BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Thomas » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:07 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:There are many studies coming out about the dangers to humans and bees about the chemicals in Roundup and other commercial pesticides. It is a bit scary when you think about all the crap that can be going in wines (or food for that matter), when there is no way of knowing how they have been made.


There's also evidence that, like antibiotics, Roundup promotes resistant weeds, which means that once you are in the Roundup cycle, you never get out. No fear, though, the chemists are on it to create an even more dangerous formula.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Hoke » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:46 pm

Thomas wrote:
Joy Lindholm wrote:There are many studies coming out about the dangers to humans and bees about the chemicals in Roundup and other commercial pesticides. It is a bit scary when you think about all the crap that can be going in wines (or food for that matter), when there is no way of knowing how they have been made.


There's also evidence that, like antibiotics, Roundup promotes resistant weeds, which means that once you are in the Roundup cycle, you never get out. No fear, though, the chemists are on it to create an even more dangerous formula.


With a nod to current events, it's called "The Nuclear Option". :D
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Hoke » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:11 pm

This might be a timely place to interject a bit of defense---guarded defense---of the certifying bodies. Demeter and others are getting a lot of criticism here for being seemingly nasty and evil and dominating the poor misunderstood small farmer. And I'm not denying any validity to those complaints.

However, the origin of these bodies was almost always that of a natural (could we say organic in the other sense of the word?) societal agglomeration of like-minded, and yes, noble, people who wanted to 'do the right thing' and support sustainable practices and improve soil vigor without utilizing chemical farming.

It's a natural progression, however, for such social groups to metamorphize into governing bodies, because as soon as the ideas espoused got traction the corporations jumped in and immediately started to negate, confuse, and outright lie about how they too were the good guys making the good stuff (it's called marketing). Suddenly the already somewhat vague concepts got trashed and words like "organic" became meaningless through the eager assistance of our business-oriented and profit-driven government.

Add in the natural expectation that people who were early-adapters of these concepts tended to be rather obsessive-compulsive in the first place, if not evangelically warped, about their ideas, and you can see how Demeter and others were pretty much channeled into developing as both governing bodies and profit-making controlling entities.

Also, lest we forget the bigger picture, the organic/biodynamic crew has at times been their own worst enemies, allowing things like Bordeaux mixture and such to keep from alienating farmers who were dependent on that.

Again, not advocating here for the certifying authorities---except to say that if there were no certifying authorities, the category would not exist because corporatists would make it meaningless. My question would be: Does Demeter and others perform a function correctly; and if so, do they perform it well?
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Thomas » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:31 pm

Hoke wrote:This might be a timely place to interject a bit of defense---guarded defense---of the certifying bodies. Demeter and others are getting a lot of criticism here for being seemingly nasty and evil and dominating the poor misunderstood small farmer. And I'm not denying any validity to those complaints.

However, the origin of these bodies was almost always that of a natural (could we say organic in the other sense of the word?) societal agglomeration of like-minded, and yes, noble, people who wanted to 'do the right thing' and support sustainable practices and improve soil vigor without utilizing chemical farming.

It's a natural progression, however, for such social groups to metamorphize into governing bodies, because as soon as the ideas espoused got traction the corporations jumped in and immediately started to negate, confuse, and outright lie about how they too were the good guys making the good stuff (it's called marketing). Suddenly the already somewhat vague concepts got trashed and words like "organic" became meaningless through the eager assistance of our business-oriented and profit-driven government.

Add in the natural expectation that people who were early-adapters of these concepts tended to be rather obsessive-compulsive in the first place, if not evangelically warped, about their ideas, and you can see how Demeter and others were pretty much channeled into developing as both governing bodies and profit-making controlling entities.

Also, lest we forget the bigger picture, the organic/biodynamic crew has at times been their own worst enemies, allowing things like Bordeaux mixture and such to keep from alienating farmers who were dependent on that.

Again, not advocating here for the certifying authorities---except to say that if there were no certifying authorities, the category would not exist because corporatists would make it meaningless. My question would be: Does Demeter and others perform a function correctly; and if so, do they perform it well?


You know Hoke, all you have to say is: follow the money. That's always the reason.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Joy Lindholm » Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:33 pm

I meant to in no way bash certifications, especially when they protect the consumer from shysters like whom I mentioned earlier. When one is unfamiliar with a wine producer (or a produce grower for that matter), an organic/biodynamic/natural etc. certification can go great lengths to help a consumer judge what they are putting into their mouths. That being said, it is ridiculous that these certifications are so expensive, that they make it very difficult for the little guy to participate. Luckily, small operations rely much more on word of mouth and relationships with consumers - so you are more likely to get to talk to the grower personally to find out exactly how they are farming.

Hoke wrote:However, the origin of these bodies was almost always that of a natural (could we say organic in the other sense of the word?) societal agglomeration of like-minded, and yes, noble, people who wanted to 'do the right thing' and support sustainable practices and improve soil vigor without utilizing chemical farming.


It would be great if the movement could go back to its roots and have more of a community checks and balances accountability, rather than it becoming a business itself.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Hoke » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:41 pm

It would be great if the movement could go back to its roots and have more of a community checks and balances accountability, rather than it becoming a business itself.


It would indeed, Joy, but that's not gonna happen.

I certainly agree that the certifications have gotten to be extraordinarily expensive, and have priced out, and thus demotivated, people to pursue certification. That, to me, is a negative. The money bar should be set as low as possible to encourage new members to join the club. But I would imagine Demeter would maintain that their fees are as low as possible---because they have to cover the exacting inspections, record keeping, bureacracy, increased manpower, etc.

I used to know---but don't anymore because I'm not as current as when I was more actively involved in sustainability---how long the 'break even' was from chemical-based (like Thomas, I don't wish to call it conventional, because it's not) and sustainable. At one time a general break even was 7 years before you got to a point where sustainable was as...well, sustainable...as chemical ag.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Hoke » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:43 pm

You know Hoke, all you have to say is: follow the money. That's always the reason.


Sure. I'd add "power" to the quote though. The two are often conjoined, yes; but I know plenty of people that are vastly more interested in the power than the money. The money usually comes along with it though.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Steve Slatcher » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:24 am

Thomas wrote:The word "conventional" has been co-opted by what amounts to industrial farming. If you routinely dump petro-chemicals on schedule, hedge vines by formula, create stronger weeds through chemistry, etc. you may not be stewarding the land.

I don't think anyone does that any more though, do they? Even those who use synthetic fertilisers and sprays have no interest in using more than necessary, if for no reason other than keeping costs down.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Thomas » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:07 am

Steve Slatcher wrote:
Thomas wrote:The word "conventional" has been co-opted by what amounts to industrial farming. If you routinely dump petro-chemicals on schedule, hedge vines by formula, create stronger weeds through chemistry, etc. you may not be stewarding the land.

I don't think anyone does that any more though, do they? Even those who use synthetic fertilisers and sprays have no interest in using more than necessary, if for no reason other than keeping costs down.


Steve,

I can't say with any accuracy how extensive the practices are (although I'd guess that many large operations still do it) but I also don't know if there's a reasonable cutoff that interprets using no more than necessary into having no negative impact on the local environment. Much of the chemistry builds in the soil over the years.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Steve Slatcher » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:12 pm

Thomas wrote:
Steve Slatcher wrote:
Thomas wrote:The word "conventional" has been co-opted by what amounts to industrial farming. If you routinely dump petro-chemicals on schedule, hedge vines by formula, create stronger weeds through chemistry, etc. you may not be stewarding the land.

I don't think anyone does that any more though, do they? Even those who use synthetic fertilisers and sprays have no interest in using more than necessary, if for no reason other than keeping costs down.
I can't say with any accuracy how extensive the practices are (although I'd guess that many large operations still do it) but I also don't know if there's a reasonable cutoff that interprets using no more than necessary into having no negative impact on the local environment. Much of the chemistry builds in the soil over the years.

From memory some chemicals break down and some don't. And copper (allowed by organics and BD) is one of the worst for building up, while newer (banned) alternatives are a lot better. Anyone that wants to wreck their land is stupid -I would think the worst offenders when it comes to indiscriminate spraying are not so much industrial scale operations as smaller producers stuck in the past.
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Victorwine » Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:20 pm

Checking out the Demeter web site (about page), I find it interesting that they quote Pliny the Elder (first century Roman naturalist, not knocking Pliny the Elder he was an observant and great thinker of his time) when it comes to the moon affecting the earth. The moon "replenishes the earth; when she approaches it, she fills all bodies, while, when she recedes, she empties them." (For the first century sounds like a great explanation of the falling and rising tides).

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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Steve Slatcher » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:13 pm

Here's someone arguing against organic production
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-morg ... _hp_ref=tw
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Re: BioDynamic & Religion....(long/pedantic/boring)

Postby Brian Gilp » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:50 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:Here's someone arguing against organic production
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-morg ... _hp_ref=tw

I agree with some of that. Can't tell you how many times I have had discussions with people who think that organic automatically means more environmentally friendly and healthier. This is not always the case but try telling that to someone who prefers to not understand that organic is a label that governs products used but not how they are used. They surely don't understand that organic products require more sprays per season so use more fuel and create more soil compaction.
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