Yes, his style is good, but I don't recognise the environment he's
describing, (as in fast food, following food fabs, buying diet books, corn)
so it isn't as appealing to me.
The analysis of corn in
Could be, but I think I'd be getting it on interlibrary loan if at all. I
find that now we are well and truly 'retired' from paid employment, our food
habits are simple and quite like those of my parents or grandparents - home
cooked, home prepared etc. We never climb into the car to go on a long
drive without the picnic basket and these days I couldn't even be bothered
with restaurants unless we go to a big family 'do'. I even tend to avouid
big supermarkets till I need to stock up on cleaning/toot paper etc - can't
stand the crowds or queues these days so I get there at the crack of dawn if
Thanks for the article....nothing new to me. If you ever get the
chance, you should really see one of these feedlot operations.
Same for a CAFO hog operation. Or poultry operation.
I've seen, been through, and smelled/smelled of, all three.
You won't give Tyson another dime.
That stuff isn't meat, Billy.
Meat produced that way, ends up how meat is supposed to taste. So
long as producers have oil to transport it to the very top-price end of
the meat market, they will. When they no longer have oil, no doubt they
will swim beef across water and walk it across land from where it was
raised to where it gets sold; a method used here within living memory.
Just this morning on BBC radio, I was listening to someones plan to walk
a herd of geese on foot through London as part of a project to show city
kids where the food on their plate comes from. In my father's lifetime,
live geese were still walked long distance to market.
That is already done quite extensively here (in the UK). In this part
of Scotland, again within living memory. the only fertilisers used on
commercial arable crops were seaweed, ash and animal manures (collected
by keeping the animals confined at night). A local commercial veg
producer still uses only those natural, local fertilisers, and can sell
their Organic crops at a premium price.
I'm talking about farming essential proteins, not calories.And you
can get far more than meat from livestock; they also produce fertiliser,
hide, fat wool and bone. You'll be needing bone needles for knitting and
sewing; animal fat for greasing the wooden wheels of your wagon, and
hoff and horn to make glue to mend your wind-powered computer.
In cool climate areas of a world with a short growing season and no
petrol transport, it would be hard to grow enough digestible protein
crops. So it makes sense to grow animals (on non-arable land) for all
the very valuable ways they can be used.
David, I know you are in Australia, but it seems that you are ignorant of
the amount of marginal land we have here. When a food basket area of
Australia like the Murry is now not allowed to do any watering, that land is
well and truly into the marginal territory. and it may be there
permanenelty with global warming.
However in many places feeding animals on pasture that is quite
Yes it is, it's particulalry favoured in the US, but that is not the whole
picture depite how the author wrote his article.
Lot and shed fed beasts _are_ fed on grain
Yes, but it can be otherwise and will be otherwise at sometime in the future
and if that land isn't built over by McMansions.
I've got to say that this is absolute rubbish. It's not JUST about getting
calories and it's not just about how animals are currently fed. And THAT is
the whole problem about the original article. The author seemed to know so
little about social history that he couldn't make a valid point to save
Where do you get your nutrients to grow this food? You can't keep producing
food without input of fertiliser for all but a very short period of time.
In a non oil world the easiest and best source of that is animals manure.
and animals will also give you other far more useful byproducts that are
needed to sustain life - this includes (briefly) leather and fibre and
rennet and soap and a hundred other things.
Please don't jump to conclusions. I am well aware that Oz is the driest
inhabited continent and has the oldest most impoverished soils and that
historically we have not dealt with these facts very well. I still have
trouble with you saying
All my neighbours run beef cattle on pasture. They mainly fertilise it with
chicken litter. The chooks are fed on feed derived from grain. The grain
is fed with chemical fertiliser. The paddocks not given chicken litter are
given superphosphate etc. My concern is just as valid for these pasture fed
cattle as for lot fed animals.
Such a concept only
It doesn't snow here but the grass stops for about three months a year in
winter. Unless you want your animals to lose a lot of condition over that
time you must supplemenatary feed with hay or silage. Growing hay is
essential to the way the beef industry works here. The concept does apply
here and in many other beef producing areas.
As for running down the stock over winter I can only imagine you are talking
about animals other than cattle.
I never said it was the whole picture, I said he has a point.
You are picking out one bit of what I said and ignoring the context. I
didn't say it's _all_ about calories I said you lose calories by growing
animals. The matter of humans having trouble getting enough protein of the
right sort from an all vegetable diet has not been mentioned, once again
don't assume that because I don't mention it I don't know about it. I am
not shilling for the vegans, I'm an omnivore.
And THAT is
Obviously. And if your fertilser options are limited or much more expensive
you need to consider the efficiency of your operation in generating
calories. In Australia we eat far more meat than we need for dietary
purposes because we like it. Can't you concede that there is future in
which we may not be able to afford that luxury?
Good points all. I think one *must* study the social history of tribes
and indigenous peoples to understand what they ate and how they
survived. Study the area in which you will find yourself when the
downturn begins. What works in Australia may not work here in the
plains of the us or the steppes of Siberia. People throughout history
have adapted to what is available to them, but for the most part, at
least in our macmodern world, this knowledge is gone.
Eating locally takes on a much more important meaning when one
considers that there may not be input from areas beyond your particular
Since you have divorced what I wrote from the context of the article on
which I was commenting and have also snipped any mention of small animals,
then clearly I'm writing about cattle.
To put it back in context. The author of the article assumed that all
cattle are fed on grain. You and I boht know that is not the case although
it may be the case for most of the time in the US (although God knows why
given the falvour of grain fed beef).
It IS possible in limited circumstances most of which don't apply across the
breadth of drought ravaged Australia where animals will be able to forage
and survive where a vegetaive food would shrivel to a crisp. The animals
won't in general be prime killing stock for frying/grilling but they will
certainly be edible in casserole/stew form. I suspect you must live in a
water rich area to write what you did.
Haven't you been to a butchers recently? It's already getting to that
OK then how does reducing stock over winter relate to raising beef? What
proportion of your stock go to market at less than 12 months? I don't see
what you are getting at.
My comments were not restricted to Australia and there are many places here
and overseas where a crop could replace pasture.
Are you claiming that if things get tough as in our doomsday scenario we
will be able to go right on eating as much meat as we do now? This
paragraph and your later comments suggest that you will answer no. In which
case we agree.
Not to the level where it's feast days only.
Once again we seem to be coming to agreement.
I knew that :-)).
Remember, I was commenting on the article - this is not about the age at
which we sell our beasts.
The author of the article wrote that the best thing (and I'm paraphasing so
you see what I'm on about) post oil would be to be a veggie because
"vegetable production requires far less land than animal production. Even
the pasture land for a cow is about one hectare, and more land is needed to
produce hay, grain, and other foods for that animal."
and "of animals is not easy"
and "The third problem is that of cost: animals get sick, animals need to be
fed, animals need to be enclosed, and the bills add up quickly. Finally,
vegetable food requires less labor than animal food to produce; less labor,
in turn, means more time to spend on other things"
Basically most of that is rot and/or assumes that animals are fed on
grain/hay or 'other foods'.
If we were immediately tossed into a post oil world, I'd keep our cattle.
They are easy to raise (unlike his thoughts on that - occasionally one will
meet its maker through natural causes but that is seldom). They can be
raised purely on grass because we don't like in a climate where they have to
be put in a barn and fed over winter (thus no need to grow food for them)
and they'd be a good thing to own where syntheic products like vinyl and
plastic is no longer available. And sometimes they'd also be 'meat' but
really they'd be too useful to just be 'meat'.
My real quibble with the article was that the guy seemd to have a very
limited view of what would happen in a post oil world. He, and many other
people, don't seem to know where event he most basic things that would make
life worth living (like soap and light) would come from in such a scenario.
I've always been fascinated by how people lived pre electricity and pre oil.
I think the worst thing would be getting proper clothing.
Yes it could BUT most countries these days are becoming less and less
capable of supporting themsleves in food production. Oz is still one of the
lucky ones but if we keep going the way we are with appallingly cheap
imports then it won't be long before we are in the same boat as much of the
rest of the world.
Yep we do agree on the fact that there will be reduced meat eating. But if
we had rabbits then that would be a different thing altogether. I still
remember pre battery hen days when chook was a feast day food and I was born
and raised on a poultry farm.
We'd certainly have less of it. I'm only one generation away from
when many rural people (like our old neighbour) just had the clothes
they stood up in, and only very occasionally took off a layer to wash
it. When adult-sized clothes wore out they were cut down and made into
childrens clothes, or unravelled and re-knitted. Wool and linen fabrics
could last for decades.
The second biggest home fabric-source in Scotland, after wool, was
flax crops grown for linen. I've also seen a very strong soft fabric
very like linen, made the same way, from nettles.
Yes but the thing that occurs to me in this post apocalyptic fantasy game,
is that fleece would disappear. I love being able to throw it into the
washing machine. Mind you, I still wear enormous quantities of 'real' fibre
like wool but I do have to hand wash it.
I'm only one generation away from
Yep. I can also relate to that.
And of course we have hemp fibre these days. But the worst thing that I
find is that as a sewer (although I notice that Americans seem to caller
this a 'sewist' and for good reason) it is just impossible to get quality
fabric today that used to be available in the early 60s. Its there but at
the most extortionate prices. I was looking for a good quality linen to
make a shirt. The only fabric I found of the quality I wanted was
$220/metre!!!! It was for embroidery and would have been bought in lots of
about 20cm square.
The only fabric I found of the quality I wanted was
No unfortunately. The best fabric shop round here closed down when one of
those cheap fabric chains moved in full of Chinese and really shoddy quality
fabric. The remaining 2 reasonable shops don't have a big range so it's
like Henry Foord's Model Ts - any colour so long as it's the colour they
have it in. I wanted good old fashioned pure white high quality fibre.
Nada! To find it I'd probably have to go to Sydney whihc is about 4 hours
away and then pay for accommodation, hunt around diverse locations to find
whichever shop does quality these days - it's just easier to give up. I
still remember teh fabric my mother bought in the '50s - beautiful Swiss
cottons, Irish linen etc. Sigh.
Grass fed beef, slow to maturity, is some of the best I have eaten,
along with bison, which is available locally for us. Harvesting and
storing winter feed is certaily doable, on a limited scale, though work
it is. Most of the time here, snow cover is not total through the
Also, depending upon your location, deer, elk, etc. are there for the
harvesting, at least for now. I used to hunt, and eat whitetail deer.
Still eat some every year, as the boys both hunt and I always help them
butcher. I haven't killed for about ten years, but am able and
prepared to do so.
Same for all sorts of wild meat here in the u$.....fish, frogs,
squirrel, rabbit, wildfowl, upland game and some critters that I have
eaten years ago, such as raccon and some that I haven't been hungry
enough to try yet, such as possum. Depends upon your locale. Have I
read that 'roo is eaten in your country? Should be plenty of them to
Rabbits are simple to raise, and the old idea of having individual
hutches, breeding boxes, etc., is not necessary. We've raised rabbits
in a shed with straw bale shelters, free to roam about the shed, and
they did great and gave us a great harvest.
I've been raising only heirloom garden produce for ten years and saving
seeds. This is *essential* if we want to survive a downturn.
Absolutely essential. I continually recommend heirlooms to people.
I try and maintain a selection that produces in dry climates and in
normally moist years. COvering bases. People alos need to research
what the native peoples rased before modern methods took over......such
as in the u$, where Native Americans raised much maize, beans. and
squashes, all good storage items.
I agree, but the overview and the exhortation to thik about doing for
oneself when the tide turns is the true value of the article.
Maybe, just maybe, some of us will make it. Hope it doesn't go all Mad
Max on us.
Let's see. Gouged by the oil companies (record profits). Consolidation
and subsidizing of food production (Cargill, Archer Daniel Midlands,
Dow). Historic foreign debt and a total American debt of $161,287 per
man, woman and child. Information, mostly controlled by 10 corporations,
that is manufactured to generate consent (Iraq had no-thing to do with
9/11 or WMDs).
Debtor countries required to follow strict rules to repay debt,
reduction of social programs for health and safety, repression of trade
unions, and as in Chile and Argentina, martial law.
We have done it to others and the chickens are coming home to roost.
Who you going to believe? Your President and his gang or your own lying
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.