Food Politics - What Everyone Needs to Know
Robert Paarberg 2010 Bvtn 338.19 PAA
Amazing. A rational book by a political science professor at Wellesley. One more prejudice shattered
p008 Malthus Not yet, maybe not ever.
p015 Africa: 4% irrigated, 10% fertilized, little scientific input. African governments spend 5% on agriculture, though 60% of citizens depend on farming. What an opportunity!
- p018 African drylands, only foodsource is grass fed animals, vegetarian not an option (yet?)
p018 Livestock responsible for 18% of emissions. Livestock's Long Shadow FAO 2996
- p020 Food prices - price fluctuations usually panic buying and hoarding, little effect on impoverished countryside
- p022 2008 price spike in spite of production increases
- p026 not biofuel caused, 5% of (mostly corn) production, corn prices stable. in 2009, ethanol plants idle
- p027 Egypt price spike reduced urban food subsidies, caused riots but people still getting fat
- p036 most starvation in Africa, often war-disrupted food production
- p036 Underweight children: Asia 45% 1985, 25% 2005 Latin.Am 12.5% to 5.5% Africa 24% to 25%, doubled population
p046 Famine France 100Y War population down 2/3, Ireland 1845-49 1M starved, 1M emigrated. China Taiping, 45M. India 1876-78, 6 to 10M people. Great Leap Forward <30M, worst all time. North Korea 1996-9, 0.2 to 3.5M
p049 Amartya Sen 1981 Poverty and Famines, starvation less with democracy or free markets.
p056 Green Revolution benefitted rural Asia, increased stratification in Latin America
p061 The Violence of the Green Revolution polemic by Vandana Shiva
BS; <1 hectare farms adopted new seeds faster than >3 hectare farms
- p064 Africa failed, because aid agencies ignored local conditions
- p071 US food aid political, pays farmers and US shippers and hinders local production
- p073 Bush attempted reform, thwarted by Congress (Bill Clinton praised Bush)
- p087 Obesity: largest driver sweetened beverages; 20 oz drink per person per day accounts for obesity
- p095 Farm subsidies in industrialized countries because labor prices rise
p110 Ch 10: Agriculture, the Environment, and Farm Animals
p113 Low Impact Sustainable Agriculture USDA 1985
- p115 Ag. chemical use peaked in 1973, No-till reduced erosion in 1970s
p115 precision farming: Drip irrigation, laser-levelled fields minimize runoff, GPS/GIS tractors with sensors, fertilizer inserted in small quantities at depth
- p116 OECD between 1990 to 2004, production increased 5% while land use decreased 4%, water 9%, emissions 3%, pesticide 5%, fertilizer 17%, diversity increased
p118 poor communities with local common property resource systems avoid environmental tragedies
- p120 farm subsidies encourage inputs, overuse and environmental damage
- p130 Monsanto genes: 96% of cotton, 90% traits of 90% engineered soybeans, 90% traits of 60% corn
- p131 2005 four companies 80% of beef, 60% of pork, 50% of ckicken.
p132 poor farmers in Africa disconnected from world markets. < 2% of African ag research by private companies
- p133 Bruce Gardiner: 2% of consumer cost pays for monopoly "excess profits"
- p134 200,000 food firms in US
- p134 supermarkets in developing country cities. China 1991 0%, 2991 48%. Mexico Walmart 30% of food spending.
p137 95% China McDonalds food locally sourced.
p138 McDonalds India: veggie burgers and chicken Maharaja Macs.
- p143 Organic Center 2008 study claims organic more nutritious, "rebutted by conventional nutritionists" (no cite?)
- p145 FDA 2003 0.4% domestic 0.5% foreign detectable chem residues exceeding regulatory tolerance levels.
- ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) 1% of level that causing no detectable lab animal toxicity
- FDA test 4/38 chemicals less than 5% of ADI level, 34/38 less than 1% of ADI
- p147 to replace synthetic fertilizer with manure, cattle from 1.3 billion to 8 billion, 2 billion acres of forage crops
- p151 global food shipping has small carbon footprint, local delivery and individual shopping much higher
- p153 one less serving of meat per week is same reduction as 100% local diet
- p153 clover pastured New Zealand lamb to Britain 25% of carbon emissions of grain-fed (fossil fuel produced) British lamb
- rest of the book interesting, but chapter 10 is the gem. I must learn more about precision farming, and how server sky can broadcast information to African farms to optimize productivity