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Thread: Paleo and the environment page

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    jonnyhollis's Avatar
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    Paleo and the environment

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    Does anyone else wonder what would happen to the world if Paleo became mainstream?

    It seems to me that a diet based to a much larger extent on animal and fish products would put a much greater strain on the environment damaging it more and more quickly.

    Also, mainstream would mean that you've got Jon and Jane Stupid and their interpretation of Paleo. Which would likely just mean eating tons of cheap beef and battery farmed chicken. Probably in the form of bap-lass McDonalds 'Happy Meals'.

    I think this Paleo malarky needs to stay underground. At least for the sake of the planet.

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    I think if they ate cheap beef and battery farmed chicken they's die even sooner than if they stayed on SAD.

    Eating primal is not cheap. I pay dearly for grass-fed meats and dairy. I had to increase my food budget by $50/week. Thankfully I'm earning more now than I did this time last year, but if our family suffered an economic setback, I'm not sure what I would do.

    They only way this could be sustainable on a global level is if every single person eating and breathing thought first about their environment and the neighbors BEFORE they thought about themselves. There would be no room for greed or dominance if the whole world went primal, truly primal, according to the "Blueprint." Because then everyone would be healthy and happy. Imagine a whole world of healthy, happy people. You may not need to lock your door.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyhollis View Post
    Does anyone else wonder what would happen to the world if Paleo became mainstream?

    It seems to me that a diet based to a much larger extent on animal and fish products would put a much greater strain on the environment damaging it more and more quickly.
    No, it's actually the other way round.

    Grass is actually an even better sequestrator of carbon than trees. Grazing animals should be out there on grass. it's actually cheaper, and the only reason why that doesn't happen in the U.S. is government subsidies to grain-growers.

    All healthy farming is built on perennials (like grass) and grazing animals to crop it and drop dung. The trick is you must keep moving them -- every day. You can do that with electric fence. This is what happens in the wild: effectively the movable fence mimics what wolves and fire do. If they don't move around, the dung doesn't get spread so that there's no feeding of the soil in some places, and a scorching excess of nitrates, etc., in others.

    You can slot some crop-growing into that cycle. Without it, how are going to feed the crop? You'll soon exhaust the soil. The current answer is to use artificial fertilisers -- but that's a non-renewable resource (they're made from petrochemicals) and in any case they don't supply humus. Over time it destroys soil structure.

    There's what's called the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and it's growing ... that's caused by large-scale intensive crop farming.

    http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife...one/index.html


    The only thing that is sustainable in the long run is small-scale mixed farming.

    The man to hear on this is Joel Salatin.

    Go on -- it's an important issue for the future, and it doesn't cost much for one of his books:

    The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer: Amazon.co.uk: Joel Salatin: Books

    Here he is being interviewed -- audio available:

    http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/‘...ocal-food/6230

    I doubt any informed source in the Uk would tell you any different. Have a look at the Soil Association's website, for example.
    Last edited by Lewis; 09-25-2012 at 10:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HilaryJ View Post
    I think if they ate cheap beef and battery farmed chicken they's die even sooner than if they stayed on SAD.
    Actually, most paleo adovcates (bloggers and big names) say it's better to eat paleo/primal/ancestral with low quality foods than to stay on the grain-based/high-processed/high-carb diets.
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    Yes, if 7 billion people (or 9B, or 12B...) started eating more meat, there would be a major problem. There is no way to grow enough food to feed the current population without artificial fixation of nitrogen for fertilizer, which given our current energy economy requires the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

    I don't know how many grazing animals and how much permaculture-based plant food the world could support if we converted the monocropped corn, soy and wheat fields to pasture, but it almost certainly wouldn't be enough to feed everyone. We are currently eating a lot of food grown with petroleum energy instead of sunlight. Meeting this energy demand with renewables only (assuming we don't solve the fusion problem in the near future), which is what we would have to do to have an energy-sustainable food supply, is a serious challenge and may be impossible.

    Overpopulation (despite the protestations of a few around here) is a major, major problem affecting nearly every aspect of human life, and the dependence of our food supply on unsustainable energy production (and the attendant environmental degradation inherent to this agricultural technology) is only one of the many symptoms. The population simply cannot continue to increase or even remain steady if we want to solve the problems it's causing right now.
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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    I don't know how many grazing animals and how much permaculture-based plant food the world could support if we converted the monocropped corn, soy and wheat fields to pasture, but it almost certainly wouldn't be enough to feed everyone.
    It's always those that don't know that shout the most.

    If current practice carries on it will simply destroy soil structure, besides causing even more soil-erosion and poluution of waterways. That will not feed anyone.

    To the OP. Try the links I gave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    Overpopulation (despite the protestations of a few around here) is a major, major problem affecting nearly every aspect of human life, and the dependence of our food supply on unsustainable energy production (and the attendant environmental degradation inherent to this agricultural technology) is only one of the many symptoms. The population simply cannot continue to increase or even remain steady if we want to solve the problems it's causing right now.

    Wait, there are people here that don't think this is an issue? Holy shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncephalized View Post
    I don't know how many grazing animals and how much permaculture-based plant food the world could support if we converted the monocropped corn, soy and wheat fields to pasture, but it almost certainly wouldn't be enough to feed everyone.
    Infographic: How big a backyard would you need to live off the land? | MNN - Mother Nature Network

    Someone did the math for you. About half an acre per person, give or take, depending on location and soil and weather, etc.

    Even with just the "prime" farmland (~7million acres), by these methods the state of Wisconsin could support double its current population (just shy of 6 million), leaving all the non-prime farmland (another 7 million acres) for money crops. This doesn't include the 30 million acres of rural non-agricultural land, as a good portion of that is likely to be heavily wooded. Not all states are as fortunate in farming conditions as Wisconsin is, though- lots of rivers and pretty good soil all around.
    Last edited by jfreaksho; 09-25-2012 at 07:16 PM.

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    To do it in a more sustainable way but still remaining 'paleo' you could eat less meat, raise your own chickens for eggs and grow your own tubers and some caloric dense fruit. I don't think blanket recommendations for everyone to eat more meat is the right way to go about things.

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    If the world went paleo... I definitely see meat prices going up but I'm pretty sure many people will start growing their own as well. This of course will lead to me getting more and more meat for free when I start cattle raiding.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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