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  #41 (permalink)   Report Post  
MareCat
 
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"Leila" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> This liberal, Arab-loving, Jew-loving*, ***-friendly, pacifist,
> feminist, pro-choice, multi-cultural, French speaking, Camembert
> eating, Champagne drinking Californian sends a great big smooch to
> Texas (and New York too). God love every one of you!


And this liberal, agnostic, ***-friendly, pacifist, feminist, pro-choice,
camembert/brie eating, champagne drinking, lover of all ethnic foods TEXAN
(there are more of us here than you might think) sends a big ol' smooch to
CA and NY!

>
> And send us some chili, why don't ya?


It's on its way!

Mary


  #42 (permalink)   Report Post  
MareCat
 
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"Lena B Katz" > wrote in message
...
>
>
> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, Leila wrote:
>
> > I don't like much about dominant Texas politics but I love my
> > right-wing Texas cousins and not one of them is stupid. OK some of them
> > have some dumb ideas about the rest of the world but that's because
> > their culture is isolated and they live in an echo chamber of
> > xenophobia.

>
> I sincerely hope they won't be pointing fingers and saying "Hey! there's a
> black person!" in NYC... unlike _some_ people I know.


Well, unless the Texans live in small town communities, they see plenty of
blacks and every other color, for that matter. Urban areas in TX are *very*
ethnically-diverse.

Mary in Houston


  #43 (permalink)   Report Post  
Sheldon
 
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Marecat mewed:
Well, unless the Texans live in small town communities, they see plenty
of
blacks and every other color, for that matter. Urban areas in TX are
*very*
ethnically-diverse.

Mary the Redneck in Houston

That sure sounds like the "Some of my best friends are black." cliche.

  #44 (permalink)   Report Post  
sd
 
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In article . com>,
"Neil" > wrote:

> The point about fertilizer run-off is completely immaterial; manure
> run-off is as harmful to water quality and wildlife as synthetic
> fertilizer run-off is; the question is, which can be applied most
> efficiently, with less waste.


Huh? Phosphorus bloom is such a problem around here that you can no
longer buy a fertilizer with phosphorus. How much phosphorus is in
your typical sample of manure? Not to mention that animals were
creating manure runoff for centuries before man showed up, plow in
hand. And your "question" about what can be applied efficiently with
less waste is a red herring itself. Lesser amounts of something that
is more poisonous/worse for the environment (or for people) may be
more efficient than larger amounts of something more benign, but it
certainly isn't a good thing.

> And if you think farm workers are being
> poisoned by pesticide residues, you have remedies under MSPA and OSHA
> and our country's famously punative tort system to prove it under.


You're still ignoring the effects of pesticides on other living
creatures. Just because humans have some legal recourse doesn't make
it OK to keep doing it.

> You
> don't mention the environmental expense which the creators of organic
> fertilizers incur; it takes pasture and fodder to raise a cow.


The cow is fertilizing the pasture as it eats. A cow also has a
limit to how much it can eat (and, FTM, excrete) in a given period.
Synthetic fertilizers have no such restrictions.

sd
  #45 (permalink)   Report Post  
Alex Rast
 
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at Fri, 04 Mar 2005 16:31:35 GMT in
>,
(Lena B Katz) wrote :

>
>
>On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>
>> at Thu, 03 Mar 2005 16:56:41 GMT in <1109869001.780053.45920
>> @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
(Neil) wrote :
>>
>>>> Chemistry aside, it tends to keep farmland as farmland, giving
>>>> farmers an economically-viable option to selling out to developers.
>>>
>>> ... Farmers
>>> are successful if they produce crops cheaply that the public desires.
>>> Organic production doesn't contribute much to that end.

>>
>> It must be said that in fact organic production contributes a great
>> deal to that end....

>
>there are other alternatives. like farming _intelligently_. but, I've
>got to tell you, I think all the smart farmers have been out of the
>business for years.


What do you mean by "farming intelligently"? That's a pretty broad term and
you haven't taken any time to describe what you mean.

>will buy nutri-farmed food. if you find any, please tell me where! :-)
>


AFAIK "Nutri-farmed" is a trademark of Lundberg rice referring to their
non-organic production methods (Lundberg also produces organic) The
"basmati" you mentioned elsewhere, I have to say, I don't see much value in
because authentic Indian Basmati costs no more and is far, far better in
quality (for starters, it's aged and polished). IMHO it's somewhat
questionable about whether Lundberg's product should really be called
basmati. Meanwhile they also have an organic version of the same product
available for only a trivial amount more, so no matter what your concern is
- whether quality or environmental sensitivity, there is a better choice.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)


  #46 (permalink)   Report Post  
Lena B Katz
 
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On Sun, 6 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:

> at Fri, 04 Mar 2005 16:31:35 GMT in
> >,
> (Lena B Katz) wrote :
>
>>
>>
>> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>
>>> at Thu, 03 Mar 2005 16:56:41 GMT in <1109869001.780053.45920
>>> @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
(Neil) wrote :
>>>
>>>>> Chemistry aside, it tends to keep farmland as farmland, giving
>>>>> farmers an economically-viable option to selling out to developers.
>>>>
>>>> ... Farmers
>>>> are successful if they produce crops cheaply that the public desires.
>>>> Organic production doesn't contribute much to that end.
>>>
>>> It must be said that in fact organic production contributes a great
>>> deal to that end....

>>
>> there are other alternatives. like farming _intelligently_. but, I've
>> got to tell you, I think all the smart farmers have been out of the
>> business for years.

>
> What do you mean by "farming intelligently"? That's a pretty broad term and
> you haven't taken any time to describe what you mean.


Using all the tools at your disposal. it means not putting on pesticides
indescriminately (as most "conventional" farmers do). It also means
attempting to increase the food quality and quantity by not allowing
carcinogenic or mutagenic infestations to take root when you can help it.
It means using "timetested" methods (rotating fields, putting down ground
crops in off seasons), as well as new "green ecology" (like using ladybugs
to get rid of aphids), where appropriate.

in other words, the kind of farming that journal authors do. (at least
the ones that don't make homemade pesticides...)

>> will buy nutri-farmed food. if you find any, please tell me where! :-)
>>

>
> AFAIK "Nutri-farmed" is a trademark of Lundberg rice referring to their
> non-organic production methods (Lundberg also produces organic)


hadn't realized that was trademarked... wonder if other products use
similar terminology.

> The
> "basmati" you mentioned elsewhere, I have to say, I don't see much value in
> because authentic Indian Basmati costs no more and is far, far better in
> quality (for starters, it's aged and polished).


what does aging do to dried rice? Haven't found any around here, anyway.

> IMHO it's somewhat
> questionable about whether Lundberg's product should really be called
> basmati.


why?

> Meanwhile they also have an organic version of the same product
> available for only a trivial amount more, so no matter what your concern is
> - whether quality or environmental sensitivity, there is a better choice.


quality is better when you use all the tools at your disposal. You
wouldn't say that someone has a quality kitchen without having any
silverware, would you? (few cultures that I can think of have a cuisine
without _any_ eating utensils).

regardless, "environmental sensitivity" says that going organic is a
stupid idea, because you end up using more of the earth's soil for making
the same amount of product.

lena
  #47 (permalink)   Report Post  
Alex Rast
 
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at Mon, 07 Mar 2005 14:21:49 GMT in
>,
(Lena B Katz) wrote :

>
>
>On Sun, 6 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>
(Lena B Katz) wrote :
>>> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>>> @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
(Neil) wrote :
>>>>
>>>>>> Chemistry aside, it tends to keep farmland as farmland, giving
>>>>>> farmers an economically-viable option to selling out to
>>>>>> developers.
>>>>>
>>>>> ... Farmers
>>>>> are successful if they produce crops cheaply that the public
>>>>> desires. Organic production doesn't contribute much to that end.
>>>>
>>>> It must be said that in fact organic production contributes a great
>>>> deal to that end....
>>>
>>> there are other alternatives. like farming _intelligently_. ...

>>
>> What do you mean by "farming intelligently"? That's a pretty broad
>> term and you haven't taken any time to describe what you mean.

>
>Using all the tools at your disposal....
>
>in other words, the kind of farming that journal authors do. (at least
>the ones that don't make homemade pesticides...)


The methodologies you propose are certainly commendable, but while they can
help the environment, they generally don't provide a viable alternative for
the small farmer because without the ability to label the product as
"organic", the farmer can't get much, if any, of a price premium. So he
ends up being stuck in the low-margin, cutthroat world of conventional
farming, and loses out to the big boys against whom he can't compete in
terms of price.

Basically, a small farmer must be able to get enough margin on his output
either to make it more profitable in the long run to continue farming than
to sell out, or to deliver at least an acceptable yearly income if he's
sufficiently committed to farming that he doesn't even consider selling to
developers an option. In many areas, the price premium that the label
"organic" commands is the only way he can reach the necessary income level.

>> The
>> "basmati" you mentioned elsewhere, I have to say, I don't see much
>> value in because authentic Indian Basmati costs no more and is far,
>> far better in quality (for starters, it's aged and polished).

>
>what does aging do to dried rice? Haven't found any around here,
>anyway.


It improves the flavour and further drives out moisture. The net result is
extremely flavourful rice without even a trace of stickiness. If you cook
up a batch of Lundberg Basmati side-by-side with proper Indian Basmati, the
difference is like night and day. Check any Indian grocery. All of them
will have large 10-lb sacks of it.

>> IMHO it's somewhat
>> questionable about whether Lundberg's product should really be called
>> basmati.
>>why?


Because when you buy basmati you are getting it specifically for the
flavour and fluffy texture that only the real article delivers.
Genetically, Lundberg's product may be identical but in terms of results it
doesn't deliver what you expect.

>>> Meanwhile they also have an organic version of the same product

>> available for only a trivial amount more, so no matter what your
>> concern is - whether quality or environmental sensitivity, there is a
>> better choice.

>
>quality is better when you use all the tools at your disposal. You
>wouldn't say that someone has a quality kitchen without having any
>silverware, would you?


I believe there is a balance in terms of tool use. Quality only improves
with increased use of more and more specialised tools up to a point. Thus,
a kitchen with no silverware I would think a little unusual (although I
could imagine possible in certain Asian countries, where chopsticks are the
norm), but a kitchen without a microwave I think is a mark of *increased*
quality over one with a microwave. There are also gadgets of questionable
value and which call into doubt the intelligence of the cook. I'd wonder
about a kitchen equipped with a special-purpose herb chopper, especially if
it had a wide assortment of quality knives as well.

Same thing applies to agriculture. Some modern practices are undoubtedly
beneficial. Others are of dubious use and/or designed for a very narrow
use. These may actually diminish quality rather than improving it.

>regardless, "environmental sensitivity" says that going organic is a
>stupid idea, because you end up using more of the earth's soil for
>making the same amount of product.


Not necessarily. Very high-intensity agriculture depletes local soil
quickly, so in the long run it ends up being more environmentally damaging.
Furthermore, toxins introduced into the water table and into soils can
linger for years. And high-intensity agriculture can also lead to
diminished yields in the long run.

However, organic agriculture suffers considerably more crop loss, and may
involve having a higher area under cultivation for the same immediate
yield. Organic farming may also end up inadvertently promoting certain
noxious weeds or pests.

When it comes to land conservation, however, if organic agriculture can
forestall suburbanisation, I believe that represents a more intelligent use
of the land. Suburban sprawl is surely the *least* environmentally
sensitive, most wasteful use of valuable land - inasmuch as it ends up
paving or building over large tracts of fertile land, that might be more
wisely used for farming. Futhermore, suburban sprawl tends to sap the
vitality of urban cores, diminishing as much the urban experience as the
rural one. Meanwhile by contrast a dense-packed urban center well-confined
by acres of profitable, productive agricultural hinterland supplies the
best of all worlds - the city is alive and vibrant because there are enough
people packed tightly enough to *force* people to interact, fresh, local
food is readily available because the farms can cluster close to the
population centres (which further increases profitability to the farmers
because an urban populace typically will pay more for the same products
than a rural one, not to mention because of decreased shipping costs), and
wilderness can be preserved as well because farms aren't pushed out ever-
further into what had been wild country.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
  #48 (permalink)   Report Post  
Lena B Katz
 
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On Wed, 9 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:

> at Mon, 07 Mar 2005 14:21:49 GMT in
> >,
> (Lena B Katz) wrote :
>
>>
>>
>> On Sun, 6 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>>
(Lena B Katz) wrote :
>>>> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>>>> @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
(Neil) wrote :
>>>>>
>>>>>>> Chemistry aside, it tends to keep farmland as farmland, giving
>>>>>>> farmers an economically-viable option to selling out to
>>>>>>> developers.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> ... Farmers
>>>>>> are successful if they produce crops cheaply that the public
>>>>>> desires. Organic production doesn't contribute much to that end.
>>>>>
>>>>> It must be said that in fact organic production contributes a great
>>>>> deal to that end....
>>>>
>>>> there are other alternatives. like farming _intelligently_. ...
>>>
>>> What do you mean by "farming intelligently"? That's a pretty broad
>>> term and you haven't taken any time to describe what you mean.

>>
>> Using all the tools at your disposal....
>>
>> in other words, the kind of farming that journal authors do. (at least
>> the ones that don't make homemade pesticides...)

>
> The methodologies you propose are certainly commendable, but while they can
> help the environment, they generally don't provide a viable alternative for
> the small farmer because without the ability to label the product as
> "organic", the farmer can't get much, if any, of a price premium. So he
> ends up being stuck in the low-margin, cutthroat world of conventional
> farming, and loses out to the big boys against whom he can't compete in
> terms of price.


you mean we're supposed to cry about it?

I've known good farmers, and they used homemade pesticides, and had
visitors from Washington D.C. That's what you get for increasing
biodiversity (they sold antique apples).

>>>> Meanwhile they also have an organic version of the same product
>>> available for only a trivial amount more, so no matter what your
>>> concern is - whether quality or environmental sensitivity, there is a
>>> better choice.

>>
>> quality is better when you use all the tools at your disposal. You
>> wouldn't say that someone has a quality kitchen without having any
>> silverware, would you?

>
> I believe there is a balance in terms of tool use. Quality only improves
> with increased use of more and more specialised tools up to a point. Thus,
> a kitchen with no silverware I would think a little unusual (although I
> could imagine possible in certain Asian countries, where chopsticks are the
> norm),


chopsticks are silverware. perhaps in some areas where soups are not a
normal part of business, there might be no silverware (think using pita).

> but a kitchen without a microwave I think is a mark of *increased*
> quality over one with a microwave.


that's just dunderheaded. a microwave is good at one thing: heating
water. Ever had one of those days when you had too few burners? Using
the microwave is a good idea, then.

> There are also gadgets of questionable
> value and which call into doubt the intelligence of the cook. I'd wonder
> about a kitchen equipped with a special-purpose herb chopper, especially if
> it had a wide assortment of quality knives as well.


it depends on how much you use it.

> Same thing applies to agriculture. Some modern practices are undoubtedly
> beneficial. Others are of dubious use and/or designed for a very narrow
> use. These may actually diminish quality rather than improving it.


when used narrowly, they will increase quality.

>> regardless, "environmental sensitivity" says that going organic is a
>> stupid idea, because you end up using more of the earth's soil for
>> making the same amount of product.

>
> Not necessarily. Very high-intensity agriculture depletes local soil
> quickly, so in the long run it ends up being more environmentally damaging.
> Furthermore, toxins introduced into the water table and into soils can
> linger for years. And high-intensity agriculture can also lead to
> diminished yields in the long run.


depleting local soil means more room for appletrees! yay! go apples!

> When it comes to land conservation, however, if organic agriculture can
> forestall suburbanisation, I believe that represents a more intelligent use
> of the land. Suburban sprawl is surely the *least* environmentally
> sensitive, most wasteful use of valuable land - inasmuch as it ends up
> paving or building over large tracts of fertile land, that might be more
> wisely used for farming. Futhermore, suburban sprawl tends to sap the
> vitality of urban cores, diminishing as much the urban experience as the
> rural one. Meanwhile by contrast a dense-packed urban center well-confined
> by acres of profitable, productive agricultural hinterland supplies the
> best of all worlds - the city is alive and vibrant because there are enough
> people packed tightly enough to *force* people to interact, fresh, local
> food is readily available because the farms can cluster close to the
> population centres (which further increases profitability to the farmers
> because an urban populace typically will pay more for the same products
> than a rural one, not to mention because of decreased shipping costs), and
> wilderness can be preserved as well because farms aren't pushed out ever-
> further into what had been wild country.


i agree on this in principle. i just think that organic farming isn't the
answer.... more intelligent farming is.

lena

who doesn't see big farms as evil farms
  #49 (permalink)   Report Post  
--
 
Posts: n/a
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thanx for the lead on nutra farming

"Lena B Katz" > wrote in message
...
>
>
> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, -- wrote:
>
> >
> > "johny b" > wrote in message
> > oups.com...
> >> I've recently been trying to eat mostly organic food for a healthier
> >> diet. Here in NJ we have Wholefoods and health shoppe (i'm sure there
> >> are many more, i just haven't found them out yet). Upon researching on
> >> the internet, there seems to be many debates as to what is considered
> >> and sold as organic at stores. Some claims have been made that the
> >> USDA allows some pesticides to be used yet still be labled as organic.
> >> I would just like to hear some opinions as to how much healthier the
> >> food in these stores which claim to be organic really is. Is this a
> >> hoax etc.? Any information regardling what to look for and what to
> >> lookout for, or any valuable details is most appreciated. Thanks!
> >>

> >
> > I remember an experiment done a few years back with two nearly adjacent
> > fields of cabbages in California, if I remember the location correctly .
> > One was grown "organically" - no pesticides, etc., and the other grown
> > commercially - side-dressed fertilizer and 1/8 tsp/acre in one

application
> > of pesticide. The field test was done to check any differences in

product or
> > soil.
> >
> > When they tested the crops after harvest, the organically grown cabbages
> > could not pass the import levels test for pesticides. Apparently they

had
> > been attacked by insects at least once, and created their own natural
> > insecticides.
> > The commercial ones passed without traces.
> >
> > (I remember from survival training as well as from my plant specialist
> > father that most plants will make their own pesticides -as alkoids, if I
> > remember right-
> > The training noted that some plants will be poisonous when attacked by
> > insects, so use caution around otherwise edible plants showing fair to

heavy
> > insect damage - for example, cherry leaves become poisonous to humans

later
> > in the year, and several varieties of trees when attacked by army worms

will
> > put out toxins that about ten days after the first attack will kill any
> > worm.)
> >
> > However, if the organic cabbages had not been attacked by insects, then

they
> > would not have created their own insecticides.
> >
> > There are of course other reasons to chose organic - flavor, variation,

etc.
> > A lot of commercial agricultural products are sawdust flavored clones.
> >
> > Also, I would note that it is rare that much fertilizer or insecticide

is
> > washed off any more, and likely is less damaging than green fiber being

put
> > back from some organic farming techniques which lets deleterious soil
> > leeching of fines and natural organic fertilizer salts occur (plant

can't
> > take up organics like animals - they have to have inorganic salt in

solution
> > to enter the hair roots. Undigested plant matter holds the soil open and
> > lets water wash minerals out)
> > Bottom line here is that fertilizer and insecticide washoff is that it

is
> > too expensive and the farming profit margins too low to throw gobs on a
> > field and let it run off, wasted.
> >
> > Some organic farming is supposedly soil-sustainable, and uses limited
> > pyrethrin-type pesticides on an as-needed basis. If I knew which

categaory
> > that was, I'd probably buy it.

>
> try nutra-farmed foods. the only stuff i've seen advertising it is
> Basmati rice, but I'll _walk_ to the store to buy it.
>
> lena
>
> nutrafarming is _intelligent_ farming. as little pesticides as necessary,
> and _all_ the tricks in the book, organic/traditional/modern.



  #50 (permalink)   Report Post  
Alex Rast
 
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at Wed, 09 Mar 2005 14:30:54 GMT in
>,
(Lena B Katz) wrote :

>
>
>On Wed, 9 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>
(Lena B Katz) wrote :
>>> On Sun, 6 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>>>
(Lena B Katz) wrote :
>>>>> On Thu, 3 Mar 2005, Alex Rast wrote:
>>>>>> @z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
(Neil) wrote :
>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> Chemistry aside, it tends to keep farmland as farmland, giving
>>>>>>>> farmers an economically-viable option to selling out to
>>>>>>>> developers.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> ... Farmers
>>>>>>> are successful if they produce crops cheaply that the public
>>>>>>> desires. Organic production doesn't contribute much to that end.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> It must be said that in fact organic production contributes a
>>>>>> great deal to that end....
>>>>>
>>>>> there are other alternatives. like farming _intelligently_. ...
>>>>
>>>> What do you mean by "farming intelligently"? That's a pretty broad
>>>> term and you haven't taken any time to describe what you mean.
>>>
>>> Using all the tools at your disposal....
>>>
>>> in other words, the kind of farming that journal authors do. (at
>>> least the ones that don't make homemade pesticides...)

>>
>> The methodologies you propose are certainly commendable, but while
>> they can help the environment, they generally don't provide a viable
>> alternative for the small farmer...

>
>you mean we're supposed to cry about it?


Not necessarily, but if the goal is to preserve farmland as farmland,
helping small farmers to stay alive is valuable. As I described earlier,
the farmland large farms own isn't typically under threat from developers
so that if any significant land-conservation impact is to be made the first
step must be to keep small farmers in business.

>I've known good farmers, and they used homemade pesticides, and had
>visitors from Washington D.C. That's what you get for increasing
>biodiversity (they sold antique apples).


Are you then of the opinion that the system is so rigged and the power
players are so entrenched and have vested interests so incompatible with
preserving farmland as farmland that it's a hopeless cause?

>>> quality is better when you use all the tools at your disposal. You
>>> wouldn't say that someone has a quality kitchen without having any
>>> silverware, would you?

>>
>> I believe there is a balance in terms of tool use. Quality only
>> improves with increased use of more and more specialised tools up to a
>> point...

>
>> but a kitchen without a microwave I think is a mark of *increased*
>> quality over one with a microwave.

>
>that's just dunderheaded. a microwave is good at one thing: heating
>water. Ever had one of those days when you had too few burners? Using
>the microwave is a good idea, then.


Not really, because in that case the problem is either the result of
unrealistic planning (i.e. at the point when you bought your stove, not
thinking through how many burners you would need on a daily basis), or
unusual contingency. If "those days" are rare, you're spending a fair
amount on an appliance that otherwise sits in the corner gathering dust and
is only being used as a stopgap substitute. Meanwhile, you can get a
single-burner hotplate for considerably less money than a microwave and
accomplish the same goal at less money and using less counter space. And
think about it from a POV of common sense. Does it really sound rational to
you to go out and buy a microwave with the sole purpose of using it to heat
water?

>> There are also gadgets of questionable
>> value and which call into doubt the intelligence of the cook. I'd
>> wonder about a kitchen equipped with a special-purpose herb chopper,
>> especially if it had a wide assortment of quality knives as well.

>
>it depends on how much you use it.


If you use a special gadget often for a job that another, more general-
purpose tool can do equally well, that *really* calls into question your
wisdom. I'd imagine that using a special gadget frequently is usually an
indication that you're inventing reasons to use it so that you can try to
justify in your own head why you got it in the first place.

>> Same thing applies to agriculture. Some modern practices are
>> undoubtedly beneficial. Others are of dubious use and/or designed for
>> a very narrow use. These may actually diminish quality rather than
>> improving it.

>
>when used narrowly, they will increase quality.


Only if the narrow use for which they were designed is one that doesn't
defeat the purpose of quality from the outset. For instance, if a
particular treatment were being used on a specific crop variety for which
there were other varieties of the same crop of better quality from the
outset, not benefitting from the treatment, in order to increase some part
of the potential of the crop, then it could diminish quality because the
treatment might make it more profitable for the farmer to use the lower-
quality crop with the treatment method rather than the higher-quality crop
without. A similar situation arises if a tool lowers production costs
dramatically and quality somewhat. You might get *more* output, but not
*higher quality* output.

>>>> regardless, "environmental sensitivity" says that going organic is a
>>> stupid idea, because you end up using more of the earth's soil for
>>> making the same amount of product.

>>
>> Not necessarily. Very high-intensity agriculture depletes local soil
>> quickly, so in the long run it ends up being more environmentally
>> damaging...

>
>depleting local soil means more room for appletrees! yay! go apples!


It might be nice to think of tactics that can mitigate the damage of soil
depletion, by moving to a different crop, but if that continues, a greater
and greater proportion of the entire harvest will be in that substitute
crop. So sure, you might get more apples, but if that comes at the price of
not being able to have corn now or for the foreseeable future, you've
diminished both the land's potential and variety to the consumer. A world
in which the only foods available are ones that grow in increasingly
marginal conditions isn't a particularly desirable one.

>>> When it comes to land conservation, however, if organic agriculture

>> can forestall suburbanisation, I believe that represents a more
>> intelligent use of the land....

>
>i agree on this in principle. i just think that organic farming isn't
>the answer.... more intelligent farming is.


I wouldn't say organic farming is the *only* answer. In fact in general I
believe that looking for panacaea solutions to complex, historical problems
is very shortsighted. However, I think that organic farming can be said to
have a valuable part to play in agricultural practice. It's not a one-size-
fits-all answer but simply another tool the farmer would have at his
disposal - to choose to adopt organic standards which give certain farmers
a chance to make a living where otherwise they wouldn't survive.

The way you're using the term "more intelligent farming" suggests that in
it for you there is an implied rejection of organic farming practice even
though many of the same techniques are being used. You're taking a very
broad term and using it to apply to a very narrow set of specific
practices.

--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
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