Intensive Farming: Why I Love Pesticides


I know that I very recently wrote a post discussing Matt Ridley’s new book The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. But he has posted another video that sums up the underlying argument I made in a different post on organic farming.




I don’t want to indicate that I am completely anti-organic farming. I would argue that it’s just another form of market specialization. However, I do think it is important to note — as consumers, as producers, as undercover economists — that from a macro view, organic farming is not the answer to the world’s hunger problem.

The Rational Optimist by Matt RidleyI’ve had plenty of discussions with my readers on this issue, so I don’t want to belabor the point. Rather, I just thought this might offer you some end-of-the-week entertainment.

Enjoy!

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  • J Warden

    I haven't done near enough research as I would like to on chemically enhanced production. From what I gather so far, farmland=good animalfarm=bad. Animals bred to be packaged in the frozen section of Cub, Rainbow, Winn-Dixie, pick your favorite chain of grocers, are lacking usual nutrients. I'd like to find out more before I find out my foot is in my mouth. At least the propaganda worked on me.

    As far as the farmland's chemically enhanced production is concerned, there is no lack in nutritional value. Farmers can kill the insects that eat crops at the same time getting the full potential of crop growth. You can throw a bunch of crap on the ground and hope that every seed gets exactly what it needs to grow properly, or you can use chemicals to make sure every seed does get what it needs. Either way you get the same crop. The only difference may be in taste. Organic tends to be fresher as opposed to be flash frozen. That's the only viable argument I've seen on the crop side.

  • http://www.remnantculture.com/ Remnant Culture

    With meat, I'm sure there can be varying degress in nutritional value, but as you said, on the crop side there is no evidence of nutritional difference (of course, everyone can point to SOME study to support their views): http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2…

    As for the nutritional aspect, I think what gets distorted is when people say certain foods are *unsafe* rather than *unhealthy,* and I think people need to make their own choice on the health side of things. If I'm getting my protein, etc. elsewhere, and just want to buy cheap ground turkey vs. organic and nutritional ground turkey (or regular turkey), that choice is legitimate, in my view.

    But once again, what I'm trying to note is simply a *macro* view. If poverty-stricken countries had more choices (e.g., more processed foods, more intensive farming, etc.), they could move on to improving other areas of life, much like we in the U.S. have been able to move on from farming, thanks to its industrialization. In places like Africa, it will be difficult to get there due to issues related to infrastructure, rule of law, etc., and I don't think the “planners” should force non-organic, but I think we need to stop demonizing pesticides and processed foods and instead note their value and their proper place in feeding a hungry world.

    Thanks for the comments!

  • J Warden

    I haven't done near enough research as I would like to on chemically enhanced production. From what I gather so far, farmland=good animalfarm=bad. Animals bred to be packaged in the frozen section of Cub, Rainbow, Winn-Dixie, pick your favorite chain of grocers, are lacking usual nutrients. I'd like to find out more before I find out my foot is in my mouth. At least the propaganda worked on me.

    As far as the farmland's chemically enhanced production is concerned, there is no lack in nutritional value. Farmers can kill the insects that eat crops at the same time getting the full potential of crop growth. You can throw a bunch of crap on the ground and hope that every seed gets exactly what it needs to grow properly, or you can use chemicals to make sure every seed does get what it needs. Either way you get the same crop. The only difference may be in taste. Organic tends to be fresher as opposed to be flash frozen. That's the only viable argument I've seen on the crop side.

  • http://www.remnantculture.com/ Remnant Culture

    With meat, I'm sure there can be varying degress in nutritional value, but as you said, on the crop side there is no evidence of nutritional difference (of course, everyone can point to SOME study to support their views): http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2…

    As for the nutritional aspect, I think what gets distorted is when people say certain foods are *unsafe* rather than *unhealthy,* and I think people need to make their own choice on the health side of things. If I'm getting my protein, etc. elsewhere, and just want to buy cheap ground turkey vs. organic and nutritional ground turkey (or regular turkey), that choice is legitimate, in my view.

    But once again, what I'm trying to note is simply a *macro* view. If poverty-stricken countries had more choices (e.g., more processed foods, more intensive farming, etc.), they could move on to improving other areas of life, much like we in the U.S. have been able to move on from farming, thanks to its industrialization. In places like Africa, it will be difficult to get there due to issues related to infrastructure, rule of law, etc., and I don't think the “planners” should force non-organic, but I think we need to stop demonizing pesticides and processed foods and instead note their value and their proper place in feeding a hungry world.

    Thanks for the comments!