A Method for Growing a Lot of Food on Little Land

“By adapting the production techniques developed by [Toyota] —commonly referred to as “lean manufacturing“—

Hartman has revolutionized his methods, cut down his work hours dramatically, and shrunk the size of his farm, all while making a better income.”

Fate of city-based civilization in the hands of farmers

“When we look at global desertification playing a major role in climate change, there is simply no tool in the reductionist management framework that can sustain the cycle of life in grass plants over about two thirds of the world’s land.

These are the vast regions where the rainfall is seasonal and humidity erratic, were soils, soil life, plants and animals co-evolved including billions of large grazing animals and pack-hunting predators. We have no option but to include livestock as a tool with a change to Holistic Management to seriously address the major biological aspects of desertification and climate change. ”

Is Meat Good or Bad for You?

“Simply put: In the absence of sugar and refined carbs and adequate amounts of omega-3 fats in your diet, saturated fat is really not a problem. Again, quality matters: The saturated fat in a fast food cheeseburger is completely different than what you get in coconut butter or a grass-fed steak.”

-Dr. Mark Harmon

 

Natural Solutions to Climate Change – Project Syndicate

At the United Nations climate change meeting that just concluded in Bonn, Germany, global leaders reaffirmed that the world cannot respond adequately to rising temperatures if governments continue to ignore how forests, farms, and coasts are managed. Now that there is a firm consensus, governments must act on it.”

“Some of the most promising ways to mitigate climate change are what we call “natural climate solutions”: the conservation, restoration, and improved management of land, in order to increase carbon storage or avoid greenhouse-gas emissions in landscapes worldwide. The full potential of these solutions is detailed in a new study produced by the Nature Conservancy, and 15 other leading institutions.”

 

 

Food Swamps Are the New Food Deserts – The Atlantic

It’s not just a lack of grocery stores that’s making us fat. It’s an overabundance of fast food.For a study published in November in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, researchers from the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity compared the obesity rate of U.S. counties to their ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores and supermarkets—their level of food-swampiness, in other words. The food swamps had about four unhealthy options for each healthy one. Food swamps were a strong predictor of obesity rates—even stronger than food deserts were. The relationship between food swamps and obesity was especially strong in areas where people lacked both their own cars and access to public transportation.”

 

Mass starvation is humanity’s fate if we keep flogging the land to death, George Monbiot

“The trouble begins where everything begins: The UN’s famous projection that, at current rates of soil loss, the world has 60 years of harvests left, appears to be supported by a new set of figures. Partly as a result of soil degradation, yields are already declining on 20% of the world’s croplands…”

“The next green revolution will not be like the last one. It will rely not on flogging the land to death, but on reconsidering how we use it and why. Can we do this, or do we – the richer people now consuming the living planet – find mass death easier to contemplate than changing our diet?”

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/11/mass-starvation-humanity-flogging-land-death-earth-food?CMP=share_btn_fb

 

 

Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet

“The last great hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change may lie in a substance so commonplace that we typically ignore it or else walk all over it: the soil beneath our feet.”

“The earth possesses five major pools of carbon. Of those pools, the atmosphere is already overloaded with the stuff; the oceans are turning acidic as they become saturated with it; the forests are diminishing; and underground fossil fuel reserves are being emptied. That leaves soil as the most likely repository for immense quantities of carbon.”

“Now scientists are documenting how sequestering carbon in soil can produce a double dividend: It reduces climate change by extracting carbon from the atmosphere, and it restores the health of degraded soil and increases agricultural yields. Many scientists and farmers believe the emerging understanding of soil’s role in climate stability and agricultural productivity will prompt a paradigm shift in agriculture, triggering the abandonment of conventional practices like tillage, crop residue removal, mono-cropping, excessive grazing and blanket use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide. Even cattle, usually considered climate change culprits because they belch at least 25 gallons of methane a day, are being studied as a potential part of the climate change solution because of their role in naturally fertilizing soil and cycling nutrients.”

Organic Acreage On The Rise As Conventional Crop Prices Founder

”There were 5 million acres of organic fields and pastures in the U.S. in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 37 percent increase over the last five years. It’s still a small percentage of farmland overall, but several states have seen a jump the amount of land devoted to organic crops: soybeans in Iowa, corn in Minnesota and wheat in Colorado and Texas. ‘Those type of numbers perk the interest of farmers. Money talks,’…Demand from organic dairy and poultry farms is supporting the hefty premium prices for organic corn and soybeans that are used in animal feed…Production of those crops jumped 30 percent in the U.S. from 2015 to 2016.”

The Nitrogen Problem: Why Global Warming Is Making It Worse

“New research shows that increases in rainfall and extreme weather because of climate change will increase the amount of nitrogen polluting rivers and other waterways. The findings underscore the urgency of reforming agriculture to dramatically reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers.”

Yale Environment 360

http://e360.yale.edu/features/the-nitrogen-problem-why-global-warming-is-making-it-worse