The Soybean Harvest

Submitted bydkranker onTue, 06/12/2012 - 13:29

I remember as a boy, when the harvest came in.  In particular, one year I got to watch the soybeans and wheat get harvested and shot into a big hopper trailer.  I looked inside the hopper and to my surprise, there was the soybeans or wheat, but there was also all kinds of grasshoppers, bug bodies, weeds, and leaves.  I wouldn't have said then, that in a single harvest of soybeans, you would have got "only" soybeans or wheat, there was a lot of foreign matter.

To me, this made me look at the world a little different and accept it for what it was, inperfect.  No one was going to sort the dead bugs from the seed, and for all intents and purposes it really didn't matter, you're going to get some bugs in there.  Winnowing the seed did remove some of the flack, but ultimately I know seed went into storage with a certain percentage of bug "protein".

Many years later now, and today, soybeans aren't grown from last years seed.  Companies genetically engineer the seed and every crop, most if not all are hybrid, the crop is sprayed with weed killers and bug killers.  The end product is a purer form, but the real question is, are we better off or is this any better for us?

Certainly, a more "natural" way of growing things may be better, but this product is not without it's inherent risks.  The "purer" form of crop that we get today, certainly appears better on the surface, but a cloned seed has little diversity and debatably less nutritional value.  Depleted soils and farming methods that don't replenish natural nutrients in the soil to being with also perpetuate even more chemicals and artificial fertilizers yet to compensate.