Tag Archives: pesticides

Basics for integrating vegetable and fish production in aquaponics –Pat Duncan @ SOGALO15 2015-01-24

Dr. Pat Duncan, director of the Georgia Center for Aquaculture Development, Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, GA, will explain aquaculture.

300x377 Dr. Pat Duncan with tilapia, in Basics for integrating vegetable and fish production in aquaponics, by Pat Duncan, for OkraParadiseFarms.com, 22 December 2014 Safe local food movements are no longer a passing fad as consumers avoid the dangers and fears associated with processed industrialized food. Any number of associated causes drives concerns about GMO plants, pesticides, and other chemicals. With many options and systems designs available for cost effective ways of safe food production, one system with unique opportunities is aquaponics.

As with most food production systems, there are twists and turns on systems and designs to approach the development and management of an aquaponics system. Ranging from small do-it-yourself systems to elaborate automated commercial designs, each of these systems requires Continue reading

Agrochemical drift causing diseases and death in Argentina and Georgia

Pesticide poisoning has rapidly increased in Argentina as Monsanto-seed pesticided crops ramped up. Meanwhile in Georgia, 90+% of common crops already are doused in pesticides. What effects are all those poisons having on our own children and adults?

Michael Warren and Natacha Pisarenko wrote for AP today, Argentines link health crisis to agrochemicals,

Argentine farmworker Fabian Tomasi wasn’t trained to use protective gear as he pumped pesticides into crop dusters. Now at 47, he’s a living skeleton.

Schoolteacher Andrea Druetta lives in a town where it’s illegal to spray agrochemicals within 550 yards of homes, and yet soy is planted just 33 yards from her back door. Recently, her boys were showered in chemicals while swimming in their backyard pool.

Sofia Gatica’s search for answers after losing her newborn to kidney failure led to Argentina’s first criminal convictions for illegal spraying last year. But 80 percent of her neighbors’ children surveyed carry pesticides in their blood.

Meanwhile, German researchers found pesticides in all samples of urine, and back in the U.S.A. and Canada, researchers found pesticide metabolites in 95% of schoolchildren tested.

90+% of cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and corn around here are doused in agrochemicals, and even Continue reading

Monsanto convicted of poisoning

Marion Douet wrote for Reuters today, Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning in France. The farmer who wonthe case remarked,
“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.

He and other farmers suffering from illness set up an association last year to make a case that their health problems should be linked to their use of crop protection products.

France and the EU have already take other actions:
The Francois case goes back to a period of intensive use of crop-protection chemicals in the European Union. The EU and its member countries have since banned a large number of substances considered dangerous.

Monsanto’s Lasso was banned in France in 2007 following an EU directive after the product had already been withdrawn in some other countries.

France, the EU’s largest agricultural producer, is now targetting a 50 percent reduction in pesticide use between 2008 and 2018, with initial results showing a 4 percent cut in farm and non-farm use in 2008-2010.

Maybe we should try that in the U.S. Ban RoundUp, that is. Like Paul François said back in December aboout Lasso,
Monsanto knew they had a problem with this product.
As Yves Calvi wrote for RTL.fr 12 December 2011,
Because of the dangerousness of these products, in the country, nobody says anything, it’s omerta! Why such a vow of silence? The pressure of lobbyists is strong according to Paul François. He says the dangers of pesticides may be as important as those of asbestos.
I would say worse, because asbestos doesn’t usually drift across the road onto you, and isn’t deliberately applied to most crops, unlike RoundUp.

It’s time to break the silence, so we won’t have so many farmers and children and other people being made sick by pesticides.


Organic farming as productive as pesticiding (proven yet again)

Rodale Institute has been running a side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical agriculture since 1981. They report:
After an initial decline in yields during the first few years of transition, the organic system soon rebounded to match or surpass the conventional system. Over time, FST became a comparison between the long term potential of the two systems.
Year after year, Rodale found:
Organic yields match conventional yields.

As Tom Philpott reported for Mother Jones 17 November 2011, Yet Again, Organic Ag Proves Just as Productive as Chemical Ag,

And now comes evidence from the very heart of Big Ag: rural Iowa, where Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture runs the Long-Term Agroecological Research Experiment (LTAR), which began in 1998, which has just released its latest results.

At the LTAR fields in Adair County, the (LTAR) runs four fields: one managed with the Midwest-standard two-year corn-soy rotation featuring the full range of agrochemicals; and the other ones organically managed with three different crop-rotation systems. The chart below records the yield averages of all the systems, comparing them to the average yields achieved by actual conventional growers in Adair County:

Norman Borlaug, instigator of the “green revolution” of no-till and pesticides, when asked in 2000 whether organic agriculture could feed the world, said: Continue reading

Organic yields higher than pesticided, all around the world

To feed the world, we need to get rid of Monsanto’s pesticided patented seeds and get on with diversified sustainable organic agriculture.

A friend commented about Organic farming better for bottom line:

Devil’s advocacy: yields from organic agriculture are lower than from artificially fertilised + pesticide’d crops; therefore, the practice tends to increase food prices; therefore, organic food means starvation for people who would otherwise eat. Discuss!
Nope, that’s simply not true. Organic farming yields more, in addition to being more profitable, healthier, and tastier.


More profit and higher yields through organic farming in India

Increase your income and your yields with traditional farming methods? That’s what’s happening in India.

Nishika Patel blogged 11 May 2011 in The Guardian, Organic farming – India’s future perfect?

India’s struggling farmers are starting to profit from a budding interest in organic living. Not only are the incomes of organic farmers soaring – by 30% to 200%, according to organic experts – but their yields are rising as the pesticide-poisoned land is repaired through natural farming methods.
How did this happen?
Organic farming only took off in the country about seven years ago. Farmers are turning back to traditional farming methods for a number of reasons.

First, there’s a 10% to 20% premium

Continue reading

11 year old is onto Monsanto and how to fix the food system

The “dark side of the industrialized food system.” as related (accurately) by Birke Baehr at TEDxNextGeneration Asheville.
Conventional farmers use chemical fertilizers made from fossil fuels. Then they mess with the dirt to make the plants grow. They do this because they’ve stripped the soil from all nutrients from growing the same crop over and over again. Next more harmful chemicals are sprayed on fruits and vegetables. Like pesticides and herbicides to kill weeds and bugs. When it rains, these chemicals seep into the ground, or rise into our waterways, poisoning our water, too.
His personal goal:
A while back, I wanted to be an NFL footall player.
I decided I’d rather be an organic farmer instead.
That way I can have a greater impact on the world.
He’s got a turn of phrase:
We can either pay the farmer, or we can pay the hospital.


What can you do now about food?

This item horrified a lot of people: Animal miscarriages from new fungus or virus in Roundup-read crops? A reader asked:
What would you say to someone like myself who wants to make a difference but has no clue where to start? I think that is a big question with my generation.
Well, there’s the pumpkin dance. But you don’t have to start with that.

HFCS may be the easiest thing to start with, because it’s labelled. Don’t buy any product that has High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in it. You’ll be surprised how many do. At restaurants, check the condiments, don’t use them if they have HFCS, and inform the wait staff why you’re not. When people ask why you’re doing all this tell them. Here’s some background on High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity.

This kind of thing is working: Hunts removes HFCS from all its Ketchups.

About pesticides, buy local and organic food, like at Whisk. Ask for local food at other stores. Help with a community garden. Join a CSA. Write a letter to the editor.

You don’t have to do all of these things; these are some ideas. Start small and just do something. Every little bit helps, and you’ll get more ideas as you go along. Your example will help others start.

Also, don’t feel bad about it seeming intimidating. On the one hand we have the most sophisticated marketing methods the world has ever known, fueled by megabucks from transnational corporations. On the other hand we have, er, a few college professors like Michael Pollan, a few farmers who observe and analyze like Joel Sallatin, a few poets like south Georgia’s own Janisse Ray, and so on. Even so, local and organic food is one of the few industries that has kept booming right through the economic downturn. People actually want food that’s good for them and tastes good!

Fortunately, around here we also have Georgia Organics! More about that later.


A Call for Skepticism

Camano Island is NW of Everett, Washington, and this article is from 2002, responding to an article in the local paper there. -jsq
A Call for Skepticism
by Steven K. Roberts
Camano Island

If ever we needed a demonstration that the fundamental flaw in many arguments is a lack of discrimination regarding information sources, we have it in the Nels Konnerup article, “Toxicology 101 Defended,” in the March 26 issue of the S/C News.

The author makes a “plea for cogent thought, rather than a visceral reaction to the use of pesticides and herbicides,” and cites a number of references “authored by highly qualified and respected scientists.” So far, so good.

But just for fun, I spent a few minutes researching some of these sources to see if I could determine the affiliations and biases of their authors.

Continue reading

Factory farming admits it needs collateral damage

Tom Philpott writes in Grist that Industrial Ag Once Again Demanding a Free Pass to Crap in Your Backyard:
Industrial ag is admitting that it needs to trash its neighbors and the surrounding landscape to thrive. And it wants us to believe that there are no alternatives.
His first example is Farm Bureau’s reaction to new EPA restraints on chicken farm factories around Chesapeake Bay, then he gets to Monsanto: Continue reading