100% Organic Cotton Fabrics
For home sewers, businesses, retailers, and anyone who gives a scrap!
The More Things Change. . .
When I took the exam to get my CBEST back in the early 90's the essay topic I had to write about was "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Last night I watched the Academy Award winning 1982 movie Gandhi. In it, Gandhi's wife, Kasturba Gandhi states:
"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness."
Wow. More than 30 years after the movie and perhaps 100 years after the words were uttered and that still rings true. When Kasturba said it, she was referring to the British landowners who were pushing the cotton farmers into debt. The British left India and the chemical (and seed) companies moved in.
Today, it is estimated that an Indian cotton farmer commits suicide every 8 hours. Here's a 5 minute video that explains the situation in more detail. A longer movie worth watching is Bitter Seeds.
Gandhi spoke to the humanity in us all. . . I wonder what it will take to hear the message this time around ? Are we destine to keep exploiting people and planet or will we eventually wake up to the reality that we are all much more deeply connected than we realize?
I must say that I feel really happy that Harmony Art supports organic (non-gmo seed) cotton farmers in India. It makes me feel connected to this bigger story we are all writing together. Individually we may feel insignificant but together we are mighty. Gandhi taught us that too.
Super Weeds = Super Scary
We have been talking about the negative repercussions of genetically modified cotton seeds for years. What seemed like a quick, easy fix to pests in the field has indeed turned out to be too good to be true. Last week Reuters reported: Monsanto set to help fight spread of "super-weeds". Their solution of course is more of their own products.
As I see it, the good news is that A. they are admitting there is a problem and B. Monsanto's stock prices are down 40% from a year ago. If they stop being able to make money on their poison, perhaps we have a chance.
NOTE: We have decided to extend our knit sale through June 4th.
Super Weeds - Super Scary
Note this is a picture of a local invasive weed NOT the pigweed mentioned in the NY Times article.
Cracks are beginning to show in Monsanto's GMO (genetically modified organism) armor. This week's article in the New York Times paints a grim picture for cotton, soy bean and corn farmers who have embraced Monsanto's RoundUp Ready seeds. Just like germs that have become resistant to antibiotics, the use of GMO seeds is creating super weeds. To quote the article:
“The biotech industry is taking us into a more pesticide-dependent agriculture when they’ve always promised, and we need to be going in, the opposite direction,” said Bill Freese, a science policy analyst for the Center for Food Safety in Washington.
When will we figure out that the quick fix is often followed by a serious of even more difficult problems?
Another sign that the balance is beginning to shift happened today when The President’s Cancer Panel Report was submitted. As reported by The Organic Trade Association, “Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers…Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications,” according to the report, “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now,” submitted to President Obama by Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr., an oncologist and professor of surgery at Howard University, and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, an immunologist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
In a letter to President Obama, the panel stated “The American people—even before they are born—are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures. The Panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our Nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”
If you want to read the entire report, you can download it here.
Founder of Harmony Art organic design.