percent of the butterflies is threatened with extinction. The words of Einstein, “if bees become extinct, the man four years later,” is not fanciful.

From mammoth to big mac – A history of our food, Staff Henderickx (EPO uitgeverij, 24,90 euros)

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