Category Archives: Agriculture

Chemical industrial farming is unsustainable. Why poison ourselves when pesticides don’t save more of our crops than in the past?

Pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides destroy soil, ecosystems, and a third of the crop is still lost to pests, just as in the many millennia of farming before chemicals. [ This is a book review of Dyer’s “Chasing the Red Queen”, … Continue reading

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After the harvest – protecting food from rats, mold, insects, fire, and bacteria

[ Current post-harvest storage is totally out of scale with what future generations will need. Now we have mainly gargantuan grain elevators, some so huge they can store enough grain for most of the U.S. for weeks at a time.  … Continue reading

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The Back to the Land Movement: why it failed and why we need to try again

[ This is my book review of “Back from the Land: how young Americans went to nature in the 1970s, and why they came back”.   Some succeeded, but most failed, and there are lessons to be learned from the previous … Continue reading

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Livestock diseases, Science Mag Review of “Arresting Contagion”

Science 17 April 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6232 p. 294 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa7672 The fever on the farm Arresting Contagion Science, Policy, and Conflicts over Animal Disease Control Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode Harvard University Press, 2015. 477 pp. … Continue reading

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Become a Bison rancher

Far more buffalo can be grazed per acre than cattle. It’s likely wild bison will return to the Great Plains in the future.   Already there are fewer people in areas where the Ogalla aquifer has been depleted than when Native … Continue reading

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A book review of “Russia’s Food Policies and Globalization”

[ This is a book review of Stephen Wegren’s 2005 book “Russia’s Food Policies and Globalization”.  Related articles: Inside North Korea’s Environmental Collapse Who Lives, Who dies in a never-ending energy crisis. Book review of Nothing to Envy. Ordinary Lives … Continue reading

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Who lives, who dies in a never-ending energy crisis. Book review of Nothing to Envy. Ordinary Lives in North Korea

[ The source of much of this information comes from Barbara Demick’s 2010 “Nothing to Envy. Ordinary lives in North Korea”.  But first I summarize why and how energy shortages led to the hardships chronicled in Demick’s book. Related posts: … Continue reading

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Muscle Power

Steven Vogel   Prime Mover: A Natural History of Muscle    W. W. Norton Reviewed in June 2004. Natural History Magazine Today we have machines for making people move in place: run, walk uphill, push pedals back and forth or up and … Continue reading

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Book Review of Paleofantasy: What Evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live

Alice Friedemann’s review of: Marlene Zuk. 2013. Paleofantasy: What Evolution really tells us about sex, diet, and how we live. My first introduction to Evolutionary Psychology was “The Adapted Mind” which posited we’re unhappy because of the tremendous difference between … Continue reading

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Northern California marijuana harms ecosystem, has huge carbon footprint. Legalize ASAP!

A book review by Alice Friedemann of Emily Brady’s 2013 book: “Humboldt. Life on America’s marijuana frontier.” The tales I hear from my friends in Mendocino and Humboldt counties fascinate me.  There are stories of mayors and sheriffs on opposite … Continue reading

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