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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:41 AM

51. "benefits" of industrial agriculture:

The tomato was grown in Mexico from a hybrid seed patented by a
genetic-engineering firm. The farm was fumigated with methyl-
bromide, one of the most ozone-depleting chemicals in existence, the
doused with toxic pesticides; the toxic byproducts of manufacturing
the pesticide ended up in the world's largest toxic waste dump, in
Alabama. The tomato was packaged in a plastic tray covered with
plastic wrap, and placed on a cardboard box. The plastic was
manufactured with chlorine, a process that produces extremely toxic
byproducts, in Point Comfort, Texas, while the cardboard originated
in an old-growth forest in British Columbia, was manufactured in the
Great Lakes, and was then shipped to the Mexican farm. The entire
process was fueled by oil from the Gulf of Campeche, Mexico. The
packed tomatoes were artificially ripened through the application of
ethylene, then transported in refrigerated trucks cooled by ozone-
depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons to consumers throughout North
America. At several points in the process, workers and nearby
residents risked potentially harmful health effects through exposure
to various toxins. And needless to say, a tomato thus produced
doesn't offer much in the way of flavor, especially when compared to
a mouth-watering `Brandywine' tomato grown organically in the
backyard."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/us-food-idUSTRE7272FN20110308

(Reuters) - Many farmers in developing nations can double food production within a decade by shifting to ecological agriculture from use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, a U.N. report showed on Tuesday.

Insect-trapping plants in Kenya and Bangladesh's use of ducks to eat weeds in rice paddies are among examples of steps taken to increase food for a world population that the United Nations says will be 7 billion this year and 9 billion by 2050.

"Agriculture is at a crossroads," according to the study by Olivier de Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in a drive to depress record food prices and avoid the costly oil-dependent model of industrial farming.

"Agroecology" could also make farms more resilient to the projected impact of climate change including floods, droughts and a rise in sea levels that the report said was already making fresh water near some coasts too salty for use in irrigation.

So far, eco-farming projects in 57 nations had shown average crop yield gains of 80 percent by tapping natural methods for enhancing soil and protecting against pests, it said.

Recent projects in 20 African countries had resulted in a doubling of crop yields within three to 10 years. Those lessons could be widely mimicked elsewhere, it said.



To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.

- Wendell Berry

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FarCenter Apr 2012 OP
niyad Apr 2012 #1
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quaker bill Apr 2012 #47
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LineReply "benefits" of industrial agriculture:
humus Apr 2012 #51
Lars77 Apr 2012 #54
humus Apr 2012 #65
Lars77 Apr 2012 #76
PuraVidaDreamin Apr 2012 #55
mainer Apr 2012 #59
nobodyspecial Apr 2012 #62
mainer Apr 2012 #66
nobodyspecial Apr 2012 #75
piratefish08 Apr 2012 #70
piratefish08 Apr 2012 #74
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