I have been away for a while and I sincerely and I apologize (baseball season for 2 young boys…). It’s been 6 months since I started writing, and I have taken a few weeks off for baseball with the boys. But now I want to recap/summarize for those of you who are new or just need a synopsis of what it’s all about and Now What?
We know from my first post on Jan 3rd, 2016 “The Numbers Add Up” now the consumption of our resources to feed and water and produce the cow products we eat are enormous – 45 billion gallons of water each day to for cows alone, 261 gallons of water for 1 gallon of milk, 660 gallons of water for 1 hamburger, 34 trillion gallons of water every year to raise livestock for consumption, 55% of water is used by the raising of livestock… and our world population and demand for this is increasing.
We know that the majority of the CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) are family owned, but the vast majority of the overall quantity of the animals raised are NOT from family owned operations. These are the mass producers and where it becomes the larger issue. Although, our family owned operations in aggregate are a big problem in the local communities where the rural residents suffer as well.
With over 5 million cattle in the US and, trillions of gallons of water, 91 million acres of land used to sustain them where 80% (72 million) acres just for the cattle, we are losing the war on man vs. planet. Minor battles are uprising and there is hope if we have not damaged our world beyond our or it self’s ability to repair.
We know that animal waste contains disease-causing pathogens, which can be 10 to 100 times more concentrated than in human waste. More than 40 diseases can be transferred to humans through manure. There are many records of deaths due to this and varying non-fatal health issues as well.
Also as previously stated, beef consumption has declined and poultry has increased nearly equally in the past several years. And with vast majority (80%) of our population living in urban areas and the costs of the foods we buy are increasing in cost and the nutritional value is less.
Technology and non-traditional farming techniques/variations can also enhance our abilities to produce and produce in the communities are where we will need to go, if we are to sustain our planet and our health. Like the Organic farms, new and independent thinking with historical heirloom basis may be the solution to the future, where Organic farming minimizes chemical usage, promotes biodiversity, Soil health is improved upon and only natural methods are used.
In my March 15th 2016 blog “How to do it” and “how to do it II and more of why” I laid out an option for reducing the dependency and increasing the local community’s self-reliance for food. And the basics on how to basically do it yourself. As far as the how to do it, here is an alternative I recently discovered that is not altogether new. “Agrihood” is the nearest functional local uprising currently occurring in the United States. The community is built around the food that is grown for the community. Right in the backyard in some cases. Although the housing costs in these communities may be higher, they have it right. Now can we build the agriculture like this in the existing hoods? I believe so. Again, it will come to cost and profit and not only the $$$, but the health/community cost/profit vs. the current state of our health and the costs we are incurring. Not only can we sustain the food and health of the community, we can potentially increase the livelihood of those in the community by building and sustaining and improving upon the sense of work and continued education of our youth (and adults) of how and where our food should be produced. In my mind, this is extremely valuable and is being lost to our recent generations.
We know over doing anything can cause a negative result. Farming and overuse is no different (see post “Soil, Food, Nutrition, Health”) of May 24th 2016. The large single crops which either produce a fuel, food for livestock or synthesized food ingredient are wreaking havoc on our land by reducing the natural nutrient levels and run off pesticides & herbicides into our waterways. And, not any less important, the refined/processed products that become part mass food options sold to us on the store shelves are inescapable fill our bodies with the synthesized syrups, sweeteners… that have become the substitutes which stimulate our appetites and leave us nutritionally void and wanting more of it.
We know that if you produce on an extremely large scale or even medium or large scale or, certain natural inhabitants, plants and even animals will either become extinct, die off, move away, and a loss either on a small or extremely large scale will occur. Worst case scenario, become extinct (which has already occurred in both plant, insect and animal). See “Our Loss Part II”
All of my blogs to day have lead me to try to define “Progress” and what it means to you, me and everyone else. I sincerely believe some may not know what to say, mainly because, if you think before you open your mouth, and consider the entirety and vast consequences including your religious belief, it is difficult to put into words. Too many open their mouths way to fast and their intentions are well, but with due respect to all, they just don’t think. As many of us are too busy to think, because we are trying to get by. And this plays right into the hands and deep pockets of the big businesses, politicians and manipulated media, that in turn further manipulates us for ratings to form our thinking and decisions!
Please understand, this is not a point or stick in the face to the traditional farmer. This is a global, U.S., Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska……..and local issue where everyone is down stream of what is occurring on and in our land, air and water, and ultimately, our food and human health.