Results tagged “Industrial Farming” from onegoodmove

The Green Revolution

Green Revolution's diet of big carbon savings

The Green Revolution of the 1960s raised crop yields and cut hunger - and also saved decades worth of greenhouse gas emissions, a study concludes.

US researchers found cumulative global emissions since 1850 would have been one third as much again without the Green Revolution's higher yields.

Although modern farming uses more energy and chemicals, much less land needs to be cleared.

The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. . . .

Modern intensive agriculture is often criticised over its relatively heavy use of chemicals, which can impact insects, larger animals and plant life in the vicinity of the farm.

In addition, the run-off of excess fertiliser into rivers and lakes can generate blooms of algae and "dead zones" of water where nothing can survive.

However, strictly from the point of view of greenhouse gas emissions, intensive farming appears to be significantly the better option.

"Our results dispel the notion that industrial agricultural with its petrochemicals is inherently worse for the climate than a more 'old-fashioned' way of doing things," said Dr Davis.

He and his team suggest that policymakers keen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should look towards further increases in crop yields, which they say might be more economical than other innovations.

Existing research shows that curbing production of meat - which is an inefficient user of land and water - would by itself have some impact on emissions, though by precisely how much is debated.

Commentary and Links on Norms Latest Obsession

On Mother's Day we ate organically, at least the salad and steak were organic. I'm not sure about the lovely garlic bread we also consumed. I grew up during a time when grass fed beef was commonly available and the corn fed was the new kid on the block, but my sons had never had grass fed beef. Corn fed beef has more fat which probably makes grass fed beef a better choice. The cost of the grass fed beef however is double that of the corn fed, and it may be healthier for you (because of the fat content) but, didn't measure up in the taste department. It is considerably tougher, their is no melt in your mouth component here. I know it's a result of the difference in fat content, but that explains why corn fed beef dominates the market.

Most people go for the taste over more healthy choice every time. The nutrional content is similar, but if you're concerned about lowering your fat intake the grass fed is the better choice. It's the better choice if you have the means to pay double for your food that is. A similar choice is evident when you buy eggs, I choose the organic free range eggs, mainly because I'm appalled by how chickens are treated, I don't think there any significant nutritional difference, but I pay three times as much for them as I would for the alternative. It's easy to take the moral high ground if you have money, but for those watching their pennies it's not even a choice. I know that part of the problem is subsidizing crops. It would be better if industrial farming wasn't directly subsidized, but economies of scale would still result in significant price differences.

I often hear the argument, that GM crops are being forced on the farmers that they have no choice, but certainly they have a choice of whether they plant GM crops or not.
I know the arguments, one I believe is exaggerated. It is one that receives a one-sided presentation in most of the current documentaries such as The Future of Food and Food Inc. etc, but lets say the Monsanto et al unfairly bully the farmer. If Monsanto claims someone is using their seed and the farmer claims they're not, or that the plants are there do to genetic drift the farmer has recourse to the courts. I understand the argument here too, the farmers don't have the resources to defend themselves, but why can't they band together pick a critical case or two and share the costs, and why don't they get Friends of the Earth, and other organizations to help them with the legal costs. That's where opponents of GM Crops should put their resources in my opinion. Finally if the court rules against them and they think it unjust they need to contact their representatives to change the law. That is another thing that the numerous organizations could put their resources behind, but instead we get a noun and a verb and Monsanto

Finally, please when you make your arguments distinguish between arguments directed at industrial farming and GMOs I share most of your objections to industrial farming, including crop subsidies, use of corn for ethanol etc, but conflating that with GMO's is not helpful.

And remember Organic Non-Organic is not an either or question.

  • Updates on Golden Rice and vitamin A here and here
  • Biofortified Lettuce not a bitter pill.
  • King Corn

    A worthwhile documentary, you can currently get it streaming from netflix if you have an account.

  • News flash: Organic food can still make you fat
  • Monsanto Wins FDA Soy Omega 3 Approval When this reaches market will you continue to take your omega three capsules or will you purchase a soy product made using Monsanto's technology, or . . .
  • E.U. Signals Big Shift on Genetically Modified Crops
  • Thinking Beyond Organic
    In other words, we need the best biology to achieve a truly sustainable agriculture. This includes not only conventional tools for seed improvement such as pollination, tissue culture, mutagenesis, and grafting (mixing two species to create a new variety) but also, modern molecular tools such as marker assisted breeding and genetic engineering.

    This is one of the points that Karl Haro Von Mogel, a geneticists, beekeeper and blogger, makes in his recent blog post. Because both genetic engineering and more conventional approaches to plant breeding lead to the creation of seed that carry new combinations of traits, it does not make sense to reject either one based on the reasoning that the processes are "unnatural".

    Every time a breeder makes a cross between two plants he or she is creating an organism that has never before existed. And every time a breeder crosses two plants, the genetic combination represented by the offspring has never before existed. And that's how nature, how evolution works - by creating new combinations.

    The question is not whether GE crops can be used in organic agriculture (they cannot as they are currently banned by the National Organic Program Standards), but rather -can GE crops be used to help shift our current agricultural systems towards enhanced sustainability?

  • As you know we have several individuals beside myself posting on the blog. We agree on most of the topics we post on, but sometimes we dont'. The subject of GMOs is one of those, Red has different views and so as not to confuse the ocassional visitor to the blog who assumes all the views are mine Red has started a discussion on the Forum The Argument Against GMOs You can make your views known there as well.