I would like to apologize to Jean Stryker and anyone else whom I mislead with my letter. I truly meant the Amazon is not being deforested to grow broccoli for local Brazilians. The Amazon was however legally and illegally deforested in 2005-2006 to produce part of the 53.4 million tons of soybeans in Brazil.
Wait, I think we are on to something here…Soybeans are VEGETABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! All that tofu and soy milk vegetarians consume is really at fault for destroying the rainforests! Possibly, but it’s a stretch, and here is why.
The vast majority of Brazilian soy exports go to companies such as Cargill who in turn sell it to companies like McDonalds who use it principally as animal feed. So yes the Amazon is being deforested to grow vegetables- soybeans- but these soybeans do not make it to my plate in soybean form- they are force feed to livestock across the Atlantic who turn the soy into hamburgers!
What should we do though? Contact companies that produce the food you eat! Ask Questions like “does your soy come from areas previously known as tropical forests?” or “Was your livestock feed soy from former forest land?” Be thorough and persist until you get your answer and then tell everyone you know what they said! Gardenburger, a well known meatless burger, states they get their soy from farms in Illinois.
If Broccoli does become an easy to grow, subsidized cheap source of feed for feed lots then yes I would agree the world will turn itself upside down to mass produce broccoli and it WILL have the same destiny as corn and soy- Can you imagine High Fructose Broccoli Syrup! I hope it’s green!
But why does this happen to food? One reason is the cost of feed for commercial animal products account for 60-64% of poultry and egg costs, 17% of beef cattle costs, and between 47%- 65% of hog production costs. It takes 3 pounds of grain to produce one quarter pound hamburger (minus the bun and fixing’s). This could make 2 loaves of bread, or 6 plates of spaghetti.
Give a starving person a burger he/she eats for a meal, give him/her some grain and he/she eats for days.
I will let other writers get into different facets of the food debate while I tirelessly search blackle.com for the connection between broccoli and the Amazon!