Organic Food Helps Revive Fortunes of Europes Farmers

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The article is about organic farming in *Europe* - I don't know what the situation is in the US, but in the UK, organic standards are very strictly enforced by the soil association - the organic stamp has as much to do with animal welfare as what went on the food. It costs the farmer a lot of to get, too, *because* it's strictly enforced and because it's a *guarantee*. Soil association foods are not contaminated in any way, not by farm drift or even traffic pollution
Eggs, especially are strictly demarked. If an egg says it's free range (and in the UK that means the hens run around free, not in any cage and not inside a building (that = barn eggs)) then that egg *is* free range.
http://www.soilassociation.org /
Maya
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<Charlie> wrote in message

Its all part of the mix isn't it. Organic can mean sfa. Sustainable farming/growing practices, where the products are shipped from, how they are shipped, how they are stored, prices paid to growers etc etc. Buying on a claim or organic alone, or on distance shipped, or on price will not always yield the result you hoped for.
rob
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wrote:

Indeed it is, as I am learning. I've eaten many apples from your land, but there is no reason for this.
It's a complicated, yet surprisingly simple, concept and practice to support, and implement, if only the rest of the world would step back and take a good look at what many of us know and are learning.
Thanks for putting this more into perspective, for me,
Aside and OT:
I have read Tolkein many, many times in my life. Never a better tale written. I never, ever thought *anyone* could make a film about LOTR.
Jackson did it.
Man, you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I find myself envious.
Ya'll raise some damn fine apples too, bet they taste better in your land! But I'm buying local now, when possible. ;-)
Well met and care, Rob Charlie
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<Charlie> wrote in message

you make me sound like some sage or guru Charlie. Not so, merely the mass of confusion that can surround buying environmentally. If can be very complex, something I struggle to decipher as much as anyone else. Simplistic notions often fail to capture subtleties. Marketing of 'organic' have no great catch on me. I am cynical about marketing as a rule, the depth and manipulation of late capitalism makes me so. We are manipulated beyond belief by the capitalist marketing system, I view much with a wary eye. Simply having a marketing guru tell me something is organic does not make me buy it.
Some examples I can draw on, only as examples mind. It seems UK supermarkets are starting to label food miles on produce, I guess in an attempt for consumers to gauge carbon footprints. The concept in isolation however is flawed. NZ lamb is shipped 1/2 way round the world to Britain in container ships. British lamb is shipped by truck. The carbon per carcass may be less per NZ lamb than british lamb, given that shipping is so much more efficient per ton per mile. Moreover, our lamb produces way less greenhouse gases (carbon & methane) to produce than British lamb. Our sheep live outside 365 days & eat predominantly grass (grown in situ), supplemented by hay and sileage (harvested in situ). Much British lamb is reared indoors during winter & fed grains and the like (grown elsewhere and trucked in). The power from processing this side of the world comes mainly from hydro, with some geothermal and wind and some gas & coal. Much of British power comes from coal and nuclear. So, all up, British lamb produces around 4 times the greenhouse gases that NZ lamb does. Buying lamb on food miles alone will f up the atmosphere 4 times more than nz lamb.
We have had a British chef/cook touring NZ promoting her books & videos. She recommend eating local & seasonally. She would not use NZ lamb. If she did so on the basis of food miles then she will pollute the atmosphere more than buying NZ lamb. More than that she polluted the atmosphere flying down here to sell her wares.
I cannot comment on taste issues for buying local, never having tried British lamb. NZ lamb however is pretty nice stuff. British lamb would have to be super nice to beat our stuff. Buying british will help keep british farmers in money, that is for sure, although their farmers get nice fat subsidies from the EU.
All up, the arguments for buying British lamb don't stack up on all fronts. There are mixed for and against.
rob
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British farmers do NOT get big subsidies from the EU. The average lamb carcass is getting the farmer around 25p - 0.25% of a - profit. Farmers are going out of business all over the UK.
British lamb is fantastic, too, an almost entirely grass reared. VERY rare for UK sheep to go indoors any time of the year.
You wanna check your facts, mate.
Maya.
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Ok, you may have to excuse me for some of the assumptions I have made such as grass feeding or the level of subsidies. My apologies if I got parts of it wrong. Those were assumptions, though I would add the EU does subsidise its farmers. Whether sheep farmers are exempt from that I am not sure.
That said, the issue of carbon emissions in the total package still stands. Buying British lamb versus NZ lamb on food miles/carbon foot print alone does not stack up. British lamb produces around 4 times the amount of greenhouses gasses landing in the British supermarket as does NZ lamb. Hence my comment that the issue is more complex than that. The executive summary of the report drawn on is the third link, the full report is the 4th link. rob
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0609/S00340.htm http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ViewDocument.aspx?DocumentID '549 http://www.beehive.govt.nz/Documents/Files/Food%20Miles%20Executive%20Summary.doc http://www.lincoln.ac.nz/story_images/2328_RR285_s6508.pdf http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR10275.html http://www.nzembassy.com/news.cfm?CFID 17&CFTOKEN005406&c6&l&i143
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z>
I find this research extremely dubious. It's all based on *one* set of research by *one* university and that based in New Zealand! (no ulterior motives there!) I can't see how they can conclude that British lamb is more 'intensively' reared than New Zealand lamb; it's grass reared in the field in exactly the same way. Even if the figures are correct (and I'd dispute that) costs of transport (and refrigeration) are subject to change. We need local farming. 60 years ago we were embroiled in a war that meant an end to practically all imports - if you have no home farming, where does that leave you at times of emergency, or when the fuel prices go through the roof as they seem set to do?
Maya
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I find this research extremely dubious. It's all based on *one* set of research by *one* university and that based in New Zealand! (no ulterior motives there!) I can't see how they can conclude that British lamb is more 'intensively' reared than New Zealand lamb; it's grass reared in the field in exactly the same way. Even if the figures are correct (and I'd dispute that) costs of transport (and refrigeration) are subject to change. We need local farming. 60 years ago we were embroiled in a war that meant an end to practically all imports - if you have no home farming, where does that leave you at times of emergency, or when the fuel prices go through the roof as they seem set to do? Maya
some of the figures may be a little light or a little heavy, I am not in a position to clarify that. Different studies may come out with different averges. That said, I think it proves quite nicely however that simply buying on the basis of 'food miles' is naive and frought with problem. The entire lifecycle of food needs to be considered in order to gauge an accurate environmental footprint, not just how far it travelled. For the likes of supermarkets to tag food with food miles only in an attempt to be 'environmentally aware'* is a crock. Environmental awareness needs a larger range of information than merely distance.
rob
* or if you are cynical, marketing bullshit and hype in an attempt to cash in on environmental concerns, without doing the really hard work.
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Rob, Rob, Rob,
that's why you buy local. If'n the anal sphincter tries to intercourse you, you can rip 'em a new one. Uh, I'm mean, you can lodge a formal complaint.
- Billy Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (with only the most modest of intent in mind)
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wrote:

Oh for sure, Billy. I know this. Like the difference between, say Organic Valley milk and standards and Dean/Horizon milk and standards.
I trust Oregon Tilth certification......USDA certification means shit. The new farm bill was a travesty, in that it lowered the standards to allow the industrial boys to play the organic game, and allowing bastardized products to be sold. The average consumer won't know the screwin' they are getting.
Just like eggs that are sold as "cage free" and all that. Words, my friend, words. You can pack a hundred chickens in two hundred square feet and technically they are not caged.
Feh......
Lots of interest around the country in the one hundred mile rule, and other distances.......it really makes you aware.
Yes, think global, eat local.
On a personal note....younger son and wife are narrowing in on the birthing. Doin' the labor thing...don't know if it is the real deal yet. And you know, it breaks my freakin' heart to think what the little guy is going to inherit from all of us. I am going to be one busy sumbo before I die.
You take care and keep spreadin' the word. Charlie
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"Supermarket Pastorial" is the style that Michael Pollan uses to refer to terms like "Cage Free" or "Free Range", or that cow on the milk carton, standing out in the middle of a lush green pasture. Free run chickens from Petaluma Poultry are caged (a very large cage, as Charlie mentioned) for 5 weeks, then a little door is opened that gives them access to a short outside run, and 2 weeks later they are bagged and shipped to market; "Free Range". Not exactly the dream of Joel Salatin. Who? http://polyfacefarms.com /
If we don't push back, the day will come that we rent our clothes and furniture. We'll be the equivelent of "Free Range" citzens and, for that occasional, special treat, we'll eat "real type" food, not the normal, synthetic stuff.
"Supermarket Pastorial", globalization has plans for all of us.
- Billy Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

C'mon, that's not the point Sherwin. The old usenet conventions have a purpose. Readability and ease of response. Standards. I'm not tryin' to "score points" against you. This "game" isn't about points and all that crap... it's not a game....it's about life,....mine, yours, our children's and so on. I'm asking people to stop poisoning my progency.
No doubt about it, I'm already effed.

Dammit Sherwin, if you were following the whole organic discussions and checking up online, you would find you are agreeing with me,in part. The large agri-biz concerns are bastardizing the whole thing. They *are* fleecing the public! Of course there are fallacies.....should be more like.,,,felonies.
I'm more concerned about saving my grandson and my two unborn grandchildren from the toxic overload that is being forced upon them. Any littel bit that I can to to relieve that burden to their systems, I will do. From growing as much food as I can, that is chemical free, to purchasing as much as I can that is truly organic, to fighting with those of you who disparage and malign the organic food movement.
Your attempt at comparing the defense of organic growing to a cult and trying to align it with a "religious" thing only shows your lack of understanding about the issues.
Of course organic farming has merit. It's not only the air you breathe. What about the water you drink, with it's pesticide load? The same water is showing a load of pharmaceuticals, from disposal and elimination.
You have to do some research and determine which companies, and which certification organizations are worthy. USDA certs won't do it..They are biased towards the factory farms and big agi-biz....ADM. Monsanto, Cargill, ad nauseum

I didn't follow you. I posted this to both groups, which I read. You thought you could avoid the discussion by trimming one group?
I just put it back again. I don't need the backup of any "cronies". I've been fighting the system for decades, mostly on my own, in one way or another.
I'm sorry to have thrown reality in your face. You thought you would find "cronies" here to support the use of poison on our food, Rational people do not condone the use of poison. I cannot, in all good conscience, let it rest.
C'mon Sherwin....we're crappin' in our own nest. People are dying on account of our practices. Fetus developement is being genetically altered. I have one grandchild about to be born and another due in October. Are you pleased to share in the toxic burden placed upon their development? I'm not, and I share responsibility as well.
My children and grandchildren must inherit this toxic mess we are going to leave them as a legacy.
Please... stop the poisoning of us. I am not all about scoring and all that shit. I just want people to quit adding to the already heavy toxic load we all bear.
Please, Care Charlie
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Charlie, your flogging a dead horse here. If Sherwin read even every forth word that you have written he would know where you are coming from. None are so blind, as those who WILL not see. For those gentle readers of yours who want verification of the impact of food on the American public, all they need do is look at the infamous N.Y. Times' (Times, of Judith Miller fame), columnist Paul Krugman's (not nearly as famous as he should be) last column, "America Comes Up Short" and the relationship between the crummy food in this country as compared to what Europeans eat. Today's Harper's Index also had a couple of factoids on America's burgeoning belt line.
I don't remember who suggested the book, "Farming with Microbes" by Jeff Lowenfels and Elaine Engham. Excellent, excellent book. Along with Michael Pollan's book, "Ominivore's Dilemma" it gives the lie to chemical farming. Chemical farming kills off micro-organisms in the soil that feed, protect, and nurture our plants. Even the Journal of Nutrition is forced to say that organically grown food is higher in nutrients. Counter information would be interesting to assess but the simple-minded game saying of "no it isn't" (a la Sheldon) is pointless.
If anyone has a book that flaunts the merits of chemical farming over sustainable organic (even industrial organic), I would be interested in reading it. Farming, I should say, for the consumer, not for the board of directors.
Of course food quality, air quality and water quality are sub-sets of the over arching "health of the environment". Ecological systems that kept the environment in balance are being destroyed by the extinction of large predators, birds, amphibians, and insects. The oceans are over fished and used as a giant septic tank. Forests that clean both air and water are being clear cut. Vernal wetlands and deltas that clean the water are being filled in. Factory faming fouls the air and aquifers. Loss of large predators means uncontrollable populations of their prey that strip the environment and put it even further out of balance. As we are painfully aware, the environment under human stewardship is in ruins and mass extinction stands at the door.
What can I tell you Charlie? It's like they say in the Bhagavad Gita, you can't control anything. You have your responsibilities, and as long as you try cover your responsibilities as best you can, that's really all you can be held accountable for. It's not very satisfying, but it is all we got.
Don't worry, there will be another idiot along in a minute or so to tell you that organic farming is a crock. But, you might, just might, get someone who asks, "Why is it better?" and then, you can pass on the word.
Thanks again to whoever turned me on to "Farming with Microbes".
Have a good Sunday,
- Billy Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

Thanks, Bill, for once again reminding me.
I know this, but I cannot seem to realize this for very long periods. Many of the spiritual, and philosophical, traditions (as I am sure you know), acknowledge this very thing. I try to remain still, and not seek those things which *I* think must be done, only await the duties that simply arrive unbidden: these unbidden duties are the ones I must perform. Those that I seek, what are they? And how many of the really important unbidden duties, probably the "small" things, do I simply miss or ignore, because I am in my own way?
As Scotty Peck has said over and over......"Life is Difficult"

Your Pal Charlie
--
It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy
presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended
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Sorry Charlie, but if you shoveled the same drivel as Oz, I'd try and be in your face too. It all has to do with integrity. A lot of the news groups have been overrun with trolls. The best thing we can do is offer them a place at the table if they act like adults. If they are just interested in being potty mouths, I'll "kill file" them as many time as is necessary. The only crap I put up with is what I spread on my garden. Hoping everything is boring with you.
--
Billy
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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wrote:

I would expect a whack.
Integrity...a nearly forgotten principle.
Yeah, it's boring......the wifey-poo is "nesting"... as is the DIL.
Expectant DIL-nesting is OK.......Grandma-nesting, in anticipation of impending arrival........is not a good thing for Charlie. Or Charlie's pocketbook. The woman has lost her mind.
My wifey has become yoga.....incarnate...........duties are appearing to Charlie that he is not seeking. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat. Do not think, just do.
Relax, Billy....in......out.......in...out Charlie
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snip
Couldn't possibly be because we agree with him and not you?
You do not sound like the voice of reason, you sound like an ardent chemical user and supporter.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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wrote:

It's not like this is a high volume group. It is no trouble whatsover finding material.
How does one separate their personal life, from their love of gardening? You talk and think about all sorts of things in the garden. If information is all you want, there is more than enough on the Web. There is more than enough in books. You are just irritated.
I want to know about people. I enjoy learning about people's lives and trying to envision how that affects their gardens. You want to make your garden all work and no play, fine, your loss.
"Gardening is a kind of disease. It infects you, you cannot escape it. When you go visiting, your eyes rove about the garden; you interrupt the serious cocktail drinking because of an irresistible impulse to get up and pull a weed." ~Lewis Gannit

So you are saying organic growers are price gouging? That's crap, if you are talking about responsible growers. Just like you stated that organic growers would resort to poison to save their cops. That would instantly decertify them.
If you are talking about what passes for organic, like the walmart/usda approved crap, like what is going to be allowed with the passage of the new farm bill, then yes, I agree.

You certainly have condoned the use of chemicals, ie. your better tasting apples.
I wasn't only speaking of what is said ongroup about chemicals....I stated you should research the issues elsewhere, on your own. There is a huge body of evidence supporting my position, and I am not going to review all of it.
And as far as our growing population, that event has been brought about by better living through chemistry, and it *will* change. It's changing already.

I have no respect for the use of poison on any food. Chemicals are what brought us to this point, and now the masses rely on the use. THe soil has been destroyed and now we are being destroyed.
That is the reality. That is being realistic

Care Charlie
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Great Quote Charlie!
Here's a poem by Blake.
Enjoy !
Bill
The Garden Of Love
Poem lyrics of The Garden Of Love by William Blake.
I laid me down upon a bank, Where Love lay sleeping; I heard among the rushes dank Weeping, weeping. Then I went to the heath and the wild, To the thistles and thorns of the waste; And they told me how they were beguiled, Driven out, and compelled to the chaste. I went to the Garden of Love, And saw what I never had seen; A Chapel was built in the midst, Where I used to play on the green. And the gates of this Chapel were shut And "Thou shalt not," writ over the door; So I turned to the Garden of Love That so many sweet flowers bore. And I saw it was filled with graves, And tombstones where flowers should be; And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, And binding with briars my joys and desires.
--

S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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In article < snipped-for-privacy@sn-indi.vsrv-sjc.supernews .net>,

Well now. Charlie and his merry band have a troubadour to give our aching muscles solace.
--
Billy
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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