Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Exploration 8 Austin Nininger

The most important idea I saw was that the more natural the better the quality. This theme applied in many different ways. When Joel Salatin worked his farm, he treated the animals as they would be in nature, and his land, livestock, and way of living all became healthier and better quality. "The problem is everyone wants bigger, faster, cheaper," said Joel. This philosophy does not work. Joel's farm is an example of a smaller and slower paced farm, but it can self-sustain. His farm may not produce thousands of cows, but his cows are healthier because they are treated correctly, and his farm is not industrialized. It is instead naturalized. The film helped show the disadvantages of industrialization very well, but it did not show the many ways the farms can be sustainable. The only highlighted technique is Joel Salatin's farm, which shows the idea of rotational grassing. It didn't mention any other techniques, such as rotating crops to keep the soil healthy.

My theme I researched was sustainable agriculture. Wikipedia defined it with 5 different characteristics. To be sustainable it had to: satisfy human food and fiber needs, enhance enviromental quality, make efficient use of non-renewable resources, sustain economic viability, and enhance the quaility of life for the farmer and society. Sustainable farming requires, that the farm replenishes the nutrients used by farming. This can be accomplished by crop rotation and by rotational grassing. The page also discussed the idea of polycultures helping to cut down diseases. I looked up this idea because I have many farmers around me, who are not industrial farmers by any stretch. They definitely have sustainable farms. I wanted to see if there were any techniques I did not know about I might be able to share.

In class the idea of organic food being healthier was brought up. Apparently there was a minimal difference in nutrition, but there was no residue of pesticide on the organic food. I do not know the effects of pesticides on people, but I can obviously assume it is not good long term. That means the idea of organic food being better is true. If we only ate organic food, then we may just eliminate many of the diseases that plague us now.

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