Organic Farming Can Feed The World, Study Suggests

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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070711134523.htm
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This article implies that a prestigious university is backing all these claims. I think it is the opinion of a certain group of researchers at U of M, and that there may be an equal number of them who disagree with these findings.
Assuming that the amount of organic fertilizer is equaivalent to the chemical fertilizers, there is no reason to believe that this is adequate to feed the crops. There are issues as to the availability of such organic fertilizers and the possible difficulties of applying them. This article does not go into enough detail for anyone to draw conclusions.
The more difficult aspect of organic farming is fighting the insects and fungus. In certain parts of the world like Africa, insects (usually locusts) can wipe out entire crops. I'm not sure organic materials can prevent or minimize such attacks. Again, these researchers are not providing enough information about their studies.
Sherwin D.
debnchas wrote:

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Frank
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wrote:

You're far too modest. You acted waaaaaay "more stupid".
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"George.com"
<injudicious snip>

not exactly my point either. Point was there is evidence to show organic techniques can benefit small holders in developing countries. Maybe not get them first world incomes but at least feed them and their families and have surplus left over to make a reasonable income (or even a good income) by local standards or those of their peers. Their lifestyle may not dramatically change, and even that statement is filled with subjectiveness and guesswork, as they still remain substantially smallish farmers but do appear to have gotten ahead in some respects. The experience of Cuba shows a substantial contribution to a nations food requirements can be met organically, there is even room for improvement in the system by the looks of it. I am not stating this proves anything conclusively, mere that organic principals can have a significant impact in certain times & places.
A couple of articles I have come across that illustrate certain points
Kenyan organic farmers who export fruit to developed markets. A Mr Kimani had put his children through school and university on the profits of 3 hectares (there is the issues however of air freighting produce, that is another argument mind) http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id &objectid451695&ref=rss
Urban agriculture in Habana, Cuba. Not perfect by a long way and productivity improvements can be made. Yet a significant achievement all the same. http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-85409-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-31574-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html
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On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 17:13:56 -0500, Charlie wrote:

But he rights well, done he?
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wrote:

How high is that percentage, James?
How high is the percentage of people in the U$ that are hungry and starving, you know, a wealthy country that can afford chemicals? Is that number a high percentage?
There is a "High Percentage" of people in this world, not just China, "who think life is wonderful if they just don't have one hungry day all year."
Yep, capitalism makes the world go round. Better Living Through Chemistry. Now that we are pouring food into the tanks of our Land Yachts, check what hill happen to cheap food.
Try another strawman. Better yet, try getting a grasp on the world hunger issue, the world food production issue, the world's food reserves (in number of days), the toxic load put upon our bodies, and really, a whole bunch of other issues. Lot's of big issues to tackle, and quite frankly, I hold little hope of our pulling out of this mess. But I gotta keep on flailing about and making noise.
I removed soc.culture.china from your groups list, you weren't getting any help here from them.
Charlie
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wrote:

Uhhh......James. What you state is not what Billy said.
BTW, there are people starving in Mexico because the U$ is planting intensively to corn, and buying much of the world's crop of corn. Interesting, isn't it?
It goes a bit like this, James.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Your playing small doesn't save the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~~~Nelson Mandela~~~
There are some of us, who will no longer play small, for your benefit.
There is too much at stake.
Charlie
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wrote:

Billy certainly doesn't need this pig-ignorant old fart to defend him.
Particularly against the likes of you.
I really doubt you know what Billy thinks. You, like totally, missed his original clear point that pissed you off.... dude.
BTW, if you read your own post, to which I replied, you will find that you mentioned *me* in that post. Perhaps I am replying in "defense" of myself, ignorant old impotent fart that *I* am.
Peace Charlie
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wrote:

Yes. Not only myself, but my entire family. And I (anyone) could do it on much less ground than you can possibly imagine.

I didn't feel he was rude.......just matter of fact.
Obviously you do not read "every one" of our posts. Many of them are quite polite, informative, and, on occasion, humourous.
The thread title was about Organic Farming.......that is what we are discussing, no? With a side dish of manners.

Whether or not I am taken seriously depends upon one's mindset, and perhaps one's intent. On issues that matter, I am deadly serious, and this is one of them.
I never was on a debating team. Our small town school barely had enough funds for a bathroom, let alone a debate team. That is why I am just a pig-ignorant old auto-didactic, farting about in the ether of The Usenet. A friend of mine referred me to Chaos Theory....butterfly wings and all that......check it out. We do what we must.
If folks skip my posts, it is their loss, not mine. Voices crying in the wilderness, you know. I am duty bound to point out ignorance, evil, propaganda, lies, hate, bad food, bad music, poisoning of babies, and all that funky stuff, no matter where I find it. Plus have a little fun in the process.....poke about with sticks and turn over rocks, you know, just to see what develops. Hell, even a blind pig can sometimes find and acorn.
What I am finding is that the Usenet is spiraling towards the least common denominator. Some of us take exception to that.
Stick around, we'll continue, if you desire Charlie
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wrote:

You did not say how little land I currently use. You stated:

And my reply was.......yes.
My definition of feeding would agree with yours.
You can do your own calculations and make your own allowances. *You* will not allow me anything. Go play your games elsewhere, newbie.
I have oft mentioned here a book that will explain all and make clear to you. There are innumerable references to this very thing, both in print and online. Our grandparents and parents did this very thing without benefit of all this here modern knowledge.
My work is not to elaborate, my work is to assist in pointing.....pointing folks like you in the right direction and pointing out ignorance.
Back to rasing food...I am doing amazing things on very little ground.
Why do I have to press my own oil? There are other sources of fats, for cooking, seasoning, etc.
Why do I have to trade produce from my garden for the other things you mention? For many years, we raised our own. Our families have done so for generations. Don't assume ignorance on my part for any of this.
You ever milk a cow, by hand? Make butter yourself? Raise chickens, both for eggs and meat? We have. You ever heard of quinoa? Amaranth? You give me one week and I will be in production on most you try and trip me on. Next season and you are totally effed on your smartass quips. In the meantime, we have one years supply of food on hand. Packed and prepped for long term storage and easy transportation. The freezer contains enough genetic material to support a large community......for years to come.
Beans, squash, maize. My climate and the native way. Supplement with organic hunted/fished protein. Are you are able to kill that which you will consume?
That is a simple way. I can do much better, in addition.
You call me rude because I call you on your ignorance? You want smartass, rudeness and sarcasm? I have a whole truckload. I suffer not fools, which you are beginning to postion yourself as being.
Supermarkets are a recent invention, James. Never assume that all people are totally dependent upon others for their sustenance. It is a matter of convenience, for us. If push comes to shove, you damn well better believe that we can take care of our needs......all our needs. And our family. We are always positioned and prepared.
Have you followed you Homeland Security recommendation, James?
What are you up to your ass in, James?
Now, you can take your hat off, James.
Care Charlie
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Too late! ;->
--
Ann
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wrote:

http://www.jacksbean.com/staffExec.html
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wrote:

"Tiptoe, through the Tulips........."
It is a fine day, it is. Hotter'n than all get out, but there are remedies for that.
Gotta go find me some kinda converter or player for an unfamiliar music file. Edumacation never stops, does it?
Later Charlie
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wrote:

Oh fer cryin' out loud Sherwin. Do you *ever* bother to read beyond a label or a press release? Do you always trust "them"?
The article didn't present hard science.....it was a friggin' overview. It is supposed that maybe you would do a little thought and research on your own, youngster.
BIlly offered you an abstract..did you request it? Did you read it? Have you read any of John Jeavon's work that states and supports the same? Heard of Alan Chadwick? Many others. People get tired of doing your homework.
Have you given consideration to peak oil and the implications upon food production? You think taking cropland out of food production to fiil your fuel tank is helping the situation? What is going to fuel the equipment that produces this food? Where are the organophospates and fertilizers and poisons going to come from, necessary to keep our present system of food production intact and continually expanding to feed an evergrowing population?
You are really quick to jump on and denigrate the organic food movement. Why is this? I am curious, young man. Why?
Who's your Daddy?
Charlie
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Charlie wrote:

First of all, you assume I am a youngster because I do not resort to the garbage language and insults you and your friend Billy use. I happen to be a senior who has been gardening for over 20 years.
I did check out that article from U. of M., and others too. I did not find it any more enlightening. I am not against the organic idea. I practice it whenever I can in my garden and home orchard. However, I have tried to go pure organic and found that
I was losing too much fruit. I now use a mix of organic and chemicals to achieve the results I am looking for. The problem with the organic movement is summed up in
in one word, exploitation. People are using the 'organic' label to squeeze money out of the consumer. The benefits of organic food are overexagerated. I don't even trust the food labeled organic to be exactly that. I am for the intelligent use of chemicals. At least the chemicals are regulated in this country. There are no regulations on organic produced food from the government. Again, I don't trust it. These studies are again an effort of acamdemicians to justisfy their salaries and grants. They promise the world, but are way short on the practicalities.
Sherwin
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indeed, exploitation is nicely tied up in the organic debate isn't it. Consumerism throws around the terms organic and 'green' and sustainable very loosely. We get marketed at, we get sold to. A very sophisticated marketing ploy being build around 'green' consumerism. The other side of the organic term I see is overcoming exploitation, of our environment and even developing countries. Fair trade is very often tied up in the notion of organic. The term organic them by extension includes fair prices and fair treatment as well as fair usage of resources. The rise of organics in many way is tied up in sustainability/permaculture & social justice, not just whether chemicals are used or not. It is not only how food is grown but how resources are used/valued & how people are used/valued. I personally do not attach much to the term 'organic' unless I know about resource usage & social justice matters. That is, being told something is organic holds no great appeal unless I know what part of a wider whole it represents.
rob
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wrote:

What garbage language? Please provide a reference to "garbage language". This is not the first time you have cried foul when there was no foulness.

We are not on the same page...again. Or is this yet another strawman approach. Often when "organic" shows up, you pounce.
The problem with capitalism is that so many plagiarize and misapproprate the term organic, thus doing evil to the ideals and principles of pure food and organic growing.
If you trust the gummint to provide standards and oversight you are nuts. Which you must not be, since you don't trust them to provide standards and oversight. You are perhaps simply being contentious? Or what?
Like I said, what are we going to do when the chemicals are gone, or too expensive to justify their use. Have you checked what food prices are doing, as we speak? And do you wonder what they are going to continue to do? Seems to me, in my unscientific observations, that "regular" food prices, are creeping closer to "organic" food prices.
Of course, you have to research which producers are on the up and up. You did do that didn't you, Sherwin?
BTW.....I have been involved in gardening for over fifty years....makes you a youngster, youngster.
Your unwillingness to see the dire straits we are in, globally, food production-wise, makes you........what.
Think globally, act locally Charlie
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wrote:

That was a very quick read, James. I understood it well. Thank you for your input to this discussion. In summary what your article says is:

Charlie
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Charlie wrote:

I think you have a problem with short term memory. It happens to lot's of seniors. Go back and read your own posts, or is that too painful.

I only pounce when outlandish claims are made for organic farming and produce. The original article was obviously a pitch by people pushing their names into the public limelight. I don't care if they were from a university. There are a lot of kooky courses offered at some of our most respected institutions.

It isn't capitalism, it's just plain greedy folks trying to fleece the public.

This government saves your ass on a daily basis. It's not perfect, but we enjoy one of the most protective systems in the world. Our food and drugs are tested before acceptance, not like other countries who put out all kinds of experimental junk that winds up killing people. Our government is not the bad guys. Sure we all hate to pay taxes, but in most cases we get our money's worth.

Sure I trust them, but agencies like the FDA and FTC are subject to laws from our legislature and executive branches, who in turn are getting payola to keep certain things unregulated.

Won't happen in the near future, or possibly never.

The real danger is the costs of these organic foods getting too expensive and forcing less affluent people to scramble for affordable food. I can't buy bulk lettuce in some of my stores because it is filled with pre-packaged, expensive, organically grown lettuce that appeals nicely to the yuppies and health nuts no matter what the price.

Food prices are going up because of fuel prices, but organic foods are forcing out the more reasonably priced foods making the problem worse.

Nobody's paying me to do an exhaustive study of this problem. I am just pointing out some disturbing trends.

Oh, another plea for one upsmanship. In this case, I don't think an extra 30 years make much of difference. You are probably still making the same mistakes you did 50 years ago.

If you think organic methods are going to feed the world, there's no hope for you. I think organic growing is admirable and should be encouraged, but expecting it to perform miracles, I don't think so. Misuse of chemicals are harmful to the environment, but overstating the abilities of organics can equally be disturbing.
Sherwin

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