Friday, July 19, 2013

India's Littlest Victims

A woman rests with her child at a ward housing the poisoned schoolchildren at the Patna Medical College and Hospital, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, Wednesday, July 17. At least 22 schoolchildren died in northeastern India after eating free school lunches that contained an insecticide commonly used in agriculture. Officials are investigating whether the poisoning was accidental or deliberate.
I was very disturbed by the recent story in the news about the death of 23 Indian children who were killed by the government subsidized school lunch they had been fed. I was even more horrified when I learned in this (must-read) article in The National Geographic that the likely culprit is an insecticide made with organophosphates.

This toxic chemical works by paralyzing the victims' nervous systems, and they die from suffocation because they cannot breath. Be assured that these innocent ones suffered terribly before they died. And in case we didn't know, we are informed in the article that his toxic chemical is used widely in American agriculture, too. But, oh, the article goes on to assure us that "in the United States, a small amount of organophosphates on crops after harvesting is tolerated and farmers take care to ensure that the amounts don't reach dangerously high levels."

Do you know your farmer enough to trust him on that one? Another reason to eat organic and CSA.

What a shame that these children had to die tragically because of a government that's going about "educating" them and feeding them in the most misguided and most dangerous ways.

Wouldn't it be more ideal and healthy for a school  serving such poverty-stricken children to have had a vegetable garden which the students were involved in growing and which they ate from daily? Wouldn't it have been more useful for these children to fire the "cook" and instead to learn how to prepare foods for themselves instead of learning reading and writing and mathematics at the age of 5?

One of the oldest proverbs which social welfare institutions need to dig up and follow in order to stop their broken patterns of dangerous and useless models of dependency:

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, feed him for a lifetime."

Give him a government-subsidized poisoned fish,  kill him and end his hunger forever.

My heart breaks for these families. All I can is..

Know what you and your children eat, at home and outside it.
Know your farmers.
Know every ingredient on ready-made food labels.
Raise hell about toxins in your food!

Stay a-tuned...

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