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Old 07-31-2013, 11:14 AM   #36
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Trumpville (like Potterville, but stupider)
Posts: 73,730

Originally Posted by nyuk nyuk View Post
All too often life is a catch-22. Things people use to help things grow and not be devoured by insects to feed people then cause an effect somewhere else.
The great turning point in the modern history of corn, which in turn marks a key turning point in the industrialization of our food, can be dated with some precision to the day in 1947 when the huge munitions plant at Muscle Shoals, Alabama, switched over from making explosives to making chemical fertilizer. After World War II, the government had found itself with a tremendous surplus of ammonium nitrate, the principal ingredient in the making of explosives. Ammonium nitrate also happens to be an excellent source of nitrogen for plants. Serious thought was given to spraying America's forests with the surplus chemical, to help the timber industry. But agronomists in the Department of Agriculture had a better idea: spread the ammonium nitrate on farmland as fertilizer. The chemical fertilizer industry (along with that of pesticides, which are based on the poison gases developed for war) is the product of the government's effort to convert its war machine to peacetime purposes. As the Indian farmer activist Vandana Shiva says in her speeches, "We're still eating the leftovers of World War II."

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Yeah. There are no alternatives. We must destroy the land to save ourselves, even though destroying the land eventually will destroy us. We must destroy the oceans in order to survive even if, unfortunately, destroying the oceans eventually destroys us. But the oceans are far away. Who cares? We're just not clever enough to figure out some other way to do it, I guess. And we certainly wouldn't want to upset the profit models of Conagra and Archer Daniels Midland.
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