Re: Industrial vs. Organic
- From: Wilson <isanybody@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2008 08:45:53 -0400
sometime in the recent past Ted Mittelstaedt posted this:
"Isabella Woodhouse" <noway@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in messageSeriously major yawn. IS IT OVER YET? Christ Ted, you have a lot of time on your hands. I recognize your style too. Throw everything you know at something until you figure you have buried it, and in fact you have.
In article <newscache$mvw27k$mpc$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,news:wildbilly-697270.22233408092008@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
"Ted Mittelstaedt" <tedm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Isabella Woodhouse" <noway@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
In article <newscache$5h7z6k$k4i1$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"Ted Mittelstaedt" <tedm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Billy" <wildbilly@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
top[...]In article <newscache$hx1v6k$dfu$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"Ted Mittelstaedt" <tedm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
They do not want to go out and separately negotiateYou didn't read the chapter. Chem ferts kill top soil. The less
orders of corn of this magnitude from 100 separate small
farmers who can each only supply a ton of corn.
taxsoil, the more chem ferts, and more pollution of ground water and
fishing areas. Who pays to remediate the land and the water? The
Then what exactly did you mean when you said, "You don't actually haveI never was.What? When the Earth's population was only a few million? Surely youpayer does. It is called "privatize the profits and socializeYou don't actually have to remediate the land and water, you
the costs". The price of the box is only part of the price.
know. At one time we didn't. People would just use the
resources until they were all gone, then move to a new place.
are not defending this practice in the current timeframe?
to remediate the land and water, you know."
Billy's statement was:
"...Who pays to remediate the land and the water? The tax payer does...."
This is a false statement for a number of reasons. First, as I pointed out,
the land and water isn't always remediated. Someone might dig out a gravel
quarry on their property then just abandon it when they are done and let
nature reclaim it. Remediation only occurs when someone decides that
they -want- to do it. There's tons of stories of polluters who never
some legally, some illegally. And some who wern't originally designated
polluters, and now are.
Another reason this is false is that the taxpayer doesen't always pay for
remediation, private industry does quite a lot. Google up brownfield
properties. Property values in certain areas are now so high that it is
cheaper in many cases to buy polluted properties for a song, clean them
up, then build on them, rather than buying and building on unpolluted
But the most important reason this is a false statement is that it makes
an implicit assumption.
The CORRECT way for Billy to write this would have been:
"...Who pays to remediate the land and the water if the public demands
that the land and water be remediated? A lot of times, the tax payer
THAT would have been logically correct and internally consistent
because it removes the FALSE assumption that the land and water
-always- get remediated.
But, then it would have destroyed Billy's rant. Because it would
have made it obvious that when the public wants something fixed,
many times the public has to pay for it to be fixed. In other words it
gets rid of this emotional straw man of the big, ugly, polluting
and replaces it with reality, which is much greyer and not black and
I recognized Billy's rant style a mile off. Take a complex issue,
strip out all of the complexity until it is so simple that it's black
and white, then frame it like the other guy is an absolute demon.
That is why Billy refused to engage in debate with me. He knew that
I saw through this and was busy introducing reality into his rant
and he knew if I did that would kill it, so he ran away so he could
live to rant another day.
lawsHowever, nowadays people are valuing clean water andNo, I don't think that is the real question at all. Environmental
clean land more than they used to. So now there is a cost
for those things that we didn't have before, which is now being
factored in. That is why you have to file environmental
impact statements nowadays when you want to build a factory.
They didn't require environmental impact statements when
those large farms were created years ago. So the real question
is, are we going to apply current laws retroactively?
goeshave been on the books for decades. Nowadays? The Clean Water ActFrench)back to at least the 1960s, no? That's nearly 50 years FCOL. Since
when has it been legal to pollute and contaminate your neighbor's
property with a stinking mountain of pig or cow shit (pardon my
No, I am responding to what *you* said, not Billy.like those created by factory "farms"?You should ask Billy.
He is the one that is asserting that such behavior is legal.You appear to be making a ridiculous inference but it's up to Billy to
counter that, not me.
He will not because his goal is to make an illogical, emotional argument
and he doesen't want it dissected.
Here is Billy's argument in a nutshell:
Big agribusinesses are bad because they game the system to get
everyone else to pay for their operations cost. Therefore we
need to tell everyone this so they realize how bad big agribusinesses
are and maybe rise up on their haunches and ban big agribusinesses.
Of course, Billy isn't interested in admitting that big agribusinesses
exist because we, the consumers, WANT them to exist. We buy
products that only they produce. He would much rather live in
his fantasy world that big agribusinesses exist because somehow
they figured out an angle to game the system and drive the small
farmers out of business.
This is the same logic that, for example, Michael Moore used in
his film Roger and Me about the devastation of Flint, Mich.
Now, I love Michael Moore films. And some of his, like
Farenheight 911, are right on target. The bad guys in -that-
film have, with the benefit of history, turned out to be even
worse than he portrayed them in that film.
BUT, with Roger and Me, the point of the film is that it was
Roger Smith's fault that the auto plants at Flint closed. But
in reality, Roger was merely reacting to losses that GM had
begun experiencing. Yes, those specific plants were profitable
when they were closed - Roger Smith was a terrible CEO for
his time, and GM is still in trouble because of his legacy - but
if it had been a different CEO then other plants would have been
closed and the same sob story would have happened. If GM had
not experienced losses in 1981 then Smith would not
have reacted and the plants at Flint would not have been touched.
And, WHY did GM experience a loss? Because people were
not buying as many of it's cars, and were buying more foreign
But, wait a minute. Who where those people buying foreign
imports? Yes, that's right - US customers. Some of these
even living in Flint, itself.
Roger and Me is a film about American outsourcing of manufacturing
and how it destroys America, just like Billy's rant is about big
agribusinesses destroying American small farmers. Both the
film and the rant cast the bad guys as the corporations. But
both ignore the true facts - which are that the American consumer
is causing the outsourcing as well as the emergence of the big
agribusinesses, mainly by their insistence on buying the cheapest
thing possible and ignoring everything else, like product quality,
manufacture location, etc.
I think you are wrong about that. I do not think that applying current
laws retroactively is the real issue here. Factory farms are relatively
new. They came way after most of the environmental laws.
OK, then if your insistence is that factory farming came after the
laws, then how does that square with your claim that it's illegal to pollute
with big mountains of cow shit like those created by the factory farms?
So I don't
understand how retroactivity came into the picture or even how that
relates to the main thrust of the quoted article which is that bigger is
not necessarily best in terms of farm size.
Retroactivity is central to this. Not necessairly legal retroactivity,
although that is some of it - despite your assertion that the factory
farming came after laws like the clean water act (which I doubt
but it doesen't matter) - but retroactivity in terms of changing societal
Despite the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1977, the fact of
the matter is that the -majority- of people in US society haven't
been that interested in the environment until around the last 10
years. Seriously!!! I was born in 1966 and I've seen this firsthand.
What spurred the Clean Water act wasn't medical issues like
germs in the water. What spurred it was the VISIBLE pollution
like foaming rivers, lakes that caught on fire, etc. Things that
were obvious to everyone. But once that was cleaned up,
it was same old, same old.
What is different now is that people are beginning to see THEMSELVES
as polluters. Thus we have laws now (or will
real soon) making it illegal to throw lead in the trash (tv sets carry about
5 pounds of lead in their picture tubes) and people are told not to flush
meds down the toilet, etc. And people are starting to spend MORE
MONEY on products like organic foods that don't use pesticides, etc.
And so now, people are starting to realize that THEIR OWN CHOICES
are creating factory farming and those proverbial mountains of shit you
were talking about.
Billy is still stuck back in the 70's - asserting that the corporations
are what is driving factory farming when the reality is that the consumers
have always driven it by their product selections. It's not all consumers,
of course, but some.
We don't need tired old rants like Billy's. We need rants that actually
put people up to a mirror and say: "Hey, you! YOUR buying of
cheerios is causing factory farming which is causing mountains of
pig shit that are polluting YOUR water!!"
ago?If not, then how are you going to justify taking currentWhat "environmental requirements for creating a large farm" are you
environmental requirements for creating a large farm and
apply it to large farms that were created years ago?
talking about? How is this even relevant? What are you talking about
when you refer to "large farms" created years ago? How many years
theI'm just trying to understand what you mean here. Keep in mind thatagribusinessesaverage size farm in the 1950s was around 200 acres.It has only been in the last 10 years that ranting againstabouthas become fashionable due to environmental concerns. Now, farm
subsidies, that's a different matter - people have been complaining
farmers being propped up by the government since the 70's. But beforeWait just a minute; you are sidestepping again with more balderdash.
the advent of the large agribusinesses, nobody was ranting against large
farms because, as you pointed out, they didn't exist.
Once more, you failed to explain yourself. Can you not answer a direct
question? To reiterate, What "environmental requirements for creating
a large farm" are you talking about? I don't recall ever having heard
of such a thing!
Your saying here that there are no
environmental requirements for creating a large farm. Then earlier
your asserting large farms are breaking the clean water act?
That sounds pretty strange to me. To reiterate, whatit
are you talking about when you refer to "large farms" created years ago?
How many years ago and, for that matter, how large?
Billy's problem is that he sees that large agribusinesses are bad, which
so far is true. However he is unwilling to grasp the simple fact that
is not the agribusinesses fault that they are bad. It is the CONSUMER'SI am not here to discuss Billy. Defend your other assertions.
As my assertions are in a response to Billy, your discussing Billy's
rant, whether you like it or not.
Every time someone walks into the supermarket and picks up a boxYes, I can agree with you here that overly processed foods are huge part
of Frosted Flakes for their kids, instead of getting the bulk sugar corn
flakes from the bulk food bin which cost half of Frosted Flakes, they
are contributing to the problem.
of the more general American food industry problem. When they have to
add something to a food-like product to make it "more nutritious", that
is the first really bad sign. I can honestly say that I never, ever fed
my children any cereal coated with sugar.
What did you feed them?
My opinion is that most
so-called convenience foods are a contrivance of marketers to make more
money by marketing to children or by refining valuable nutrients out of
real food. Why sell a quart of real apple juice when you can sell a
quart of only 10% apple juice and 90% water + HFCS for an even higher
price and still call it "apple juice"?
Actually, they sell both the real apple juice and the 10% stuff in the
grocery store, and the real stuff is more expensive - unless your
buying the individually packaged juice boxes, in which case your
buying convenience in packaging. I'd presume that if they put 100%
real apple juice in the individually packaged juice boxes it would
be even higher priced than the 10% stuff.
If people didn't buy all of the processed food they do, then the largeLet me defend the consumer. How "dumb" are consumers who buy boxes of
food manufacturers like General Mills wouldn't be setting up large
production runs of Frosted Flakes and demanding 100 tons of
corn at a time. (or whatever it is) There would be no need for the
agribusineses and they wouldn't exist. Billy needs to be ranting and
railing against the dumb consumers not the agribusinesses.
incredibly sugared cereals that have the American Heart Association logo
on them, Ted? How dumb are consumers who, for decades, have based their
meals on the "USDA" dictated food pyramid, therefore consuming a diet
vastly overloaded with carbohydrates and starches? How dumb are
consumers who buy a box of anything that our government allows to say "0
transfats" when it actually has significant amounts of the same? I
could go on and on.
My point is that you can't put this all on the consumer's back. Our own
government and agencies that are supposed to be working for us have
allowed industry to defraud the public at an ever-increasing rate.
If people spent the same amount of energy researching the food they
purchase as they spend researching a new car, they wouldn' t be buying
these scam foods. Dollar for dollar they spend MORE money on the
food they eat than the new car. The difference is that they pay for the
food in bits and pieces and the car in one lump sum.
It's why practically all states opt to get tax money through a sales
tax than a higher property and income tax.
It IS the consumer. The comsumer has the money. The problem is
that too many dumb consumers out there think they are paying less
when they pay me $10 a day for a whole year than if they pay me
$3,500.00 once a year. These are the same people who are having
homes foreclosed because they got ARMs instead of traditional
30-year fixed mortgages.
Food choices tend to remain stable. When a person buys a brand and
likes it, they typically won't buy a different brand. With a little effort
they are in their early 20's they can figure out which food brands are the
good ones and they will be buying them the rest of their lives.
Just so you know, I only scrolled down once and then I saw the volumes you typed and my eyes glazed over ... need more rest ... yawn, pages of Mittelstaedt to go ... yawn... never gonna make it ... arrhhgg .
Wilson N44º39" W67º12"
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