Archive for April, 2010

Is it still Meat?

April 21st, 2010

The evolution of agricultural science which lifted off in the 1960’s (well, the process may have started in the forties, but didn’t actually receive the sobriquet “Green Revolution” until sometime in the 1960’s) worked famously: grain production increased signifcantly, yet  “global increase in crop yields per” hectare “across 1961 – 1999 were accompanied by a 97% increase in irrigated acreage and 638 %, 203 %,and 854 % increases in use of nitrogen fertilizer, phosphorus fertilizer, and production of pesticides, respectively.”(B. TRENDS IN ACREAGE AND YIELDS,  Patricia Muir.  Oregon State 1998) One must look at both sides of the coin to see the whole truth.

A huge increase in food was not only offset with a growth in population, but also with a historic use of chemicals used to produce that food.  Those fertilizers can be directly traced  to the meat on the BBQ.  There hasn’t been sufficient testing to understand the influence those trace chemicals may have for human consumption and no testing on the effects of Genetically Modified Food.  Yet we are consuming those meats in historic numbers…we are perhaps supplying the medical field with a vast and growing base of lifelong customers.  Petroleum > corn > lifestock > humans.  Although this is the current dominant paradigm it is not the only and certainly not the healthiest.

We are fortunate that  CSA  programs for meat (Local Harvest) exist.  The more support we can give these folks, the more successful these ventures will be  the greater the chance to alter the current food paradigm.  It’s tough to pay that extra money, but its just the straight costs up front, not the hidden costs of industrial food that may lead to disease and an unfulfilling existence.