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Salatin dinner notes

2010-02-19 17:35:25.607833+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

Wednesday evenings, the awesome folks over at Tara Firma Farms brought Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms fame, to the Institute of Noetic Sciences campus just south of Petaluma for dinner and a talk.

It was a great evening. Had some good conversations, met some of the same folks I'd run into at the Viva Cocolat potluck last month, really enjoyed the evening. And the venue is nice, I'll be looking towards more events there.

Joel's talk was well done. He pointed out that aerobic composting as we know it and practice it was developed by Sir Albert Howard in the 1920s in India, that those who whine that sustainable agriculture is an attempt to "take us back to the 1800s" are missing that the goal is to reduce the externalities of the economics of agriculture, not give up all of the great things that front loaders and automated seed sewing systems and stainless steel and cheap hot water have brought. He pointed out that reliable solid state electric fence systems really didn't happen until the 1980s, and he wasn't pushing to get rid of any of those things.

He further pointed out that widespread ecological damage from agriculture had happened on huge scales long before Monsanto, ADM and modern chemicals.

And, he quipped: "If it wasn't food before 1900 we shouldn't eat it. I'm so glad hot dogs were introduced at the 1890 World's Fair."

I wanted to slap the basics up here, I need to think a little more about the stuff I wasn't so keen on, and do a little more research on his assertion that based on measurements of biomass that various folks have done in and around operations like his, that in fewer than 10 years we could sequester all the atmospheric CO2 generated since the Industrial Revolution.

[ related topics: Cool Science Food Economics Global Warming ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-03 02:33:40.72275+00 by: TC

No wifi in the Berkshires? <snicker> how up scale can it be? seriously, healthy local food sells at a premium and it's sad. Crappy food is subsidized to the point cheeseburgers are cheaper than carrots. Clarification, I love a good cheeseburger, I'm referring to Mcburger types you see on a Dollar menu.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-03-01 23:53:16.818202+00 by: Dan Lyke

I believe there'll be video of the dinner shortly. Out here in the Berkshires I'm seeing quite an awareness of locally grown issues, but this is also a fairly upscale region. More when my laptop can find wifi.

#Comment Re: made: 2010-02-28 16:57:03.459108+00 by: TC [edit history]

Dang! I'm saddened I missed that dinner. I think I even bought tickets. I'll have to glean what I can from you and maybe Tara & Craig. I sometimes get optimistic that people(in a broader sense of main stream people) will really look at their food and go WTF! Maybe we could stop the corn & soybean subsidies and junk food could more closely reflect it's true price. It's quite upsetting that my tax dollars support dirty energy and dirty food (not really sure what the right terms are for industries that create waste that will someday be left for future people to deal with)....I seem rather rantish today. Here on a lighter note, another awareness dinner http://www.cochon555.com/home.php where we dig the pig :)