1. tz
    What the people pushing organics get right is look at some of the biggest GMO crops.

    Corn - that produces fuel for our cars and has twice the carbon footprint of gasoline (as you have to burn fuel to get the corn and turn it into ethanol) - and High Fructose Corn Syrup. Corn is so subsidized there is too much so they turn it into sugar. And somehow get cows or other farm animals to eat corn.

    Sugar Beets are a big crop locally, also GMO since they wouldn't grow here without it, at least not economically, and they are all turned into pure, white, and deadly table sugar. The actual beets are only slightly sweet and have fiber, but I've never seen the actual beets themselves at any salad bar (ours are white, not the deep red-violet).

    Big Ag could be relabeled as the Farming-Sugar-Industrial complex.

    Fortunately, locally we have many traditional farmers, Community Supported Agriculture, and ranchers that let Cows and chickens range free - It tastes so much better from the big box grocery store stuff.

    One quick note - I recently got a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. It turns all the vegetables (and raspberries, my one guilty pleasure) into something like a very thin chip. And it will last for months or years in an air-tight bag (longer if you add oxygen absorbers), so I have crunchy kale, chard, collard greens, spinach, and lettuce as an alternative to chips, raspberrys as candy, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. sliced as crackers. Or I can just soak them to bring them back. It saves all the nutrition. It also works with eggs and meats - scrambled eggs make egg-puffs, hard boiled eggs make a crunchy snack. It is a bit on the expensive side, but it is perfect for turning fresh vegetables, eggs, and other things into the perfect low-carb snack.

  2. Nate
    I agree with you, tz. I know the fight to get people to eat as if we are a part of mother nature and not robots is not finished, but there are now millions of cracks in the idea that we are like a calorimeter. Just look at Diet Doctor's Blog News. It has about 45 experts who write blogs and think that we are biological creatures. Also, there are many more similar bloggers not on the DD's list. The total followers of all these blogs is many thousands, maybe even millions. Each one is a crack in the calorimeter idea.

    Now turning to tz's topic of agriculture, the Farming-Sugar-Industrial complex is more concerned with producing the commodity, sugar, than the nurturing food that can meet all of our biological needs. They have a mechanist view that is similar to that of the current diet dictocrates. They use mechanical plows, manufactured chemicals, mono-crops, CAFO's to grow our food. And they ignore the wonderful symbiotic relationships between the plants, animals and the microbiology that lives on and in them and their environment. Their plows, chemicals and isolationist practices kill the beneficial microbiology and its symbiotic services.

    So, I agree that "people pushing organics" got it right. But I would go a step further and say that we should push for regenerative agriculture. This agriculture tries to mimic the biological laws of mother nature, aims to regenerate our living soils and reaps the benefits of all those symbiotic relationships. Farmers, such as Joel Salatin, Allan Savory, Elaine Ingham, Greg Judy, Gab Brown and many more practice regenerative agriculture. All of those farmers have youtube videos, which I recommend. (If you are a gardener, I would specifically recommend Elaine Ingham.)

    Finally, regenerative agriculture will positively address climate change, which is a new concern to be addressed in the USDA's 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Heathy living soil sequesters tremendous amounts of carbon. It also absorbs much more water than unhealthy soils, which is sometimes called the four letter word, d**t. Absorbing more water helps prevent flooding and desertification as well as reduce climate warming.

  3. chris c
    I'm surrounded by Big Arable, which is technologically impressive. Yet despite their 400hp tractors and 600hp combines, there are years (this may be another one) when they don't make much or any profit. A few years back they were getting £30 - £50/tonne LESS than the cost of production for their wheat. Did you see the price of bread go down? No, thought not.

    Dairy has also become a big loss-maker for the farmers, the supermarkets buy low and sell high. The smaller guys who do grass-fed beef (organic or not) and sheep, free range pigs, asparagus, etc. and sell through local shops do much better over the long term. Lower outputs but much lower inputs, and no middlemen raking money out of the local economy.

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