OT but a welcome bit of brightness

Page 2 of 6  

Ah, the polyface mythos.
http://www.permies.com/t/14588/homestead/trip-Polyface-Farms-chance-interview
Read Jay Green's post there - I'm not him so I don't feel that I should repost it here, but it was a different take on the mystical magical Polyface experience from a farmer who had read the books and believed in Mr Salatin until he visited the farm. I also see (and you can infer from a reply that is still there referencing it) that his first post in which he said what I've just said about himself has been removed, but I copied the whole thing in anticipation that it might be removed for shining a bit too much light on a sacred cow with scours.
Having only had Pollan's take on it before I read that, it was a contrast, to be sure. In short, he may have some good ideas, but he may not actually be using them in light of publicity and the opportunity to make money...
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Only problem I see is who the hell is Jay Green? I'm not saying that he is lying, but Pollan is an established journalist, and University professor. Who would you believe, and why? It would be easier if Mr. Green could make his bona fides known.
--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Among other things, he's one of very few folks that can (or at least does) raise healthy cornish cross, and he's got actual farm experience, which I rather doubt Pollan has. And he freely admits that this is the observations of a single visit, but I would doubt he has much interest in making another, given that he's a farmer, not a reporter, and he wasn't overly thrilled with what he saw. Seems likely that post-Pollan publicity may have changed things at Polyface, but I really don't know.
Heck, he uses some of what Salatin writes about - he was just not too excited to go to the source and find that reality (at that time) did not match the writings.
He showed up on my radar in discussing fermented chicken feed, and pasturing/foraging cornish cross. The pictures of his cornish cross flock right up to slaughter day were impressive, having seen a flock which friends had in a "chicken tractor" that nevertheless ended up in the more typical bedraggled, lame, kill-me-now-please state that is considered "normal" for cornish cross. I have not raised cornish cross, but until I saw his, I wouldn't even have considered it (though I am presently "out of chickens" and just as happy to be, at present.)
As such, I consider his insight on raising chickens to be pretty well founded, to the extent that I can judge anyone on the internet I've not met. YMMV.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

I thank you for introducing me to Permies; <http://www.permies.com/ . What groups does Jay Green post in, or is it just Permies?
--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Several farming and poultry sites; when I was researching the use of fermented feeds, his stuff came up in several places since he's someone who does it and posts about it.
Be aware that permies is somewhat prone to being what its owner wants to hear - minor discussion is allowed, major disagreements vanish into thin air, leaving only what he agrees with (not even a "post deleted by moderator" message.) I thought more highly of it before I saw that happen a few times. I haven't been back much since then. I prefer to talk with grown ups, or wise children.
I like tree and bush crops and "permanent agriculture." When lazy and efficient are the same thing, I'm all for that kind of lazy.
permaculture-with-a-capital-P seems to be more about paying money to take courses to get certified to teach courses that you charge people money for so they can get certified, in my somewhat jaundiced view. I don't find it all that compelling, though it has produced some materials I think worthy of a read, so long as I'm not paying an arm and a leg for them, or required to believe (or pretend to believe) everything in them...but there are also good books on the subject that predate the certification-mad folks.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

You did see a Farm for a Future? <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xShCEKL-mQ8
The first 2 parts presents the problems, and the last 3 parts try to answer them.
It's always good to question authority.
--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ecnerwal wrote:

I would really like to see a credible estimate of two things:
- The cost efficiency of wide scale permaculture, that is what would food cost compared to conventional agriculture a) on the market today b) taking into account long term costs of pollution etc, which almost never figure in our 'costs'.
- Whether it can really be sustainable in a closed system. The best examples that I have seen still use considerable external inputs. The answer is to this is in part tied up with how you define the system's boundaries but the dedicated are claiming that boundary is and ought to be at the property boundary - in which case I wonder if it is possible.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
here is a synopsis of a recent study. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140114.htm
There are, of course, others out there. Bottom line from my reading is that organic and permaculture methods fall behind on grain production, but do better with other crops. It seems likely that for the forseeable future many farming methods will be required to sustain a growing population at affordable prices while minimizing damage to the eco system.
On Tue, 9 Apr 2013 08:17:30 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Square one is to deal seriously with the "growing population" issue, but mother nature will do that eventually if we don't - it's just going to be much messier her way.
Grain is not really all that "permaculture" in nature, being (with few exceptions) the seed of an annual grass. Perennial wheat seems to be a subject of current research; It likely gives "less per-acre per-year" than annual wheat, as is typical of crops which have means other than seeds to carry on their genetics, but it also would not require annual tillage fuel, and soil loss from tillage and resulting wind and rain erosion. It may also need less fertilizer, and it offers the ability to use it for forage or hay as well as for grain, evidently.
Real permanent agriculture is not based on producing the same crops as annual agriculture, but (in large part) on producing end products using many tree or shrub based crops which you won't really find in a grain/annual based system. ie, it's not about growing corn.
As one fairly well researched and formerly common example, raising pigs on fruit, locust beans and acorns (which they gathered themselves) rather than on corn (maize, for the wider world) trucked to them in the delightful (I jest) facilities that are common now. For a decade or so there was even research into breeding better honeylocust for forage and even human consumption, but that was cut off (and cut down) something like 60+ years ago. The land with the trees growing on it also produced a sizable hay crop. Cows fed the beans as forage had increased butterfat, etc...
(_Tree Crops, a permanent agriculture_, J. Russell Smith, 1950)
There is ongoing but slow work in increasing domestic (USA) hazelnut (filbert) production east of the rockies. Problems include breeding past eastern filbert blight. Also, getting farmers to think about growing a crop that stays put and does not yield a great deal for several years, which is a hard sell for anyone carrying debt.
--
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Rick wrote:

It's a shame that the paper is paywalled. To me the core question is not the relative yields but the productivity in relation to inputs and wider costs, the review doesn't mention whether this is covered in the paper.
The measurement of yield by itself is not that useful, one can have very high yields that are quite unsustainable.
One critic wailed that for the underfed of the world a drop in yield as described would be catastrophic. This is such a simplified and narrow view that conveniently dismisses the issue in one sweep. If the chance of catastrophe is to be a major evaluation criterion then there are many other possible catastrophes, such as soil destruction or conventional fertiliser becoming prohibitively expensive, that need to be considered when choosing a long term system of food production. And of course there are many non-catastrophe consequences and issues to consider. To collapse the evaluation down to only yield is inadequate to say the least.
The desire to simplify the world and the future into neat sound bites (that miss the point or tell half-truths) is very powerful in some quarters.
David
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 9 Apr 2013 10:14:59 +1000, "David Hare-Scott"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The report was a mega study. It studied studies, and they get to pick who they will study. Long story short, you can pull a rhinoceros out of a top hat with a mega study.
<http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/09/2012998389284146.html Myths about industrial agriculture Organic farming is the "only way to produce food" without harming the planet and people's health.
by Vandana Shiva
Reports trying to create doubts about organic agriculture are suddenly flooding the media. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, people are fed up of the corporate assault of toxics and GMOs. Secondly, people are turning to organic agriculture and organic food as a way to end the toxic war against the earth and our bodies.
At a time when industry has set its eyes on the super profits to be harvested from seed monopolies through patented seeds and seeds engineered with toxic genes and genes for making crops resistant to herbicides, people are seeking food freedom through organic, non-industrial food.
Today's hunger is permanent and global. It is hunger by design. This does not mean that those who design the contemporary food systems intend to create hunger. It does mean that creation of hunger is built into the corporate design of industrial production and globalised distribution of food.
A series of media reports have covered another study by a team led by Bravata, a senior affiliate with Stanford's Centre for Health Policy, and Crystal Smith-Spangler, MD, MS, an instructor in the school's Division of General Medical Disciplines and a physician-investigator at VA Palo Alto Health Care System, who did the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date of existing studies comparing organic and conventional foods.
They did not find strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives, though consumption of organic foods can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.
This study can hardly be called the "most comprehensive meta - analysis"; the researchers sifted through thousands of papers and identified 237 of the most relevant to analyse. This already exposes the bias. The biggest meta-analysis on food and agriculture has been done by the United Nations as the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). <http://www.unep.org/dewa/Assessments/Ecosystems/IAASTD/tabid/105853/Defa ult.aspx/docs/Global_SDM_060608_English.htm>
Four hundred scientists from across the world worked for four years to analyse all publications on different approaches to agriculture, and concluded that chemical industrial agriculture is no longer an option, only ecological farming is.
Yet the Stanford team presents itself as the most comprehensive study, and claims there are no health benefits from organic agriculture, even though there were no long-term studies of health outcomes of people consuming organic versus conventionally produced food; the duration of the studies involving human subjects ranged from two days to two years.
Two days does not make a scientific study. No impact can be measured in a two-day study. This is junk science parading as science.
--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The problem with grain production is that you are talking about monocultures, chemicals, and possibly a second crop in a season.
Numero-uno: Monocultures produce less food per acre than inter-planted crops.
Numero-two-o: Planting the same crop on the same land year in, and year out will encourage crop pests to flourish.
Number-three-o: The cost of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides is linked to to the price of fossil fuels. As the price of fossil fuels go up, so must the cost of the yield.
Numero-four-o: The use of chemical fertilizers kills topsoil buy killing microorganisms (like salt on a snail), and the lack or organic inputs (manure, stubble). Dying and dead soil requires ever more chemical fertilizers to maintain crop yields. The nitrates poison the ground water, and the water table. Phosphates cause algal blooms, which when they die suck the oxygen out of the water, and give you "dead zones" at the mouths of rivers, further reducing available food. The nitrogen from chemical fertilizers is stored in the leaves of the plant. These are fast growing leaves because of the nitrogen. Insects are attracted to the leaves because of the nitrogen, which is easily accessed because the fast growing leaves are tender.
Numero-five-o: Lest we forget, GMOs don't produce more yield, <http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/20/8405 and some GMOs do have nasty side effects on lab animals. GMOs do allow more biocides to be pour onto our food (Roundup), and introduce bacillus Thuringiensis toxins into our food. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1388888/GM-food-toxins-blood-9 3-unborn-babies.html> Roundup has been shown to reduce crops, and bacillus Thuringiensis toxins and meant to kill insects, both beneficial, and pests. We are still trying to figure out what is killing off the bees that pollinate 70% of what we eat.
It's not just bees. We are losing our agricultural biodiversity with industrial agriculture.
Numero-six-o: You have none of the above problems with organic farming. Productivity in industrial agriculture is measured in terms of "yield" per acre, not overall output per acre. And the only input taken into account is labour, which is abundant, not natural resources which are scarce.
A resource hungry and resource destructive system of agriculture is not land saving, it is land demanding. That is why industrial agriculture is driving a massive planetary land grab. It is leading to the deforestation of the rainforests in the Amazon for soya and in Indonesia for palm oil. And it is fuelling a land grab in Africa, displacing pastoralists and peasants.
<http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/08/us-food-idUKTRE7272FN20110308
Numero-seven-o: Commercially grown fruits and vegetables are less expensive, are prettier to look at, contain approximately 10-50% of the nutrients found in organic produce, are often depleted in enzymes, and are contaminated with a variety of herbicides, pesticides and other agricultural chemicals. In comparing organically and commercially grown wheat, researchers found the organic wheat contained 20-80% less metal residues (aluminum, cadmium, cobalt, lead, mercury), and contained 25-1300% more of specific nutrients (calcium, chromium, copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, and zinc). Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vol. 45, #1, 1993.

--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ecnerwal wrote:

yuck, yeah that's a turn off.

i'll talk to anyone (and apparently i have no sense of knowing when someone i'm talking to is drunk because i've had several happenings that would have been better avoided had i noticed the person was smashed).

:) i'm ok with some dirt moving for annual crops, cover crops, green manures and for digging up and dividing perennials. that's not the majority of what is going on here.
by far the most heavy work i do each season is to try to mitigate mistakes that others are making. right now i'm looking at minimally three weeks of this season that are or will be wasted due to the negative actions of others. that's from this point. in a few weeks there might be other things added to this list. the good news is that at least by spending the extra day this week i'll head off two-thirds of a future major pile of BS. i'll take my victories where i can find them...

yep, i was noticing this trend and then the usual call for organizing a regulating organization to make sure things were ok. all a bunch of yuck pretty similar to how "Organic" was corrupted by organizations and governmental fiddling.
anyone with a little time can find quite a few good references from "the old days.". i've been working on a list the past few weeks. when i get it done and posted i'll post a link to it.
i like to go around and look at projects and see if they've lasted and what the results have been. some are quite impressive. others folded due to lack of funding (it wasn't really permaculture then was it?) yet, if they've improved an area even a little and made it better then at least they've not done as much harm as could be done by more destructive methods.
the bones of projects are well worth examining. you can learn a lot. what works years later even when the maintenance folks are gone are the kinds of things you want to do yourself. learning by observing.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Besides the BBCs A Farm for a Future, the book , Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture (Paperback) by Toby Hemenway <(Amazon.com product link shortened) 3580298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid71266976&sr=1-1> (It's at the library)
is a good introduction to permaculture.
Looking at some of what's available for permaculture on the internet suddenly reminds me of the dictum of one of our local madams, Sally Stanford, "Never give away anything that you can sell."
--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Billy wrote: ...

i'll add it to the list, thanks.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thursday, April 11, 2013 12:01:24 PM UTC-6, songbird wrote:

That link didn't wrap correctly. here it is as I see it:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)71266976&sr=1-1%3E
===
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Billy wrote:

...
he is taking materials from other places. these materials are what would eventually become a part of the topsoil in those locations. he's mining topsoil components from other locations.

well, that is the problem with any sustainable farming effort, that it must work within the broader society and economics to keep going. his farm has to make enough money to support him and his wife and children and the interns that stay there. he can't afford to not have money for taxes and the other basics needed that cannot be provided by the farm.
if i were claiming to be a sustainable farmer i'd be working with a supplier to fix the problem.
returning to my more local issue as one with a limited amount of land in trying to be as sustainable as possible i cannot raise both enough veggies in the current gardens and sell them to raise enough money to cover the taxes on the land let alone the other expenses of having this place.
for some people property and other taxes are reasons behind extractive agricultural practices. if property isn't taxed then it takes some pressure off people to exploit it.
...

i think that is a case where the company should be taken private or turned into a non-profit. if their social aims are broader than being a business then i think that is a more accurate classification for them anyways.

i still think you have a bit too jaded a view of corporations. not all are as bad as Monsanto or whatever the devil of the moment is.

it will be interesting to follow how they talk about "free speech" in one aspect (campaign funding) yet have this other limited speech in another aspect. they might try to justify it but i think the judges and juries are a bit more able to see through this. likely it won't ever see the Supreme Court. too obvious a bonehead law that deserves a spanking.

it happens.

ok.

ok, haha, good to know i wasn't far off in what i thought lignin was involved in.

they may have. hundreds of years experience and tradition of making terra preta they might have had a fairly sophisticated knowledge. unfortunately, we don't have any of their writings. a modern analysis of the layers at an undisturbed site would be very interesting.
...food wastage...

it's one of several tree crops that i'd like to grow and can't because of the climate.

he's one of my heroes. i wish him many more years of cranky intellectual poking.
...

bio-oil is a different topic. i'm not going there as i don't have petrochemical or specific refinery knowledge in detail (i do know something about refineries, distillations, catalysts and such, but that's about it).
...

...
now it's looking like it will be too wet for a while longer. days and days of rain. my water catches have gotten a good workout.

smaller works out better for ripening in uncertain times too as far as i'm concerned.

:)
as we put up most of the tomatoes we grow we need a regular acid tomato.

i did, finally, and ran away with my nose plugged and wishing i had tongs. it seems that Jared gets the anthropologists upset.

i don't see agriculture as a cause of things as i think that agriculture, cities and specialization came about all together as groupings of humans got larger. why they got larger is also a combination of many factors. one of those might simply be because it's more fun to hang with more people than to be alone for most people. loners are a minority. another reason could have also been for protection from other groups, i.e. weaponization when stone tools used to be the greatest risk a person had to face it wasn't quite the same thing but then slings, arrows, spears, and armor started showing up and people banded together as armies then in order to be safe you needed your homies at your back. out on the range no longer is as appealing when you might get run over by an army and your farm ransacked.
so, no, i don't put the ills of modern society on agriculture.

well then, clearly time to get started on such a large project.

incineration or refining could change or destroy those compounds.
...if only i were king...

plant propagation or water desalinization wise. i mean green house covers.

what if a person doesn't need that much? isn't a part of the destruction of resources by a greedy society the problem that people don't learn moderation? or that they aren't allowed to adjust their own demands because the system has a one-size fits all mentality (super-size me bucko)?
i dislike minimum wage legislation. since when do i want the government telling me what my labor is worth? what if i want to work for less for a charity or non-profit? i don't need a minimum wage. i need the government to get out of my way.
right now there are a lot of low skilled jobs that get done by sub-contractors or individuals and they are being paid cash. so no taxes are being collected for social security or medicare for those workers. they may never be in the position to become a full time worker.
...polyethylene plastic particles...

i don't eat that much fish any longer. i used to eat sardines a few times a week or canned tuna. then i discovered sashimi and lost my taste for canned tuna and the price of sardines went up too and i found out i'd much rather grow and put up as much of my own food as possible. instead of buying fish from thousands of miles away i'm eating more from foods grown a few feet away.

yes, i know about those.
i've also heard it being a method of cleaning up an environment by harvesting the bioaccumulators of such things and then incinerating them too. yuck.
this sort of problem is why i'm very much in favor of testing of all materials in use and recycling taxes. so we have the means for getting things cleaned up and taken care of.

i wouldn't eat parts of plastic knowingly. i try to avoid buying things packed in plastic.
as for pollution and plastic, you know i'd get on with cleaning it up no matter how much of it there is or how long it took. a 3000 sq mile floating mass is unlikely to be thick so perhaps it would be 3000 trips of a large tanker? get 100 tankers and that becomes 30 trips. processing and sorting would be a lot of work. yay for real jobs.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Seems like splitting hairs. The claim is that he is conjuring up 1" of topsoil/year. That's still pretty impressive.
(snipped for brevity)

I have no familiarity with that. What I have is a marginal growing environment, and I simply try too get more from what I'm given. Clear plastic over the mulch, and drip irrigation seem to be a good way to heat the soil and promote earlier harvests, but if you have a cool summer, there's not much you can do.

Duh. Federal land is nearly free, but it is exploited by ranchers, and mineral extractors.

$$$$$$$$ won't permit.

See the movie, "The Corporation", it's on DVD. It's also on YouTube. <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y888wVY5hzw


The history of the Supreme court shows it is very susceptible to wealthy interests. I wish us all good luck.

So my wife tells me ;o(

The grain of the wood and the heat applied to it is also important in making black powder.

(another snip)

You may enjoy his encounter with William F. Buckley. <
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbTxLmbCoo4


Our squash are in the ground i.e. 2 Portofinos, 2 Crookneck, and 2 Zucchini Romanescos. There are also some bitter melons, and zucchini replicante, that aren't ready yet for planting.

It sets in about 70 days, a prolific plant, and even though it is a hybrid, it's off spring are very similar to the parents.

I only have about 600 sq. ft. for everything.

While the case for the progressivist view seems overwhelming, it's hard to prove. How do you show that the lives of people 10,000 years ago got better when they abandoned hunting and gathering for farming? Until recently, archaeologists had to resort to indirect tests, whose results (surprisingly) failed to support the progressivist view. Here's one example of an indirect test: Are twentieth century hunter-gatherers really worse off than farmers? Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so called primitive people, like the Kalahari Bushmen, continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only twelve to nineteen hours for one group of Bushmen, fourteen hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn't emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, "Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?" While farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops like rice and potatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of surviving hunter-gatherers provides more protein and a better balance of other nutrients. In one study, the Bushmen's average daily food intake (during a month when food was plentiful) was 2,140 calories and ninety-three grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance for people of their size. It's almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat seventy-five or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousands of Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the 1840s.
Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, nonproducing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses. Skeletons from Greek tombs at Mycenae c.1500 B.C. suggest that royals enjoyed a better diet than commoners, since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth (on average, one instead of six cavities or missing teeth). Among Chilean mummies from c. A.D. 1000, the elite were distinguished not only by ornaments and gold hair clips but also by a fourfold lower rate of bone lesions caused by disease.
There are at least three sets of reasons to explain the findings that agriculture was bad for health. First, hunter-gatherers enjoyed a varied diet, while early farmers obtained most of their food from one or a few starchy crops. The farmers gained cheap calories at the cost of poor nutrition. (Today just three high-carbohydrate plants--wheat, rice, and corn--provide the bulk of the calories consumed by the human species, yet each one is deficient in certain vitamins or amino acids essential to life.) Second, because of dependence on a limited number of crops, farmers ran the risk of starvation if one crop failed. Finally, the mere fact that agriculture encouraged people to clump together in crowded societies, many of which then carried on trade with other crowded societies, led to the spread of parasites and infectious disease. (Some archaeologists think it was crowding, rather than agriculture, that promoted disease, but this is a chicken-and-egg argument, because crowding encourages agriculture and vice versa.) Epidemics couldn't take hold when populations were scattered in small bands that constantly shifted camp. Tuberculosis and diarrheal disease had to await the rise of farming, measles and bubonic plague the appearance of large cities.
Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, nonproducing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses. Skeletons from Greek tombs at Mycenae c.1500 B.C. suggest that royals enjoyed a better diet than commoners, since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth (on average, one instead of six cavities or missing teeth). Among Chilean mummies from c. A.D. 1000, the elite were distinguished not only by ornaments and gold hair clips but also by a fourfold lower rate of bone lesions caused by disease.
Similar contrasts in nutrition and health persist on a global scale today. To people in rich countries like the U.S., it sounds ridiculous to extol the virtues of hunting and gathering. But Americans are an elite, dependent on oil and minerals that must often be imported from countries with poorer health and nutrition. If one could choose between being a peasant farmer in Ethiopia or a Bushman gatherer in the Kalahari, which do you think would be the better choice? (Search for it on the web: mistake_jared_diamond.pdf)

Read above.

(snip)
Awwww. Spoil sport.

You would like B.F. Skinner's book, "Walden II". People who tended flower beds got one wage. Those who worked in the sewers got several times more.

You would think that since all work deserves respect, that all work would give at least a living wage.

Best get your fish from down the food chain, not the top.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/69976/title/Packing_away_the_p oison
Packing Away The Poison Genetic mutation allows Hudson River fish to adapt to PCBs, Dioxins 2/17/2011
Some fish in New York's Hudson River have become "resistant" to several of the waterway's more toxic pollutants. Instead of getting sick from dioxins and related compounds including some polychlorinated biphenyls, Atlantic tomcod harmlessly store these poisons in fat, a new study finds.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=chemical-controls April 2010, Scientific American p. 30 Chemical Controls Consequently, of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the U.S., only five have been either restricted or banned. Not 5 percent, five. The EPA has been able to force health and safety testing for only around 200.

Compounds that have a charge separation like water H+ H+ \ / O -- are called polar compounds. H H Chemicals like ethylene H-C-C-H have no charge separation and are H H called non-polar compounds. In chemistry like dissolves like. Water will mix with vinegar, but not a polar compound like oil. Oil will dissolve grease. Soap has a polar end, and a non-polar end. The polar end will go away with water, dragging the oil, or grease with it.
Dioxin, and PCBs are non-polar, and will accumulate, and concentrate these toxins.

That's my dictator ;o)
--
Remember Rachel Corrie
<http://www.rachelcorrie.org/
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.