[p2p-research] The one thing depleting faster than oil is the credibility of those measurin...

Kevin Carson free.market.anticapitalist at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 18:15:42 CET 2009

On 11/17/09, J. Andrew Rogers <reality.miner at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 17, 2009 at 5:34 PM, Paul D. Fernhout
>  <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>  > So, the USA has essentially no need to produce corn or soybeans, because it
>  > has no real need to eat that much meat (in fact, the USA would be far
>  > healthier if it ate less corn-fed and soy-bean fed meat).

> Americans would not even have to eat that much less meat, it would
>  just be a matter of switching the mix of meats Americans eat to
>  something better suited to the mix of open range and non-arable
>  ecosystems found in the US. More sheep, less pork.

That would work out fine, IMO.  I love lamb and resent the fact that
it's rarely found (and extremely expensive when it is) in most
supermarkets.  And I can barely tell the difference between mutton and

Re beef, we could achieve a considerable scaling back of dedicated
land just by going back to the pattern followed by our
great-great-grandparents:  restricting cattle to areas that are
natural pasture, supplemented with just enough corn feeding to get
them through the winter.

>  > But, here is a deeper issue. Lots of people like to work outdoors around
>  > plants and animals. Maybe not everyone, but certainly more than the 1% to 2%
>  > doing that now in the USA -- probably more like 10% to 30%, I'd guess,
>  > considering gardening is the most popular outdoor recreational activity,
>  > with more than 50% of households. Organic methods of agriculture might
>  > require twice the labor, but would yield more with less fossil fuel inputs.

That's why I dispute statistics saying the "farm population" is less
than 1%.  Using the same definition of "farmer" that prevailed before
the triumph of cash crops--i.e., someone who meets some portion of
their subsistence needs with food they grow themselves--10% to 30% of
the population is probably engaged in farming.

> There is a very serious labor *shortage* in agriculture at all scales
>  and of all types. In parts of the country where there is an illegal
>  labor pool they use that to compensate, but in many other areas where
>  there is not an established illegal alien population, they have to
>  automate because they can't find people that want to work in
>  agriculture.

And at the same time, there are people (like the South Central Farmers
in LA) who are seeking vacant land to supply their needs for fresh

If it weren't for subsidies to large-scale cash cropping of cereal
grains and soybeans, and production on giant plantation farms in
California (the legacy of the hacienda system, BTW), I expect a much
larger share of our diet would come from small-scale horticulture.

Kevin Carson
Center for a Stateless Society http://c4ss.org
Mutualist Blog:  Free Market Anti-Capitalism
Studies in Mutualist Political Economy
Organization Theory:  A Libertarian Perspective

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