Thursday, April 13, 2006

Corn is the SUV of plants

With Earth Dinner arriving soon, The Omnivore's Dilemma : A Natural History of Four Meals is a needed read for all our readers. This book is so good we're going to focus on parts of it leading up to Earth Day. There is much to be learned.

First, Corn is the SUV of plants. Though it sounds strange, Michael Pollan makes a very compelling argument for this as he explains how energy intensive corn is. Corn is currently being produced at rates close to 200 bussells an acre. Our grandparents produced about 20 bushels an acre. Thank goodness for technology right? Well, the production rate of 200 bushels an acre has many hidden costs.

In this interview, Michael explains how corn drinks fossils fuels for production through its need for fertilizers mostly made from natural gas. Without considering the fossil fuel intake for transportation or distrubution, corn consumes about 1/4 to 1/3 a gallon of gasoline per bushel. 20% of fossil fuel consumption in the USA goes directly towards feeding ourselves.

Being from Iowa all of this information is very enlightening. This is a must read for everyone who cares about what they eat. I'm going to write more soon.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

* RURAL COOL * Earth Dinner is approaching get to know your food.

Once a year we should all stop and appreciate where our food comes from. With the 36th celebration of Earth Day approaching on April 22nd the time is ripe. Earth Dinner was created to educate people on the origins of their food. This is especially important for city folk these days as their connections to the realities of what they eat are abstracted through all the processes humans use to sell food. Ideally you can celebrate with organically or sustainably produced foods. Connect with rural ways of life again by downloading sample cards from Organic Valley today.

Monday, April 03, 2006

* RURAL NEWS * London taken over by V for Vendetta style farmers.

Pissed off farmers are angry as all bloody hell. A pack of tractors will jam the streets of London as farmers protest the global economics of farming. Some blame U.S. farm subsidies for artificially supporting American agriculture. Where are the American farmers? Are things really that peachy here?