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Thread: Is the primal idea ecologically sound? page

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    leif3141's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel


    Just wondering everyone's thoughts on this...sorta a reader for awhile but first post. Everytime you hear of what's bad for environment, cows and pigs are the first you hear about...


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    Sharonll's Avatar
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    I highly recommend that you read the book, The Vegetarian Myth. Mark wrote a great review about it recently: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vegetarian-myth-review/


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    "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Keith.


    "Guns Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond


    A couple good books that show Primal/Paleo nutrition leads to the most sustainable food sources for both humans and our planet. Confined Animal Feedlot Operations, pesticides, fertilizers, draining of wetlands, damming/diversion of rivers, are not in line with Paleo/Primal nutrition. And these profitable agricultural practices are what are leading to the ruination of our planet.


    Earth needs a reduction in human population, and a return to pasture-raised ungulates and herbivores as a natural food source for the remaining, smaller human population.


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    Leif it all comes down to sustainable land use and it's impact on the biosphere. A "cradle to grave" approach to how food is made is also extremely enlightening when trying to elucidate the real environmental footprint of a given product.


    Large scale monocultures is by far the worst human environmental impact of all (soil degradation, pesticide use, habitat loss, deforestation, eutrophication, etc, etc, etc)


    A Primal family can subsist with 100% local food production and zero large-scale monocultures.

    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
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    The big elephant in the room is fertilizer. All farms need it. It can either come from animals or fossil fuels. The fossil fuel fertilizer is responsible for the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico and is in general not sustainable because we have a limited amount of fossil fuels. Factory farms unfortunately release massive amounts of waste as pollution. People who say we should eat a sustainable diet of grain seem to miss the point that while grains are not as bad as factory farmed meat, their farming is still very damaging to the environment. I work in agriculture and I have to hear bullshit about how sustainable the vegetarian diet is from people completely ignorant of the realities of agriculture.


    A truly sustainable farm though only has food as a major output. Fertilizer comes from animals that eat grass. There is enough to fertilize the grass plus healthy fruits and vegetables. I eat meat and veggies from local farms and I can guarantee my diet is more ecological than some vegan eating Tofutti cuties made from soy grown on a monoculture.


    You can read more on my blog.


    http://trevligresa.wordpress.com/


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    tuscoyote's Avatar
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    our current agricultural system is unsustainable due in part to its 10:1 k/calorie deficit....that is the k/calorie simply being a measure of heat/energy.... we currently put in 10 k/calories of fossil fuel energy for every one k/calorie of food energy in return


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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    Energy consumed for an amount of energy attained is a valid measure in only limited circumstances.


    For instance, Grok spends 2000 kc chasing and killing the Wilde Celerylope. However, being celery, he gets only 800 kc of nutrition from it. Yes, big problem. Can't do that every day.


    Notice we did not count the BTU's in the fire used to cook the critter.


    Or, oil extraction uses, duh, energy to extract it from the ground. Just a few decades ago (this is real rough from a bad memory)for every BTU used to run pumps, we got 10 BTU's of energy. Nice west Texas crude in shallow wells. Now we have to spend a BTU to get something like four. Those drilling rigs in the gulf consume a lot of energy to make and run. You could even run a negative energy scenario if, for instance, coal was really cheap but oil wasn't; you use lots of coal to get the desirable, valuable oil. Again, energy in and out doesn't matter.


    If all of our tractors and trucks and everything were running on solar, wind, geothermal, and future unknown energy sources, would the amount of energy used to make your food matter? In the cost, perhaps. But the ratio doesn't matter at all.


    The earth did a fair job providing food for most humans up until roughly 1920 when the earth had something like a billion residents. The problem isn't the production of food, or the environmental costs, it's that there are too many of us!


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    Put it like this - grazing animals are used on nature reserves. See any maize plantations in Yellowstone Park? Soy? Nope!


    Recommend the Vegetarian Myth (I've not read it, as I'm already convinced).


    It is the human population that is unsustainable, not one diet or another. Athough, looking at "permaculture" they have chickens as an intrinsic cog-in-the-machine. http://www.safecom.org.au/permaculture.htm


    Pasture land actually stores carbon, as does peat bog (the plants die and rot into the soil where they are, along with manure etc). Better to feed animals in a semi-natural system, than to plough and disturb and kill the soil. Incidently, grass fed cattle supposedly have much less flatulence than corn fed - I can personally sympathise with the effects of grains, haha!


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    tuscoyote's Avatar
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    @OTB Key phrase from my post.. "unsustainable DUE IN PART to its 10:1 k/calorie deficit" but thanks for the lecture


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    Nearly 7 billion people could not be sustainably fed on a primarily-meat diet in the way they can be fed on grains. If humans breed like rabbits now, they most certainly would have as hunter-gatherers if it was ecologically viable. Because high-calorie animal sources are more limited in nature than high-calorie plant sources such as grains, humans could not sustain large civilizations solely on meat. Modern hunter gatherers like the Hadza, which only number about 400, are an example.


    Grain farming in its current incarnation is very damaging to the environment, and so is large-scale animal husbandry. The deforestation of the Amazon is the best example of this. Any attempt to grow large amounts of food to sustain ever-growing populations, especially at the level the West is living at, will ultimately be unsustainable and ecologically unsound no matter what diet they are a part of.


    For those of you advocating a reduction in human population, just as an exercise, how do you suggest we lower our population levels, and who will be forced to slow down population growth?


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