Farming, sustainability: America's founders understood

  • Article by: Bonnie Blodgett
  • Updated: April 13, 2013 - 5:09 PM

Genetically modified organisms and big machines aren’t inherently evil. But we need take a step back and evaluate.

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pumiceApr. 13, 13 6:49 PM

From the article: "When James Madison addressed landowners who’d gathered to discuss the mass exodus of farmers to the greener pastures of Kentucky, his first task was consciousness-raising. Not all of his listeners were as up on their classical philosophy as the former president, much less on the latest scientific discoveries in biology and horticulture." No need in those days, Ms. Blodgett... the nation was so huge, and the population so small that farmers could deplete the soil in full confidence that God would provide more farmland just over the next horizon. The Founders, on the other hand, were educated elitists who believed in science.

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tbot2000Apr. 14, 13 7:37 AM

Spot on. We're destroying the planet and human health for a false god, money...

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SnippetApr. 14, 13 7:37 AM

This article could have worked if it remained focused on the issue of soil utilization and the extent to which government policy can prevent the degradation of agricultural land. By paragraph three, we were off into unsubsantiated, vague, breezy, overwheening, contradictory, illogical puffery.

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SnippetApr. 14, 13 7:43 AM

>>> Our “big” government has been reduced to refereeing turf battles among business interests — from gun manufacturers, energy producers and insurance providers to food processors, telecommunications giants and international banking conglomerates — that are beholden not to lofty ideals like diversity, liberty and equality but to the bottom line. <<< This sentence (or whatever it is) is just a long exhalation of gas. I hope it doesn't contribute to global warming.

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cman22Apr. 14, 13 7:48 AM

Farmers are getting sick of lectures from people with urban addresses.

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Willy53Apr. 14, 13 8:18 AM

cman22, Americans are getting litterally sick of what farmers are getting from the government and in turn putting on our tables. I don't care one bit that today's farmer's who by and large ignore the nurturing of their soil and are contributing to an eventual collapse of agriculture that is beyond our comprehension. And it may be sooner than you think. GMO, embraced by almost every Minnesota non-organic farmer is making not only people but potentially bees very sick. The Ag giants are engaged in what Blodgett sees as the current role of government: work with lobbyists of the industry to get subsidized what you want (the public be damned). That is the part of government that must change in order to serve the PEOPLE. If it doesn't, our food supply will continue to make us sicker and sicker while the ability of consumers to use their choice to find non-gmo, organically certified foods becomes more difficult. Somehow, consumers must reach a tipping point in demanding sustainability and healthy food production while government must change enough not to be simply money machines for General Mills and Cargill, two local irresponsible companies working hard to mask the real origin and environmental impact of the products they market. Yes Americans are tired of Big AG calling the shots, and all those CEO's, cmann22, are urban dwellers with ivy league back grounds and corporate pedigree.

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SnippetApr. 14, 13 8:36 AM

>>> I don't care one bit that today's farmer's who by and large ignore the nurturing of their soil and are contributing to an eventual collapse of agriculture that is beyond our comprehension. <<< If it is beyond our comprehension, what makes you so sure you understand it?

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elind56Apr. 14, 13 9:43 AM

Continued abundance and the ever-advancing technologies that facilitate it makes many feel guilty or uneasy for some reason. The tree-hugging doomsayers have been predicting that a devastating, worldwide famine is but 10 or 20 years away for at least the last 100 years, probably a lot longer.

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jurburApr. 14, 13 9:53 AM

The relationship between the foods we eat, the affect those foods have on our physical health, animal welfare, and our environment; and the ever-increasing cost of this nation's health care can not longer be downplayed by our government, and the industrial agricultural companies who produce our food along with the commodity conglomerates who manufacture and market our food. The ever-expanding American body with its associated chronic diseases and acute illnesses can be directly correlated to the advancement over the last twenty years in industrial food technology, corporate factory farms, application of GMO seeds to over 90% of farmed field coverage, monocultural crop production, proliferation of deadly food-borne bacteria, hormone and medication-induced abnormal farm animal growth and development and application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, dyes, and chemical preservatives that we eat and drink every single day. The decision for 90% of which foods will be planted and raised in this country is determined by four animal feedlot companies and three GMO seed companies. Sustainable agriculture is not some pie-in-the-sky futuristic dream for America. It is the way this country produced food for over 225 years and that is not counting the centuries of sustainable agriculture practices that Native Americans followed. Buy local, buy organic, support your local farmer, advocate for GMO labeling on all food labels, join a CSA, stop factory farming, enforce FDA food violations are not just catchy feel-good bumper stickers. These are all signs on the road telling us to turn around and go back before it is too late.

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cman22Apr. 14, 1311:43 AM

I wonder where the author thinks we will get all the organic fertilizers to replace the fertilizers she doesn't like? We already use up 100% of livestock manure produced. Are we to increase our meat production many times over to get more manure? This will in turn drive up food costs through the ceiling. I guess McDonalds and Murrays will like that we would be eating more meat. Perhaps urbanites from St. Paul need to actually buy a farm and show us how it's suppose to be done. Stop lecturing farmers.

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