We find ourselves at a dramatic turning point for life on earth. The natural world is experiencing catastrophic losses of biodiversity, fresh water and fertile soil. All this
alerts us to take a carful look at how we feed ourselves now and how will we do it in the future. The question of food has always been essential and the most important.
Christ himself noticed this frightening worry of human race on the face of his disciples and said; “I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor
about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than a clothing”. (Matt. 6:25) “It is the gentiles who set their hearts on all this
things. Your heavenly father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on His heavenly kingdom first and on Gods saving Justice, and all this other things will be given you
as well”. (6:32-34)
Christ said this words but He did not leave them as only words but he proved it also in practice, He called his disciples to him and said, “I feel sorry for all this people;
they….. have nothing to eat. I do not wont to send them off hungry. …He took the seven loaves and the fish and after giving thanks he broke them and began handing them
to the disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much us they wanted, and they collected what was left of the scraps, seven baskets full”. (Matt. 16; 32-37)
This was the situation at the time when Christ was physically present and there are many other similar situations where we can see worried and hungry people reaching
out, searching for food to feed their children and themselves. For example the Jews in the desert were fed by the manna from heaven when they complained to Moses and
they are fed quenched miraculously.
Many centuries have passed but we still face the same fear globally. In the biblical stories we see an endangered group of people or a tribe at most. The modern statistics
show that the problem has been rising and still is. In year 2000, more than 792 million people in 98 developing countries did not get enough food to lead normal, healthy and
active life, as estimated by FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization). Nine million children die of mail nutrition every year .
Twelve Disciples of Christ ran to their master when in fear of starvation and got healthy blessed food enough for 5000 people from 7 loaves. Jews trusted Moses and his
relationship with God. Joseph’s brothers ran to Egypt to borrow food until the famine was over. Who do we run today since Christ lived on earth 2000 years ago? Of
course, we run to our own selves and our scientists. That is not a bad solution, because we have been entrusted to take care of our own selves in a loving manner. If we
did it in an authentic way we would be just doing what Christ told as about ourselves that we can do greater things than what apostles experienced. If we were good and
faithful servants than we could multiply what was given to us 30 fold 60 fold and even 100 fold and there would be enough for every one with leftovers in the case of even
The global quantity of food aid has fluctuated during the last two decades. In 1996, the World Food Summit set its sights on reducing by half the number of hungry people
in the world by 2015. But eight years after signing of this declaration, the international community is coming to grips with the fact that it will fall far short of its goal. If the
war, politics, and marketing don’t help how can the situation be changed magically. According to one author in “World Hunger”, biofortification is the solution, which
basically means the use of gene technology to enrich the nutritional value of traditional staple crops. Golden rice is a classical example, which has been genetically
improved to contain beta-carotene, an essential nutrition necessary for the syntheses of vitamin A. This seems wonderful and magical since the vitamin A deficiency is
prevalent among the poor but the crises has dipper roots. If our ultimate purpose was to feed the hungry we could do many other things or we would rather not do things
that we are doing now and the hunger crises in the world would be better stage.
Throughout the third world, traditional farmers act as the guardians of the world’s most important crops and their genetic diversity when they save and breed their own
seeds. When they are imposed patented and genetically altered seeds, the suffering of the world’s poor deepens by increasing their dependency and taking away their
seed sovereignty. By depriving them of the foundation of their economic independence and the resilience of their locally adopted crops, the aid politics actually subsidize
poverty and hunger.
In mid-1970s, Iraq’s ministry of agriculture gathered seeds from all over the country and established a collection containing 1400 different “accessions”, or distinct
varieties. In March 2003, during the chaos of invasion of Baghdad this valuable seed bank was destroyed. According to UN Food and Agriculture Organization, before the
invasion, 97 percent of Iraqi farmers saved seed from their own crops. During invasion not only was the Iraq’s own seed industry destroyed, but Iraqi farmers became
dependent to US aid .
In 2002 the only wholegrain food aid available from the United States was transgenic corn. That year African countries were people were suffering from famine were told
they had to accept GMOs over the protest of countries like Zambia, which said the GMOs would contaminate their local corn seed, reduce crop yields, and make it difficult
for their farmers to export to Europe. Transgenic wheat is not being grown commercially in the United States because U.S. and Canadian farmers are trying to reject it. So
Monsanto and other companies are looking for place to get it established .
Carful studies show that the scientific discoveries are used not only inappropriately and sometimes even sinfully but also that it is cover up for all kinds of misconducts
and “capitalistic” agendas. Plus the genetic modification of the seeds has actually raised more problems and fears about the future. To prevent massive extinction of life-
giving seeds the construction of “Doomsday Vault” has started where millions of seeds and mankind’s hope for the future of the world’s food will be stored.
Looking at the world’s hunger problem it seems like we should be doing our best to produce as much grain as possible and use it with greatest respect and care
because every grain wasted in a rich country is missed on someone’s table in the third world. But the situation in this respect is quite tragic.
As the caretakers of the Earth and the resources on it, God gifts us not only with intellect but also with moral values. So when our God-given creative mind helps as to
find solutions the moral code in our heart should dictate proper and respectful us of what we already have or have created. But this certainly is not the case when we look
at world economy, agriculture, and wastefulness of human beings.
The issues in farming are more than essential. Farming provides a nation with more than its nutrition. It provides social stability, environmental integrity and historical
continuity and farming is a major factor in our public health.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, American farmers were the most productive producers of food and fiber in the world. They fed their families, contributed to
the larger food economy and maintained their self sufficiency by saving their own seeds. Their efforts were supported by a well-respected system of public plant research.
By the end of the twentieth century, most American farmers had become dependent on the “domestic aid” of government subsidies and a handful of agribusiness
corporations to provide them with patented seeds and the chemicals that go with them.
British geneticist Mae-Wan Ho says the flow in the regulatory system, both in the US and UK present a scientific “nightmare,” because there are now at least dozen studies
showing that GMOs are hazardous to human and environmental health.
Genetic engineering is a commercial technology controlled by private corporations who use it to dominate agricultural production from seed to stomach and profit from
According to the alarming study done by Claire Hope Cummings, there are at least five solid reasons that genetic engineering is not right for agriculture: First of all, as a
science it has been discredited by the scientific community for developing on flawed assumptions. Second, it threatens with potential of genetic contamination and poor
human health. Third, control over the food supply is given to corporations who think more about profit than people. Fourth, it is not justified economically, because the
outcome of the research is not enough to cover the cost and no one needs the end product anyways. Any consumer given the chance would reject it any given moment.
Fifth, it doesn’t solve the agricultural problem, instead it adds to it.
Whether it was intended or not, the way biotechnology was developed has resulted in a relatively small number of players achieving an unprecedented an overarching
level of control over life on earth. It brings to mind the words of Justice William O. Douglas, who warned that “as nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression.
In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is I such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest
we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”