[NAFEX] input, output- not flavor

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Thu Jun 18 04:33:00 EDT 2009


I'm just going to throw out one idea to illustrate what I take from Fluffy's
message about measuring the true inputs required from organic food
production.  This subject doesn't seem to interest the list nearly as much
as relative taste and quality of produce but I'll throw this last tidbit out
there anyway.

Herbicides bad- hand weeding good.  If you are going to talk about the
environmental impact of herbicides with conventional farming then you have
to also measure the environmental impact of the humans who are doing the
weeding in organic farms to legitimately compare the environmental impact of
either method.  Extra labor is an input that includes all the environmental
degradation created by extra human beings.

It is modern societies that have reduced manual labor through the use of
machines and chemicals that are most likely to have a handle on there own
populations- sometimes actually to the point of depopulation
trends.  Existence that requires lots of manual labor encourages
large  families and agriculture is the main creator of this manual labor.
Many of the synthetic chemicals used in modern agriculture are used to
reduce such labor.

The labor provided for many of our organic farms may help perpetuate the
culture of large families in the societies where the laborers come from.
This is not an input most people consider when evaluating the environmental
virtues of organic agriculture.

OK, no more, back to fruit.
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