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Old 07-09-2017, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,648 posts, read 49,325,799 times
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If any commercial herbicide was proven to have an immediate effect on human health the manufacturer would be sued quickly. So what are the micro-effects after years of build-up in the soil and in our foods?
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:03 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
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As much as I dislike the litigious nature of our modern society, you're right about the courts keeping things honest-- and there are no suits forthcoming about cancer, food & chemicals because the lawyers have no data to support them.

There are plenty of studies about the duration of activity of chemicals dumped onto our food. Those that don't deteriorate quickly aren't used. Residues of certain chemicals can be found on our foods, but in extremely small quantities.

Keep in mind that there are no poisons- only poisonous doses--> excess water causes water intoxication; excess O2 causes oxygen toxicity- a major concern on the Intensive Care Unit, yet both are essential for life. Daily ethanol in small amounts increases longevity. Larger amounts shorten lives.

There is simply no evidence that routine ag chemical use causes any changes in human health and we have 4+ decades of experience. Reports of carcinogenic effects usually emminate from studies in rats, a species particularly prone to develop cancer. The Sprague-Dawley strain is particularly known to get spontaneous tumors. To those who fear food chemicals and cancer, I always say "if you're worried about it, don't feed it to your rats."

I don't want to change the topic of this thread, but some reading I did earlier today suggests a suspicious
link between lobbyists and loosening of an EPA reg concerning a newer pesticide with possible health implications. I want to look into it a little further and will then start a new thread.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:50 AM
 
24,123 posts, read 17,508,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
That thought has to be balanced by the truth that humans, like animals, are also part of Mother Nature.

Think about factory farming, and how horrible we think it is to remove a chicken or cow from their natural habitat and keep them locked up, inside, fake lights, controlled temperatures. I don't think our optimal habitat is concrete cities, with poor air, congestion, traffic, limited trees and plants.

I think in many areas you can balance it, like where we are, so the natural habitats of animals and people can co-exist.
Except people wanted to live close to each other. Urban life is about your interaction with people, not with animals outside of whatever indoor pets.

There's also the economic factor. When farming technology became much more efficient, you had a huge rural workforce that found itself unemployed. So people moved to cities because there was work there.

A lot of farms went under and became forests again, as people concentrated in cities so I do think in a way having large numbers of people concentrate in cities leaves open a lot of land for wilderness and wildlife.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:53 AM
 
24,123 posts, read 17,508,177 times
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Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Agreed: Man is part of Nature. But for those who wax romantic and wish we could all live in harmony with Nature like the Indians have to keep in mind that an aborigine woman had to carry 8 pregnancies in her lifetime, hoping 2 of them would survive to adulthood to have some of their own and keep the race going. Aborigines live on the razor's edge, right at the carrying capacity: maximum competition & quick death when something goes even a little bit wrong.

While many of us do have the time, ability and land to grow our own, the vast majority of us do not. You wouldn't last long growing tomatoes upside down in a hanging basket on your condo balcony as your only source of food. And Chia Pet bean sprouts grown on the window sill don't go very far.

Industrial ag methods, including herb-& pesticides, allow us to grow more food on less land. Prior to WWII, all ag was essentially organic. A good farm got 50bu/ac for corn. Half of us were farmers. Now a mediocre yield is 150bu/ac and only 2% of us are farmers. If we shifted back to grass finished beef, we could let about 1/4th of our corn/beans acreage go back to natural pasture. Feedlots improved profits, analogous to assembly lines and auto production, but they didn't come into general use until the mid-60s. I learned to love beef before that and still raised grass finished beef for myself.

Humans tend to sterilize their living area. While my closest neighbor is 1/2 mi away, there's still no bear or wolves around here. If I walk down to the barn to check out a horse in the middle of the night, I don't need to arm myself for protection from beasts.

Maybe concentrating the population in a small town does save habitit & wild populations?
Concentrating population in cities definitely saves habitat and wild populations. By the late 20th century, deer, bear, wolf, and cougar populations had gone through major recoveries. A big part of this as because modern agriculture meant there was a lot less people needed to farm, so more space went back to being woods or primary.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:18 AM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,495,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
Except people wanted to live close to each other. Urban life is about your interaction with people, not with animals outside of whatever indoor pets.

There's also the economic factor. When farming technology became much more efficient, you had a huge rural workforce that found itself unemployed. So people moved to cities because there was work there.

A lot of farms went under and became forests again, as people concentrated in cities so I do think in a way having large numbers of people concentrate in cities leaves open a lot of land for wilderness and wildlife.
When grain prices were peaking in the early 70's a lot of that abandoned farm land went back into crops.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:20 AM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,495,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
Concentrating population in cities definitely saves habitat and wild populations. By the late 20th century, deer, bear, wolf, and cougar populations had gone through major recoveries. A big part of this as because modern agriculture meant there was a lot less people needed to farm, so more space went back to being woods or primary.
?????????????


The same acres were being farmed only with modern machinery it takes less people to farm it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,648 posts, read 49,325,799 times
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Pre-WW1 it is said that producing food took 40% of human effort [and no petroleum, no computers, no factories, and no chemical plants].

Today less than 1% produces enough food for twice the world population [and that is not just guys on farms that includes some petroleum workers, IT workers, shipping, factory workers, stores and restaurant workers].
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Old 07-14-2017, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Forest bathing
1,619 posts, read 949,766 times
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I think it also depends on the individual. We live on rural acreage and have a few neighbors here and there. One previous neighbor burned plastic garbage in their wood stove even though we have curbside pickup and did not combine trips into town. Snother older couple up the riad burns garbage in their woodstove and outside but have the same garbage pick-up. Whether this is because they are a generation ahead of us is not clear.

We have lots of trees: mixed soft woods and hardwoods from saplings to old second growth. We do not use AC (in the PNW, nope, unnecessary) and have a heat oump. For when it is below 40 degrees we burn wood. We compost, grow our own fruits and veggies, etc.
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