View Full Version : Kenneth P. Green vegan, organic, climate change comments - What a joke

Jun 7th, 2006, 06:44 AM
How is this asshole looked at as a scholar? ..or even credible?

Opinion by Kenneth P. Green
Breeding fears of a changing climate and food raised "unnaturally," promoters of vegetarianism and organic foods argue that we should go vegan, or eat "organic" to save the planet.
Now there might be reasons to go vegan or organic, whether for ethical or individual metabolic reasons, but saving the Earth isn't among them.
First, let's look at whether or not going vegan would stabilize the climate. Two vegetarian researchers recently published an article estimating that the typical American with a mixed diet puts out 1.5 tons more carbon dioxide each year than do people who consume only plants, which adds up to about 6 percent of U.S. emissions, but only 1.6 percent of worldwide emissions.
But U.S. greenhouse emissions are a shrinking part of the world's inventory, as China and India are growing quickly. Whatever benefit that might come of American's going vegan would barely be noticeable, and quickly erased by emissions of developing countries.
Now, let's look at the argument that eating organic food will help save the climate. Organic food sellers claim that organic farming is better than traditional farming because it uses less energy and chemicals to grow food. Some even claim that research published in Science showed organic farming was 50 percent more efficient than traditional farming. But what organic food purveyors don't talk about is that the same study showed crop yields were 20 percent lower.
When you factor that into the equation, organic farming was only found to be about 19 percent more energy efficient per unit produced than traditional farming. Or is it?
As science writer Ron Bailey points out, the comparison wasn't really apples to apples. State-of-the-art organic farms were compared to older methods of traditional farming, not modern systems.
Traditional farming has become much more energy efficient than it was 20 years ago. And whatever gain organic farming produces has to be seen in a holistic context.
The same Science study found that after 21 years of organic farming, nutrients in the soil were being depleted badly: they were 34 percent to 51 percent lower than the nutrient levels found in traditionally farmed soils.
As chemist John Emsley observes in Nature, "Humans have a stark choice to make: do we farm four hectares of land 'organically' to feed 40 souls, or do we farm one hectare 'artificially' thereby leaving the other three to natural woodland and wildlife?"
Finally, let's ask whether organic food is healthier. While the purveyors of organics claim that organic foods are more nutrient rich, or lower in pesticide contamination, the data don't back them up.
The Institute of Food Technologists, an international, not-for-profit scientific society points out, "Organic foods are not superior in nutritional quality or safety when compared against conventional foods, yet organics do have the potential for greater pathogen contamination, and therefore greater risk of food poisoning."
Mark McLellan, an agricultural expert at Texas A&M University and former institute president concluded, "Conventionally grown foods that utilize well-researched techniques including biotechnology benefit all consumers worldwide with a more abundant and economical food supply, foods of enhanced nutritional quality, and fresh fruits and vegetables with improved shelf life."
So, are vegetarianism and organic foods going to save the planet? I don't think so. They'll do virtually nothing for the climate, they'll deplete the soil, they'll require us to use more land area to grow the same amount of food, and we'll be exposed to equal or greater amounts of pathogenic bacteria, viruses and so forth.
Waiter? I'll have the steak, please.

Jun 7th, 2006, 06:44 AM
woah thats kinda hard on the eyes, sorry about that.

Jun 7th, 2006, 07:12 AM
Hmmm the data I've read certainly backs up that organics are better for the planet and our health. I only ever eat organic and find many organic products also support fair trade.

I do worry that if organic crops are grown on a large scale, like the multigreeds are trying to encourage, that it won't be great for the environment. I prefer a more permaculture type environment.

The organic food I buy does taste much better and is much fresher than the supermarket crap.

There's lots of info on the web under human rights re the negative effects of chemical pestacide crops on third world countries and the xploitation of their traditional crops by western countries.

Cattle ranches have a lot to answer for in their assistance with depleting the Amazon. Thanks again McDonalds.

Grain fed beef is another double wammy. Growing grain for a grass eating animal is just plain wrong!!

Jun 7th, 2006, 07:13 AM
The writer is probably paid by the meat industry to write that crap!

Jun 7th, 2006, 10:15 AM
I think many people are struggling to justify eating meat. Crap like this obviously helps them sleep at night.

That must mean that the message is getting through - animal farming is cruel and unneccessary! :)

Jun 7th, 2006, 11:24 AM
ahahah honestly i don't think that he's paid by the meat industry but more probably by the biotech promoters..
we had some debates about that at school and from the results in India the gmo produce less than the organic plants in spite of what the biotech companies say...
about the nutrients he may be right... but it's not sure yet..
Ahah but he's simply ridicolous...

Jun 7th, 2006, 11:57 AM
For the nutrients thing - in non-organic farming they only worry about replacing the nutrients that make the plants grow big and fast - nitrates and phosphates. Trace elements are not replaced.

Properly managed organic farming should replace the trace elements, too.
The plants may not grow as big or as fast due to not saturating the ground with nitrates and phosphates (which end up contaminating water supplies), but they should contain more important trace elements, and therefore be better for us.

Jun 7th, 2006, 02:28 PM
Pob, I know it but what about the genetical engeneered plants? they seem that you can make gmo plants that provide you more vitamines and so on...
(let's precisate that i don't support ANY gmo)

Jun 7th, 2006, 02:35 PM
GMO is a whole other thing. If people eat a varied diet, they don't need engineered food.

Most GMO is modified to be resistant to weed killer, so that nothing else will compete on the field. That just promotes mono-culture, and presumably isn't great for crop rotation.

GMO is about creating a perceived need for the crop, then fleecing the market for all it is worth.