Skip to comments.Organic Farming Is Not Sustainable
Posted on 05/15/2014 9:43:32 PM PDT by grundle
More labor with lower yields is a luxury only rich populations can afford.
A study by the Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, published last year in the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, found that "intensive organic agriculture relying on solid organic matter, such as composted manure that is implemented in the soil prior to planting as the sole fertilizer, resulted in significant down-leaching of nitrate" into groundwater. With many of the world's most fertile farming regions in the throes of drought, increased nitrate in groundwater is hardly a hallmark of sustainability.
Moreover, as agricultural scientist Steve Savage has documented on the Sustainablog website, wide-scale composting generates significant amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. Compost may also deposit pathogenic bacteria on or in food crops, which has led to more frequent occurrences of food poisoning in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Organic farming might work well for certain local environments on a small scale, but its farms produce far less food per unit of land and water than conventional ones. The low yields of organic agriculturetypically 20%-50% less than conventional agricultureimpose various stresses on farmland and especially on water consumption. A British meta-analysis published in the Journal of Environmental Management (2012) found that "ammonia emissions, nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide emissions per product unit were higher from organic systems" than conventional farming systems, as were "land use, eutrophication potential and acidification potential per product unit."
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Another Marxist lie exposed.
Unfortunately this just means the left will skip to enforcing hunting and gathering as being sustainable. At least we had a shot of living like the Amish with organics.
I fit’s unsustainable, they’d better figure out how to make it sustainable.
The populace is , well, some people, enough to drive this industry, are starting to figure out that it’s the way to eat.
Organic farming is the stupidest thing ever invented!
Many years ago, a reporter asked a scientist what people did prior to synthetic fertilizers. The scientist responded, “Farmers used shit for fertilizer and people died at a much younger age.”
It’s factory farming that’s Marxist in factit’s even in the Manifesto, where it mentions “combining agriculture with industrial production” as part of one of the planks of communism. That’s what was forced on the USA by the leftists after WWII.
The Marxists at the USDA aren’t so fond of what they call “organic” farming anyhow. This shows in their current attempts at regulating it.
Well, that’s scientists for you.
I’m amazed that many conservatives don’t see what’s coming with chemical/industrial farming.
They have no problem eating ANY CRAP that the industrial/chemical food production industry manufactures.
They have no problem doing away with all family-owned farms.
They just want to preserve the delusion in their mind that big agribusiness and international banking is their “friend”.
Been farming long?
The elites foster something so they can regulate and control it.
The elites will have THEIR good food.
It will come down to a few fine organic farms; like the Rothschild wineries. Nothing but the best, wild caught fish, etc.
You just won’t see any of that in the stores. It will only be in the wealthy towns that won’t be accessible to the slaves.
The slaves will get the chemical scum food from the factory.
Looks like many idiot slaves in the Republican party will LIKE the chemical scum. Just as long as they can have some fake chemical beeer(tm) to swill down with it, and some $200/month cable TV to watch sports while they do. They’re happy as slaves in a pointless existence, happy to be ground up as feed themselves when the death panel formula says they’ve outlived their usefulness.
I’m pretty sure farming was organic before it wasn’t.
I’m born and raised in farm country and I see more organic/ no-till farming all the time. In my business I talk to people engaged in production agriculture every day. A lot of them tell me they can’t believe how much they used to unnecessarily work the fields when they can get as good or better yields with less work and less chemicals.
It just seems to me more natural is more better.
I’ve never figured out the advantage. So we don’t spend near as much on veggies.
A lot depends on the definition of “organic”. It is possible to farm year round with green houses and hydroponics. This tends to cut down on the costs by using higher density farming techniques such as vertical farming. This trades a number of factors such as reduced water requirements, reduced crop distance (energy and time to move from one plant to the next), against the manpower issue.
Ultimately, sustainability will be determined on the hard dollar costs (manpower, fertilizer, insect and weed abatement), then time costs, and lastly the number of crop rotations in a year.
>> Organic farming is the stupidest thing ever invented!
Epoch stupidity not unlike the invention of fire.
>> impose various stresses on farmland and especially on water consumption.
A subjective point of view conveyed by the author. It’s only a comparative “imposition”, but not definitive as implied.
It's natural for man to improve on nature.
Strange. The farmer from whom I purchase our meat and eggs has discovered just the opposite of what this article is pushing.
Centuries of real science has determined that plants need nitrogen phosphorous, and potassium in order to prosper. In my view, the most “organic” way of providing these nutrients, if they are not already present in proper quantities in the soil, it to apply pure nitrogen phosphorous, and potassium to them. Adding any other ingredients along with them is not only wasteful, but often quite dangerous.
What comes is food, prosperity, and efficient use of resources. It's quite difficult to live and raise a family on five acres and a mule.
Nobody said that and no sense getting so defensive. We just heard how healthy and sustainable organic farming was when in reality it is simply expensive and unproductive. Agribusiness can feed the world if the gummit will get out of the way.
Pray America wakes up
“At least we had a shot of living like the Amish with organics.”
The Amish in east central Illinois are tending toward renting their land to conventional farmers and working in small local industries such as furniture building, producing kitchen cabinets, etc.
“Organic farming” - everything it produces is almost rotten and full of bugs.
“Many years ago, a reporter asked a scientist what people did prior to synthetic fertilizers.”
I suspect your “scientist” did not farm prior to synthetic fertilizers. Although farms cropping was diversified (animals, multiple crop varieties), there was never enough manure to fertilize much of the crop land. Crop rotation helped, but mostly yields were really poor.
“They have no problem doing away with all family-owned farms.”
Who has no problem with “doing away” with family farms?
And BTW. You don’t think family farms use fertilizer? Pesticides? Herbicides? They do if they want to have a large enough yield to make money. Or, they can “go organic” and sell their meager crops for 4 times what “non-organic” farms do, to some poor sap who thinks he/she will be more healthy and live forever.
So, do tell. What’s coming with chemical/industrial farming?
We have a small organic farmers market every Saturday right down the street from us. I stopped once. Everything looked horrible and I didn’t buy a thing.
So expensive that obesity will end
My long-winded response in post #29.
Stalin was a big proponent of organic farming.
That was Mao, who also liked organic farming.
So did Pol Pot who emptied the cities and made everyone a farmer or a soldier to watch them.
Inefficient as heck.
Poppy Cock. Pure BS. My granny and grandpa sustained just fine on their little 20 acre farm. Only a fool would use just manure compost.
Growing your own food is a heck of a lot better for you and the envioronment than the typical factory farm.
My mother in law planted a garden and canned her winter food almost all her life. She lived to be 95. Didn’t get sick till she quit gardening.
Your wine example is perfect. Sure, lower yields of grapes on the vine can lead to better wines. Wines that are out of the price range of what most people can afford. My wine “sweet spot” is about 10 bucks a bottle. I enjoy it. Is it the worlds greatest wine? Why Hell No. But there is no way in hell I would drink a 100 dollar bottle of Bordeaux for my primary wine. Would I like too. Maybe, probably not. I would feel guilty about spending that much on something that is pleasurable but in the end, ends up in the toilet.
Same with food. Food has to be grown for the masses too. I can’t go to Frank Stitts restaurant for breakfast, lunch and supper. Maybe you can.
It’s a question of how far do we go to boost yields.
There’s nothing wrong with an everyday wine and a special wine.
The prices of high-end wines are pushed ridiculously high, as are the prices for art, houses, antique cars, rare books, cigars, etc.
You’ll notice the globlist banking family elites have an incredible fixation on such things, which are a staple of their typical investment portfolio.
Just take some good auction houses and throw in hundreds of posers with a lot of money and empty morals, and you’ve got the makings of a hot market. The elites are very wise to this fact and very much appreciate the investment aspects of the “finer things in life”, where the contents of their homes can be sold for a fortune to quickly tranlate into cash, inherited, donated, insured against loss, etc.
Back on the subject at hand, if we boost yields naturally, it is wise and efficient.
When we start to hybrid, we should take care to not go wrong with our breeding. There is such a thing as causing a problem for ourselves after we breed plants or livestock that have serious problems; call it overbred, misbred, whatever.
When we start cloning and manipulating DNA in the lab or using complex chemical formulations as fertilizer or pesticide, we’re going even farther afield where we don’t know the complete and total effects we are having.
I love how those who do not work in a particular field of science, and have basically no detailed knowledge of it, jump up and down and scream about how safe the science is and how much the scientists in that field know and can be trusted.
Then, when you read the firsthand research in the field, the word unknown pops up all over the place. The actual scientific research says that they don’t know far more than than they do know. But somehow the six o’clock knews translates their research for public consumption as “they know everything and this is as safe as riding a bike”.
We wind up producing great plants that make freakishly large produce, have skin that’s so hard no bug can eat through it, etc., but we could be creating problems in the ecosystem and problems in our food where the full effect won’t materialize for decades, not to mention flat taste. Flat taste is typically what the American palate desires, out of habit. We tend to eat large quantities and eat fast, like a pig in a trough. We don’t have time therefore to taste any subtle tastes. Certain herbs have much more flavor fresh than dried, but many Americans don’t really have this appreciation. Many of us are just not that discerning in our eating. But since the food really doesn’t “pack a punch” of flavor, the “full” sense is not signalled in the brain, and the yearning for more flavor keeps us shovelling food in our mouth. Braised beef is my pet peeve. Most Americans simply do not use STOCK when they cook, they braise something like beef in water. This cooks OUT much of the flavor - and as any good chef will say, also nutrients - from the beef into the water. Stock is where we take bones and scraps and boil them with vegetables and herbs, extracting everything we can from them. What a powerful thing stock is. To braise, we brown the beef to form a sealing layer on the outside so as it heats the juices remain inside. And we then cook it in stock - which cooks IN the flavor of the stock into the beef. At the end, one can reduce the stock even more until it is concentrated and thick. WOW ! You wind up with a meal where a little bit of that beef with its sauce - and you feel full. And like you ate a vitamin tablet. It’s not expensive, in fact its cooking for the CHEAPER cuts of meat, which become fork tender as the slow cooking breaks down the tough fibers of the meat. You eat like a king, but on the cheap because you did things correctly. Your body gets the “full” signal and you stop wanting to keep shoving carbohydrates down your gullet. So many people just shove potatoes or pasta down, never really being satisfied. We are told that fat is our enemy - when really carbs are our enemy. The fats, on the other hand, metabolize in our body such that they yield things essential to good health. And with proper cooking, fats (not huge amounts, for example, fats other than butter are typically eliminated from sauces) are a key part of triggering the “full” signal to the brain. Voila, we’re eating less in total.
Vegetables - we tend to overcook, and we tend to not select them very well. We look for size and color, even if they are obviously freakishly artificial looking. Invariably we wind up with vegetables that don’t taste very good. What really taught me was when our garden as a kid I ate some spinach right in the garden. It was ridiculously good, shockingly good. Raw spinach. I never was in love with spinach prior to that. It was the 70s, we bought it frozen or in a can. Flat, bitter, really nasty. After eating organically grown fresh young spinach, wow.
Back to our “science” - we see this all the time with our “science”. We’re producing a product like crazy for a few decades, generating billions in sales, then we finally admit that we’ve been causing problems all along.
Many of these problems are very subtle, and it’s not the DIRECT effects that are a big problem, it’s the effects of those effects, and the effects of those resulting effects, in a chain reaction.
A great example is our immune system. It’s just now that everyone is getting into probiotics. They never, ever in all my school career ever said anything about gut flora. I was shocked to find out we have have little microbes in our gut. Not to mention that they attack each other, and some are “good guys” and some are “bad guys”. Our FOODS AND MEDICINES both have an effect on these microbes, including upsetting the balance of good to bad, up to even basically wiping them out.
Will we immediately die when our gut flora are not in a good balance ? Nope. We can live for decades.
Will we have health problems if our gut flora are not in a good balance ? Yup.
Will we have any clue that the root of the problems is gut flora related ? Nope, sorry, we’ll be mystified. They won’t even tell us, for example, if we have a problem that’s coming from inflammation. Inflammation, what’s that ? Rather than the doctor repetitively asking why, finding out a cause, asking why again, etc., until he gets to the root cause. The doctor sees symptoms, prescribes the pill he’s supposed to for those symptoms.
My ex worked at a restaurant. The restaurant was owned by a woman who had packed it in at the height of her career as an executive at a large, multinational healthcare firm. Why did she pack it in ? She found the firm had technology that would be a very cheap and effective solution for diabetics - and the firm purposely squashed the technology. The last thing they wanted to do was anything resembling a cure for diabetes. Anyone in high level jobs in the healthcare industry and food industry would be blowing their career if they don’t go with the flow. Just look at the side effects of medicines that are noted right in the advertisements for the medicines. It’s so bad it’s comical - why would I take a pill to help me quit smoking if there was a chance I would develop suicidal thoughts and kill myself ? If I develop suicidal thoughts, I’m supposed to call my doctor ? What moronic statement. If I develop suicidal thoughts, I’m going to be tending to want to kill myself, not tending to want to save myself by calling for help.
I live in NJ. I know firsthand that big corporations, especially those that are publicly held, have zero care at all if materials in their stock seep into the ground or water and kill people years later.
Oddly enough, NJ is also the garden state. I had a garden growing up. The place grows fantastic vegetables. Of course, selling direct to the consumer, tomatoes, for example, a medium-sized one is maybe a dollar in the store. On the wholesale market, I could buy a 25-pound box for $9. At a dollar a tomato, I could make a few thousand dollars just with tiny patch of tomatoes in the yard. There’s no reason why - as much as possible - every State doesn’t grow as much of its own food as possible and sell direct farmer to consumer. Can you see the benefits, i.e., local control, aligned interests, etc., that result from that scenario ? Of course, States could export and import according to what they produce, seasons, etc. Much of the tomato crop, of course, is canned. Can you see how the financial elites would rather that NJ grow absolutely NOTHING, and rely 100% on the food markets to buy everything NJ eats ? You’d have 8.4 million people even more reliant on big corps than they already are.
Where are the beautiful open spaces in NJ ? The wealthy areas. Where are the endless housing developments and strip malls - where the sheeple live. NJ still has very good farmland left. But to keep it, the decision has to be made to develop cities and towns and reserve farmland as separate. Yes, we’d be sacrificing some profit we could make by developing the farmland. But there is an awful lot of room to double, triple, quadruple the size of towns and cities in NJ by building UP. In fact, in some of the nicest towns you see beautiful old 2,3,4 story buildings with some character. Towns have to be made nice, and people have to have jobs where they can earn.
The sprawl of housing and malls makes towns with no defined center, no sense of “town”, just endless boring houses that were built en masse by large building contractors. There’s no individuality, no character nothing interesting in any of it. Every year we are more turned into drones. There’s a lot of good folks here, but they can’t do much to stop the big money and power.
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