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By Rafa Ruiz
To begin with, I have to say that, throughout this year and a half of green windows, today's one has become one of my favorites: because of the affection that I have taken for it and because of the importance that I attach to it. For two reasons. An emotional one, since my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents have been families of farmers and ranchers from small villages in the valleys between Cantabria, Burgos and Vizcaya, cornered in recent decades by what Gustavo Duch tells us in his books "What you must swallow "," Food under suspicion "and" We will not swallow ". And the other, due to the seriousness of the matter; because if you don't play with something - and our mothers repeated that to us a hundred times when we were little - it's with food. And right now I do not see a greater crime in this self-destructive civilization that we have built than poisoning millions of people on the one hand, and starving many millions more, due to the speculative ambition of “gore capitalism” -as defined by Maruja Torres in her new book, Ten Times Seven-, which has ruled the planet with the excuse of globalization. Let's go there.
Gustavo Duch gives me an example that gives vertigo, because of the crucial nature of the matter and the unknown, because of how they hide it from us. He tells me: “Behind one of the biggest crises unleashed in recent years, that of Ukraine, is the control of fertile lands. In January of this year, China bought land in Ukraine with an area equivalent to all of Galicia. Afterwards, Europe, which lacks this economic capacity, in order not to be left out, began to close free trade agreements with Ukraine. And the United States, in its style, placed close people, its people, and trusted members in the government of that country. All in order to control a country, because there is something that we must know, that Ukraine has many of the best fertile lands in Europe. And the fertile lands on the planet are what they are, limited; and as with the control of oil and gas and drinking water, a war of geostrategic interests has been unleashed in the world to control them. Of course, Russia could not stand idly by and gave the punch, and said: enough, we have come this far. And, in his style, he intervened militarily ”.
The story throws me off; What use is it to me to read each page of movements between Ukrainians and Pro-Russians if I have missed, if they have not told me, the beginning of the story? This living in innocence can be applied to many aspects of this indecent control of the basic, primary sectors of the economy: agriculture and livestock. Our feeding. And, from what I see in Duch's books, they play with her. And very dirty.
Anyone who reads his books will feel a mixture of anger and helplessness rise up inside him.
Gustavo Duch, who since 2011 coordinates the quarterly magazine Soberanía Alimentaria, Biodiversidad y Culturas (www.soberaniaalimentaria.info) - "a space for critical thinking of movements that defend something as necessary as it is transformative: a living rural world-, highlights a fact taken from a United Nations report: “Between 70% and 80% of the world's poor are rural exiles, because the countryside is no longer a means for them. Because in the model of industrialized agriculture that they are imposing on us, which needs less and less labor, they, our peasants, are left out; the model expels them ”.
The fallacy of globalization
"And the fallacy of intensification of production," continues Duch. “Because with this model, the more production, the more hunger. And it is not a theory. They are data. But they, the big capitalism that has industrialized agriculture only for its own benefit, continues to make use of the argument that it is necessary to intensify production to end hunger in the world. False. We have been like this for decades. They are in charge of spreading that hunger is caused by droughts, by the lack of technology and good seeds, by the lack of preparation of the farmers… ”.
And the media fill us with photos of famines
“They play with fear. Fear is the main ally of economic power. Fear is the main weapon for governments to accept human rights violations. I dare say that "the world needs food" is the one that has caused the most crimes in Humanity. And it's all fake. Because the causes of hunger have other faces, which are based on their production model ”.
That is the terrible face of the repercussion in the so-called developing countries; But the consequences in the so-called First World are still so perverse, in the form of deterioration of health, right?
"There are the multiplication of allergies, the epidemic of obesity, tumors, how they are soaring in people between 20 and 30 years old, what do you think they are due to? We live in a toxic world ”.
We could never imagine the poison behind globalization ...
There are several things in Gustavo's books that make me particularly uneasy. The conversation would be for another book, but I ask you to paint the panorama in strokes so that our readers can get an idea.
Something else about land grabbing, especially worrisome in Africa and Latin America.
“Without leaving Spain, the Law of Rationalization and Sustainability of the Local Administration, the so-called Montoro Law, makes an excuse to achieve a supposed efficiency, but what it wants is to dismantle the governance systems of small municipalities and districts, in order to be able to put up for sale the mountains and public lands that these town halls or neighborhood councils have collectively managed for hundreds of years ”.
What you have about speculation on food prices has caught my attention, something that is hard to believe, due to its harshness and immorality ...
“Look, Goldman Sachs spends a third of its investments speculating on food, and it has been calculated that its speculative movements with the price of the most basic necessities to live produced that, in 2010 and 2011, 44 million people crossed down the poverty barrier. Food increases, perhaps many families in countries like ours may not be affected so drastically, but the fact that, for example, the price of wheat doubles can mean for many Third World families the difference between eating or not eating, between pull forward or stay in the gutter. So brutal and sad. Well, that is what these gentlemen are doing. Another fact: 90% of the world cereal market is controlled by four companies based in the United States, ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Dreyfus, known as the ABCDs of raw material marketing ”.
And agrofuels, which many, in their ecological euphoria, have hailed as green and sustainable energies?
“A great danger. They assume that many millions of hectares are dedicated to crops to produce energy instead of food. With the argument that they are bio-false, because if you do the ecological balance, it comes out negative, since they need to consume almost as much energy as they produce-, they hide their strategy of land grabbing, deforestation, abusive use of heavy machinery ... Indonesia seizes It has already become the third most polluting country in the world, due to its process of clearing forest land to produce biofuels. And they have reached Castilla, to those huge fields of rapeseed ”.
And the patents on seeds, as if they were trademarks ...
“A full-blown theft, because they take the seeds that the peoples have traditionally used in their fields and introduce any small modification that gives them rights. They appropriate seeds that have been the fruit of selection improvement for many centuries, and then the peasant, if he wants to plant it, turns out that he must buy it from the multinational; it is a violation of ancestral rights to build large emporiums ”.
What do we do ? We are surrounded! It all sounds so planned, and so powerful, that it makes you want to close the book and think about something else. Fortunately, Duch, in Let's not swallow, opens a space for hope, optimism.
“Look, life is so powerful that it cannot be ended. We are witnessing the last gasps of an overwhelming and outdated model. And they take advantage of the latest cartridges, in the form of atrocities such as fracking and agrofuels ”.
But what if they want to die killing?
“Patience, like oil, is running out. And common sense is taking over. Things are changing. And I trust a lot in the struggles of Via Campesina, that what they are demanding is Food Sovereignty. Twenty years ago, peasant movements around the world began to understand that globalization cornered them and turned them into simple pieces of an assembly line at the service of large multinationals. There are already 200 million peasants in the world who have this paradigm in their heads, and from their strength as people of the land, they are not going to let themselves be defeated, and they face whoever is necessary, such as the WTO (World Organization of Commerce) in Cancun; human beings mobilized against companies and agribusiness investment funds that are taking over agriculture, against land grabbing and against free trade. Many of the things that are happening lately are related. People want to be in control of their decisions again. That is Food Sovereignty. Say loudly that our food has to be provided by our peasants; It is a commitment of citizenship to the rural world, which are the foundations of the planet. Food Sovereignty is the right of the peoples to live off their land and the duty of the peoples to take care of their land ”.
You put as an example of triumph the social rejection of transgenics. From your first book to the third you have changed your point of view and now you are more optimistic.
“The total failure of GMOs has been the triumph of common sense. After 25 years of investments of all kinds, from scientists to huge amounts to keep politicians at their feet, only 1% of the crops in the world are transgenic, because people have said no, they have rejected them ”.
The power of the people
“The planet has limits, and the large food industrialization companies, such as Pescanova - a good example of how it ended, because it grew without measure - cannot help but count on those limits. Their own mechanism of financial greed leads them to grow and get out of control like a tumor, until nature and people put things in their place ”.
The subject gives a lot of itself, because we are making chickens as if they were nuts. If there are farms in Mexico with 90,000 pigs in a single facility… Imagine the image for a moment; Can anyone believe that this can be healthy and natural? Can anyone be surprised that swine pests, avian flu, mad cows, killer cucumbers ... Gustavo Duch's books are full of examples and very illuminating data, like this other one of infamous speculation: "For Goldman Sachs, investing in fish and loaves awaiting their magical multiplication brings them an annual profit of 5,000 million dollars." So I can only recommend reading it. Furthermore, they are published by a small and courageous publisher, Los Libros del Lince (www.loslibrosdellince.com), which deserves our support.
This Green Window will return to Duch and his magazine Soberanía Alimentaria, because the issues are really deep, and not those tontunas with which so many journalists have filled so many pages and hours of conventional media talking about diets and recommendations to be in tune, or get ready for the summer. Let's go further, to the roots.
Never more appropriate expression
The process begins with the desire to recover the tomatoes with the flavor of before, but it goes much further.