There is a concerted effort in the food and animal agriculture industry, similar to what we see in our governmental politics. This is more in the marketing and independent interests where a natural bias exists. I see this in the last few months I have been exploring the social media of twitter.
Scientists with intentions to teach us the importance of increasing our crop yields and protect them from weed choking predators. Whether someone is protesting the GMO or the fear mongering of the anti GMO marketing in the organic arena. There in the land of Twit, they continue to spin what they believe is best for us and our future. Support your Farmer #NationalFarmerDay was yesterday. There is an incredible support in the agriculture industry, and I am sure from the posts I have seen in is much deeper than the brief periodic tweets I encounter.
I hear of the genetic manipulation of seeds to strengthen them from disease and resistance to the herbicides and pesticides to decrease the effect of plant to plant and insect to plant predators. Increases in crop yield utilizing these science/biological practices. Mutation breeding with unknown changes in the final product. Performing these type of science makes sense in order to combat the invasive choking out by the various species of weed. Research estimates that invasive species of all types cost the U.S. more than $120 billion annually.
What doesn’t make sense, and I continue to use common sense, listening, hearing and reading the continual promotion as well as the bashing of the GMO foods, week killing Round up agent glyphosate, DNA splicing specie creating. There is the opposing rhetoric from the pro GMO against the anti-GMO marketing of the “Organic”. As fearmongering, and questioning the sustainability of the organic model exists for both economically and considering the ever growing population reasons.
In March of 2017, I wrote “Depletion” about globally “Depleting Sustainable Environment” and are being caused by ten major contributors;
1. Population of earth and the proper use of resources to feed them sustainably
2. Confined Animal Farming Operations (CAFO), including their waste produced
3. Chemicals and Agricultural enhancement effects on our environment
4. Greed and Corporate producers command over their suppliers
5. Local and National government regulations straining the local farms
6. Dependency on southern, western states and imports in the off seasons growing
7. Corn and Soy growth
8. Soil nutrition building plants (for a rotating crop)
9. Insect life disbursement and/or loss
10. Loss of true local human edible crops farms
In Late 2017 I wrote about the CAFO Dilemma and the top 5 states for cattle feedlot capacity and the 500 million chickens that produce 1.5 billion pounds of fecal waste a year
The top 5 states for cattle in feedlots with capacity more than 1000 head (as of Jan 1, 2016)
1. Texas 2.43 million
2. Nebraska 2.20 million
3. Kansas 2.09 million
4. Colorado .870 million
5. Iowa .620 million
The Chesapeake Bay is overrun with Chicken farm CAFO’s. More human waste than New York, Washington, San Francisco and Atlanta combined.
In my 2016 blog I wrote “Unlearned & Wasted” about what we have forgotten and how we waste.
Food Consumed vs. Food Loss: Measured from farm to production, transportation, to stores and consumer waste
• Grains = 38% loss
• Seafood = 50% loss
• Fruits & Vegetables = 52% loss
• Meat = 22% loss
• Milk = 20% loss
I return to these above to bring a hopeful focus on what we do currently, and how it is preventing us from being better. By hopeful I mean, to look at the waste and prevent it. To look at the construct of the CAFO and the risk it brings, especially the mid to large sized CAFO including those in North Carolina where hurricane Michael has cause at least 7 of the over 3000 hog waste lagoons to breach and spill into the environment and waterways.
In March I wrote “How to do it” where I attempted to build a model (and still working on it) to work together to build a sustainable food source in local communities, while involving and building the communities as well. If you haven’t read this, please do. If you have, please read it again.
Making available good sustainable food to the human beings in every community is a right. Wasteful bias debate on the anti or non anti this or that is a delay tactic to keep us distracted from the best possible solutions that are out there. The science, historical knowledge and the common sense can be used together.
We must be open to the possibility that what is not working, and the actual reality in the short and long term have negative lasting effects. What is working, should not be minimized or picked on by the bullies. But applauded and lifted up as great examples of where a farmer is more a sustainer of the vegetables and fruits of which they toil and offer to us.