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The Future of Food


Dechristo
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I recommend this film highly. The upside of your viewing is gaining knowledge that brings hope of a future of nutritious food available to all. The downside is being scared as hell about the direction the food industry is headed due to manipulation by the corporate-governmental giants. After viewing it, I wanted to "go postal" on Monsanto.

 

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"The Future of Food provides an excellent overview of the key questions raised by consumers as they become aware of GM foods... [The film] draws questions to critical attention about food production that need more public debate."

 

--- Film Review by Thomas J. Hoban,

Nature Biotechnology Magazine,

March 2005, Volume 23 No. 3

 

"If you eat food, you need to see The Future of Food..."

 

--- Newstarget.com

 

"This stylish film is not just for food faddists and nutritionists.

It is a look at something we might not want to see: Monsanto, Roundup and Roundup-resistant seeds, collectively wreaking havoc on American farmers and our agricultural neighbors around the world. In the end, this documentary is a eloquent call to action."

 

--- The Telluride Daily Planet

 

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An excellent issue, but I wish the movie wasn't quite so boring so that it would have had wider appeal. Look what Al Gore did for Global Warming...

Anyway, these issues have been around for a long long time and yet still the general public has no idea of the dangers we are facing... Monsanto is the epitomy of evil. I hate that part about the poor Canadian farmer who lost everything and then still lost in court, horrible...

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while you're at it, you should read "Fateful Harvest." It's a true story about Cenex putting toxic waste into fertilizer that was then put on crops in Quincy. :noway:

 

i'm sure if we let these industries self-regulate, the market would find an optimal solution. no need for federal regulation here. these aren't the 'droids you're looking for. move along.

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We just had some home grown spinach and asparagus last night. My savoy style spinach leaves are thick, the size of dinner plates, and have a crisp snap when you bite into them. The asparagus is sweet and really makes your pee reek.

 

Just thought I'd rub that in while the rest of you fuckers argue about where to get your veggies.

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while you're at it, you should read "Fateful Harvest." It's a true story about Cenex putting toxic waste into fertilizer that was then put on crops in Quincy. :noway:

 

i'm sure if we let these industries self-regulate, the market would find an optimal solution. no need for federal regulation here. these aren't the 'droids you're looking for. move along.

 

I don't think I understand this statement. We should let companies like Monsanto self-regulate? Fabulous idea, soon we won't have worry about those pesky insects, worms, birds, etc. We will live a happily sterile life eating tasteless strawberries coated in pesticide that are the size of your head.

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Talk about evil. This guy, Norman Borlaug is second only to Hitler/Stalin/Mao in terms of the magnitude of the suffering and devastation that his "science" has inflicted on the planet.

 

"Norman Ernest Borlaug (born March 25, 1914) is an American agricultural scientist, humanitarian, Nobel laureate, and has been called the father of the Green Revolution.[1] Borlaug received his Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942. He took up an agricultural research position in Mexico, where he developed semi-dwarf high-yield, disease-resistant wheat varieties.

 

During the mid-20th century, Borlaug led the introduction of these high yielding varieties combined with modern agricultural production techniques to Mexico, Pakistan, and India. As a result, Mexico became a net exporter of wheat by 1963. Between 1965 and 1970, wheat yields nearly doubled in Pakistan and India, greatly improving the food security in those nations. These collective increases in yield have been labeled the Green Revolution, and Borlaug is often credited with saving over a billion people from starvation.[2] He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through increasing food supply.

 

More recently, he has helped apply these methods of increasing food production to Asia and Africa. Borlaug has continually advocated the use of his methods and biotechnology to decrease world famine. His work has faced environmental and socioeconomic criticisms, though he has emphatically rejected many of these as unfounded or untrue. In 1986, he established the World Food Prize to recognize individuals who have improved the quality, quantity or availability of food around the globe."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug

 

Haha.jpg

 

 

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Yes, it's a terrible thing selling seeds that create plants that don't then create their own seeds so that you have to come back and buy seeds again the next year.....if you can.... It is indeed a terrible thing to create high-yield, non-reproducing foods that you manage to convince your buddies in Congress should be required purchases under aid programs, just to clinch that noose of dependency just a little bit tighter.

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I'd suggest a more comprehensive source than Wikipedia on this (or any) topic. I also notice that you somehow missed the sections of that article regarding the problems of pesticides, salt in water supply, loss of genetic diversity in food crops, increased energy input, and mixed results of the Green Revolution.

 

There are a number of good books out there on the subject. The emphasis on western variety of crops that require a high input of fertilizer (energy), pesticides (energy), and introduction of monocultures and ignorance of locally adapted crop varieties that are resistent to local weather conditions and pests. Then there's the profit motive of large agri-industries pushing their varieties that just so happen to need the fertilizers and pesticides they can provide.

 

As the new seeds spread, petrochemicals become part of farming. In India, adoption of the new seeds has been accompanied by a sixfold rise in fertilizer use per acre. Yet the quantity of agricultural production per ton of fertilizer used in India dropped by two-thirds during the Green Revolution years. In fact, over the past thirty years the annual growth of fertilizer use on Asian rice has been from three to forty times faster than the growth of rice yields.

 

While there have been impressive yield increases, particulary in Asia, these have not been linked with a corresponding decrease in world hunger. Excluding China, there has been little progress on reducing world hunger. The experts have lately been arguing that the significant decrease in hunger in China (400 million to 189 million past 20 yrs) is the result of the large investment in road building and distribution improvements.

 

 

 

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Monsanto IS the Devil! They refuse to acknowlege that they are also contributing to the decline of amphibians and reptiles by all of the frikkin surfactants they are using and recommending to use in their chemicals. I wish places like home Depot would jump on the bandwagon and offer 'greener' alternatives to Round-up and similar crap. Their products are literally created from toxic waste.

 

About GM products, besides being a little sketchy with harming insects and declination of crop variety and f'n Monsanto sueing farmers that their crops are tainting, and the necessity for labeling GM products, I beleive JayB has a point, that the technology of GM production could be extremely beneficial and is definitly one of the better long-term solutions to growing crops in places you couldn't before.

 

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I'd suggest a more comprehensive source than Wikipedia on this (or any) topic. I also notice that you somehow missed the sections of that article regarding the problems of pesticides, salt in water supply, loss of genetic diversity in food crops, increased energy input, and mixed results of the Green Revolution.

 

There are a number of good books out there on the subject. The emphasis on western variety of crops that require a high input of fertilizer (energy), pesticides (energy), and introduction of monocultures and ignorance of locally adapted crop varieties that are resistent to local weather conditions and pests. Then there's the profit motive of large agri-industries pushing their varieties that just so happen to need the fertilizers and pesticides they can provide.

 

As the new seeds spread, petrochemicals become part of farming. In India, adoption of the new seeds has been accompanied by a sixfold rise in fertilizer use per acre. Yet the quantity of agricultural production per ton of fertilizer used in India dropped by two-thirds during the Green Revolution years. In fact, over the past thirty years the annual growth of fertilizer use on Asian rice has been from three to forty times faster than the growth of rice yields.

 

While there have been impressive yield increases, particulary in Asia, these have not been linked with a corresponding decrease in world hunger. Excluding China, there has been little progress on reducing world hunger. The experts have lately been arguing that the significant decrease in hunger in China (400 million to 189 million past 20 yrs) is the result of the large investment in road building and distribution improvements.

 

 

 

 

"While there have been impressive yield increases, particulary in Asia, these have not been linked with a corresponding decrease in world hunger." Guess what would have happened to the hunger stats without the Green Revolution? By this logic, we should abandon anti-HIV drug development since the arrival of combination therapy hasn't lead to a corresponding decrease in the global incidence of HIV since 1995.

 

 

Not a big deal when you aren't the hungry one, is it? Guess what happened to the absolute yields during this time? "Hmmm - I'm starving, but the fact that this grain was produced such that yields and fertilizer use haven't grown in unison is so troubling that I'll see if I can dig for some grubs and chew on a piece of shoe-leather instead...."

 

Contemplate the environmental - let alone social and humanitarian - impact of hundreds of millions of additional people in the developing world who are perpetually on the brink of starvation for decades on end and it makes any nominal downside attributable to the Green Revolution look trivial by comparison.

 

There's also the fact that the local farmers assessed the options available to them and chose what to their perspective looked like the best solution. They knew all about traditional crops, local conditions, etc - and selected the crops that in their judgment would suit their particular needs best. If they hadn't worked out for any particular reason they would have abandoned the new crops and grown whatever strains they grew before in the same manner as they did before. I suspect their judgment of what's actually in their interest to grow is a hell of a lot more accurate than judgments rendered by well-fed agro-luddittes making their assessments from several thousand miles away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I suspect their judgment of what's actually in their interest to grow is a hell of a lot more accurate than judgments rendered by well-fed agro-luddittes making their assessments from several thousand miles away...

 

...or an oversimplifying dogmatist with a very poor grasp of the complexities of the subject at hand, the dynamic nature of what is good for the environment (and thus, those who must make a living off of it), the climate-based ephemerality of the "Green Revolution", or which way the trends in third world agriculture are actually heading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by tvashtarkatena
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This from the guy who is gravely concerned about the health-effects of fluoridation. I'll stick with the consensus judgment of people who are qualified to persist in the conversation - crop scientists, plant geneticists, etc. Thanks.

 

Mercifully, it looks as though marker assisted breeding will provide a different means to the same end as transgenic crops and does so in a manner that will be harder to chant repetitively. "No crops with desirable traits selected by classical breeding massively accelerated through the use of genetic markers!!!"

 

 

BTW - in the time that's elapsed since my last post I just finished splicing HIV DNA into another chunk of DNA that will confer antibiotic resistance on the bacteria that I transfer the said chunk into. "OMG! The next superbug!!!! Sound the alarm bells - somebody stop this madman before we're all wiped out."*

 

*Won't alarm anyone with a basic knowledge of subcloning and the expression/purification of fusion proteins in bacteria, could conceivably alarm those without.

 

 

 

 

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