agriculture

A Quote by Edward Paul Abbey on agriculture and warfare

The plow has probably done more harm - in the long run - than the sword.

Edward Abbey (1927 - 1989)

Source: A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto): Notes from a Secret Journal, Pages: 100

Contributed by: Tsuya

A Quote by Margaret M. Wittenberg on margaret wttenberg, new good food, food, pesticides, pollutants, agriculture, genetic engineering, wild seafood, and animals

My work has also given me the chance to participate in national and international advisory groups exploring some of the deeper issues about food and how to work together to deal with them. Primary topics have included the short- and long-term of pesticides and other pollutants on out food supply, sustainable agriculture, genetic engineering, sustainability of wild seafood, aquaculture, and the welfare of food-producing animals from birth through slaughter.

Margaret Wittenberg

Source: New Good Food: Essential Ingredients for Cooking and Eating Well, Pages: x

Contributed by: David

A Quote by Michael Pollan on eating, agriculture, food, and food supply

Another theme, or premise really, is that the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds. Agriculture has done more to reshape the natural world than anything else we humans do, both its landscapes and the composition of its flora and fauna. Our eating also constitutes a relationship with dozens of other species—plants, animals, and fungi— with which we have coevolved to the point where our fates are deeply entwined. Many of these species have evolved expressly to gratify our desires, in the intricate dance of domestication that has allowed us and them to prosper together as we could never have prospered apart.  But our relationships with the wild species we eat—from the mushrooms we pick in the forest to the yeasts that leaven our bread—are no less compelling, and far more mysterious. Eating puts us in touch with all that we share with the other animals, and all that sets us apart. It defines us.

What is perhaps most troubling, and sad, about industrial eating is how thoroughly it obscures all these relationships and connections.  To go from the chicken (Gallus gallus) to the Chicken McNugget is to leave this world in a journey of forgetting that could hardly be more costly, not only in terms of the animal’s pain but in our pleasure, too. But forgetting, or not knowing in the first place, is what the industrial food chain is all about, the principal reason it is so opaque, for if we could see what lies on the far side of the increasingly high walls of our industrial agriculture, we would surely change the way we eat.

“Eating is an agricultural act,” as Wendell Berry famously said. It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world—and what is to become of it.  To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound

like a burden, but in practice few things in life afford quite as much satisfaction. By comparison, the pleasures of eating industrially, which is to say eating in ignorance, are fleeting. Many people today seem perfectly content eating at the end of an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world: this book is probably not for them; there are things in it that will ruin their appetite. But in the end this is a book about the pleasures of eating, the kind of pleasures that are only deepened by knowing.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 10

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Michael Pollan on farm subsidies, monoculture, corn, agriculture, industrial agriculture, food, and food supply

Beginning in the fifties and sixties, the flood tide of cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cattle on feedlots instead of on grass, and to raise chickens in giant factories rather than in farmyards.  Iowa livestock farmers couldn’t compete with the factory- farmed animals their own cheap corn had helped spawn, so the chickens and cattle disappeared from the farm. and with them the pastures and hay fields and fences.  In their place the farmers  planted more of the one crop they could grow more of than anything else:  corn.  And whenever the price of corn slipped they planted a little more of it, to cover expenses and stay even.  By the 1980s the diversified family farm was history in Iowa, and corn was king.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 38

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Michael Pollan on value added, food, food supply, george naylor, farming, and agriculture

In fact, there are lots of good reasons to complicate your product – or, as the industry prefers to say, to “add value” to it.  Processing food can add months, even years, to its shelf life, allowing you to market globally.  Complicating your product also allows you to capture more of the money a consumer spends on food.  Of a dollar spent on a whole food such as eggs, $0.40 finds its way back to the farmer.  By comparison, George Naylor will see only $0.04 of every dollar spent on corn sweeteners; ADM and Coca-Cola and General Mills capture most of the rest.  (Every farmer I’d ever met eventually gets around to telling the story about the food industry executive who declared, “There’s money to be made in food, unless you’re trying to grow it.”)  When Tyson food scientists devised the chicken nugget in 1983, a cheap bulk commodity – chicken – overnight became a high-value-added product, and most of the money Americans spend on chicken moved from the farmer’s pocket to the processor’s.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 95

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Michael Pollan on factory farms, corn, biodiversity, agriculture, food, and food supply

... Corn’s triumph is the direct result of its overproduction, and that has been a disaster for the people who grow it.  Growing corn and nothing but corn has also exacted a toll on the farmer’s soil, the quality of the local water and the overall health of his community, the biodiversity of his landscape, and the health of all those creatures living on or downstream from it.  And not only those creatures, for cheap corn has also changed, and much for the worse, the lives of several billion food animals, animals that would not be living on factory farms if not for the ocean of corn on which these animal cities float.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 118

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Thomas Jefferson on agriculture, individuality, and prosperity

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Shawn S. Stevenson on agriculture, food, generations, and ideas

Most Americans are two to four generations removed from the farm. The general public has very little idea of what agriculture is about. Food is cheap and plentiful. Everyone takes it for granted.

Shawn S. Stevenson

Source: A Clovis, California, citrus grower and former President of the Fresno County Farm Bureau

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Ronald Bailey on agriculture, audiences, best friend, economics, enemies, environment, food, friendship, future, growth, humanity, nature, plants, power, progress, promotion, prosperity, radicals, seriousness, society, students, technology, an

"Even though it will disappoint many of you, the evidence is that you have a very bright future." This is how I finished my presentation at American University, eliciting a few chuckles from the audience. On a more serious note, I asked the students to consider a radical proposition: Economic growth and technological progress are not enemies of the environment but are perhaps its best friends, since they allow us to reduce humanity's footprint on the natural world. High tech agriculture boosts farm productivity, which means a cheaper food supply and more land spared for nature. Better sewage treatment means that our rivers and streams can run freer of pollutants. Catalytic converters on cars and better filters on power-plant smokestacks have greatly reduced smog, smoke and soot in the air. But only rich societies can afford to pay for these. In the end, the best environmental program of all is the promotion of prosperity.

Ronald Bailey

Contributed by: Zaady

A Quote by Kent Flannery on agriculture, ecology, and principles

The origin of agriculture involved both human intentionality and a set of underlying ecological and evolutionary principles.

Kent Flannery

Contributed by: Zaady

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