Monday, February 11, 2013

Baxter Black: Sustainable farming not all it aims to be

Most of the agricultural community watches the pied pipers of “sustainable farming” the same way grandparents watch their grandkids play with toy trains. We humor them, but don’t try to explain how real trains work. Many sustainable farming proposals are the exact opposite. “Model T farming,” or “third-world farming” or “farming to feed the few” would be more accurate.

As a caveat, I must credit those scientists seeking realistic solutions to agriculture’s booming production capabilities. However, the dream world led by Luddites and New Age gurus proposes a return to farming methods used in the first half of the 20th century. It’s a time they describe as “not relying on toxic chemicals, pesticides, synthetic fertilizer and genetically modified foods. A time when animals moved freely, consumed a natural diet, and were not confined.”

I do offer a tip of the hat to hobby farmers with a nice garden, some chickens or 15 sheep as 4-H projects. Their contribution is appreciated, but they quickly realize they can’t grow or raise enough to feed their families for a fortnight, much less 50 of their urban neighbors.

After World War II, the population of our country — and our world — began to explode.

In the 1970s, scientists increasingly were convinced a new Ice Age was coming, and global starvation was imminent.

But help was on the way.

Those sustainable suckers can kiss my...uh...corazon.

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