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View Diary: Why I Keep Writing About Food (and don't plan on stopping) (94 comments)

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  •  I hope that you aren't naive (3+ / 0-)

    maybe it's just that I myself hadn't thought of food as a progressive issue.  This diary was really an attempt to tie food into what I consider to be some older school Progressive ideas.

    Thanks for reading northernlights

    "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" -6.75, -6.26

    by gravlax on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 09:15:39 PM PDT

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    •  Food is very political (10+ / 0-)

      For all the reasons you listed above in your diary and more.  Perhaps the strongest connection for me between food and politics has to do with big agriculture influencing policy.  Subsidies for certain crops, regulations on labeling, regulations on dietary guidelines...there is a lot to fight for (or against).

      Also it is very strongly connected to climate change.  Methane is the most prevalent and potent greenhouse gas, but we seldom hear about it because the source makes people titter.  But it's extremely important to talk about, because it's being caused by us, not the cows.  It's us feeding cows corn and other cheap, subsidized grain food that they're not supposed to eat that is causing them to be so gassy.  Grass-fed beef is much healthier beef, for the planet, for consumers, and for the cows.  This should be the big thing we really bear down and fight for now, imo.

      Everything is connected.

      by sciphile on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 09:37:03 PM PDT

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      •  I like that plan sciphile (5+ / 0-)

        fighting those subsidies is important for the reason you stated and for many others.  It looks like some of those subsidies may be on the way out the door with the drafting of the 2012 Farm Bill which has already begun.

        Thanks for reading

        "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" -6.75, -6.26

        by gravlax on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 09:40:30 PM PDT

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      •  Although I don't think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grollen, gravlax

        we should be feeding corn, soybeans or any other grain to an animal that has evolved to eat grass, recent research has shown that cows produce methane both in their belches and flatus no matter what they eat. This was brought up in a recent diary and if I was less sleepy I would do a search. I think the healthiest beef comes from lots fewer grass-fed cows--in other words, we need to be raising much less meat and feeding the animals we do eat much better food to produce much better food for ourselves. No land should be used to grow cow-food unless it is good grassland, and unfortunately the best grasslands in the U.S. are under housing developments.

        •  I'm not sure I totally buy that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gravlax

          Before Europeans got here, this continent was covered with buffalo.  Vast herds.  But I might buy that they are different animals than domesticated cows and probably don't have the same digestive issues.

          Everything is connected.

          by sciphile on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 12:25:09 AM PDT

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          •  Not correct. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JeffW, gravlax

            But I might buy that they are different animals than domesticated cows and probably don't have the same digestive issues.

            Bison (American buffalo) are so closely related to domestic cattle that they can interbreed.  The digestive systems are virtually identical.  

            The continent also had a lot of deer and moose, which both also belch methane from similar digestive processes.

            Renewable energy brings national security.

            by Calamity Jean on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 10:31:15 AM PDT

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            •  Good to know. n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gravlax

              Everything is connected.

              by sciphile on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 08:59:48 PM PDT

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              •  My feeling about "modern" "agriculture" is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JeffW, gravlax

                that the methane problem isn't caused by the animals' digestion, because before Europeans got here there were a lot of similar animals with similar digestions.  The problem is that the animals are kept in high density pens or barns, and the manure after it leaves the animals is collected in big fetid ponds of shit.  These "lagoons" inevitably lack oxygen, which means they produce more methane as a result of rotting.

                If the animals were kept on pasture, so that their manure rotted in the presence of oxygen, this cleaner decomposition process would produce only carbon dioxide and water, which are less powerful greenhouse gasses than methane.  Another way to solve the agricultural methane problem would be to cover the shit ponds and catch the methane coming off to burn as fuel.  

                Animals with this type of digestion are called "ruminants".  Sheep, goats and antelope are also ruminants, pigs and horses aren't.  

                Renewable energy brings national security.

                by Calamity Jean on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 05:38:22 AM PDT

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                •  well put Calamity Jane (0+ / 0-)

                  pasturing would be the ideal solution for multiple reasons.  First of all, I swear the meat tastes better.  Secondly, it is more humane, And thirdly, as you pointed out, it is better for the environment.

                  But I have to say that I love the idea of capturing the gas and using it for fuel.  I'm a realist.  I don't expect factory ranching to end anytime soon.

                  Thanks for contributing.

                  "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" -6.75, -6.26

                  by gravlax on Wed Apr 28, 2010 at 03:55:53 PM PDT

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        •  Although I do agree with you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          crose, gravlax

          that we should be raising less cattle.  And not encroaching so much into wild lands with our housing developments.

          Everything is connected.

          by sciphile on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 12:28:30 AM PDT

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      •  another greenhouse culprit (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gravlax, sciphile

        is all the nitrogen fertilizer that runs off into the water

        "a lie that can no longer be challenged becomes a form of madness" -Debord

        by grollen on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 02:40:24 AM PDT

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      •  GMO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gravlax

        is hiding in plain site; and Monsanto et al would really like to keep it that way...

        A real coop near me is going thru everything they sell and making a list of items that they CANNOT guarantee are GMO free ...

        Food and the business of food in the US is a threat to human health and is indeed a political knife edge for the real farmers in AMerica-

        A good healthcare tip is to learn how to recognize and stay away from poison disguised as food...

        Evidence that contradicts the ruling belief system is held to extraordinary standards, while evidence that entrenches it is uncritically accepted. -Carl Sagan

        by RF on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 04:28:45 PM PDT

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    •  That surprised me, too. Food, agriculture, (5+ / 0-)

      agricultural workers, etc. have long been a part of the left.I was going to ask if some troll'd been giving you grief (and there are several regular food-related diaries -- What's For Dinner on the weekends, a couple other frequent food diarists around).

      But there's a mainstream disconnect between "politics" (that boring/aggravating stuff on tv) and "real life", and another between consumers & the source (& production) of the things consumed... maybe that's what you came up against.

      (and you know, Jill's success posting here led to La Vida Locavore & her book. And hey, maybe her whole new life -- a Bloggers Fairytale Come True!)

      •  Maybe I was just being a little sensitive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TiaRachel, northernlights

        but like I said to northernlights it may just be my understanding of traditional Progressive politics.  Maybe I was just picking up on the disconnect from politics in general.  Thanks for reading TiaRachel.

        "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" -6.75, -6.26

        by gravlax on Mon Apr 26, 2010 at 09:51:48 PM PDT

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