Posts Tagged ‘green revolution’

Is it still meat?

November 20th, 2010

winter pig

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 increasingly well:  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) A huge increase in food was not only offset with a growth in population, but also with an historic use of chemicals used to produce that food.

And?  You ask…and I tell you  that the short cuts that science allows, unchecked by humble goals and a careful agenda, will cost more in the long run.  So our land is riddled with dying soil and small farmers are  losing their farms, and, although smaller farms tend to be more efficient per acre, industrial production of food is now the norm due to government intervention. The capitalist virus has its all powerful grip on our food production, and, although capitalism can indeed be contained, we are not supplying the information in terms that the market understands without help.

Along comes Genetically Modified (GM) food crops.  Conservative sources expound the great benefits of GM food.  Yet GM food, even though donated in the beginning, is patented, licensed and owned.  Small farmers are being successfully sued because GM seeds have blown onto their property and they have been accused of theft.  Growing your own food is becoming a less likely phenomenon  in our new world.

What about the Hog! You ask.

Well.  The hog has gone the way of the eggplant, of corn, of wheat: pork will soon be produced in petri dishes.  Dutch scientists are taking stem cells from a hog and making pork.  This meat posesses the consistency of a scallop and is deficient in protein, yet  could be used as “processed meat in sausages and hamburgers”  (Maria Cheng, The Associated Press, January 15, 2010.)

Potentially we could feed protein to millions of the hungry.  Yet…should we? Indeed, hunger  is surpassed by obesity in our new age.   More hungry people exist today as a percentage of the population than before the Green Revolution.

What do you think of ultimate processed meat?  Do you think it safe without testing it?  Should we feed the hungry with this untested meat.  Is it still meat?