food produce

chromadic  asked:

hi- what is your opinion on GMOs? i have friends in bioengineering who seem to pretty much agree on the consensus that they are all around better than non-GMO strains, except maybe when it comes to soy. basically what I'm wondering is are GMOs: - healthier? - better for the environment? - more agriculturally efficient? sorry this question is so long, thanks a million for answering it! (if you do)

from a scientific aspect: 

the facts are, GMOs are the future and the key to increasing crop production for our increasing population if your goal is to keep up food production for more people. remember, the goal right now in agriculture- the key goal that we’re throwing everything into because big yikes fam- is to produce more food off less. so like, vertical farming? good, saves space. smaller plants with bigger yield? great, saves space, can plant more and get more food. plants that are resistant to drought? to high temps? to low fertilizer? amazing, it means you have hardier plants that you can put in places that regular plants wouldn’t be able to stand.

so are they agriculturally efficient? hell yeah, because remember, it takes about 10 years for a crop in testing- GMO or not- to reach a point in development where it can be submitted for approval by the USDA for the market (something I’ve learned in my current job). imagine doing all breeding without GMOs. you would literally be able to do one cross a year, maybe two if you’re in a warmer area (this is why a lot of soybean breeding has been moved to South America, where they can do twice as much breeding). with GMOs, you can develop and test stuff faster, so by a monetary standpoint it’s awesome. 

lets not forget that GMO crops can withstand more because of the pure amount of precision put into them. like, lets say your corn breaks a lot. you can spend 3-4 years meticulously cross breeding your developing strain with a break-resistant variety to get that trait in, or you can just cut and paste in the gene. and get this: it doesn’t even have to be from the break resistant variety. you can pull it from another plant that might be better at not breaking, and get an even better resulting variety. 

another thing that we can’t forget about is that new GMO tech helps us keep up with pests and diseases. at work, i’ve seen experiments involving root pests; plants infected had root systems destroyed down to a single tap root. imagine that happening to a farmer’s field. like, all of it. that’s the kind of thing we’re up against here; to stop infestations and to solve new challenges quickly by developing technology quickly, while still improving the plant to commercial level. 

when talking to the breeders at work, they told me that the industry as a whole recently upped its goal from creating a crop that would give each farmer a 200 bushel harvest (200 bushels has been the goal for the past 30 years; they’ve recently reached it and exceeded it) to 300 bushels per harvest. they have to do this just by modifying the plants. they have no control over how much the farmer plants and/or how many fields they have.

to give some perspective here, one bushel is 60 pounds of grain. they’re aiming to have each farmer that buys their products be able to reliably harvest and sell 18,000 pounds of grain per year

the moral of the story is that the breeding and agri industries are under a lot of pressure here, and they have to work fast, because the population is rising. 

knock knock

whos there?

dwindling nitrogen supplies in farmland and unsustainable farming practices but im gonna save that for another time

are they healthier? it depends on what you believe. like, what we’ve found so far is that GMOs don’t hurt you. some of them have added vitamins that can help you (lets not forget the famous GMO golden rice, which uses a daffodil gene coupled with a soil bacterium gene to make a rice variety produce a huuuuuge amount of vitamin A. this has been so effective in solving vitamin deficiencies and health problems in 3rd world countries since it was introduced in 2005 that its won awards and been used as a universal case study for the whole “GMO plants” thing) but most are just like. idk. kind of there? they help the health of the plant and help the farmer bring in income, so???? idk???

are they better for the environment? i have no idea. i suppose indirectly, because like. if you have a heartier plant you have to clear less land for agriculture?? (can anyone weigh in here?). But if these got out into the wild, the effects could be DEVASTATING, which is why the USDA and related government organizations (depending on where you live) make it so you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that what you’re putting out into production won’t be crazy damaging if it magically gets out somehow.

ethically: i have no idea man. like im still super split on it. my scientist self says “you can literally buy everything to do it and modify plants to produce heat right in your own home right now” but then im like……………..idk man we just dont know. i dont want to hurt my plant friends. if this hurts our plant friends. idk

I think many leftists have a specific eureka moment where they come to realize a crucial fact about a possible post-capitalist world:

While we are trained from childhood on to just assume that more jobs must be good because that means more people are working and therefore eating, we rarely get a point to question WHY we insist on creating systems where we must work any job in order to subsist, regardless of how necessary they are. Like….if workers and communities had democratic management over economic utilities and resources, you could create something where people just get a livable floor regardless, and from there you can focus the economy on literally meeting those needs; from there, why would anyone NEED to work at some desk job in a bureaucratic mess or a Cheetos factory that produces shit food that specifically capitalists can profit from? This doesn’t presuppose a world without entertainment and art and theme parks and passion; it just presupposes that we remove those things from an economic framework that insists we MUST do them for our bread. If our actual JOBS were cut down to just what we NEEDED TO CREATE for a functioning society (essential foods, buildings, transportation, infrastructure, healthcare, education, etc.), then the “side things” that make life interesting can be born from interest rather than necessity. Taking it a step further, automation has the power to liberate us from a plethora of those essential jobs, and with democratic control over the means of production you could actually utilize it for human flourishing rather than capitalist profit. People wouldn’t have to worry about machines taking their jobs – indeed, they’d probably WANT a machine to take their job. That means more time for leisure, family, friends, art, and self-actualization.

vriska dating eridan is like when youre a baby and dont really Get Why Dating Happens because the thought of spending your free time with a boy is so viscerally unpleasant when you could be having fun with girl friends but you feel this dire need to Fit In so you just kinda pick the guy who has the has the best dessert at lunch break and decide Yeah Ok I Guess and your “dates” are just making him hand over his good snacks and then walking back to sit with the girls and then after like 8 days you get bored of keeping the charade up so you just stop talking to him and then years later you see him in high school and he acts like what you had was special when really you were just a gay kindergartener who liked to eat other peoples food

triggeredmedia  asked:

I demand you buy me a Ferrari. If you don’t you are denying my right to one. How is that different than you demanding I buy you food and healthcare? If you say “I need food to live” then you are saying I owe you labor because you exist. The fact that it’s a little labor or a lot of labor doesn’t equation. No one owes you anything just for existing.

So, essential goods are the same as luxury items?

This is the argument you make when you have nothing better to say. When you have no real argument against something this false equivalency bullshit is what you have to resort to. 

You see the world full of individuals who purely exist to exchange labor. What I see is that our society has been built collectively over millennia. Together we have built governments and architectural marvels, sustained our existence and built everything you see around you. There was no single person who labored to create anything, it has taken collective knowledge and skill. 

Now we must ask a question why do we have people that do not have enough to eat?

If we are to believe capitalism, it is because food is scarce and that there is not enough to feed everyone. In this line of thinking, we produce not enough food and supply and demand requires that those that can afford our limited supply are able to secure food while those that don’t have the means cannot. 

But we produce enough food to feed 10 Billion people, while there are only 7.5 billion people in the world.

So if we are producing enough food to feed all, why does everyone not have access to food? How does a system that is dependent on Supply and Demand create a system where there is a surplus of food while 1 in 9 people do not have enough food to lead a normal lifestyle?

Artifical Scarcity is why. We create a system where supply and demand do not actually apply, where companies regularly discard large amounts of perfectly good food in order to drive greater profits for their “perfect food.” This is why you don’t allow capitalist near anything that is a necessity to live. In order to turn a profit, they must create scarcity in something that is not scarce. 

So, if we collectively produce more food than we need worldwide, why can we not feed the world? 

We are calling for taking our existing system and saying, we produce more than enough food for all, everyone must be able to eat. This is not a difficult thing to pull off, and if we lived in a truly capitalistic system the price of food would be so low that everyone could afford it. Basic Supply and Demand would set pricing. 

But to take it a step further, if food was available to all, the price of feeding oneself would be less. In the end, you are arguing that you should pay more for food and healthcare so that a small group of people can become wealthy beyond their wildest dreams while another larger group dies. 

When you argue that a good that is not constrained by supply should be limited all you do is argue that you should pay more so that others cannot have access. 

Do you really have to feel special that bad? Oh, I guess that is why you asked for a Ferrari…

- @theliberaltony

the saddest thing about working in a grocery store is seeing all of the kids beg their parents to buy them a carton of blackberries or a bag of organic apples and watch the parents say “no, you don’t need those” or “no, those are too expensive”. Meanwhile their cart is loaded up with kraft mac and cheese, frosted animal crackers, and frozen chicken fingers.