IF there was ever a nation that could see the purpose behind organic, sustainable farming, it would be a nation that is composed mostly of farmers. Such a place does exist, and it soon may be the first nation to go 100% organic, paving the way for others to do the same on a global scale.
The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for a high level of citizen happiness, but it is doing something even more noteworthy in the near future. With Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley making a major announcement regarding the organic farming project at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development which took place last month, the move has made national headlines. It’s called the National Organic Policy, and it is fueled by the simple concept that working ‘in harmony with nature’ will yield the most powerful results — all without sacrificing human health or the environment.
What this comes down to is no GMO, no pesticides, no herbicides, no fluoride-based spray products, no Monsanto intrusion at all, and a whole lot of high quality food available for the 700,000 citizens of Bhutan. Food that, at one time, was simply called ‘food’. In the statement to other policy makers, Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley explained the move:
“By working in harmony with nature, they can help sustain the flow of nature’s bounties.”
Bhutan’s land currently supplys most corn, rice, fruits, and some vegetables, and it is perfectly positioned to begin developing 100% organic farming. In addition to containing a population that is mostly farmers, it also has extremely rich lands that are truly beyond what many consider organic.
Some lands in Bhutan have not even been touched with harsh chemicals of any kind, and traditional techniques are utilized to produce high yields without Monsanto dipping into the pockets of family farmers. This is in sharp contrast to India’s farming community, which has been shafted by Monsanto and subsequently nicknamed the ‘suicide belt‘ due to the rampant suicides that can be blamed in part by Monsanto-induced financial ruin.
Australian adviser to Bhutan, Andre Leu, explains:
“I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult given that the majority of the agricultural land is already organic by default.”
The shift is certainly inspiring, but it also reminds us about the true lunacy of designating foods as ‘organic’ and ‘traditional’ in modern society. These Bhutan farmers are not growing magic beans or enchanted corn, they are growing real food. Actual food as it was grown for thousands of years. It’s only now, with the advent of ways in which we can toxify our crops, do we value organic as if it were some privilege or act of class. When it comes down to it, we just want real food.