[NAFEX] You Think You Got Pest Problems? OFF-TOPIC

hans brinkmann hans-brinkmann at t-online.de
Thu Aug 23 22:03:34 EDT 2007


Hallo Bill,

of course you are very right!
The same ratio probably at Germany.

Fast food and the food-industry are reasons for these bad prices..
As I wrote: A bun (role of bread) in Germany has flour inside for 1% of 
the selling price!
Who gets the profit? Flour mills are very large companies at Germany...
ALWAYS farmers are getting reductions for their grain sold to the mills...

Never in the past food has been so cheap and worthless.
A car, a holiday or playstation have much better values.
Many prices are complete crazy.

 From my point of view this all speaks against Fast-food!
Against multinational food-companies, against the world largest American 
company which is selling gen-stuff, herbicide-stuff and according their 
own policy, they want to control the whole world food market in future. 
And I do not think, after that, all American farmers will have a better 
income...but probably the shareholders. The bigger those companies are 
the more interesting they are for hedgefonds and shareholders and others 
who just swallow your part/portion.

The opposite of fast food is one right direction...
How can we respect the food at the supermarket, if there are too many 
declared and UNDECLARED things inside?
If we do not know what foodstuff or NO-FOODSTUFF is inside!
If we do not know from WHERE it came from (Yes Tanis!)!
Even dog-feed for blind dogs is often containing colorants and other 
useful stuff!
If I buy such a food, it has to be at least very, very cheap to make me 
a little bit happy!!!

Hopefully our societies have sufficient space for new directions in future.

ciao
Hans


william Eggers schrieb:

> I have read about farming in this email for several days and I guess I 
> will add my 2 cents worth. I grew up on a farm and have farmed most of 
> my life.
> severl years ago in a farm magazine, they stated that a farmer made as 
> much off of 80 acres of corn in Iowa in 1980 as he did on 1350 acres 
> in the 90s. The next month, someone wrote in that that must have been 
> a misprint. The magazine said that it was not a misprint. I grew up on 
> a 160 acre farm and we had a good living. Now a farmer here can not 
> make good living on 1600 acres. Why. Because we are still getting 1950 
> prices. In 1950 my father bought a tractor for $1125 and sold hay for 
> $1.00 a bale. Now a simular tractor sells for $15000 and hay sell here 
> for $3.00 a bale. Corn is the same way. In 1950 Father sold corn for 
> $1.00 a bushel. Now we sell corn for less than $3.00 a bushel. To 
> bring it to fruit, my father had an orchard and in 1936 he harvested 
> apples and my aunt, who lived with us and worked in a factory, sold 
> them for a $1.00 and bushel. The apples that were not good enough to 
> sell, he made cider of and sold that for $1.00 a gallon. Try 
> comparring that to what we got now. You could buy a brand new full 
> size Ford in 1936 for $600. Now, I think, it will cost about $24000. 
> Thus cars sell for 40 times what they did then. Well, you get the idea.
> Bill Eggers
> Winterset, Iowa
>
> */hans brinkmann <hans-brinkmann at t-online.de>/* wrote:
>
>     Hallo Mark and hallo Rivka,
>
>     I like it very much, reading your very interesting comments!
>     I like it also to hear about other culture/countries.
>
>     My father was plowing his fields only with horses - as he has been a
>     young man.
>     Those days each house in our villages has had one or more porks.
>     As I have been young each farmer has had at least few or many porks.
>     Now-a-days not a single farmer in the whole area has a single
>     pork, but
>     the pork consumption is increased drastically...
>
>     But maybe because of the close contact with farm animals, my father
>     taught me:
>     Never kill an animal just for fun!
>     Never hurt an animal for fun, because they feel the pain like
>     human beings!
>     Never throw food away! (at least feed it to the porks, dogs or cats)!
>     Just to add, to avoid critics, he did not forgot the human beings:
>     He also taught me also - as a German with too much war experience:
>     Never
>     ever join the German Army!
>
>     I found a very interesting and informative American page - not
>     only for
>     younger people -
>     *http://www.youthxchange.net/main/b223_food-supply_meat-m.asp*
>     "If each American reduced his or her meat consumption by only 5%,
>     roughly equivalent to eating one less dish of meat each weak, 7.5
>     million tons of grain would be saved, enough to feed 25 million
>     people-roughly the number estimated to go hungry in the United States
>     each day."
>
>     *http://www.youthxchange.net/main/b223_food-supply_meat-d.asp
>     *"The world’s richest countries make up only 1/5 of global
>     population,
>     but account for 45% of all meat consumption…" With a very
>     informative table!
>     "The typical American prepared meal contains, on average, ingredients
>     from at least *5 countries* outside the United States;"
>     " For each hamburger passed up, as much water is saved as taking 40
>     showers with a low-flow nozzle. In other words, save massive
>     amounts of
>     water - 3000 to 5000 gallons (about 11,350-19,000 litres) of water
>     for
>     every pound of beef you avoid;"
>
>     /"I think you're right about that; much of the population of the
>     US has
>     had no real hunger in their family history for several
>     generations, and
>     can't imagine that this could ever happen to them. I strongly suspect
>     that part of my interest in food and in the production of it comes
>     from
>     the fact that my father nearly starved to death as a child (in
>     Poland in
>     the 1920's)."
>
>     /I have the same sad experience: Almost every German does not know or
>     understand the real meaning of hunger. Many old ones just forgot
>     or died
>     and the other ones can not imagine or do not have any empathy or
>     just do
>     not want to think/to imagine!
>     I was working for some time in different African countries (Sudan,
>     Ethiopia, Zimbabwe ...) never ever I can forget to see hunger! To see
>     people just dieing because of less food or water. Simultaneously I
>     was
>     able to see our wonderful German G-3 machine gun at Sudan, where
>     it is
>     officially never sold...
>     America is the largest weapon seller at the world! Tiny Germany is
>     No.
>     3! But both countries are surprised about the increasing No of
>     wars and
>     terrorism...
>     At Ethiopia, I asked by chance my cook: "how often do you eat meat at
>     home?" Answer: "Once a year at a special celebration day".
>     I stopped eating meat from that day on. But this is my very personal
>     decision/history only for me!
>     Also really shocking has been one fact later on: Back home in
>     food-wasting-Germany: Not even my German friends have been able to
>     understand hunger, if I tried to explain... No way, but some few very
>     old Germans understood well. Especially some old Germans do not
>     accept
>     the EU-food-wasting-programs to waste thousands of tons of
>     foodstuff...
>     Most others have "logical explanations to continue with this
>     custom" for
>     that crime...
>     Since those days I really "hate" Fast-food-culture in Germany! Many
>     young people love Mc Donalds. Junk food, too much nonsense packing,
>     after leaving they often just throw it out of the car and many young
>     Germans do not say: e.g. Let's eat some food... They just say e.g.:
>     "Let's rankle some shit".
>     The small "Slow-Food" fashion is a very good direction, but very
>     personally for me (with my African experience) it is also a bit
>     overdone
>     (the meals).
>     Anyhow, they spread a very good knowledge, which is last not least
>     very
>     useful for the producers.
>
>     ciao
>     Hans Germany
>
>
>     Rivka: "No idea why this happened; but have noticed that posts to
>     this
>     list do sometimes come througn delayed and/or out of order."
>     Sometimes also my posts are fast, sometimes they need one day... I
>     think
>     it's just a weak server...
>
>
>     /
>     /
>
>
>     *
>     *
>
>
>
>
>
>
>     Mark & Helen Angermayer schrieb:
>
>     >Hi Rivka,
>     >
>     >Rivka wrote:
>     >
>     >"I don't think anyone is suggesting that we "go back to practices
>     50 years
>     >old"; at least if that's taken to mean, "do everything the way we
>     did it 50
>     >years ago", rather than "select the best technique based on what
>     we know
>     >now", which may result in combining techniques used many years
>     ago with
>     >others developed only recently. Intensive rotational grazing, for
>     instance,
>     >was as I understand it very rarely if ever practiced 50 years
>     ago, but I
>     >believe does both increase production and decrease parasites, while
>     >improving the pastures."
>     >
>     >I agree we should "select the best technique based on what we
>     know now."
>     >The problem is some groups (specifically welfare groups) care
>     very little
>     >about the best technique or the industry even surviving. As an
>     example some
>     >want to get rid of the farrowing crate, but it is specifically
>     because the
>     >sow is confined that she doesn't crush her piglets while laying
>     down, it
>     >forces her to lay down slowly (sows are bad about laying on their
>     young,
>     >especially on hot days).
>     >I also like the idea of intentional rotational grazing. My old
>     farming
>     >partner, whom I sold out to, started raising cattle with his dad.
>     They are
>     >using intensive rotational grazing. Obvioulsy it wouldn't work
>     with hogs,
>     >all you would get with hogs is an intensive mud hole, but I don't
>     think
>     >you're talking about hogs. As an aside, I would offer a caution.
>     Sometimes
>     >an idea sounds really great on paper, and maybe there are a few
>     people
>     >actually claiming they're doing it and it's working great, but
>     when it comes
>     >to actually implementing it, under your own personal
>     circumstances, it
>     >doesn't work. I'm sure you've run across that with a lot of fruit
>     ideas
>     >that sounded good but didn't work (I know I have), it's the same
>     thing with
>     >hogs. People come up with ideas that are supposed to work just as
>     good, or
>     >almost as good, but they don't.
>     >
>     >Rivka wrote:
>     >
>     >"However, if we're ever in a state of actual food scarcity in the
>     USA (from
>     >your "300 million people", I assume you mean the USA),"
>     >Yes
>     >
>     >Rivka wrote:
>     >" I don't think we'll be able to afford confinement production.
>     (Correct me,
>     >please, on any of this if I'm wrong; I'm not really a livestock
>     person, and
>     >it's possible that I've got something wrong here.) Confined
>     animals are
>     >usually fed grains as a large part of the diet, aren't they?"
>     >You're correct.
>     >
>     >Rivka wrote:
>     >"Humans can digest grains directly; if people are starving,
>     running the
>     >grains through livestock first isn't the best way to go. There's
>     a lot of
>     >land in this country that can grow quite good pasture, but that,
>     because of
>     >steep slope and/or rocky or shallow soil, isn't suited to grain
>     or vegetable
>     >production. (If the pastures are managed to do so, they can also
>     sustain
>     >quite a lot of wild species, which doesn't happen in a feedlot;
>     and the
>     >manure becomes a benefit rather than a problem.)"
>     >
>     >Much, or most, of the marginal land you speak of is already used
>     for pasture
>     >for cattle, or is used for hay production which is fed to cattle.
>     There is
>     >little land in the U.S. that's idle. I agree there is some land
>     currently
>     >being dirt farmed that has no business being used for rowcrops,
>     but I think,
>     >at least in the midwest, it's minimal.
>     >
>     >A valid point about it's more efficient for humans to eat corn
>     and beans
>     >rather than allowing the livestock. But a caveate: Livestock
>     production
>     >has grown very efficient to close that gap. You can grow a pound
>     of pork on
>     >3 lbs of feed, a pound of chicken on 2 lbs of feed, and for
>     commerical
>     >fisheries, you can grow a pound of fish on less than a pound of
>     feed (this
>     >is because feed is measured as dry matter and animal tissue has a
>     lot of
>     >water weight, hence feed efficiencies of less than one for fish).
>     Obviously
>     >we don't eat all parts of the animal (although our forefathers
>     nearly did)
>     >so the efficiencies aren't as good for the amount we do eat, but
>     it is also
>     >worth mentioning that meats are more nutrient dense than grain,
>     so we get
>     >more out of them (although it still probably doesn't make up of
>     for not
>     >eating the whole animal from an effieciency standpoint).
>     >
>     > Rivka wrote:
>     >"Livestock can also be grazed on fields in cover crop as part of
>     a rotation,
>     >giving additional yield from those fields while fertilizing them
>     for the
>     >next crop and (at proper stocking rates) improving the health of
>     the soil;
>     >helping make it possible to raise vegetables and row crops on
>     soils not
>     >suited to doing so in continuous production. Cattle and chickens,
>     at least,
>     >can digest quite a lot of stuff that humans can't, and turn it
>     into meat
>     >that humans can benefit from. While as I understand it the
>     digestive system
>     >of pigs is a lot like that of humans, I think they can also eat
>     things, such
>     >as acorns, that humans can't eat, at least without a lot of
>     processing. Can
>     >they also digest, for instance, clover?"
>     >
>     >Yes they can digest clover. On the chickens however, I would be
>     surprised
>     >of being able to grow chickens range style with any kind of
>     scale. There
>     >may be someone doing it, but I'd be skeptical. It seems to me broiler
>     >houses are a necessity with anything more than a handful of chickens.
>     >
>     >Rivka wrote:
>     >"Confinement-raised meat isn't cheaper because the feed source is
>     cheaper;
>     >it's cheaper because it requires less human labor. Under our current
>     >economic setup, in the US human labor is priced higher than natural
>     >resources. Corn-fed meat is really a luxury item; available to us
>     >specifically because we're producing more corn than the humans
>     can eat
>     >directly. Of course, if we start burning the corn all up in our cars
>     >instead, that's likely to change."
>     >
>     >Again I agree, it's largely driven by labor, but ultimately isn't
>     that what
>     >we pay for when we buy anything? I don't want to try to switch the
>     >argument, but at a personal level, I like to be able to buy cheap
>     food. Not
>     >so, as a family, we can waste money on other material goods, but
>     because we
>     >don't have as much income as some other folks. We live frugally
>     compared to
>     >most Americans, except I spend a lot on our backyard orchard, and
>     probably a
>     >lot less efficiently than a real orchardist can produce it. But
>     since I
>     >don't do it for a living, I don't do it for efficiency, but for
>     perhaps a
>     >bit better quality, and for fun.
>     >
>     >Mark
>     >Kansas
>     >
>     >
>     >
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