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View Diary: Book review: Jill Richardson's "Recipe for America" (138 comments)

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  •  Why does Jill Richardson want me to starve? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dotalbon

    Because that is what would happen if her elitist fantasies were put into actual practice.

    From the Amazon page.

    The evils of industrial agriculture are rehashed in this impassioned but sketchy exposé. Food activist and blogger Richardson ticks off a familiar menu of food-system dysfunctions: overreliance on pesticides and fertilizer, exploited farmers and workers, horribly abused livestock, obese children who are fed subsidized junk food in school. (She personalizes her critique with reportage from a stint working at Whole Foods and recollections of a period in her life when a lack of access to fresh produce led her to gain weight on a diet of ice cream and beer.) She contrasts these ills with a vision of sustainable agriculture long on bucolic impressionism—the baby lambs head-butted their mothers enthusiastically and wagged their tails—and short on systematic analysis. The author's rabid advocacy of locavorism is especially myopic; she brushes past the costliness and impracticality—When buying eggs I ask the farmer how many chickens they own and if these chickens are on pasture—and ignores critics who argue that locavorism is an energy-inefficient fad. Only the choir will be convinced by Richardson's shallow take on these complex issues. (Aug.)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    The hard cold reality is that pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers are absolutely necessary in order to continue to feed America. Switching to lower yield practices means that food prices would skyrocket and people would go hungry. The way forward is through GMO's, not romanticized idyllic pastural utopian delusions. It is a nice little dream you wealthy elites have but when ever I hear someone tell me I need to eat organic all I hear is:

    Let them eat cake.

    "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

    by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:22:04 AM PDT

    •  There is that strain of condescension (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose

      in a lot of food diaries.  

      A recent LA times columnist complained about the "Alice Waters/Chez Panisse approach", i.e. if it isn't locally grown and pesticide free, it shouldn't be eaten.  And this does ring false when you consider how many Americans do not have easy access to affordable healthy food.  Junk food proliferates, especially in poorer areas, simply because it's cheaper and very filling.

      We can't scold people into eating right.  It's got to be done from the top down at the public policy level.  It sounds as if the author of this book at least recognizes that.    

      It is scarcely possible to conceive of the laws of motion if one looks at them from a tennis ball's point of view. (Brecht)

      by dotalbon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:28:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would LIKE to eat organically (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dotalbon, CaDan

        I would like to eat only grass fed beef and free range chickens. But that's not for me, they are waaaaaay too expensive for me to afford.

        There is huge gap between what I can afford and get at the food shelf and what East or West coast liberal elites think I should eat.

        The last time I went to the food shelf I got a 10lbs bag of hashbrown potatoes and I was thankful.

        "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

        by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:34:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you would LIKE to eat that way... (14+ / 0-)

          then aren't those people who are out there fighting to make that possible all of our friends?

          Rather than pissing all over these so-called "liberal coastal elites", maybe you can stop and think about that for a moment.

          Thanks.

          Signed, a currently jobless "West Coast Liberal Elite" who nonetheless volunteers tirelessly for Oregon Food Bank and was living in an SRO himself less than two years ago...

          •  Are they my friends? (0+ / 0-)

            Not if the result of what they advocate would mean that I could no longer afford to eat.

            I don't know what an SRO is, I live in HUD subsidized housing and I go to a local food shelf. When I can I buy organic food. Not that much though

            "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

            by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:55:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay... (5+ / 0-)

              Nice strawman.  

              the result of what they advocate would mean that I could no longer afford to eat.

              You obviously haven't read this book, nor do you know anything of what the author actually advocates.

              But stay secure in your smug righteousness that "you know", what you 'know'.

              This is what an SRO is, first hit on a Google search amazingly enough...

              •  But I don't know (0+ / 0-)

                That's what I've been saying. I don't know if what the advocates of "Let them eat cake" oh.... sorry... "Let them eat Organic" is true.

                I can have cake? Fantastic! (but I don't believe you.)

                "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

                by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you don't know... (5+ / 0-)

                  Then why'd you write this?

                  Why does Jill Richardson want me to starve?

                  And this?

                  Because that is what would happen if her elitist fantasies were put into actual practice.

                  And this?

                  I get very upset when wealthy liberals tell me I should do this or that when they have no fucking clue about what it's like.

                  Yeah, nobody here besides you "knows" about being poor.  Pfffftttt...

                  I'm done with you.

            •  I only buy certain things that are organic. I (0+ / 0-)

              honestly don't believe there is such a thing as organic apples.  If you knew anything about the crop itself and it's sensitivities ... well, I don't think it's possible.  Organic strawberries ... yes, apples ... no.  I think organic apples are fakes if they aren't bumpy and ugly looking.

              We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

              by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:07:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not from the coasts (8+ / 0-)

            I'm in Chicago, strong Midwestern city. Calling someone a coastal elite just because they are helping to change our conceptions about how and what we eat is deflecting the issue and name-calling.

            Can we just talk about the issues without trying to demonize and demean people?

            Joined a new food co-op grocery here.

            By from local, organic farmers, ranchers, dairies is not only getting fresher food, but it reduce the carbon footprint of food, as there's less energy costs in getting the food from the farm to my shelf.

            Plus, at co-ops, it's possible to buy in bulk. Not buying packaged food is less expensive and helps the carbon footprint of products when energy in not expended in expensive packaging.

            Plus, people all over the city are beginning to garden. Community gardens, rooftop gardens, anywhere gardens. You can grow food in almost anything.

            We have huge problems in this country with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, auto-immune conditions, and eating fresh, nutrition-rich foods will go a long way in dealing with and overcoming those problems.

            Yeah, when you've been trained by yr culture to be a food-eating robot, scarfing down junk food and empty calories in the pretense of feeding yr body, it takes time and effort to make the healthy changes.

            No, we're probably not going to get "slow food" and healthy food as cheaply or conveniently as we get unhealthy junk food. But the rewards in our energy and brain power will more than compensate.

            As for money, hey, getting organic, non-GMO beans, grains, apples, carrots, and some other stuff really isn't that much more expensive. It takes some effort, but it's possible to learn how to shop and buy foods that don't break the bank and are still healthy.

            So maybe yr whole diet can't consist of it, but you can make powerful dietary changes just starting with the cheap stuff, reading up on how other people do it, and exploring and experimenting.

            Besides, it's like an investment. Will save you sick days and doctor bills in the future. You'll also have more energy to get more done in the day.

            "If religion is the opiate of the masses, then fundamentalism is the amphetamine." Miz Vittitow

            by MillieNeon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:23:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  money (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, it's more than sad, but just because you can afford it doesn't mean it's healthy and won't eventually give you cancer. There is no quick fix, because people do have to buy what they can afford, but maybe someday, that affordable food will be healthy and not kill you.

        •  Do you think organic sustainable food is (9+ / 0-)

          intrinsically costlier? My understanding is that there are so many subsidies and incentives in the mainstream of agricultural production and distribution as well as a lack of accounting of the true costs to our health and environment that we cannot necessarily compare apples to apples here.

          There is also controversy over whether GMO crops actually do increase yield enough to justify that claim or enough to justify the secondary costs to those who do not grow GMO (through contamination of their crops with GMO seed via pollination and wind). You might be interested in this from the Union of Concerned Scientists based on a metanalysis of academic studies of yield:

          Failure to Yield is the first report to closely evaluate the overall effect genetic engineering has had on crop yields in relation to other agricultural technologies. It reviewed two dozen academic studies of corn and soybeans, the two primary genetically engineered food and feed crops grown in the United States. Based on those studies, the UCS report concluded that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields. Insect-resistant corn, meanwhile, has improved yields only marginally. The increase in yields for both crops over the last 13 years, the report found, was largely due to traditional breeding or improvements in agricultural practices.

          BTW, Jill is Midwestern.

          "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

          by madaprn on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:45:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know for a fact that it costs more (0+ / 0-)

            All I have to do open my eyes. I am able to but organic foods once in a while. But it's very expensive. I never buy their meat because the price is outrageous.

            "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

            by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:49:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please reread my comment (7+ / 0-)

              and note my use of the word "intrinsically". I am asking you to do more than compare the current shelf price of conventional versus organic foods.

              Please don't assume that others on dKos haven't known poverty or food scarcity. Plenty of us have, myself included.

              "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

              by madaprn on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:58:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ok, I understand that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polecat

                I just feel like I am not being heard. That my voice, or rather the voices of many around me, are not getting the recognition they deserve.

                I live in a building with others in my situation. If Democrats really want to lose votes then go ahead and make our food more expensive.

                I think a lot of these ideas are just pie-in-the-sky wankery. Once put into hard reality they will mean that we'll have a two tier food system in America and boy oh boy that would be very bad.

                "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

                by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:05:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  To be poor and to eat organic food is possible, (6+ / 0-)

                  but only if you cut out the prepared foods and canned foods, which are the more expensive ways to buy food.

                  Inexpensive bulk grain and bean purchases provide enough calories and protein. There are many ways to cook them easily and inexpensively so they taste really delicious with the addition of some spices and or sauce.

                  Beans and grains can be soaked overnight or for several days to lessen cooking time and cut down on the cost of cooking. Change the water daily. You can soak beans for three days to improve both cooking time and ease of digestion.

                  There are many kinds of seeds that can be sprouted for inexpensive fresh vegetables, like mung beans and sunflower seeds. All this takes is a quart glass jar and a top with holes punched in it to soak and drain the sprouts.

                  The real expense of eating organic food comes when you eat much animal protein. Here buying local can often substitute for organic. There are year-round farmers' markets around the country, and health food and regular grocery stores often have wildcaught fish and specials on less expensive cuts of organic meats, which can be frozen.

                  Being poor and eating well requires thought and planning. Don't let preconceptions about cost keep you away from quality food. You will also be avoiding many bad additives and potential health problems if you alter your diet to include more organic foods.

                •  Tipped because I see that you get both sides of (6+ / 0-)

                  the problem.

                  You actually ARE being heard.

                  I think you'll find that the price difference isn't really as much if you remove the grain subsidies from the equation.

                  Don't you want to know WHY your milk only costs $3.50/gal -- doesn't bovine growth hormone concern you?  Do you want to have children?  Do you want your daughter to start her period at age 8 and have a 3x higher risk of breast cancer because of environmental estrogens?

                  I freely admit that we have a problem with where our subsidies are going and the present system is distorted because of them.  I don't think it is fair to say that Jill's approach would mean that you couldn't afford to eat.  There are economies of scale to consider.

                  Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
                  I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
                  -Spike Milligan

                  by polecat on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:03:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  We have a two-tier food system (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rickeagle, Eddie L

                  Unless you think that poor neighborhoods want only McDonald's, convenience stores (and for that matter check cashing places, payday loans, and pawn shops).

                  "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

                  by theran on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:50:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I think that organic and sustainable are (0+ / 0-)

            independent terms.

            I think that conventional agricultural practices had nearly maxed the yield and that herbicide engineering is more of an insurance policy than an improvement.

            We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

            by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:11:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes they are independent terms but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RunawayRose

              there is a hell of a lot more overlap on the Venn diagram of "organic" and ""sustainable"' than "conventional ag" and "sustainable".

              "And tell me how does god choose whose prayers does he refuse?" Tom Waits

              by madaprn on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 01:05:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  hahahaha. I love a good Venn. It is in (0+ / 0-)

                agreement with my life's philosophy:  There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those who do and those who don't.

                We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

                by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 04:06:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            madaprn

            yep, I'm midwestern born and raised. IL, WI, and MO for 26 years.

            re: the idea of wealthy elites, I'm broke myself these days. Totally broke and living on donations, a few bucks I get from writing (not much, maybe $400/mo when I'm lucky?), and draining my 401k while racking up a Visa bill. I'm not sure what to do to be honest but I figure I've got a few months to get the message in this book out before it's old news and I can worry about the Visa bill after that. Fortunately I live near a farmers' market and I get stuff there for cheap. I can't buy everything I want - apple cider, figs, cherries, passion fruits, etc, are all too expensive for me. I buy cheaper foods, like the leftover peaches at the end of the market when they are going for $5 for an entire bag, or oranges for $4/5 lbs.

            I wrote a book! You should buy it!

            by Jill Richardson on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:04:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Jill, this is a little OT (0+ / 0-)

              I was at the state fair today, and UC Davis had a wonderful intensive garden. They claimed you can grow enough for a family of four on less than 3000 sq ft. There is no doubt that locally produced organic food is doable. One thing that is also certain is that mondern agriculture's dependence on cheap oil and labor is not sustainable.

              Now back on-topic. I've been stopping at a local fruit stand that sells a lot of local produce, and it always better quality, and almost always less $$$ than the grocery store.

              Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune. Walt Whitman

              by Sacramento Dem on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 11:44:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Happy to be eating period (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CaDan

          If you don't have a job you don't get a whole lot of choices on the food front.

          "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

          by Blutodog on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:02:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  one great thing about Jill's book (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, 4Freedom, JayinPortland

          is that it gives you so many ideas about how you can improve your diet AND the world one step at a time. She's really good at encouraging you to start from wherever you are ... just as she did.

          working for a world that works for everyone ...

          by USHomeopath on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:18:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Cheaper and Better Food (4+ / 0-)

          Food was often cheaper when it was local-when we had more food grown in more places. When I was a kid (1960's) food in the farmer's markets were grown mostly locally, the exceptions being oranges and imports. We plowed over the farms and replaced them with subdivisions and started importing regular food from Mexico and China. I can recall the smell of the local slaughterhouses. That's not there anymore. There was milk, freshly delivered every morning from local dairies. The local dairy is now all gone, along with local eggs, cheese, butter.

          The localvore is about returning some of our most fertile soil back to farming, allowing small farms to thrive again-farms, because they do not have to spend millions on oil and shipping costs can be cheaper.

          Check out what they are doing in food-desert Detroit. Detroit, which is desperately poor, is growing fresh fruits and vegetables organically. There's even a proposed farm being built among the ruins.

          Howard Dean Forever and a Day

          by CarolDuhart on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:21:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  its not about telling you to eat that way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          leberquesgue

          when you can't afford it. It's about trying to make it possible so that you CAN afford to eat that way if you'd like to. There are tons of efforts around the country to help bring good food to people who would never be able to afford Whole Foods prices. Obviously these efforts havent reached everyone yet but that doesn't mean that there arent a lot of people trying (myself included). So please do not say that we are trying to force food on you that you can't afford. We are trying to make a more just system so that all people can have access to healthy food if they want it.

          I wrote a book! You should buy it!

          by Jill Richardson on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 04:58:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I also wonder what would happen to industrial (0+ / 0-)

        agriculture if this approach was given more power.  We cannot deny that ag is one of the country's most important industries.  As manufacturing shifts to Asia and cheaper labor markets, we need to keep our agricultural base going.  We need to improve it but keep the industry alive.

        We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

        by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:05:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We may have to consider that very soon. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, Freakinout daily

          We import food from China, South America, Eastern Europe. Right now, the cost of oil is low enough that the cost of shipping from overseas is reasonable. But as we saw last year when the price of oil went up temporarily to over $4 a gallon, and as we are beginning to see this year the effects of global warming, trouble is on the horizon. And realistically, should we be so dependent for our daily bread on the whims of global commerce? Or geopolitical stability?

          Howard Dean Forever and a Day

          by CarolDuhart on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:25:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Like most engaged in political debate (15+ / 0-)

      you know just enough economics to be dangerous, and draw the wrong conclusions.

      The societal costs of industrial farming are not born by the producers or consumers. This is classic economic inefficiency.

      The true cost of industrial food is the purchase price, plus the societal costs that aren't reflected in that price. Industrially produced food isn't "cheaper", it is just subsidized.

      We subsidize the destructive practices instead of the sustainable ones.

      There most certainly are political solutions that would feed the masses and make us healthier and cut health care costs without destroying the planet.

      Unfortunately, there are big businesses that profit from the current system, and would be hurt by a more sustainable one that produced healthier citizens.

      So we will continue to rape the planet as we get fatter and sicker, because that is where the profit is, and where there is profit, there is political influence.

    •  let me refer you to the study (15+ / 0-)

      Organic Agriculture and the Global Food Supply by Catherine Badgley et al - the study examines the question whether we could feed the world if we all went organic. Answer is YES. We'd also have enough nitrogen, says the study.

      But the point is really moot because we wouldn't go organic overnight. It would be gradual. If it started to look like we were running out of food, we'd stop doing it.

      Furthermore, hunger has increased as food production per capita has increased, so it's not true that hunger is due to a lack of food in the world.

      That said, the negative review by Publishers Weekly was written by somebody who I estimate read to page 60 in my book. Take it for what it's worth.

      I wrote a book! You should buy it!

      by Jill Richardson on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:35:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All I get is the abstract (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CaDan

        So I don't know. But I think you really need to hear what I'm saying. If you REALLY want to destroy any chance of a democratic majority EVER just go ahead and fuck with my food.

        I'm a liberal and I'm very poor. I get very upset when wealthy liberals tell me I should do this or that when they have no fucking clue about what it's like.

        You say that it would be possible to feed everyone organically. I just don't believe it. I was raised on a farm, I know what a difference pesticides make in yields. I also know that switching to all organics would mean an increase in labor. It's a nice dream but as far as I know that is all it is or ever will be.

        "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

        by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:44:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  pesticides (0+ / 0-)

          help yields, but you have to know pesticides are not good for you to eat, don't you? So we feed everyone, but it's all crap and they die from it?

          •  Just wash 'em off (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CaDan

            And it's fine. The concern over pesticides in food is overblown by scientifically illiterate liberals.

            "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

            by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:51:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wash (5+ / 0-)

              it is part of the food and inside, not just washable on the outside. Plants take up the nutrients and whatever else is in the ground. Animals, fish that we eat, have the chemicals inside them because they ate it. The chemicals are inside our fruits, veggies, chicken, etc.

              •  What little is in there (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                CaDan

                is destroyed during the cooking process. Besides, I simply have NO CHOICE. Why is that hard to understand? I suspect that like most people you tend to think what is normal for you is normal for everyone.

                "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

                by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:59:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You make two different arguments there (6+ / 0-)

                  One, "I simply have NO CHOICE," is arguable, but let's set it aside.  Your statement that pesticides are "destroyed during the cooking process" is very important, if true, but you give no reason other than the confident declarative statement that it is true.  Care to take another swing at is so that there's enough there to rebut?

                  •  Hoookey doookey (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    CaDan

                    PESTICIDE RESIDUES IN FOOD

                    In the light of the results of the above survey, a supervised trial was carried out in a factory processing three bran products.  The results of the trial are shown in Table 3.  These indicate that substantially all of the fenitrothion residues are destroyed in the cooking process which involves prolonged heating under pressure with live steam after the bran has been subjected to wet digestion with malt.

                    "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

                    by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:15:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Rather than make a statement, let me ask you this (5+ / 0-)

                      Do you think that the study you recount above adequately supports the blanket statement that "What little [pesticide contamination is in there is destroyed during the cooking process"?

                      If you wonder why some of us are challenging you a little loudly, it's because garnishing isolated "facts" like that to rebut a myriad of possible roots to contamination -- even granting for the moment that the study is true -- is something that the companies that profit from pesticides often do.

                      When executives from those companies are prepared to eat regular meals of pesticides properly prepared under normal cooking conditions, I hope you'll let us know.

                •  no choice (4+ / 0-)

                  No, I understand that. But, just because that is what you can afford doesn't mean you should be lied to.

                  That is why we need to fix things. I don't expect it in my lifetime, but people deserve food that is actually food and good for them even if they are not rich. Sort of like health care.

                  •  People deserve better food (0+ / 0-)

                    But whenever this topic comes up it strikes terror in my heart. I don't want people messing with my food. I am afraid of people with romantic ideals that are not grounded in reality screwing around with what I eat.

                    "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

                    by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:18:41 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  People are messing with your food (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rickeagle, earicicle

                      right now. And have been for a long time.

                      There's a massive system of subsidies for industrialized food that's been in place since the Earl Butz days. Industrial food isn't "cheap", it's just that the real costs are externalized. We're paying a huge price for all that "cheap" food.

                      People are already making decisions for you, with or without your knowledge. Maybe the answer is to be more engaged.

              •  No, no, no. Pesticides are designed to be broken (0+ / 0-)

                down by sunlight, generally.  They are sprayed on and break down in a few hours.  They are not in the soil.  There are time-release fertilizers that cause problems but ...

                We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

                by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:14:21 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If that were so (0+ / 0-)

                  we wouldn't have found DDT in fish and birds. Pesticide residue is found throughout the food chain. Pesticide runoff gets into the river, the fish absorb it, the bird eats the fish, the hunter shoots the bird, the hunter's family eats the bird and absorbs the pesticide residue and the baby is born with a birth defect directly related to the pesticide chemicals. Let's face it less chemicals is better for everyone. Notice I didn't say no chemicals but the less that are used the better. As for washing yes washing gets the pesticide off but most folks don't know that just rinsing isn't washing.

                  "I agree with you now make me do it!" FDR

                  by JC Dufresne on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:01:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  All of the comments you have made here are (6+ / 0-)

              straight out of a shill's book. Stop your jeremiads, it makes you sound like a repub.

              •  sad (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Asinus Asinum Fricat, alliedoc

                To me it is not shilling; it's an uninformed person not wanting to know the truth, and angry because deep down they know, but can't afford to eat right in America.

                •  The problem with eating right is FAT not (0+ / 0-)

                  pesticides.  People sit on their butts, eating, and watching TV ... ice cream, pop, high fat chips, and then buy an organic apple and think it will make it all better.

                  Me, I have high blood pressure but excellent blood work (cholesterol etc).  My problem is stress.  And, exercise would help that too!!!!!

                  We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

                  by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:17:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I don't think I'm uninformed (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't trust what some of these people are saying. I think there is a combination of a elitist view of the world with an unscientific understanding.

                  When I do go to the organic food store I see an entire isle devoted to aroma therapy and homeopathy. So why should I believe these same morons telling me it would be great if we all ate nothing but organic food?

                  Yeah right.

                  "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

                  by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:28:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Jerimiads! Hahahahahahahahahaha. (0+ / 0-)

                Funny word.

                We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

                by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  There are more options every year (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RunawayRose, JayinPortland

          especially as organic methods are getting more time in the land grant universities. For example, in our area it used to be that coddling moth could be controlled only with nasty sprays that killed all the insects in the vicinity, including bees. Now there are hormone sprays that keep the males from being able to find females during the mating season. The farmers in my area are glad to have less toxic options.

          You might also appreciate Mark Winne's work, about ensuring that healthy food is more available in poor areas.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:56:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've been eating very cheaply (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theran, earicicle, Eddie L

          and organically all summer out of my garden. I've been canning and drying the excess, so that will help with my food bills next winter.

          MnplsLiberal, I know not everyone has the time or space to do this. I hope you may be able to some day, if not now.

          Also things change. Recently Sacramento CA changed its law which used to prohibit vegie gardens in front lawns. So now many Sacramentans have more garden space than previously. And it's a much better use of water than using it for lawns.

          working for a world that works for everyone ...

          by USHomeopath on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:30:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I live in urban Minneapolis (0+ / 0-)

            I don't have a lawn, I have an alleyway that the drunks and the crack whores use at night.

            There are community garden plots, but they're expensive and I have to wonder about lead in the soil.

            You know, things aren't exactly horrible for me. They are ok. But I get very worried whenever anyone wants to mess around with my food.

            I'm very vulnerable. I can't grow my own food. I have no where to go to if the food supply were disrupted. I have no options. That means that anything the could potentially threaten my food also threatens my life.

            Wealthy liberals seem to me to take an awful lot for granted.

            "Libertarianism is how poor people fondly imagine that rich people think. It's the ideological equivalent of wearing a fake Rolex to look rich." --4chan

            by MnplsLiberal on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:37:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If you get a job (0+ / 0-)

              lobbying for McDonald's, you'll be able to buy better food.  You should also sing the virtues of check-cashing places instead of banks and pawn shops.

              "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

              by theran on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:02:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I find it interesting that you claim to be a (6+ / 0-)

              liberal, yet several of your comments here use "liberal" as a pejorative term.  I'm not sure what your real issue is.  Do you really think that anybody (here) is proposing a system that would raise food prices across the board, and cause more people to go hungry?  That certainly isn't a "liberal" position, even for wealthy elitist liberals, or whatever else you are calling them.

              I haven't read Jill's book, so I can't comment on it directly.  I might take a guess and say that a move to local, organic food and sustainable farming practices might change the relative pricing of various products--perhaps meat becomes more expensive, but produce is cheaper and more available.  Clearly, the current system needs a lot of improvement.  You seem unreasonably afraid of any change.

        •  Organic doesn't mean forgoing automation!! (0+ / 0-)

          It means forgoing lots of funky chemistry -- that we don't fully understand the implications of.

          Can you say DDT?  Gee, I knew you could (and your two-headed children).

          Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
          I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
          -Spike Milligan

          by polecat on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:56:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not so fast. Without the fertilizer intensive (8+ / 0-)

      methods the American farm will produce about 92% to 98% of what is grown now depending on the area and crop. In all developing nations, organic practices actually increases the average yield per acre and without having to import expensive fertilizers and helping to prevent the desertification threatening many areas. In the developed world more acres devoted to organic farming practices mean less pesticide in the ecosystem. This means less toxins in us and our children, particularly since some pesticides and herbicides are known endocrine disruptors, i.e., messed up development of the reproductive organs.

      Progressives are reality based Americans

      by OHdog on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:38:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I suspected as much, which is why I want to see (0+ / 0-)

      the table of contents.  I am very interested in learning more about sustainability as I started teaching a plant biology/genetics/biotech course for environmental science majors.  It morphed into something more global but I lack a book.  My personal interest is in diversity and germplasm and how monocultures are the real problem.  We need to focus on sustainability and helping third world nations to produce their own food through GMO that solve the problems, not create new ones.

      We're all a little bit dysfunctional, in a perfect world.

      by alliedoc on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:00:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Breeding a version of corn that is a perennial (0+ / 0-)

      instead of an annual would make a tremendous difference, too.

      Cut way back on the amount of tilling, fertilizer, top soil loss, etc.

      But that makes too much sense.

      I'm with OrangeClouds115 -- I want to see you starve.  You and your ilk.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:55:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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