Monday, February 3, 2014

New Normal, Genetically Modified Crops, Growing Population, Climate Change

We’ll Need Genetically Modified Crops To Feed A Growing Population On A Planet Affected By Climate Change. That’s Okay: GMOs Are Green. | MIT Technology Review: "By even the mid-’70s what was called “organic” was conditional: if you met various standards set by an industry’s marketing association, then you were an organic farmer, although those standards were far from the natural methods the founders of organic farming had imagined. In the vegetable gardens, we tried using other insects for pest control, but nothing answered until we sprayed with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a bacterium commonly used as a pesticide in organic farming. We bought fertilizers with fish emulsions, which did better than the farm’s own manure and compost. Raising birds, we began by feeding them unadulterated cracked corn, but they didn’t grow large enough for sale, and soon we were driving to Santa Rosa Feed and Game every month to purchase organically certified bird feed, whose supplemental ingredients (including vitamins and a range of proteins and amino acids), when listed on the sides of the sacks, were longer than a small boy’s hand. Outside the very poor world, all farming is like this: it is industrial. That’s because even organic farmers are frightened of the blights and diseases that can destroy a harvest or covey, and they think about nothing more than increasing the yield from their land."

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