Back on the campaign trail in Iowa over the weekend, 2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to unveil a major policy vision that will include breaking up powerful agriculture conglomerates as a way to save small farmers and rural communities he says are facing a "major, major crisis."
I think this is great in theory, however, there is one problem: There are too many people to be fed just by regular farmers (Like my ancestors). The factory farmers have the land and the equipment to produce more; although, not necessarily of better quality. This is quite a conundrum that I wish I could see a solution to by returning to family farms. What do YOU think, Willie Nelson?
Bernie Sanders again raises the bar with his common sense proposals that actually make sense! Bernie is rising above the crowded arena of candidates for President. Make no mistake about it Bernie with his people power will convince enough people to do the right thing and vote for him. Remember it is all of US not me, me, me. Start having conversations with your children, grand children, neighbors you know, neighbors you don’t know, people you bump into during your daily routines, regarding climate change, big ag pollution, factory farming abuses, organically grow foods, pesticide use, and illnesses directly related to these problems. This will be the great awakening of the USA in 2020! Bernie Sanders for President in 2020! Peace
We need more people working the land. The corporate industrial USA has bragged about how now only 1% of all residents work in agriculture, but that’s nothing to be proud of. We need to up that number, a lot, to transition to a SURVIVABLE system of agro-ecological food production that does not crash the climate, and crash the ecology, and crash civilization – processes that are already well underway. We need to move rapidly to more labor-intensive, less fossil-fuel intensive food production systems. And we certainly can feed the people with such systems, while vastly reducing damage to water, ecosystems, and public health.
Also we need to move vast tracts of current agriculture away from production of GMO industrial commodity feedstock for industrial animal agriculture and factory farms. These massively distorted systems hugely increase the footprint and ecological costs of agriculture. There are more pigs in Iowa than there are humans, and that’s a massive cycle that raises and slaughters that many pigs every year, destroying land and water for cheap industrial meat. We need food production for humans, not for industrial meat which is plainly destroying the ecology. Instead of pouring in ten calories of feedstock to produce one calorie of meat, we should be producing ten calories of food for humans and reducing that footprint by 90%. If we want to stop the omnicide that is underway.
No argument from me; however, is it possible in the age of greed capitalism and masses of people who are not fond of labor intensive work for it to happen?
Corruption and capitalist industrialist greed are the primary blocks to having an honest discussion of these matters. “Interested parties” dominate politics and media and distort public awareness and education. Chemical corporations own patents on GMO seeds that use herbicides to kill everything but the crop, and they earn billions from these industrialized systems based in their “property rights” to own and patent life while feeding the factory farm system of industrial meat. We need a major roll-back of the power of wealth and capital, and of the predatory colonizing structure of the corporation. Not just to free up rational discussion and policy around agriculture but so much else. As you know!
I am a retired farmer. Inheritance taxes were high hen I was young. That’s how the corporations got the land. Young people couldn’t afford the inheritance taxes when their parents died.
Now corporate farms have the land and inheritance taxes are rock bottom low.
Never forget that 70% of food on the table comes from poor farmers now facing land grabs from capitalist corporate agriculture.
Warlanders say the poor are pitifully ignorant and undeveloped and need our help after we burned their colleges, colonized and enslaved them and then stole everything they had.
Yes, one thing you said is true - the corporate farmers have a lot of land. But the whole industrial system of farming needs to be transformed. Study after study show that sustainable/regenerative ag can produce just as much if not more food per unit of land and does not destroy the environment and climate in the process. The miracle of the ‘green revolution’ is petering out - yields are decreasing in the factory farms, not matter how much chemical fertilizer they use. Much of the grains grown on factory farms is not eaten by people but by livestock - we all can eat less meat and dairy, that will also improve our health.
Sanders and Warren are both friends of family farmers. Warren wants to break up big ag corporations. Beyond that we need to support family farmers by providing them with an alternative to the industrial farm and food production system. Sanders offers that too.
Industrial meat is destructive in many ways. First its use of antibiotics which is creating antibiotic resistant microbs, second as a food source it is insufficient for health, next think of all that shit that is polluting our air, land and ground water, fourth the few people that are required to work in that industry must be desperate and left without physical and spiritual reserve
The tariff war has really hurt some segments of the ag industry.Bernie doesn’t want to talk about trade because he believes the trade situation is unfair to US manufacturers. So he sounds like Trump which doesn’t get him anywhere.
I believe our policies and world policies should be that the home country has support for products provided by the home country. Excess should be marketed globally to fill the areas that can not supply their own. Somehow you have to establish a market globally for truly premium products.
I know this is a lot more complicated than I understand.
For example my family complains that they can’t get good tomatoes because the big farms use antibiotics and growth hormones that result in less flavor.
This is a very complicated industry where none of us want a diminished product but we also don’t want to pay too much. And all of us way a vibrant local industry.
Sanders gets it…now if only urban folk could factor in what selling their heartland to agri-business companies where money, not fertility, is the bottom line, is going to cost them…and their children…the planet might stand a chance.
I fear cheap eggs trump nutritious ones…and hormone laced milk sells if its a few pennies less than organic, or even just traditionally produced milk products.
But who knows? Perhaps poverty will make us smarter…before fossil fuel fertilized fields give up the ghost and we all starve slowly together.
Hillary’s mafia will crush Bernie again. The Deep state rules from Tel Aviv
If you want to help small farmers (and lower rates of autism) ban glyphosate, chlorpyrifos and neonicotinoids (and other nasty ones) . Big Ag relies upon monoculture and this means they need more pesticides and fungicides. Just doing that will help our children’s health and small, independent farmers.
Why not? Not only move back to smaller family farms but make them organic to restore the soil and do companion planting. Multiple small farms ensure freshness and localization of markets and thus enhance community. Small is beautiful!
As usual, Bernie’s on it.
And here from Cornucopia:
"Rob Percival, head of policy at the Soil Association, says organic farming can feed the world, if consumption patterns are adjusted to encourage those who can afford meat to eat less of it. “We need an urgent shift in both production and consumption if we’re to avert the worst consequences of climate change, including a dietary shift towards less and better meat,” he says.
“Livestock grazing on pasture can support soil health and carbon sequestration, and manure can provide soil fertility for other crops.”
He adds that the productivity of organic farming is greater than previously thought, “and when the environmental and other damage caused by high energy and chemical inputs in non-organic farming are factored in, organic food is cheaper for society and better for the planet”.
If we stopped massively subsidizing industrial ag and industrial meat, we would drop the insanely over-inflated production and raise the cost of meat, while reducing the cost of other foods.
Policy, incentives, disincentives, regulations, funding, all of these FEED the horribly distorted profiteering industrial commodity farming that dominates. We can and must redirect all of these policy tools to instead support regenerative organic / permaculture / agroecology. It would make a huge difference in outcomes.
How many ways can candidates find to say capitalism is failing most people without actually saying capitalism is failing most people?
The difference I see is Bernie on the road, busting his ass and telling this directly to the people. This is what he’s been doing all along. Warren talks too much and never came through on any plan. She also loves stealing Bernie’s ideas as they were her own. She’s Bernies shadow.
Sanders should know that big ag owns Iowa…the economy, the educational system, etc.