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Messages - Clare

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Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: June 10, 2018, 08:24:17 PM »
I am an organic farmer and, while some tech innovations in farming excite me, others terrify me. I think it's the total disconnect between much of the tech community and the natural systems that lead to innovations that make no sense to farmers.
Plenty and the various container/indoor farm companies attracting huge investments right are the latest case in point. Here's why: 1. growing the few things they can reasonably grow in artificial environments has a huge carbon footprint. Professor Bruce Bugbee of Utah has this video on the carbon footprint of indoor farming here . 2. These indoor grows save much less land than they would have you believe especially when compared with some of the more innovative small organic farmers but also when compared with just conventional farm averages. Here are some real numbers on land use and yield. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483736/.  3. The few things they've been able to grow with any level of efficiency are marginal to the food system and have limited ability to sustain life and health. The last point I'll make is the most important to me and many of the organic farmers I've discussed this with over the last several months and that's this.
Indoor farms divorce us from the planet, from the natural systems that feed and sustain us. They teach all the wrong lessons about growing food and feeding ourselves. They let us continue under the delusion that we can kill the planet and still eat. We can’t, not now, not ever. We should be putting all the investment dollars, and know how, that these companies have attracted – and they’ve attracted 10s of millions, into the kind of farming that heals the planet we have instead of one that kills it quicker while growing expensive salad for the rich.
Yes. our systems of agriculture are all screwed up but these indoor grows are not a solution that leads to a healthy, resilient planet.

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