Hear hear, Alan. Albert Howard got this right in the first place 60
years ago in An Agricultural Testament - see Chapter 11, "The Retreat
of the Crop and the Animal Before the Parasite". I haven't found any
subsequent work which has provided any real advance on this.
"Pesticides are the badge of the amateur", one farmer said. I never
needed them, and when organic farmers say they do, then I want to
wander over and have a closer look at the compost pile. There was an
exchange on this list, or maybe on OGL, a couple of months back among
several farmers who saw it this way. None of them used any biocides.
Journey to Forever
>In a message dated 4/21/2000 9:16:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
> > >The irony here is that the same statistical naivety, and lack of
> > >appreciation of scale is what has driven the phobia against
> > >pesticide residues.
>The issue of pesticide residue levels and their toxicity is only the tip of
>the iceberg. The real question is: what is it about a crop that pesticides
>were required to stave off predators? There is a school of thought that
>believes that insects are nature's recycling troops and destroy crops that
>are not suitable for consumption higher up the food chain. You could say they
>are nature's Q.C. department. Unhealthy soil produces unhealthy crops which
>come under insect attack. To kill the insects with pesticides is to allow an
>inferior crop to enter the food chain. Unhealthy crops result in unhealthy
>animals and humans. Just look at the infectious, reproductive,
>immunosuppressive, degenerative, and neurodegenerative problems facing our
>society. By the way, let's not define health as the suppression of symptoms
>through the use of therapeutants, but as the level of vitality promoted by
>life enhancing practices.
>If our only concern is with the safety of the synthetic pesticides,
>unfortunately, we are likely to accept organic farming which uses
>non-synthetic pesticides. The use of synthetic or non-synthetic pesticides
>still results in the marketing of a crop that was rejected by nature. Perhaps
>it's time to shift our "phobia" of synthetic pesticide residues to a "phobia"
>of crops that were produced using any insect eradication methods.
>Pushing the envelope.
>Alan Ismond, P.Eng.
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