Author: Steve Savage

string(0) "" Loading...

Organic Food Sales in the UK Drop 13%. Why?

[social_buttons] Organic Monitor, a group that follows organic sales in Europe, recently reported a 13% drop in organic food sales last year.  Smaller but significant drops were seen elsewhere in Europe.  This group attributes much of this to the economic turn-down, but also to some consumer confusion. “Whilst consumers are demanding products with low environmental […]

May 28th

Measuring Monsanto

[social_buttons] From what I read and hear, I’m convinced that there are three groups which tend to over-estimate the global role of Monsanto. These include: Monsanto’s many detractors Monsanto’s admirers, and Monsanto itself. Some people say that Monsanto has an overly powerful, controlling influence over the food supply. Other people say that Monsanto’s technologies are […]

April 24th

Where Have All The Nasty Pesticides Gone?

[social_buttons] (apologies to Pete Seeger for the song title reference) The graph above shows how over the last 15 years, the use of 23 old pesticides has declined more than 97% in California.  These are all pesticides that have the specific, neurotoxic mode of action called “Choline Esterase Inhibition.”  They are “organophosphate” or “carbamate” insecticides – […]

April 20th

Pesticides That Buy Time

[social_buttons] This is the third in a series of posts talking about crop-by-crop reasons that pesticides are used.  These are reasons that go beyond just protecting the yield of the crop and the inputs of land, water, fertilizer and labor that go into farming – reasons that pesticides are a key part of “sustainability.” On […]

April 15th

Why Pesticides Are Actually Important for Agricultural Sustainability

[social_buttons] I know that some readers will find my title surprising or offensive, but I hope you will read on.  I’m writing this because I’m involved in a “broad stakeholder process” that is trying to define “scientifically sound metrics” to measure the sustainability of specialty agriculture (fruit and vegetable crops…).  Its a very ambitious effort […]

April 10th

Why Most Food Could Never Be “Local”

[social_buttons] Eating “Local Food” is an appealing ideal in theory, but it runs into several “reality issues.”  As much as people might want locally produced food, there are practical issues of land availability, land costs, grower economics, water availability, and climate which sharply restrict the range of foods that could ever be practically grown as […]

February 12th

Can Someone Explain “Organic Tobacco” to Me?

[social_buttons] I was at a turf industry trade show yesterday talking to a salesperson from a company that markets Organic fertilizer to golf courses (they describe it as the “natural amino acids found in feather, blood, meat and fish meals”).  There are actually a lot of better, controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer options for turf, but I […]

February 12th

“You Talk About ‘Industrial Farming’ Like It’s A Bad Thing!”

[social_buttons] The phrase,”industrial farming” is something I see on lots of web posts and comment strings.  I’m guessing that this intentionally derisive terminology conjures up some pretty negative imagery for most people not directly involved with farming.  The use of this emotive term raises two questions for me: Is modern, “industrial” farming actually what people imagine it to […]

February 4th