Whether you think this is a “dirty word” or it plays a beneficial part of your everyday life, there is no one in America who should be uninformed about one of the biggest agricultural biotechnology corporations in the world. Monsanto has their hands in everything, you can’t deny they are a smart business. They employ over 20,000 directly and indirectly, I’d venture to say they support numerous other jobholders.
I’m a big fan of reading the book before watching the movie. Full-disclosure: I’m a disgustingly die-hard Harry Potter fan, the movies were okay.. but the books? I’ve been re-reading them for years. Don’t judge. But back to my point- although The World According to Monsanto‘s research has been made into a documentary, I felt it was important to read the original work. Anyone with interest in what Monsanto is, their history, and the anti-Monsanto agenda needs to read this book.
Even as an avid reader, I thought this was a pretty tough book. I can’t tell a lie- I fell asleep a record number of times. I know that doesn’t sound like a glowing review, but the material was good- it was just a little overdramatic in style. It does tell a lot about the history of Monsanto, the maker of Agent Orange, DDT, and PCB’s, although it takes a very accusatory stance. In my opinion, as an agriculturalist, that’s where I “do my homework”. Why do people hate Monsanto? I learned a lot; Monsanto has made some questionable decisions in the past, after all, it’s been around since 1901. I understand immensely more about the arguments people make about the integrity of the company.
The thing that the author and I will probably always disagree on is the production of GMO technology. She sees it as a threat to world health, I see it as an answer to a growing population that needs to be fed healthy, sustainable food. Americans produce more while using less, and a huge reason that is possible is because of the advances in biotechnology in products used to grow crops and livestock.
Overall, The World According to Monsanto is extremely biased. If you’re a farmer, you’ll scoff at some of the statements the author makes. Parts of the book will make you want to chuck it against the wall- it’s not easy reading inflammatory statements about the work you’ve done for decades, on family farms dating back centuries. But read it. You’ll be more informed- when someone wants to talk about Monsanto, you’ll know both sides of the story. That’s what makes an informed blogger, voter, writer, speaker, and just an everyday average Joe (or Jane).