One teeny weeny nit to pick (which actually furthers your arguement re:
'benefiting the companies') just for historical veracity - Japan was
completely self sufficient for most of its existance; in fact both
emigration and immigration were proscribed
under pain for death for centuries. Japan is not now 'incapable' of feeding
much as being literally forced into accepting foreign (mainly US) food due
to the so-called 'level playing field' of the post-WTO world. True, it has
also exported a lot of its agricultural (as manufacturing) production due
to high yen, high cost of land, aging population and the inability to entice
young people into ag due to many many factors (I have a dear friend there
who is trying to do the Fukuoka style 'natural farming' with incredible
resistance from the local farming community - and he's Japanese! I could
write a whole thing on it, let me know,' anyone', if you're interested!)
etc., but much of that has been relatively recent. As has population
OOPS, 'Mummy come & wash me"...
Back I go to Mummy Land...
Anyway, that was my teeny comment, thanks and have a happy day, all!
>From: Alex McGregor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Roberto's Post
>Date: Sun Mar, 1999, 6:33
>Excellent analysis! You wrote:
>"From my own vantage point, the mindset that leads to
>ecologically-sustainable ag practices seems to be risk-minimization.
>This is quite different from the business/CEO/corporate mindset, which
>is growth/gain-maximization. Risk-minimization leads to
>subsistence-oriented ag as the stable base for more diversified ag
>operations. Food that a farmer raised for his/her family's consumption
>will probably contain less poisons and be healthier than food raised for
>the anonymous market."
>First of all, it doesn't make sense for a farmer to grow a single
>commodity, sell it at wholesale and then go to the store to buy food at
>retail. This would be as foolish as the CEO of General Motors going to a
>local dealership and buying a Ford at retail.
>The advice given out by those government agencies and programs you
>mention are for one purpose only- to feed the agribusiness pipeline of
>food into the US, Japan and other countries who are failing at producing
>their own food. In the US, we've destroyed or paved over some of our
>most productive soils and we're losing farmers all the time. We are also
>moving our farming offshore, along with our manufacturing.
>Also, the "farm development packages" offered by your government are
>provided by the chemical/seed companies in the US. These are designed to
>make farmers dependent on the US companies' products in order to
>increase their sales, irregardless of what these do to your soil, your
>farmers and your culture.
>It's much the same deal as Nestle's program of giving free samples of
>baby formula to new mothers in the hospitals of emerging countries,
>making them dependent on it after their milk dries up. (Incidentally,
>they give away just enough formula to last until a new mother's milk is
>dried up, making them dependent on formula to feed the baby.) This
>program is the cause of deaths of thousands of babies through out the
>So, when they tell a farmer that this is for their own good, they really
>mean it's for the good of the company supplying the products.
>You're also correct in your analysis of CEO thinking versus farm as food
>production thinking. Farms are not factories. We're not making autos,
>we're attempting to manage a biological system. These days, CEOs must
>think only in short term gains and how to construct a "golden parachute"
>if things go badly. All of this thinking is based on money- an
>artificial construct. True farming is longer range in thinking- how does
>what I do today affect my ability to grow next season? And my children
>and grandchildren"s ability?
>I propose thinking of maketing in 4 levels and in this order:
>1. Food production for the farm family.
>2. Retail sales in the local area.
>3. Value added products to preserve perishable items.
>4. Wholesale of excess which isn't consumed on farm, sold at retail
>prices or processed.
>And farmers diversifying can only lead to better ecological and
>financial health of the farm.
>So, hang in there Roberto. No matter what anyone says or how much they
>may ridicule your ideas, thinking the way you do will lead you to farm
>and farmer health. The paltry sum that government and agribusiness
>suppliers offer you for your health and the health of your farm isn't a
>very good deal.
>Vaya con Dios, mi amigo,
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