April 9th, 2008 |
Agriculture, Evolution, Quotes, Science
In 1938, when pesticides were first introduced, farmers used roughly 50 million pounds of them and suffered about a 7 percent loss of their field crops. By comparison, in 2000 they used nearly a billion pounds of pesticides. Crop losses? Thirteen percent.
—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (HarperCollins: 2007), p. 165.
February 28th, 2008 |
Agriculture, Culture, Food, Parenting, Quotes
We’re raising our children on the definition of promiscuity if we feed them a casual, indiscriminate mingling of foods from every season plucked from the supermarket, ignoring how our sustenance is cheapened by wholesale desires.
—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (HarperCollins: 2007), p. 31.
February 16th, 2008 |
Agriculture, Culture, Food, Language, Quotes
Our words for unhealthy contamination—“soiled” or “dirty”—suggest that if we really knew the number-one ingredient of a garden, we’d all head straight into therapy.
—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (HarperCollins: 2007), p. 10.
February 1st, 2008 |
Agriculture, Economics, History, Quotes
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, agricultural price support programs led to vast amounts of food being deliberately destroyed at a time when malnutrition was a serious problem in the United States and hunger marches were taking place in cities across the country. For example, the federal government bought 6 million hogs in 1933 alone and destroyed them. Huge amounts of farm produce were plowed under, in order to keep it off the market and maintain prices at the officially fixed level, and vast amounts of milk were poured down the sewers for the same reason. Meanwhile, many American children were suffering from diseases caused by malnutrition.
–Thomas Sowell, Basic Economics (3rd Edition, Basic Books, 2007), p. 56.
January 17th, 2008 |
Agriculture, Animals, Quotes
Killing animals is probably unavoidable no matter what we choose to eat. If America was suddenly to adopt a strictly vegetarian diet, it isn’t at all clear that the total number of animals killed each year would necessarily decline, since to feed everyone animal pasture and rangeland would have to give way to more intensively cultivated row crops. If our goal is to kill as few animals as possible people should probably try to eat the largest possible animal that can live on the least cultivate land: grass-finished steaks for everyone.
–Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), p. 326
January 3rd, 2008 |
Agriculture, Animals, Food, Quotes
Our teeth are omnicompetent—designed for tearing animal flesh as well as grinding plants. So are our jaws, which we can move in the manner of a carnivore, a rodent, or an herbivore, depending on the dish. Our stomachs produce an enzyme specifically designed to break down elastin, a type of protein found in meat and nowhere else. Our metabolism requires specific chemical compounds that, in nature, can be gotten only from plants (like vitamin C) and others that can be gotten only from animals (like vitamin B-12). More than just the spice of human life, variety for us appears to be a biological necessity.
–Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), p. 289
December 12th, 2007 |
Agriculture, Health, History, Quotes
Anthropologists estimate that typical hunter-gatherers worked at feeding themselves no more than seventeen hours a week, and were far more robust and long-lived than agriculturists, who have only in the last century or two regained the physical stature and longevity of their Paleolithic ancestors.
–Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), p. 279
December 2nd, 2007 |
Agriculture, Economics, Health, Quotes
When someone drives up to the farm in a BMW and asks me why our eggs cost more, … well, first I try not to get mad. Frankly, any city person who doesn’t think I deserve a white-collar salary as a farmer doesn’t deserve my special food. Let them eat E. coli. But I don’t say that. Instead, I take him outside and point at his car. ‘Sir, you clearly understand quality and are willing to pay for it. Well, food is no different: You get what you pay for.’
–Joel Salatin in Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2006), p. 244