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Issue 109 | ☠️ Corn is poisoning a small town in Nebraska.

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Wednesday. What’s a small town like Mead, Nebraska have to do with yourhealth? Well, if you happen to live in Mead, this story has A LOT to do withyour health. And if you can’t even point to Nebraska on the map–listen up.This story is still important. Using corn to produce environmentally friendlybiofuel is supposed to be a good thing, no? Ehh–it’s complicated. Let’s divein.

That Can’t Be Good

Maybe you have some extra time on this fine Wednesday and you want to go backand reread a couple of Daily Tonics that provide some useful context fortoday’s piece. We talked about just how much corn we grow in the U.S in thisDaily Tonicand mentioned that 40% of that corn is used for ethanol production. In thisrecent issue from last week, we took a deep dive into farm subsidies and broke downhow we got to the point where the government basically pays farmers to growcorn. To summarize–we grow a lot of corn because of the way governmentsubsidies are set up. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s dive intowhat is happening in Mead, Nebraska–population: 608. A small farming town,Mead is home to a large ethanol plant that turns corn into biofuel. It is alsoa place where residents have reported eye and throat irritation andnosebleeds, colonies of bees have died off, birds and butterflies haveappeared disoriented and pet dogs have gotten sick. That can’t be good. Sowhat gives? Ethanol production is supposed to be one of the good guys–a moreenvironmentally conscious solution to our energy needs and good use of allthat excess corn we grow. The problem traces back to the heavy pesticide useon GMO monoculture crops. You see, the corn used for ethanol is among the mostheavily sprayed corn we grow. When corn is so heavily sprayed that it is notfit for human or livestock consumption, it will get used for biofuel. This ispitched as a recycling initiative and on paper, it sounds like a good idea.Heavily sprayed corn is probably better off ending up your car’s gas tankrather than feeding the animals we raise for meat. In reality though, itisn’t a great idea when all that excess pesticide leaches into the waterwaysand poisons an entire town. The kicker? Despite residents filing complaints at thelocal, state, and federal levels, nothing is being done. Neonics, the categoryof problematic fungicides and insecticides sprayed on the corn used by theethanol plant in Mead, were banned for outdoor use by the European Union as of2018, and the United Nations says neonics are so hazardous that they should be”severely” restricted. But in the US, neonics are widely used. We just alwayshave to be different I guess… The solution? I probably wouldn’t plan a trip toMead, Nebraska anytime soon, although I do hear it is beautiful this time ofyear. Jokes aside, we need to stop supporting the use of chemically laden GMOcrops. Every purchase of a monoculture crop-based fake meat, fake milk, ormeat from conventionally raised livestock is a vote to keep this broken systemin place. Buying local, regenerative, organic, and non GMO is the only way wewill eventually spark some real change.

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Liars! (allegedly)

Smithfield, one of the nation’s largest meat producers, is being sued forlying to consumers (allegedly). Everyone remembers when it seemed there was a shortageof meat during the middle of the pandemic. Well, according to a consumeradvocacy group, that was a lie. The group claims there were ample supplies ofmeat in cold storage even as Smithfield warned that the country was in dangerof running out of meat. Why lie? To increase demand, raise prices, andincrease profits. It is all about money for big meat producers. Our health,the health of the planet, and having some integrity just aren’t a priority.

Tonic Shots

Health isn’t just about _ food, movement, and mindset . It is alsoabout the_ _ interactions _we have and what we _ share with our fellowhumans._

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Issue 119 | 🍗 Throw away that chicken.

Issue 114 | Let’s all dance for California 🌵