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  1. #61
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    Just watched a relevant documentary on some of these issues last night: "Farmaggedon". It was available on Netflix.
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Not so fast, the latests studies have shown that producing and transporting a few items of food locally is not efficient, it costs more in fuel use and carbon footprint than commercially produced, marketed and transported produce.

    There is efficiency in volume.

    Now, if someone prefers local produce for the qualities they perceive are better, like certain taste or other concerns, that is to them, as some say, "priceless".

    Just don't try to make niche producing food sound like a more efficient process, because, well, that is not.
    Bluey, do you have any sources you can link on the efficiency aspect?
    Jigga:
    Why must you chastise my brilliant idea with facts and logic? **picks up toys (and wine) and goes home**



  3. #63
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Long story, but yes, I do.

    The food producers had assumed local meant less transporting, etc.
    That should mean less cost, right, savings there?

    Ok, when some started adding all inputs, I mean, all, well, efficiency of volume won big time.

    The difference between one mechanic at the time fabricating parts and building one car at the time in a shop by his house or a factory building them assembly line, which gave us the transportation and so civilizations we have today.

    The same applies to food production.

    That assuming tripped the United Nations in their now debunked "Cattle's long shadow" report of 2006, clearly politically motivated, ready made for some agendas at that international meeting.

    Once different sources, one often quoted a scientist in the U of W.State, the Cooper report, came out and were reviewed and accepted, well, it was clear that even there, those kinds of assumptions were wrong.

    In retrospect, we should know that assumptions alone really should not carry weight without proof.

    There are many such studies out there, but yes, you have to sort thru all those with anti-agriculture agendas to find the relevant ones, that are not that many, how many you need to say the same thing, over and over?



  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    Assuming everything DB says is true can the methods cited feed 40-50 million people on a regular and consistent basis? It's a real question deserving a real answer.

    One fellow I correspond with has observed that all civilization is three or four meals away from collapse.

    The hard truth is that our present population is highly concentrated and dependent upon a massive system of food transport from production areas to consumption areas. The "locavor" movement ignores this reality and holds out a chimera ("local production") as a model. It won't work; it can't work. But that doesn't stop the "daydreamers" from imagining otherwise.

    This does not mean that some folks can't make good money supplying "niche" markets. It does mean that we tinker with our present system at our peril.

    G.
    Yes, I agree we are very susceptible to interruption in the food supply in many areas. If we ever have a major disruption to transportation of food in the US, people will starve. Most grocery stores only carry a three day supply of food for their customer base and most people do not have emergency reserves.

    Why is producing food regionally in ways that work for that area for all those people so much less efficient than trucking it across the US from California or from foreign countries? I'm not talking a few small farms competing with the grocery store like we have now but I'm talking building the infrastructure locally to feed that many people. It can be done and I think ultimately it would be a whole lot more efficient and dependable than bringing foods in from long distance to save resources as well as to insure the above scenario would not happen. Sure it won't happen overnight but it's happening now slowly but surely despite the food industry's best efforts to stop it or over regulate locally sourced foods.

    Interestingly I know quite a few local farms in our areas getting their products into grocery stores and restaurants. I know a man putting in an aquaculture farm to raise Tilapia. Right now the only Tilapia you can get around here comes from China. Won't it be nice to buy from him instead? You bet...I know him personally and can't wait to have a local source of my favorite fish that is actually inspected and raised to US standards. People see the needs and they're filling them.

    Cripes I can't keep eggs in stock...I delivered 50 dozen yesterday to my buying club folks. Real good fresh eggs are so much better than what you buy in the stores and the demand is HUGE.

    Bluey, no one is suggesting that people drive to the farms to get all their stuff. It's very naive to think that anyone is going to drive out to the country to do their shopping...trust me...people are not that stupid especially with gas so expensive. It is way more efficient to bring the products into the cities for distribution. I have several buying clubs now that I deliver to where folks meet me at a distribution point near their homes to get their orders and I make a big circle around the area in one afternoon. Most farms like mine do the same thing. Some areas have regular farmers' markets or coops delivery points in the cities. Also growing are locally sourced groceries where the products are produced nearby. There are solutions to the problem but it you aren't going to hear them reading Ag industry magazines. THINK about it...they have their profit margins to protect so of course they are going to pay someone to produce a study that says that. I read that study and it was very biased and not even peer reviewed.



  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    An alternative is to develop a local food system; which includes re-establishing the infrastructure that used to exist. This includes aggregation facilities, recreating distribution channels, and more slaughterhouses - either USDA, T/A, or custom exempt. The products from within that system CAN legally enter the food supply; which gives farmers a much wider range of options, while still keeping the profits of their labor instead of becoming or remaining serfs. The farmer can still sell the products under his farm label - he is still 100% independent. But wholesale buyers, school systems, and restaurants will conduct business with that person - because the products are inspected and safely packaged. Local products. Some of that is happening now - but more needs to.

    Before anyone claims that is a pie in the sky statement - this is already happening across the US, in rural areas near urban centers. I'm part of such an effort where I live - and the biggest impediment is the NIMBY's. Folks who talk a good game about "local food" but when it means a small slaughterhouse will be built in their region they freakin' flip out.
    THIS! JSwan is involved in her county's farm movement at the planning level. If you won't believe me that this is possible, at least listen to what she's saying.

    I agree also..we need way more animal processing facilities close by. I'm bringing my animals up to Fredericksburg as it's the most cost effective and best custom plant around. It's a 3 hour one way trip for me so I'd be so happy to have a closer option. We do have a small local plant but it's not USDA inspected so it's not an option for my business.



  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post

    Why is producing food regionally in ways that work for that area for all those people so much less efficient than trucking it across the US from California or from foreign countries? I'm not talking a few small farms competing with the grocery store like we have now but I'm talking building the infrastructure locally to feed that many people. It can be done and I think ultimately it would be a whole lot more efficient and dependable than bringing foods in from long distance to save resources as well as to insure the above scenario would not happen. Sure it won't happen overnight but it's happening now slowly but surely despite the food industry's best efforts to stop it or over regulate locally sourced foods.
    I want to know how you are going to produce enough fresh produce to serve NYC (and, indeed, the entire urban corridor from Baltimore to Bangor) in January.

    We won't even get into staples, meat, beverages, etc.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  7. #67
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    I want to know how you are going to produce enough fresh produce to serve NYC (and, indeed, the entire urban corridor from Baltimore to Bangor) in January.

    We won't even get into staples, meat, beverages, etc.

    G.

    Greenhouse skyscrapers in every block, rooftop greenhouses?

    I vote for a matter transmitter booth, or a matter transforming little box, that you type in what you want and it produces it from a little magic battery.
    Steak and potatos, or your favorite salad with nut toppings, all for the asking.



  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    I want to know how you are going to produce enough fresh produce to serve NYC (and, indeed, the entire urban corridor from Baltimore to Bangor) in January.

    We won't even get into staples, meat, beverages, etc.

    G.
    There's a lot of farmland outside NYC. The problem is that the small farms can't compete with the big corporate farms.



  9. #69
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    There's a lot of farmland outside NYC. The problem is that the small farms can't compete with the big corporate farms.
    Right, just like the one mechanic making one car every six months can't compete with the factories producing several a day.

    On the other hand, where price is not that important, for the upscale markets, those niche farmers seem to be getting as much as they need.



  10. #70
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    I read not too long ago in what I believe was Time magazine how there is like millions of pounds of food being thrown away. The article didn't say where (US or world wide) but made me wonder about the whole "feeding the world" argument...
    I LOVE my Chickens!



  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megaladon View Post
    I read not too long ago in what I believe was Time magazine how there is like millions of pounds of food being thrown away. The article didn't say where (US or world wide) but made me wonder about the whole "feeding the world" argument...
    True, very true.

    Who is going to cut back, give up some of their good standard of living?
    I grew up right after WWII, I know rationing, not having much and going hungry often.
    Half the world is still living like that, all their many times short lives.

    Lets live frugally, really frugally.
    Give up single housing, cars for mass transportation, give up horses first for those they are a luxury, that is for most here.
    You go first.

    Seriously, distributing the excess to those in need is not that simple, sadly, although plenty are trying already.



  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    I want to know how you are going to produce enough fresh produce to serve NYC (and, indeed, the entire urban corridor from Baltimore to Bangor) in January.

    We won't even get into staples, meat, beverages, etc.

    G.
    The same way it's produced elsewhere pretty much. As someone pointed out, New York has a lot of farmland and much of it's sitting unused right now. For that matter a lot of inner cities have been adopting intensive farming with cold frames, greenhouses, unused lots, rooftops, and other very innovative programs and they are producing a LOT of food.

    http://www.mottgroup.msu.edu/uploads...ens%20Hamm.pdf

    http://thelowell.org/features/112-al...-down-to-earth

    http://www.icic.org/connection/blog-...he-food-cluste

    As JSwan said earlier...the changes are already happening all over the US. Some of what these people have accomplished is nothing sort of incredible. They've helped a lot of inner city youth also find some self worth and learn some independence..got them off the streets and productively engaged. Imagine that...people actually engaged in their own food production. Might even catch on...and judging from how popular gardening is getting again in the US, I'd say the time is now.

    Yes, it can be done in January using some protection for crops and also using some common sense and preserving tender crops/food through the cold seasons...ie freezing it, canning it, eating seasonally, etc...

    Meat can't really be raised in quantity inside a city but there is a lot of farmland nearby (much of it fallow) that can be used to raise beef, pork and chicken and feed for those animals as well as small farmers who would love the opportunity to direct market as many of us are doing.

    I'll bet you didn't know that Paris, France, at the turn of the century around 1890-1900 was not only feeding itself...the entire city... via cold frames, manual labor and greenhouses but exporting food to other European nations. Not only is it possible for a city to produce it's own produce year round but it's been done before...so yes, with a little common sense and using land wisely as well as intensive growing practices integrating modern innovations, it's possible.

    The question is will people be allowed to do it or have to fight for the right to? Even to have a garden in their yard instead of grass can be a problem with city planners and zoning for some absurd reason.



  13. #73
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    Yes there is a crapload of food being thrown away. For $5 I can buy a pallet of old bread for my animals if I wish at the local discount bakery...I've done it but my pigs were not that crazy about it..can't blame them. I am quite sure that all those restaurants/buffets are forced by law to throw all food away also rather than save it, reuse it or even donate it to the needy. The waste is appalling.



  14. #74
    Bluey is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    The same way it's produced elsewhere pretty much. As someone pointed out, New York has a lot of farmland and much of it's sitting unused right now. For that matter a lot of inner cities have been adopting intensive farming with cold frames, greenhouses, unused lots, rooftops, and other very innovative programs and they are producing a LOT of food.

    http://www.mottgroup.msu.edu/uploads...ens%20Hamm.pdf

    http://thelowell.org/features/112-al...-down-to-earth

    http://www.icic.org/connection/blog-...he-food-cluste

    As JSwan said earlier...the changes are already happening all over the US. Some of what these people have accomplished is nothing sort of incredible. They've helped a lot of inner city youth also find some self worth and learn some independence..got them off the streets and productively engaged. Imagine that...people actually engaged in their own food production. Might even catch on...and judging from how popular gardening is getting again in the US, I'd say the time is now.

    Yes, it can be done in January using some protection for crops and also using some common sense and preserving tender crops/food through the cold seasons...ie freezing it, canning it, eating seasonally, etc...

    Meat can't really be raised in quantity inside a city but there is a lot of farmland nearby (much of it fallow) that can be used to raise beef, pork and chicken and feed for those animals as well as small farmers who would love the opportunity to direct market as many of us are doing.

    I'll bet you didn't know that Paris, France, at the turn of the century around 1890-1900 was not only feeding itself...the entire city... via cold frames, manual labor and greenhouses but exporting food to other European nations. Not only is it possible for a city to produce it's own produce year round but it's been done before...so yes, with a little common sense and using land wisely as well as intensive growing practices integrating modern innovations, it's possible.

    The question is will people be allowed to do it or have to fight for the right to? Even to have a garden in their yard instead of grass can be a problem with city planners and zoning for some absurd reason.
    One little problem, that befell Paris also, growing any crops is not a reliable input in = desired output.

    Ask any long time farmer how many times crops fail, for many reasons, all kinds of crops and reasons.
    Some of those important enough to cause famines.

    We have now, for many reasons, that produce is redistributed globally one, the most abundant, safest and varied food ever.
    We can keep adding to what we have, we should not so offhandedly dismiss it on some utopian old way that we think was supposedly better.

    We really need to cut population back or, that being very hard to do, at least keep working with what we have and adding to it, not fighting for market shares by demonizing the competition.



  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    There's a lot of farmland outside NYC. The problem is that the small farms can't compete with the big corporate farms.
    You need to fly up the East Coast, starting just south of Hampton Roads and continue up to Brunswick, ME. Note that the sea of lights between these two places, and ultimately extending several tens of miles inland, is continuous. I don't know where you think there's a "lot of farmland" that's not being used within a short distance of the East Coast Megaplex. Nor do I understand how this land would feed 30-40 million people in Jan.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  16. #76
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    Well, there is. Certainly within a 2-3 hour drive. Your belief is not required for something to be true.



  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by grayarabpony View Post
    Well, there is. Certainly within a 2-3 hour drive. Your belief is not required for something to be true.
    Nor does your assertion make something true.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão



  18. #78
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    And yet it is! I'd love for you to tell all those small town New Yorkers and people in other states that their farms don't exist. That'd be rich.



  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    One little problem, that befell Paris also, growing any crops is not a reliable input in = desired output.

    Ask any long time farmer how many times crops fail, for many reasons, all kinds of crops and reasons.
    Some of those important enough to cause famines.

    We have now, for many reasons, that produce is redistributed globally one, the most abundant, safest and varied food ever.
    We can keep adding to what we have, we should not so offhandedly dismiss it on some utopian old way that we think was supposedly better.

    We really need to cut population back or, that being very hard to do, at least keep working with what we have and adding to it, not fighting for market shares by demonizing the competition.
    That really makes no sense to me bluey. You are against regional food production because of famine or crop failures and I guess you are saying that would starve out those people? I'm not suggesting a return to the dark ages where no one ships anything. Of course if someone needs help elsewhere, they should get it from those who have extra to sell...what this does instead is reduces the need to move food all over the place from distant places as is done now further reducing our need to burn petroleum to do it. It also brings the food supply a lot closer to the people who will consume it and reduces our susceptibility to terrorism and famine.

    I would think spreading out food animal/plant production to all over the US would help prevent or minimize famine, disease, or drought effects...kind of like not putting all your eggs in one basket. It would seem to me that the drought last year would drive the point home well. Use corn for an example. Let's say that corn is only grown in the corn belt since that is the best place to grow it (for now) and shipped to others who need it. Along comes several years of drought, a new dust bowl, and no corn...thankfully there were places in the US that grew corn last year that got in a good crop or we'd have more than just high prices and shortages to contend with. It's called building resilience into the food supply. As G. pointed out earlier, our food supply is very limited right now to just in time deliveries and anything that might disrupt that and you've got a major problem.

    Another example is California where all the winter veggies are grown now. What happens if some insect infestation or plant disease or water shortage (since it's all brought in by irrigation there) affects that area? All of a sudden the folks in NY aren't going to get their no-so-fresh vegetables from California because no one else anywhere is producing it in sufficient quantities. Growing veggies under cold frames is not difficult nor a new technology nor does it take all that much room...it's easy and it's not that expensive.

    I do think there are too many people in the world also but that really is a another topic.



  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post
    I want to know how you are going to produce enough fresh produce to serve NYC (and, indeed, the entire urban corridor from Baltimore to Bangor) in January.

    We won't even get into staples, meat, beverages, etc.

    G.
    "Local" is food produced within 400 miles of where it is consumed.

    Obviously in most parts of the country this means that you will not get fresh strawberries in January.

    Except no one is claiming that you shall. But there is no reason a farmer near Washington DC is forced to sell his cattle at auction - when he could have it cut and packaged and eaten in Washington DC and keep the profit. What prevents him from doing so is the fact that over 80% of the nations cattle are processed at 4 plants. If he has no USDA inspected facility near him - he is forced to sell at auction. He has no choice.

    A local food system is not designed or intended to supplant the system that exists. The system is intended to keep farmland in production instead of being destroyed by sprawl and poor planning. It's also intended to provide people in the region with as much safe, inspected food as possible.

    A regional study of farmland was performed near me - the results were nothing short of appalling. Only .4% of cash receipts from farms were from sales to people who lived in that region. The region was losing 1.4 billion dollars in revenue - annually - because the output from farms was leaving the region.

    In other words - others were profiting heavily from the labors of those farmers. The region was not even feeding its own residents.

    This is a poor region of the state. Very poor. It wouldn't be as poor if that 1.4 billion dollars stayed in the region.

    This is a rural economic issue. A big one. We need more farms, and we need more farmers. We also need that infrastructure - and frankly the same issues affect the horse industry. We used to have 6 auctions in my county. 6. Now we're down to one. And that one no longer auctions horses. It's a loss to the ag community as well as the horse industry. We have growing ethnic population in this region. And they they have difficulty obtaining halal products. One consumer told me he's getting his halal products from New Zealand. Why? Because we do not have the ability to provide him with the products he requires. If we restore that infrastructure - he and others like him would buy their products from OUR farmers.

    Perhaps these things are not true where you live. it's a big country. But where I live - there are organized efforts to restore that infrastructure and they are well supported.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
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