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Go Back   Dirk's Works > Macrobiotics > Share the Wealth of Health

Share the Wealth of Health Are you a follower of the grain? Have you been searching for health and happiness and found it? Still searching? Come share your experiences with other macro followers.

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Old 05-18-2017, 07:11 PM   #1
Flygirl
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Default Population growth and the Agro industry

Folks, I thought this would be interesting to the MB community, given our reliance on local and natural crops...

A report from the Global Harvest Initiative, states that with a world population expected to be at least 9 billion people in 2050, the demand for food, feed and fiber is going to explode (many sources estimate up to a 70% increase!) This will likely outpace food production if the current rate of output remains the same: https://www.globalharvestinitiative.o...-2015-digital/

The director of GHI has taken the "more GMOs" stance on the issue: "As for ways to increase agricultural productivity... ideas include genetic modified organism seeds (GMOs) of which Monsanto is the world's largest producer—but she added that all methods should be up for discussion."

But GMOs don't have to be the answer! We can use modern technology to increase the productivity of farmers as much as tenfold... This was a HUGE focus area, generating a lot of discussion, at this year's AUVSI Xponential conference, as drones can play a significant role: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6...riculture/amp/

It's important for all of us to be vocal about the benefits of small, local farms delivering pure and sustainable crops to keep us healthy. The USDA has taken steps to relax regulations and support small farms but there is much more that can be done to ensure the quality food we enjoy today is still available to future generations...

More on sustainable agriculture:
https://asi.ucdavis.edu/programs/sare...le-agriculture

I'd write more but I'm on my phone and this has already taken forever! Lol... honestly I never realized how dire the agricultural supply problem was until I heard a panel of growers discussing it. The agricultural industry is taking major strides to increase crop production (without chemicals), but something needs to be done to dramatically increase production in the coming years. We should be talking about this... We're so concerned about global warming affecting later generations, but it's a relatively unknown, yet well-documented problem that we could run out of healthy food in our lifetimes!! And THIS is something we absolutely can address with public awareness.

Is anyone else concerned about this issue?
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Yes. I do share your concern. Running out of healthy food is also something that will affect future generations.

I think with people getting ever more interested in health food and healthy lifestyles that they should become aware of this issue and the importance of doing something to prevent this from happening somehow. We owe this to our future generations.
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Old 05-20-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

I live in a state that is mostly farmers. These farms have been passed from generation to generation. Commercial farms are present in the community, but they are not the majority.

I think a lot of things need to change for future generations. The food supply is a great place to start, but you also need to bring back manners, compassion, and tolerance.

Btw, I'm including political beliefs in this. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and not all liberals or conservatives are bad.
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Old 05-20-2017, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

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Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
I think a lot of things need to change for future generations. The food supply is a great place to start, but you also need to bring back manners, compassion, and tolerance.
I completely agree with you. Very very important.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

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Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
Btw, I'm including political beliefs in this. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and not all liberals or conservatives are bad.
Agree. More below, if anyone is interested.

I wish more people felt that opinions and debates were more important to our future as a democratic society than ever before. With all the lying, slander and vitriol in the media these days... Most people I know are shutting down when we should be having these conversations ourselves. If you listen to news sources, but refuse to listen to your friends and colleagues, you're only getting a very narrow view of reality. **Think about how often you repost news stories on Facebook or Twitter - do you always research the story? - are there news sources you always trust without checking? Now ask yourself how many of those stories you continue to follow AFTER they've been posted, to make sure they were, in fact, accurate. I won't get into specifics but there has been a lot of provocative fiction permeating the MSM for quite a while, with an increasingly obvious intent.

My guess is that most of the time you read a news story that supports "your views", you like it, share it, and forget it.

I was just thinking about this today. There are two attitudes prevailing on all sides of the political spectrum that I simply can't tolerate. One is bigotry; the habit of making broad assumptions about individuals one doesn't know, whether it's because of who they are (racism, homophobia, xenophobia) OR what they believe (religion, ideology, values... the rush to assumption that all XX supporters/believers are XXX.) The other attitude - and this is a nasty, pervasive trend in social media... the best way I can think to describe this is "narcissistic self-segregation" - the belief that one's opinions are so unerringly justified that one refuses to engage in conversation or debate because no one else "gets it". This is the practice of lumping 350M people into several (or two) neat little groups, and refusing to listen to the opinions or perspectives of those people who do not fit with one's chosen group.

To me, the only way to fight against both of these dangerous attitudes is by starting those conversations, ACTIVELY listening to what a diverse group of people have to say, and applying CRITICAL THINKING skills to every piece of information we perceive. Consider sources and objectives of those sources. I don't understand why people who are so apparently passionate about their convictions are also the ones most afraid of starting a conversation.
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyngirl5 View Post
Agree. More below, if anyone is interested.

I wish more people felt that opinions and debates were more important to our future as a democratic society than ever before. With all the lying, slander and vitriol in the media these days... Most people I know are shutting down when we should be having these conversations ourselves. If you listen to news sources, but refuse to listen to your friends and colleagues, you're only getting a very narrow view of reality. **Think about how often you repost news stories on Facebook or Twitter - do you always research the story? - are there news sources you always trust without checking? Now ask yourself how many of those stories you continue to follow AFTER they've been posted, to make sure they were, in fact, accurate. I won't get into specifics but there has been a lot of provocative fiction permeating the MSM for quite a while, with an increasingly obvious intent.

My guess is that most of the time you read a news story that supports "your views", you like it, share it, and forget it.

I was just thinking about this today. There are two attitudes prevailing on all sides of the political spectrum that I simply can't tolerate. One is bigotry; the habit of making broad assumptions about individuals one doesn't know, whether it's because of who they are (racism, homophobia, xenophobia) OR what they believe (religion, ideology, values... the rush to assumption that all XX supporters/believers are XXX.) The other attitude - and this is a nasty, pervasive trend in social media... the best way I can think to describe this is "narcissistic self-segregation" - the belief that one's opinions are so unerringly justified that one refuses to engage in conversation or debate because no one else "gets it". This is the practice of lumping 350M people into several (or two) neat little groups, and refusing to listen to the opinions or perspectives of those people who do not fit with one's chosen group.

To me, the only way to fight against both of these dangerous attitudes is by starting those conversations, ACTIVELY listening to what a diverse group of people have to say, and applying CRITICAL THINKING skills to every piece of information we perceive. Consider sources and objectives of those sources. I don't understand why people who are so apparently passionate about their convictions are also the ones most afraid of starting a conversation.
I agree with you that this is a major problem today for people of all political stances.

Part of the problem is our rush to judgment. We have such limited knowledge of all the factors involved in certain issues, and most of that knowledge is received second- or third-hand from sources with their own self-profiting agendas. We then become dogmatic about the way things really are when we don't actually have enough evidence to support our dogma. For example, the issue of refugees coming to the US has been highly controversial over the last few years. But most people who argue one way or the other have never personally met a refugee or been to any of the countries that these people are from. They may know very little about the cultural background and religious beliefs of refugees from different countries, and what they think they know is what they have been told by others and the media. Last summer I was able to personally meet several refugees in a refugee care organization in California. I met people from several countries, most in the Middle East, including Syria and Iran. I got to help in a few ESL classes and spoke with these people one-on-one. The biggest realization I had was that these people were just like the rest of us. They had families, friends, careers, and multifaceted lives in the countries they came from. One man had run his own upholstery business. One woman had been a labor-and-delivery nurse. I got to sit in on a group session done in Arabic, and although I couldn't understand a word of the fluid language that sounded like a mix of French, German, and Spanish all in one, I could tell when the speaker was coming to the end of her presentation because her tone and speed changed the way an English speaker's does when wrapping up speaking.

This was in some ways really off-topic (oops), but anyway, here's a point to tie it all together: There's a need for people in general to stop jumping to conclusions and be willing to solve problems with calm, reasoned, and friendly discussion of opposing viewpoints. You can't force other people to shut up and listen to you, and even if you can it will probably make them dig in their heels further (yes, I have learned this from personal experience). Is a Republican or a Democrat persuaded to switch sides by watching the other party's convention on TV? Any kind of widespread change in the way people treat each other and the responsibility they take for their welfare isn't going to start with passionate speeches or a great leader rising from the ranks. All that may come later, but it really begins with individuals - people in their own homes, living their own lives, incrementally changing the perspectives of the people around them simply by living out what they know to be true. If we've been going downhill for generations (and of course, it's easier to go downhill than uphill), we can't expect to work our way uphill again in a year. And we can't make other people make the right decisions just by telling them they're the right decisions. All we can do is live the way we know is right, speaking for the truth but not hammering people with it, and those who will be persuaded to change, will change.

Don't know if that sounds really Zen, fatalistic, or what, but that's what I think. Any agreement or disagreement is welcome.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Somehow I think I got us off on a tangent and off the original subject. Sorry Flyngirl. I was trying to keep us on the straight and narrow path. I just can't deal with one aspect without reflecting on the other. Oops.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
Somehow I think I got us off on a tangent and off the original subject. Sorry Flyngirl. I was trying to keep us on the straight and narrow path. I just can't deal with one aspect without reflecting on the other. Oops.
I'll share the blame for some of the tangent. Or maybe it was a tangent from the tangent.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

1000% agree LD! I'd write more but I'm on my phone and the kid is getting out of music lessons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
Somehow I think I got us off on a tangent and off the original subject. Sorry Flyngirl. I was trying to keep us on the straight and narrow path. I just can't deal with one aspect without reflecting on the other. Oops.
Come now, have you ever known me to keep myself on the straight and narrow??

Totally not a problem. You know I like to get this stuff off my chest. I don't do well with being told I can't talk about something.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

So, back to the original topic. I agree that we should have our own gardens to take care of the family members we can and promote healthy restaurants to compete against the others and make more demand for truly organic, home-grown produce.
Using my crystal ball, at some point, the people who get it will outlive those that don't. (My crystal ball may be foggy from the SNOW this week. Mid-May!!!!)
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
So, back to the original topic. I agree that we should have our own gardens to take care of the family members we can and promote healthy restaurants to compete against the others and make more demand for truly organic, home-grown produce.
Using my crystal ball, at some point, the people who get it will outlive those that don't. (My crystal ball may be foggy from the SNOW this week. Mid-May!!!!)
Yes and Yes. And yes - in theory.

I think you need to tell those Wisconsin weather forecasters to chill out with the snow, man.

Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT funny.
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Last edited by Ludlum'sDaughter14; 05-20-2017 at 08:13 PM..
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Old 05-20-2017, 08:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

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Yes and Yes. And yes - in theory.

I think you need to tell those Wisconsin weather forecasters to chill out with the snow, man.

Okay, maybe it wasn't THAT funny.
I feel like we had all four Seasons in one week. Hot and humid with tornadoes on Monday, snow on Tuesday. Frost on wednesday. Our poor plants. My nicely blooming tree last week looks like it does in October. Keep laughing. I'm glad someone's enjoying this.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
So, back to the original topic. I agree that we should have our own gardens to take care of the family members we can and promote healthy restaurants to compete against the others and make more demand for truly organic, home-grown produce.
Using my crystal ball, at some point, the people who get it will outlive those that don't. (My crystal ball may be foggy from the SNOW this week. Mid-May!!!!)
Not a lot grows in AZ. I have a lime tree and some cacti. But you can't eat cacti...

Definitely agree on promoting healthy restaurants. I think it's good that so many are now putting calorie counts on the menu and offering lighter and vegetarian options. But we could use some macrobiotic restaurants and cafes, just offering very simple dishes. A place where you can order brown rice with tamari, miso soup and a cup of tea.
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Old 05-21-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vballspieler View Post
I feel like we had all four Seasons in one week. Hot and humid with tornadoes on Monday, snow on Tuesday. Frost on wednesday. Our poor plants. My nicely blooming tree last week looks like it does in October. Keep laughing. I'm glad someone's enjoying this.
They promised us some sun this week and I promise to send some your way
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Cassiebsg mentioned this on another thread and I was recently looking into it. It's amazing how fruit has changed over the years as a result of genetic modification...

This says a lot, doesn't it? The one on the bottom is a wild banana.



And this painting shows what watermelons used to look like:



Interesting/relevant website: https://www.foodinsight.org/foods-be...-biotechnology
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyngirl5 View Post
Cassiebsg mentioned this on another thread and I was recently looking into it. It's amazing how fruit has changed over the years as a result of genetic modification...

This says a lot, doesn't it? The one on the bottom is a wild banana.



And this painting shows what watermelons used to look like:



Interesting/relevant website: https://www.foodinsight.org/foods-be...-biotechnology
Wild corn does not even exist anymore! Unless corn is deliberately stripped and planted, no corn will grow!

I was reading Bill Bryson's “At Home: A Short History of Private Life.” There is apart where he describes where corn came from. Amazing!

<<If, ten thousand years ago, you had been asked to guess which area of the world would be the seat of the greatest future civilizations, you would probably have settled on some part of Central or South America on the basis of the amazing things they were doing with food there. Academics call this portion of the New World Mesoamerica, an accommodatingly vague term that could fairly be defined as Central America plus as much or as little of North and South America as are needed to support a hypothesis.

Mesoamericans were the greatest cultivators in history, but of all their many horticultural innovations none was more lastingly important or unexpected than the creation of maize, or corn as it is known where I come from. We still don't have any idea how they did it. If you look at primitive forms of barley, rice, or wheat set beside their modern counterparts, you can see the affinities at once. But nothing in the wild remotely resembles modern corn. Genetically, its nearest relative is a wispy grass called teosinte, but beyond the level of chromosomes there is no discernible kinship. Corn grows into a hefty cob on a single stalk and its grains are encased in a stiff, protective husk. An ear of teosinte, in comparison, is less than an inch long, has no husk, and grows on a multiplicity of stems. Teosinte is almost valueless as a food; one kernel of corn is more nutritious than a whole ear of teosinte.

It is beyond us to divine how any people could have bred cobs of corn from such a thin and unpropitious plant—or even thought to try. Hoping to settle the matter once and for all, food scientists from around the world convened in 1969 at a conference on the origin of corn at the University of Illinois, but the debates grew so vituperative and bitter, and at times so personal, that the conference broke up in confusion and no papers from it were ever published. Nothing like it has been attempted since. Scientists are now pretty sure, however, that corn was first domesticated on the plains of western Mexico, and are in no doubt, thanks to the persuasive wonders of genetics, that somehow it was coaxed into being from teosinte, but how it was done remains as much of a mystery as it ever did.

However they did it, the Mesoamericans created the world's first fully engineered plant—a plant so thoroughly manipulated that it is now wholly dependent on us for its survival. Corn kernels do not spontaneously disengage from their cobs, so unless they are deliberately stripped and planted, no corn will grow. Had people not been tending it continuously for these thousands of years, corn would be extinct. The inventors of corn not only created a new kind of plant, they also created—conceived from nothing really—a new type of ecosystem that existed nowhere in their world. In Mesopotamia natural meadows grew everywhere already, so cultivation was largely a matter of transforming natural grain fields into superior managed ones. In the arid scrubs of Central America, however, fields were unknown. They had to be created from scratch by people who had never seen such a thing before. It was like someone in a desert imagining lawns.

Today corn is far more indispensable than most people realize. Cornstarch is used in the manufacture of soda pop, chewing gum, ice cream, peanut butter, library paste, ketchup, automobile paint, embalming fluid, gunpowder, insecticides, deodorants, soap, potato chips, surgical dressings, nail polish, foot powder, salad dressing, and several hundred things more. To borrow from Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, it is not so much as if we have domesticated corn as it has domesticated us.

The worry is that as crops are engineered to a state of uniform genetic perfection, they will lose their protective variability. When you drive past a field of corn today, every stalk in it is identical to every other—not just extremely similar, but eerily, molecularly identical. Replicants live in perfect harmony since none can outcompete any others. But they also have matching vulnerabilities. In 1970, the corn world suffered a real fright when a disease called southern corn-leaf blight started killing corn across America and it was realized that practically the entire national crop was planted from seeds with genetically identical cytoplasm. Had the cytoplasm been directly affected or the disease proved more virulent, food scientists all over the world might now be scratching their heads over ears of teosinte and we would all be eating potato chips and ice cream that didn't taste quite right.

Potatoes, the other great food crop of the New World, present an almost equally intriguing batch of mysteries. Potatoes are from the nightshade family, which is of course notoriously toxic, and in their wild state they are full of poisonous glycoalkaloids—the same stuff, at lower doses, that puts the zip in caffeine and nicotine. Making any wild potatoes safe to eat required reducing the glycoalkaloid content to between one-fifteenth and one-twentieth of its normal level. This raises a lot of questions, beginning most obviously with: How did they do it? And while they were doing it, how did they know they were doing it? How do you tell that the poison content has been reduced by, say, 20 percent or 35 percent or some other intermediate figure? How do you assess progress in such a process? Above all, how did they know that the whole exercise was worth the effort and that they would get a safe and nutritious foodstuff in the end?

Of course, a nontoxic potato might equally have mutated spontaneously, saving them generations of experimental selective breeding. But if so, how did they know that it had mutated and that out of all the poisonous wild potatoes around them here at last was one that was safe to eat?
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Population growth and the Agro industry

Wow, this is really interesting! It's amazing to think about how all this started. What made ancient people think this could be done, what kind of experimentation was involved, what tools, how the plants evolved to compose so many other products...
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