[NAFEX] input, output- not flavor

Kevin Moore aleguy33 at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 18 18:27:54 EDT 2009

It has always amazed me that more organic growers don't use ducks for pest control and geese for weeding. It definitely cuts down on the need for hand labor and turns bugs and weeds into meat and eggs.

From: Alan Haigh <alandhaigh at gmail.com>
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 3:33:00 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] input, output- not flavor

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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