Because I'm a Potatoe
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31-05-2011, 11:06 AM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
@Stark
Well Stark , both you and observer have anecdotal evidence. Has this been tried at a larger scale ? I have no doubt it can work for individuals and small communities but at the same time I'm not sure it can work at the scale of 6 billion people and rising. Are there any research papers you can cite on the matter ?
Also , what if the strong seeds you select over 5 generations GMO can produce in 5 years ? Would you be against it then ? (assuming no side-effects or corruption on the business part)

@Observer
Well , how did your parents cook spinach ? I know how to make it tasty with garlic and sour cream and serve it with soft eye-eggs - delicious Big Grin

@BuddyChirst
I like some of P&T but , when I saw their global warming episode and how they cut humans completely out of the equation despite research showing that humans are responsible for 70% of global warming (look up : Benestad, Solanki, Lockwood, Scafetta, Lean and Erlykin) , it left me very cold.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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31-05-2011, 12:16 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Hey Gag,
Lots of people do this, but large scale is relative. 100 farmers, each running 40 acre farms this way means 4000 acres of sustainable farming. There is no need for a single 4000 acre operation. We tend to think in terms of big farms feeding big numbers of people. That's just not nescessary. Have I spoken to literally hundreds of people doing this very thing? Yep. Do I have research papers to cite? No. I wouldn't know where to begin looking for them. You can start by looking up Joel Selatin. He's a pasture farmer, and has the right idea. I don't agree with him 100%, but it's a start.
As for the 5 generations, I'm talking about generations of seeds, not people. So in five years, I DO produce the stronger seeds I'm talking about. If GMO can do it as well, then all the power to it. The problem isn't GMO, it's how it's used. If there's no side effects or business corruption, I'm all for it! But good luck finding someone willing to put in the research and then allow people to raise their own seed from that.

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31-05-2011, 01:27 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Newsflash
The story is all over the newspaper now. Spanning more then 4 pages.
The "green party" of Belgium now officially distances themselves from the action due to "the fact that they did not know there was violence involved". The poplar test-field is getting extra security. Public opinion is strongly against the action. Pundits are saying that with actions like that, the environmentalists are playing into the cards of multinationals who can do research whatever they please on secret fields.




(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  That means that yes, sometimes you'll get carrot maggots that are heavy enough to destroy the crop, but since carrots are a small percentage of what you're growing (as are all the specific plants) it will not decimate your entire harvest.
I see... You can't be to picky on what you eat then. Something we spoiled westerners need to learn again.

(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Sometimes the most careful, attentive gardener is his own worst enemy. When you encourage the weakest plants to grow, mother nature is removed from the equation, resulting in weak plants. Let the weak ones go.
Knowing my father, I think that's probably what went wrong. Smile

(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  First, GMO research will be left to government organizations, and made available to everyone, instead of the research being done by big business who will keep it for themselves to make a profit (and rightly so. That's exactly what a business should do). Second, the research will be aimed at what is desirable to the populace instead of industry. Again, this makes the research both more advantageous to the majority, and available to those that paid for it (ie the taxpayers)
Third, having this available to everyone will bring down the big business.
Interesting how agricultural industry should have to inflate first to embody enough resources to develop products that would later benefit small scale farming. I hope you are right Stark. One of my concerns is that one day quality nutritious food might become almost unaffordable for a normal human.

(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Come and visit me anytime.
I'd love to but it's quite a swim! Have some tea ready please.

(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  They taste great,
no doubt...
(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  and have WAY more nutrients in them,
Skeptical again... but since you're a nice guy, I'll take your word for it. Big Grin

(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  and when I tell people that I charge the same as the grocery store for them, they nearly faint. I'm told that they would happily pay twice the price, and yet I make a better profit than the farmers who sell to the grocery store by far.
I was wondering. Do you get break even for your own consumption, or do you need to buy surplus vegetables often?

(31-05-2011 09:43 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Unfortunately, our government teaches them to factory farm, because factory farming benefits big business. And when was the last time you contributed millions in campaign dollars? Well big business does it all the time, so obviously politicians are going to protect the interest of those contributors.
I always wondered why, while farmers in Belgium have a union, they are still struggling to make a living. It does have a slight hint of conspiracy though


(31-05-2011 11:06 AM)gaglamesh731 Wrote:  @Observer
Well , how did your parents cook spinach ? I know how to make it tasty with garlic and sour cream and serve it with soft eye-eggs - delicious Big Grin
Well...
mother BOILED it in WATER! Then she strained it and threw the sludge next to the boiled potatoes that soaked up the green water oozing out turning them freshly Kawasaki green. It tasted like warmed over cow pie and looked like it as well. I do, however, still love my mom but I don't allow her into a safety perimeter of 4 meters around the kitchen stove. Smile

Garlic and sour cream? Interesting. I'm going to try that to heal my trauma.

Observer

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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31-05-2011, 04:00 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
I'll get to those questions tonight, I promise. In the meantime, watch Food Inc. I've recommended it before in other threads, but it's a movie that is eye opening, and cites it's sources. It's a must watch for anyone concerned about the food situation on this planet. Agree with the theme or not, it's a thought provoking movie.

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31-05-2011, 07:13 PM
 
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe...29754.html

Short, but related.
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01-06-2011, 03:46 AM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
(31-05-2011 07:13 PM)Cube Wrote:  http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe...29754.html

Quote:The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says food prices are higher than they have been in the last 20 years, surpassing the 2008 price spike that set off food riots in cities around the world.

I've must have missed that.
Anyone knows what they are talking about here?

Observer

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02-06-2011, 06:26 AM (This post was last modified: 02-06-2011 07:27 AM by Stark Raving.)
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Sorry guys. Being a farmer means spring gets crazy busy sometimes. Crops to plant (my peppers are going to kick ass this year!), new chicks to take care of (got a big rain/wind storm when they were a day old, so had to take some extra measures to keep the little buggers warm and dry), bla bla bla.

"I see... You can't be to picky on what you eat then. Something we spoiled westerners need to learn again. "

Well, yes and no. I grow a huge variety, so there's always choices, but granted, some years we have more of certain veggies and less of others. The trick is not planting all of one crop together. If I lose a crop of carrots to maggots, I just get the carrots from the other plantings. By planting one veg in three or four places, it helps to avoid losing all of those veg to an infestation or the like.

"One of my concerns is that one day quality nutritious food might become almost unaffordable for a normal human."


I worry about that too. But remember, all you need is a ten foot by ten foot garden to grow a half ton of veggies. (No, I am not exaggerating). Perhaps when fresh food becomes more scarce and expensive, more people will start planting back yard gardens again.That will accomplish many things. Food that is exceptionally nutritious, even for the poorest of families, and an appreciation for small scale farmers and their products. I don't blame people for not understanding how important our food producers are (and by that I mean food, not pre-packaged calories) but it's high time we start creating some of that much needed understanding. Hell, that's why I'm putting so much effort into this thread. It's this type of conversation that makes people aware, and I feel it's my responsibility to contribute to that. That's why I encourage the questions instead of taking the "screw you, go starve if you don't want to take my word for it" attitude. (Lots of people are doing that.They figure everyone will learn the hard way, while they enjoy the food they are producing in ample amounts) I just don't want to see anyone go hungry. I've been there, and it's horrible.

"I'd love to but it's quite a swim! Have some tea ready please."

The kettle's on my friend!

"Skeptical again... but since you're a nice guy, I'll take your word for it. "

Skeptical is good, but you don't have to take my word for it. Like I mentioned before, I wouldn't know how to begin looking for the research, but I've seen it on more than one occasion. Food analasys comparing factory style vegetables (picked early and artificially ripened, sprayed with all kinds of shit to keep it looking nice, firm, and grocery store ready) compared to vegetables grown in clean, healthy soil and ripened by the natural process instead of artificially. The nutritional differences are shocking. If anyone is inclined to find this stuff, I'd not only appreciate it, but I'll be sure to save the link for future reference! (I'm a REALLY bad researcher)

"I was wondering. Do you get break even for your own consumption, or do you need to buy surplus vegetables often? "

Well, it's a work in progress, but I am working towards not ever having to buy "fresh" vegetables from the store, and I already produce all the meat and eggs my household, and two other households consume with the exception of beef, which will be taken care of by this fall. I make enough profit on my excess vegetables to pay for what I buy throughout the winter about threefold, so I am well beyond break even, and hopefully in the next few year, my canning and preserving skills will improve enough that I don't need to buy at the store at all. I won't bullshit, of course there are many things I buy at the store besides fruit and veg and meat, but the more I can rely on my own produce the less I have to spend on the crap that comes off the shelf.

"I always wondered why, while farmers in Belgium have a union, they are still struggling to make a living. It does have a slight hint of conspiracy though"

It does seem very "conspiracy-like" but all you really have to do is look at the way corn is subsidized and encouraged by the government to see that feeding people comes in a distant second place to the all-mighty dollar. (I am, of course, speaking about North America, since I don't have much knowledge about how things work in Belgium)


I do apologise for not "citing my sources" but for most of this information, it was gained conversationally and through experience. If it's anecdotal evidence, so be it, but I've never seen more convincing evidence than the stuff that I can see with my own eyes. Show me a peer reviewed paper, and I'm quite likely to believe it since I think the scientific community functions quite well. Put it in my hands so I can feel/touch/taste/see it and there's just no comparison. Tell me it's red, and show me a ton of evidence to back it up, and I'll be 99% sure it's red. Let me see it, and I'll be 99.999% sure. (LOL, I must be an atheist. Can't even commit to it being 100% red when I can see it!)

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02-06-2011, 02:17 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
As you might have guessed by now... I'm a foodie
I lay passion in the things I cook and eat (perhaps that's why I think the "eating babies" joke is hilarious) and I love it if I can buy things that where produced with the same passion.

When bioproducts started hypeing a few years ago I was really skeptical. Especially with my father's veggies in the back of my mind. But then I noticed something weird. When I cut a regular onion, nothing happens. When I cut a bio-onion, I start crying those good old fashioned onion-tears. Smile That made me think whether I was missing something.

On the subject whether organic food is healthier then regular grown food...
I'm afraid I have some sobering news Stark...

Quote:An independent review commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) shows that there are no important differences in the nutrition content, or any additional health benefits, of organic food when compared with conventionally produced food. The focus of the review was the nutritional content of foodstuffs.

Gill Fine, FSA Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health, said: ‘Ensuring people have accurate information is absolutely essential in allowing us all to make informed choices about the food we eat. This study does not mean that people should not eat organic food. What it shows is that there is little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced food and that there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food.

'The Agency supports consumer choice and is neither pro nor anti organic food. We recognise that there are many reasons why people choose to eat organic, such as animal welfare or environmental concerns. The Agency will continue to give consumers accurate information about their food based on the best available scientific evidence.’

The study, which took the form of a ‘systematic review of literature’, was carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). LSHTM’s team of researchers, led by Alan Dangour, reviewed all papers published over the past 50 years that related to the nutrient content and health differences between organic and conventional food. This systematic review is the most comprehensive study in this area that has been carried out to date.

The FSA commissioned this research as part of its commitment to giving consumers accurate information about their food, based on the most up-to-date science.

This research was split into two separate parts, one of which looked at differences in nutrient levels and their significance, while the other looked at the health benefits of eating organic food. A paper reporting the results of the review of nutritional differences has been peer-reviewed and published today by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Dr Dangour, of the LSHTM’s Nutrition and Public Health Intervention Research Unit, and the principal author of the paper, said: ‘A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced crops and livestock, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance. Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the selection of organically over conventionally produced foods on the basis of nutritional superiority.’

source: Food standards agency UK

I also found this study of the University of Copenhagen that makes about the same statement. (click on the DOI link for the study itself)

Organic grown food is not healthier for you then regular grown food.

However... French, and Polish studies (sources not found) found that organicly grown potatoes contain more vitamin C. Sounds like the nutrients are there but they are there in surplus and your body don't seem to benefit from them.

Now...
Before you start whacking me on the head with a price-worthy zucchini or go doing bad things to me with a cucumber, I am skeptical to these studies as well.
  1. The tests conducted by the univ of Copenhagen where preformed on rats, chickens, cows and dogs. Can you extrapolate results on those species to humans? Rats eat.. what... a few kilograms of food a week? (You know the answer better then anyone) Compare that to the tons we eat in our whole life. As the netto amount of food rises, the (hypothetical) residual pesticides might as well.
  2. Even if the short term health benefits are unmeasurable small, there might be long term health benefits. that's unknown so far.
  3. Last and probably why you claim your kind of anecdotical evidence: The U of C DID find significant health benefits in the difference whether the veggies where fresh from the field of a few days old. Since you practically LIVE on top of your pumpkins, this might be where you found your benefits. The role of small growers like you is of great value here. I see the line of logistics getting longer and longer (I work for a product tracing company and live in "Europe's vegetable garden". I see food-logistics every day). Having a vegetable supplier next to you who sells you veggies that where happily photosynthesizing just an hour ago is a luxury.


I did not find the time to watch "food Inc". I did however dug into www.velt.be a website promoting ecological living. They have this handy seasons-produce calender. Got to start somewhere. If you are what you eat, I refuse to be fast, cheap and greasy Smile

Observer

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02-06-2011, 04:43 PM
RE: Because I'm a Potatoe
Shit....again I find myself short on time....I'll go into better detail later.

For now, both studies you cited are based on organic food. I am neither an organic grower, nor do I endorse organic food. It's basically only one step up the ladder (granted, better to take a step up than down) towards permaculture and ZERO chemical growing. (Organic standards limits the amount of chemicals the grower can use. That's no where near the same as not using any, but again, it's a very good step) Keep in mind, the more crap that accompanies the nutrients in our food, the more nutrients are wasted getting the crap back out again (no pun intended) So if you use half the nutrients in your tomato just fighting off the garbage that's in it, that already accounts for WAY more nutrition in a tomato with nothing in it but, well, tomato. Plus, ripening is how the fruit or vegetable makes the nutrients available to us. An unripe tomato contains nearly as much nutrients as a ripe one. Problem is, our bodies either can't access some of them, or have to work harder to do so. So even though they have the same amounts, that doesn't mean we GET the same amounts. Artificially ripened food brings out the flavour (arguably) and color (to a sad degree) but it doesn't effectively make available the nutrients like natural ripening does.

More later....

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