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Eating Organic

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Some say it's a marketing ploy. Others say its saving a future for human civilization on Mother Earth. Some say while it is much healthier for the natural systems of the planet, it cannot foster the survival of the entire human population.

Discuss.

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Organic farming maintains the quality of the soil

 

When a virgin field is tilled and then fertilized with synthetic fertilizers, it will lose between 50 and 65 percent of its nitrogen and soil carbon over fifty years. After that, increasing inputs of fertilizer—and thus of fossil fuel energy—will be needed to maintain yields. If that no longer pays, the land will be abandoned, becoming a wasteland on which little grows.

 

Organic farming has a different philosophy. It sees farmers as stewards of the land, harvesting its fruits while they care for it so that they can leave it to future generations in a condition as good as, or better than, it was when they started farming. So organic farmers maintain and enrich the soil by adding organic matter. That increases the number of worms and micro-organisms. Soil rich in organic matter needs less irrigation because the soil holds moisture better. It is also less likely to blow away in the wind, or wash off with every storm. A study of two adjacent wheat farms on similar soil near Spokane, Washington, found that over a 37-year period, the conventional farm lost more than 8 inches of topsoil, while the organic farm lost only 2 inches. The scientists concluded that the productivity of the organic farm was being maintained, while that of the conventional farm was being reduced because of high rates of soil erosion.

 

Organic farming fosters biodiversity

 

The expansion of intensive modern agriculture, with its monoculture crops and intense use of pesticides and herbicides, threatens endangered species. Rare plants are indiscriminately sprayed with herbicides, along with more common weeds. Insecticides eliminate the prey of many birds, and small mammals may be poisoned too. Organic farms, in contrast, use no herbicides, fewer pesticides, have more organic matter in the soil, and tolerate hedges or other uncultivated areas. All this makes them a haven for endangered species of plants, insects, birds, and animals. In a survey of the evidence published in the journal Biological Conservation in 2005, scientists reviewed seventy-six percent separate studies comparing the impact of organic and conventional farms on such things as plants, soil microbes, earthworms, spiders, butterflies, beetles, birds, and mammals. They found that the majority of these studies demonstrated that the abundance and richness of species tends to be higher on organic farms. Significantly, the differences applied particularly to species that have experienced a decline because of the intensification of modern agriculture. In 2005, a five-year, government-funded study of British organic farms gave further support to that conclusion.

 

Organic farming reduces pollution from nitrogen runoff

Conventional agriculture relies heavily on synthetic fertilizers, especially nitrogen. World-wide, the use of nitrogen as a fertilizer has increased tenfold in the last fifty years. Half to two-thirds of this nitrogen makes its way into rivers and other ecosystems, affecting both freshwater and marine environments. The most dramatic result is the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Like the dead zone in Chesapeake Bay ... the Gulf of Mexico dead zone is caused by too much nitrogen, but here the dominant source—56 percent, according to the U.S. Geological Survey—is chemical fertilizer runoff rather than animal manure, which contributes 25 percent. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone has grown dramatically over the past twenty years, and when it peaks each summer, it now covers an area larger than the state of New Jersey. The peak comes a month after the spring use of nitrogen fertilizers in the Midwest Corn Belt—a month is the time it takes for the water from the Upper Mississippi to reach the Gulf. The expanding dead zone is disrupting fishing. This is only one of 146 dead zones around the world, and not even the largest—that is in the Baltic Sea. Nitrogen fertilizer runoff is largely responsible for most of these. Forty-three of the dead zones occur in U.S. coastal waters. A shift to organic farming, which does not use synthetic fertilizers, would dramatically reduce water pollution from nitrogen, and so shrink the dead zones.

 

Organic farming avoids the heavy pesticide and herbicide use typical of conventional farming

Conventional farming relies heavily on pesticides, including insecticides and herbicides. Pesticide use per acre more than doubled between 1931 and 1997, although it has decreased slightly since then....

 

Organic farmers are permitted to use only a very limited range of insecticides, selected because they are natural products or their safety is well-established. Hence, organic farms will not, to the same extent as conventional farms, release insecticides into the air or nearby rivers. They are not permitted to use any herbicides at all.

 

Organic farming uses less energy for a given yield than conventional farming

 

Organic farms do not use synthetic fertilizers, the manufacture of which requires a lot of energy. According to a study funded by the British Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, organic crops used 35 percent less energy per unit of production and organic dairying 74 percent less. Scientists at the University of Essex found that organic farmers in a range of different countries required only 30 to 50 percent of the energy consumed in conventional farming systems.

 

Organic farming stores more carbon in the soil, thus off-setting carbon dioxide emissions

 

Organic farming increases the amount of organic matter in the soil—matter that would otherwise rot above ground and produce carbon that would go into the atmosphere. So if organic farming spreads, that might reduce the severity of climate change. But how great an advantage organic farming has over conventional farming here is controversial. The Rodale Institute has carried out a 23-year study of the amount of carbon stored in the soil of its model farm and calculated that if the organic methods it uses were applied on all the cropland in the United States, 580 billion pounds of excess carbon dioxide could be sequestered in the soil every year. That's about four times the quantity of emissions that would be saved if the fuel efficiency of all cars and light trucks on U.S. roads were doubled. But questions can be raised about how long annual carbon savings could continue, since eventually the organic matter will decompose and release carbon back into the atmosphere.

 

There are two offsetting factors relative to climate change and organic farming to consider. It is often claimed that conventional farming produces higher yields per acre, on average, than organic farming. Therefore, if we need to produce a given quantity of food, we might use less land to produce it if we use conventional methods. Suppose we then took this extra land and planted it with trees, as part of an agro-forestry project. According to some estimates, trees absorb about eight times as much carbon per acre as soil can, even organically cultivated soil. That suggests an alternative strategy for storing carbon: grow the food we need by conventional methods on fewer acres, and plant trees on the rest. Of course, this presupposes that conventional farming really does produce higher yields than organic methods. The Rodale Institute conducted a 22-year comparative trial of conventional farming and organic farming. Although the yields from conventional farming were higher in the short-term, over the entire period of the trial, corn and soybean yields were just as high on fields farmed organically.

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i don't really know that there is an argument against organic farming beyond cost. perhaps an inability to meet world demands for produce/goods at the rate of production currently in place.

 

i enjoy eating organic when i can, but i also am not too worried about it.

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i agree with fist on this.

 

my only complaints about the organic food movement are:

 

 

1. the 'preachiness' of movement

(i just had a family member at a cook out last weekend say how great the strawberries were but then snarled, stopped eating them, then went on a rant about how we are gonna die because the strawberries were not organic)

 

2. if taken to its logical conclusion, as fist eluded to, organic food production could not feed the entire world. so if you favor population control you must favor organic food. for this exact reason is why different farming methods came about in the first place

 

3. this ties to part one... the trend. cant stand it.

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Actually we could feed the world organically if we coupled organic farming with biointensive farming. Where there's a will, there's a way.

 

Sure, except it's not profitable to do so.

 

I don't specifically buy organic but I try to whenever it's available at comparable prices.

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Yea I would prefer to buy organic but if they don't make it competitive price wise then they are pricing themselves out of the market.

 

Sure if I were just looking after myself then I could probably afford to spend that little bit extra but when you are shopping for a family for the month you have to be wise with your money and do what is ultimately best for your finances, so yea, quite often not organic.

 

What do you guys think about Fairtrade items? Just another scam by the supermarkets or do you think they are legitimately helping out the producers in these countries?

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As far as organic produce goes, it seems to be something that on the whole is beneficial (less pesticides/chemicals/nitrogen runoff). However, I believe that the extravagant price attached to most organic produce is a sort of false 'higher price = better quality' luxury good ploy. I don't really believe that it really costs substantially more to produce. I also don't really buy the line that that organic produce tastes any better, or is any more nutrient dense. I generally don't buy organic produce if a regular 'non-organic' option is available. Mostly just due to the economics of it. However, I do try and buy 'real' food whenever possible, instead of processed food. (ie: buying tomatoes and basil and making a sauce vs. a can of prego)

 

As things stand now, I think it's a dangerous trend. I really disapprove of the false price-quality dynamic that is going on. I think this is the main reason why shitty food is so cheap (Fast food/processed food etc.) and fresh meat and produce is so comparatively expensive. I guess that I'm just not of the belief that eating well should be a luxury reserved for the wealthy.

 

As far as fair trade goes, if I have to pay an extra nickel for a cup of coffee just so some farmer in Guatemala can have a substantially better life, why not? What do I care?

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I rarely buy processed food, occasionally I will have some oven chips or something like that in the freezer for a quick option, but I prefer not to feed my son stuff like that, however I don't see why I should pay £2 for a bag of organic carrots when I can get double the amount for half the price for non organic carrots, because when it comes down to it, it is still a carrot and until they make organic stuff more competitive price wise I won't switch because it just seems a con to me.

 

I prefer to buy locally sourced goods over anything else, so Welsh beef, or potatoes from the farmer that has a van round the corner from my work, it has less impact environmentally if it hasn't had to have been shipped all round the country.

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i think its interesting to note that the CEO of america's biggest organic grocery store chain, whole foods, is a free market capitalist libertarian, is anti union, is a global warming denier, and hates govt run healthcare. nothing brings a smile to my face more than the uppity limousine liberals who are so holier than thou shopping at a company based on the principles of freedom and market regulation when they devote their entire existence to trying to suppress this system.

 

its not at all unlike che guevara popping up on shirts at the mall... you can dedicate your entire life overthrowing capitalism and look what that got him.

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Damn, ya'll are mad wrong on some of your shit.

Organic Produce prices are reflective of the cost that goes into the production, and an organic carrot and a conventionally produced carrot is not the same thing. The quality of your food has a lot more to do with just its taste. Lot's of conventionally produced fruit is fucking dank. Lots of it also tastes like fibrous, watery representations of fruit. How the farming practices impact the world around you MATTERS. I'm not even going to explain why to you. Don't let people's natural proclivity towards being a bunch of fucktards taint your perception the "movement". I mean I know that you're just so fucking anti-establishment that you can't get down on anything that more than thirty people support, but this shit is the end result of a logical and rational approach to life.

 

GMO's are a whole different ballgame all together, so it is important to draw a distinction. They are moving along muuuuuuccccccchhhhhhh too quickly for me to be comfortable with, and risk contaminating the genetic base of some very important (to our current lifestyle) crops. Organic farming can be profitable, and affordable for consumers. You may have to make a couple of lifestyle changes (actually use what you buy and stop wasting shit like I know you do), and it may only be currently justifiable to those who prioritize things such as biodiversity and health, but it is definitely feasible. It can sustain the world's population as well, keep in mind that it is our CURRENT chemically-dependent agricultural system that is rocking with all these starving people everywhere. Oh yeah, it is also causing a lot of the health issues that you have to oh-so-carefully watch your family budget to account for. Grow a fucking garden, feed yourself for nearly free, and provide yourself with the best food available in the season it was meant to be consumed in.

Done. Planet saved.

 

Oh, and if you don't like fair trade, then you are probably a douche bag. At least just a little bit of one. Why the fuck would you not want to ensure that money goes to the producers of what you consume as opposed to the network of transportation and distribution companies that shuffle shit all over the world?

Will Mackey, the Whole Foods CEO, is a fucking toolbag, as well. And he has handwriting like a retarded six year old.

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Let's be serious. For Americans who work for a living and with kids... Do we really think that 90% of Americans are gonna move out if the city, buy land and do exactly the opposite if what everyone in the 20th century tried to change? Are we going to start spending our entire work day at producing food for our own consumption and canning and preserving for the winter? Are we going to all seriously step back to 1930? If we are to only eat food in season you realize any preservation is "un natural," right? Are we gonna all start raising chickens and cows again? Let's be serious.

 

And since we can only eat food in our "food shed" or we will drop dead... Are we seriously going to stop eating bananas, mangoes, Chinese vegetables, pineapples, maple syrup if there are no maple trees around? Cmon. It's economic illiteracy and a recipe to dramatically decrease the living standard of everyone. It's usually the "local" types who are the first to rant and rave about international food which there own plan outlaws.

 

As for fair trade... Any trade is "fair" if both parties consent. They both benefit otherwise they wouldn't engage in the trade.

 

While I personally like small scale farming for my own benefit and back up self sufficiency...but to diss the entire food industry because they have found greedy capitalist ways to feed everyone in decent quantities fir super cheap...is just stupid

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i stacked fruit at Whole Foods for a year. Got fired when a half ounce of dro fell out of my smock

in the managers office. FAIL. The whole time i was there i ate nothing but organic everything. They had reduced produce. The stuff that was going to get thrown away was sold to the employees for like 15 cents a pound. Naturally since i have no ethics i would just bag up whatever i wanted and slap a reduced produce sticker on it. 5 days a week i would buy 30-50$ worth of organic fruit and vegetables and bread and other stuff for like 2-3 dollars. I was looking out for a lot of people, helping out a lot of friends. Wasn't even a bad job. I would get blowed on dro and sticks. Zone the fuck out and stack piles of fruit all day. Therapeutic.

Organic Blueberries FTW

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Angel, I just don't think you get it, dude.

I never said you are only to eat food that is in season, or I would be fucked all winter long. I also said nothing about moving out of the cities and buying land, none of that is necessary, though I personally am down (though I will keep a place in the city). A normal city-size plot with a house sitting on 60% of it can produce a shitload of food very easily, and the idea that a food garden is going to consume your entire work day is an entirely off base misconception. But you got me, I definitely plan to get chickens. A small rooster-less flock will simultaneously provide me with free super-dank eggs (this is one of those things that really is waaaay fucking better the blackfoot way), pluck pests from my garden, and even fertilize for free. All I have to do is provide supplemental food, water, and shelter. Oh, and fuck owning cows. Goats are much more practical.

 

No, never said anything about time travel, either. I think it is really more an issue of remembering that we don't have our shit together all that well, and that the people who were on the planet before us might have had some good ideas that can be rediscovered, refashioned, and reapplied to today's problems. Kind of arrogant to assume we have all the answers now and that our great grandparents lifestyle couldn't possible be worth paying attention to. They made it out of our economy and ecology being nearly FUBAR'd with the Great Depression and the Dustbowl shit going down. So yeah, the people in the 30's had some good ideas. But no, I don't suggest we live EXACTLY like them.

 

I never said anything about only being able to eat things in your 'food shed", either. What the fuck is a "food shed"? International trade will obviously continue, and I have a bunch of Chilean bananas hanging five feet from my on the counter. I understand the need and the incentive to distribute produce and food in ways similar to those that are currently in place. I am not going to give up oranges anytime soon, nor do I want to see my mangoes disappear. BUT, I understand that they are a LUXURY. For fucks sake, how many other times in human history have you been able to buy a piece of fruit from another CONTINENT like it ain't a thing? I also will not be a part of supporting the detrimental farming practices that the majority of the "exotic" fruit producers use, but will buy the shit out of some sustainably produced WHATEVER they throw my way. Just like I'm still down for tuna steaks even though I currently live in a landlocked state.

 

You got me again on that semantics argument against my Fair Trade stance. Damn. Of course, that overlooks the humanitarian issue of working and living conditions in these areas of concern. Just because falling victim to the system in place may be better for some broke-ass Peruvian than going completely hungry and jobless doesn't make it "fair". That is just fucking weak. That program is in place to ensure more of the money goes DIRECTLY to the people making food. It is a means to cut out the middle men involved.

 

I am glad you like small scale farming. I will diss the shit out of the food industry. Freely, and without hesitance. Check it out: FUCK THE FOOD INDUSTRY. Not for their greedy capitalist way, nor for their mounds of food, but for their complete sacrifice of ethical behavior in order to advance their own comforts. Nor are they feeding every one super cheap, food is expensive as fucking hell, and a lot of the things that are gaining in expense are the things they produce in mass (wheat/flour for instance), we are paying the cost in biodiversity on our planet as they replace dynamic ecosystems with a monoculture of round-up ready poison/food, and there are still people starving to death all over the fucking place. It is not supply, it is distribution and access that is the problem. So yeah, FUCK THE FOOD INDUSTRY.

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i don't really know that there is an argument against organic farming beyond cost. perhaps an inability to meet world demands for produce/goods at the rate of production currently in place..

 

i don't know where this stat sits now but, there's enough land in texas to give every american their own acre to live on. (if texas isn't that big, it almost is, add another state on there). then every one can manage their own crop. no need to mass produce produce.

..but i dont wanna live in texas.

i dont know if 1 acre is big enough to sustain an average size family for 1 whole year or not, but you see what i'm saying?

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When I get home behind a computer I'll write a proper response... But it's just silly to think that Americans who have increased the living standard so much that we throw away more food than people ate in 1920, are going to ban "corporate" food production, give up their iPods and tv and raise animals and grow food for their own subsistence again. Americans who were subsistence farmers did everything they possibly could to get away from their farms and move to town and buy their food in a store. Because of "corporate" farming we are able to sit on the net and talk about a romantic back to the earth movement because we so much leisure time from not farming full time just to feed our family.

 

The hated food industry has made food so cheap that ANYBODY can afford food in America unless you simply don't want to.

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i heard that if the rest of the world wanted to eat like america.. it would take 4 planet earths to do it.. seems crazy to me but the numbers were there. 'the year 2100' i think the program was

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It would take more if we were to raise their actual standard of living to our own, like seven planet Earths or something, old numbers though, from Diversity of Live by Edward Wilson.

 

Angel, you are still installing your own set of pretexts that no one is saying will go down. I personally would hate gardening without my iPod, and have been living what I am preaching for several years, still have plenty of leisure time, no thanks to "corporate" food. The food industry has also replaced our need for food (which we can deal with easily) with crazy health issues (much harder to deal with). No one is saying that we go back to subsistence farming either, still putting words into my mouth. Silly ones, at that. There are lots of options, not all of them even involve growing it yourself and setting fire to your television.

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not all of them even involve growing it yourself and setting fire to your television.

 

if that happened, what would the low life ghetto welfare collectors do? what to do without someone else willing to take care of you?

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Angel, I just don't think you get it, dude.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW

 

 

Did that just happen?

 

And I would stack so many chickens in little cages too small for them. So much fuckin' money. GOT DAMN

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Well, two raised bed gardens are in. I just transplanted the tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños, chilies, basil, oregano, onions and brussel sprouts in and I have mint growing in a large container (its highly invasive). All Organic and I intend to keep it that way. It was a little bit of work getting the 4 cubic yards of soil put in, but it didn't feeeeeel like i was "working". It felt good being outside in the sun and its pretty empowering to provide food for yourself. I think I read that $120 spent on seed and soil can make more than a thousand dollars worth of produce. Totally worth the investment, especially since I ENJOY being outside working the soil and watching my babies grow. Now that its all set up I only spend about a half of an hour a week tending to it.

 

AOD: You should take a basic course in Ecology. Then maybe you would understand why people might decide to grow food organically. Conventional Agriculture is sitting in a pool of non-renewable fossil fuel that is drying up. Anyone who knows anything about Agriculture knows that our current system is completely dependent on fossil fuels in the form of pesticides and fertilizers, not to mention the transportation it takes to get produce from Central and South America to your local supermarket. I don't understand why I have to keep reiterating this for you. Please tell me what the alternative is, when you know conventional agriculture can't sustain it self.

 

Also, You have such a deep hatred for agricultural tax subsidies yet you aren't even willing to grow your own food, or at least not support the major agribusinesses that are eating up tax dollars. Your hypocrisy and unwillingness to act in what you believe in reminds me a lot of your beef with Al Gore...

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Hahaha, Spitfire about to get paid slangin' eggs. Good luck on that one man, keep us posted on your failure.

Cunt- Nice. Are you using organic fertilizers? I've got two raised beds at the moment, trying a compost tea regiment this year, and am pretty impressed so far. I have one cherry tomato that is trellised rocking out at over eight feet tall. You should look into it. Feeding the soil as opposed to the plant, great results. Super cheap as well, once you get started. I can give you anaerobic as aerobic recipes if interested. Simple enough that I hesitate to even call them recipes. Negates the need to any fertilizers at all. You can incorporate a lasagna system to incorporate organic material (or just alternatively mulch and top dress with compost)

 

You guys should look into Polyface Farms. They are doing some really innovative things with agriculture. As was Masanobu Fukuoka, RIP.

 

We need to work with the natural world in a symbiotic manner, not dominate and stifle it's productivity as we have been.

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Angel, I just don't think you get it, dude.

I never said you are only to eat food that is in season, or I would be fucked all winter long. I also said nothing about moving out of the cities and buying land, none of that is necessary, though I personally am down (though I will keep a place in the city). A normal city-size plot with a house sitting on 60% of it can produce a shitload of food very easily, and the idea that a food garden is going to consume your entire work day is an entirely off base misconception. But you got me, I definitely plan to get chickens. A small rooster-less flock will simultaneously provide me with free super-dank eggs (this is one of those things that really is waaaay fucking better the blackfoot way), pluck pests from my garden, and even fertilize for free. All I have to do is provide supplemental food, water, and shelter. Oh, and fuck owning cows. Goats are much more practical.

 

when i rant about the organic food movement, it is not necessarily directed 100% at you.

but you said in a previous post that everyone needs to eat local organic food to lessen environmental impact, because food is meant to be consumed during certain seasons, because its healthier, etc

if taken to its logical conclusion, the organic food movement itself would ideally consist of everyone growing food for their own subsistence correct?

 

do you really think you can live in an inner city, raise enough food to feed a family of 4 people, have chickens for eggs and meat, raise other meat, etc? cmon, lets be serious here.

 

i've grown up my entire life on acreage, with a huge truck patch, it has never had chemicals on the land in atleast the last 75 years. i dont praise 'organic' crap because its just simply the way we have always done it. the 'organic movement' is a joke. i was raised on 'local organic pastured brown eggs.' from back behind the house. we had a flock of about 3 dozen rhode island reds and domineckers. (sp?) i've shot rats and foxes trying to eat our chickens and locked them up every night. my great aunt used to come over a couple times a year and slaughter a bunch of them. we grew/grow about a half acre garden of tomatoes, squash, peppers, half runner green beans, cucumbers, etc. we used to have huge raspberry rows.

 

believe me, if you want to raise enough food for a family for AN ENTIRE YEAR, you have a lot more work on your hands than a 10'x20' plot in the back yard of some inner city neighborhood. all the food we produced was used as a supplement not as our entire diet. its simply to much work when you work in the real world. if you are really to be 100% self sufficient and have a full diet you produce yourself, you have to have cows and other animals for milk, meat, etc. im interested in eating a full rounded diet, and not a meager existence. you'd have to grow grain for bread.

lets get serious.

if it wasnt for trade and capitalist farming the living standards of americans would still be in the manner you described, where most of america raised their own food and spent almost their entire existence trying to do so. in a time where kids were though of as more farm hands.

 

No, never said anything about time travel, either. I think it is really more an issue of remembering that we don't have our shit together all that well, and that the people who were on the planet before us might have had some good ideas that can be rediscovered, refashioned, and reapplied to today's problems. Kind of arrogant to assume we have all the answers now and that our great grandparents lifestyle couldn't possible be worth paying attention to. They made it out of our economy and ecology being nearly FUBAR'd with the Great Depression and the Dustbowl shit going down. So yeah, the people in the 30's had some good ideas. But no, I don't suggest we live EXACTLY like them.

 

i love traditional methods and stand by them 1000% percent for myself. i am also literate in economics and i realize that 'capitalist corporate farming' has made food so cheap and easily available that we have so much leisure time on our hands and so much excess money to invest that we can even think about trying to grow our own food. consider that the early 20th century folks in this country were trying their hardest to GET OFF THE FARM, and not we have a segment of the population that wants to legislate away the living standard of EVERYONE and put everyone BACK on the farm.

 

we would be default be back in time if a system of local organic agriculture was FORCED by legislative fiat on the country. the living standard of everyone would be dramatically reduced to that of early 20th century.

 

I never said anything about only being able to eat things in your 'food shed", either. What the fuck is a "food shed"?

 

i figured a person like your self who is so into the organic movement would know all about a 'food shed.' joel salatin who runs polyface who you mentioned mentions it all the time.

eating food from your 'food shed' is the basis of the local movement and is why salatin will not deliver food more than 4 hours from his farm.

 

International trade will obviously continue, and I have a bunch of Chilean bananas hanging five feet from my on the counter. I understand the need and the incentive to distribute produce and food in ways similar to those that are currently in place. I am not going to give up oranges anytime soon, nor do I want to see my mangoes disappear. BUT, I understand that they are a LUXURY. For fucks sake, how many other times in human history have you been able to buy a piece of fruit from another CONTINENT like it ain't a thing? I also will not be a part of supporting the detrimental farming practices that the majority of the "exotic" fruit producers use, but will buy the shit out of some sustainably produced WHATEVER they throw my way. Just like I'm still down for tuna steaks even though I currently live in a landlocked state.

 

the 'movement's' rhetoric is largely anti trade. when you have people who buy food based on how many miles away it was produced, you just have a lack of knowledge on your hands of the entire subject. the constant harping about having to eat 'local' or we will die, destroy the planet is flat out hypocrisy as these folks are usually very highly into international exotic foods from outside their food shed which is brought about by evil capitalist free trade, the division of labor and evil corporations.

 

if you cannot simply use your general rhetoric and apply it on a small scale to your own food consumption, how do you expect everyone else to follow? the basic premise is... eat local organic or you will be unhealthy, kill the earth, destroy the land, etc. yet you cant even eat totally locally yourself.

 

its a GREAT thing that the evil food industry has found a way to bring us food from another continent like it isnt anything. just because a banana isnt 'natural' to your area, doesnt mean its bad.

 

Of course, that overlooks the humanitarian issue of working and living conditions in these areas of concern. Just because falling victim to the system in place may be better for some broke-ass Peruvian than going completely hungry and jobless doesn't make it "fair". That is just fucking weak. That program is in place to ensure more of the money goes DIRECTLY to the people making food. It is a means to cut out the middle men involved.

 

 

i mean that is all fine and good on a voluntary basis. however any trade is 'fair' if both parties consent which you must also conclude that they both benefit in the ex ante sense. consider if we DIDNT buy produce from the poor peruvian farmer, would he be worse off or better off? you would think that the poor peruvian farmer is the role model of the local organic movement. he lives close to the earth and very simply. the lefties that dominate the 'movement' largely believe that prosperity simply exists for no apparent reason. that wealth just comes out of thin air. they dont consider that capitalism is the only system that produces any wealth and an increased living standard.

 

but for their complete sacrifice of ethical behavior in order to advance their own comforts.

 

this is nonsense on stilts.

doesnt everyone seek their own greedy self interest or 'to advance their own comforts?' do you work to advance your employers comforts or do you work to try to advance your own comforts? do you work for free? if you dont work for free, then you are following your own greedy self interest and exploiting others.

 

lets look at it.

if it wasnt for 'food industry' the poor wouldnt be throwing away 10 times more food than their ancestors were growing in 1900. the 'food industry' made it possible for everyone to not spend their entire lives trying to just feed themselves.

 

Nor are they feeding every one super cheap, food is expensive as fucking hell, and a lot of the things that are gaining in expense are the things they produce in mass (wheat/flour for instance), we are paying the cost in biodiversity on our planet as they replace dynamic ecosystems with a monoculture of round-up ready poison/food, and there are still people starving to death all over the fucking place. It is not supply, it is distribution and access that is the problem. So yeah, FUCK THE FOOD INDUSTRY.

 

come again?

food is NOT super cheap? what?

a bum can literally stand on a corner for 10 minutes and get enough money for 10 double cheeseburgers from mcdonalds. the last 50lb bag of rice i bought was 14.99. that is 200 meals. 200 fucking meals. this is not super cheap? what planet do you live on?

 

the only food i see that is not super cheap is some fru fru free range ostrich from whole foods.

 

 

Angel, you are still installing your own set of pretexts that no one is saying will go down. I personally would hate gardening without my iPod, and have been living what I am preaching for several years, still have plenty of leisure time, no thanks to "corporate" food. The food industry has also replaced our need for food (which we can deal with easily) with crazy health issues (much harder to deal with). No one is saying that we go back to subsistence farming either, still putting words into my mouth. Silly ones, at that. There are lots of options, not all of them even involve growing it yourself and setting fire to your television.

 

you are not understanding the economic argument at all.

the point is, the ipod would not exist, without a corporate farming structure because no one would have the capital goods and equipment to invest in increased productivity nor would we have leisure time because we would be working 12 hours days trying to feed ourselves, pay property taxes and keep the lights on.

 

no doubt about it that weird illnesses have come about. but lets look at it through a broader lens. are we not living a shit load LONGER NOW? are less people starving in america?

 

but look who is really to blame. i think you should look at the ultimate cause and not the proximate cause. listen to what joel salatin says. listen to what he says about the FDA, USDA, govt regulation, etc. govt is the problem, not the food industry.

 

why is corn syrup in everything instead of sugar? because the govt subsidizes it and installed a high sugar tariff to protect a very very very small US sugar industry making sugar way more expensive than putting in some cheap ass corn syrup to get the same effect.

 

why is it expensive to get a half a side of beef from your neighbor? because he has to ship the cow 200 miles to a processor to then bring it back home to sell to you. govt regulation.

 

 

 

 

AOD: Then maybe you would understand why people might decide to grow food organically. Conventional Agriculture is sitting in a pool of non-renewable fossil fuel that is drying up. Anyone who knows anything about Agriculture knows that our current system is completely dependent on fossil fuels in the form of pesticides and fertilizers, not to mention the transportation it takes to get produce from Central and South America to your local supermarket. I don't understand why I have to keep reiterating this for you. Please tell me what the alternative is, when you know conventional agriculture can't sustain it self.

 

im 100% in favor of 'organic farming.' my family has done it since they came here in 1630 something.

what i am against is hipster urbanites trying to tell me my business, how to run my life, and how to do something i've done my whole life. i dont need anyone to preach to me about an organic farm when i've worked an 'organic farm' my entire life.

 

look, people have been saying that we are going to run out of oil in 10 years since 1890. what no one takes into account is the price system. if the supply is really limited the price goes up which conserves oil and makes people find alternative means. which is why when the price of gas went up, everyone was trying to come up with alternative forms of energy to run cars.

 

im not concerned about food markets collapsing unless an actual economic collapse takes place which is why i already have infrastructure in place to deal with this. there is no need to legislate to fix a problem that doesnt even currently exist. if things really do happen to where we can no longer ship food in from far away where they can produce it for cheaper and people cannot turn a profit, then obviously alternative means will come about.

 

but the case for trade is simple. take maple syrup and banana's. canada has an ass load of maple trees and they want banana's. costa rica has an ass load of bananas and they want freaking maple syrup. what makes more sense... trade or canada installing some sort of banana growing green house and costa rica making some sort of frigid bio dome to grow maple trees?

 

Also, You have such a deep hatred for agricultural tax subsidies yet you aren't even willing to grow your own food, or at least not support the major agribusinesses that are eating up tax dollars. Your hypocrisy and unwillingness to act in what you believe in reminds me a lot of your beef with Al Gore...

 

refer to my earlier post. im sure i am more experienced with food production, self sufficiency, 'sustainability,' etc than you. i broadcast rye by hand every fall after i plow everything under. its not because i am part of some hipster movements its just because i come from a family composed of rural southern and southern appalachian ancestors. its just the way it is and the way we have always done it. i dont compost because i want to be green, i compost so i can use it in my fricking garden and so i dont waste trash bags. i dont grow food to be 'local' i grow it for my own greedy self interest... to feed myself and for insurance against a very probable societal collapse.

 

there is no hypocrisy, other than we buying food from people that take subsidies which isnt really a hypocrisy if i am forced to do so. i am against the federal reserve but i have federal reserve notes in my wallet. i am largely an anarchist but i voted for ron paul in 08. i am against public funded roads but i have no other choice because its illegal to operate a private road.

 

and i surely dont shit talk on other peoples choices to go to a grocery store if they want to.

its none of my business.

 

on a side note... on joel salatin... i think he is probably the awesomest dude out there in the 'organic' movement.

yet you will note that he is totally 100% ass backwards from the movement. this guy has not found a bureaucrat he hasnt denounced, a regulation he didnt want repealed, and surely doesnt want to infringe on anyone elses rights to use their land and do what they want to how they see fit. he just wants to be free to do his own thing. unlike the 'local green organic' movement he is a capitalist and sees govt as the problem and not the solution.

 

when people watch FOOD INC for example, they are led to the conclusion that the govt must be used to destroy capitalism, regulate everyone out of business because capitalists want to kill everyone. yet joel salatin is a renegade free marketeer who's food is much cleaner and is known for its great quality. do you really think this guy needs a bureaucrat looking after his every move?

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One of the most balanced and thoughtful "food future" article I've come across in a long time. The future starts with us... the food consumer.

 

http://motherjones.com/environment/2009/02/spoiled-organic-and-local-so-2008

 

Important point made here:

 

"And for all our focus on the cost of moving food, transportation accounts for barely one-tenth of a food product's greenhouse gas emissions. Far more significant is how the food was produced—its so-called resource intensity. Certain foods, like meat and cheese, suck up so many resources regardless of where they're produced (a pound of conventional grain-fed beef requires nearly a gallon of fuel and 5,169 gallons of water) that you can shrink your footprint far more by changing what you eat, rather than where the food came from. According to a 2008 report from Carnegie Mellon University, going meat- and dairyless one day a week is more environmentally beneficial than eating locally every single day."

 

What you eat is as important as where your food comes from. Factory farming is here to stay, but we could do better.

 

Yeah, I know, it's from Mother Jones, but give it a chance.

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