Archive for the ‘Greenhouse Gas’ Category

Scientists Disagree on Solutions

October 11, 2011

There is no disagreement among scientists that the following 3 issues are of vital importance. However, there is significant disagreement on solutions.

  1. Americans are statistically among the unhealthiest in the world with epidemics of heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and out of control health care cost.
  2. In 2011 we experienced record oxygen dead zones and sediment intrusion in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay. These Watersheds representing over half of the Nations land area are facing ecological collapse.
  3. Excess greenhouse gases mostly coming from food animal production threatens global warming, and tidal level increases with unknown ramifications.

Recently as posted earlier, we had an e-mail debate between leading agronomists, and environmental scientists and a leading nutritionist. The agronomists and environmentalists proposed various solutions including increasing the uptake efficiency of corn, reduced fertilizer application rates, cover crops and etc. The lead nutritionist at Harvard University proposed significant dietary changes. Reducing consumption of grain based red meat and reducing corn based sugar would solve all three Issues. He suggested a healthier Italian diet, which would cut grain production and fertilizer application in half. Vaclav Smil writing about the glut of world nitrogen in his book “Enriching the Earth” published in 2004 reached the same conclusion. He suggested that a healthier Mediterranean diet would solve the world glut of nitrogen. The USDA “my plate” initiative as modified by the Harvard School of Public Health website is a big step in this direction. Will Americans modify their diets or will major restrictive dietary regulation be required as recently instituted in Denmark? Doing nothing is not an option.



May 12, 2010

The USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education(SARE) program has published a new book titled What is Sustainable Agriculture? You might question why does USDA publish all this information clearly advocating sustainable agriculture while using our tax dollars to promote the continuance of grain farming the essence of unsustainable agricultural?


April 25, 2010

When the Founders met in Philadelphia to declare Independence in the mid 17 hundreds there was another problem evident. Old Dock Creek which ran through downtown Philadelphia to the back of Independence Hall and Carpenters Hall was polluted with human waste. The odor in downtown Philadelphia was intolerable. In the early days of city development the sewage was thrown into the street to be washed into the creeks and rivers by the next rainstorm. Cities began to pipe the sewage along with the storm water but the pipes all went to the nearest surface water.

This problem has shifted from the Cities to the Country. We now produce 40 times the amount of animal waste as human waste. Each chicken produces 2 pounds of waste including litter and all of it is placed on the ground close to the chicken house and either is washed into the nearest stream or the nitrogen leaches into aquifers. We produce 8 billion chickens and 16 billion pounds of waste each year in 10 major broiler producing States. Most of the heavy producing States are in Coastal Plain watersheds which further exacerbates the contamination of aquifers. The Delmarva Penninsula produces 1.6 billion pounds of broiler waste while Georgia produces 2.8 billion pounds. Some of these States also produce unmanaged waste from hog and dairy CAFO’s. The problem of unmanaged waste starts in the production facility, the CAFO. These facilities are described by Johns Hopkins University in the paper farmacology as perfect pathogen incubators. In order to keep chickens alive for 8 weeks these facilities have increased the output of their ventilation systems which has increasingly contaminated the air around the facility and increased the incidence of diseases such as MRSA to neighbors of these facilities. Technology has been developed which can produce clean fertilizer and energy from the waste and keep our water and air clean. As with human waste management, society always seems to be behind the problem. Unfortunity 5 decades of ignoring this issue has substantially destroyed Chesapeake Bay and other East Coast Estuaries including the Gulf of Mexico.


March 24, 2010

The Pew Commission Ref #1 stated that CAFO food products were not cheap except to the consumer because of government subsidies, and the cost to our natural resources such as our soil and estuaries like Chesapeake Bay. So it is interesting to compare the cost to the consumer. Yesterday I went to Walmarts to compare C&J prices.

Walmarts price for chuck roast was 4.78/lb versus 4.25 for C&J

Walmarts price for Delmonico steak was 9.54/lb versus 8.00 for C&J

Walmarts price for Angus beef patties was 3.50/lb versus 4.50 for C&J

Walmarts price for bulk lean ground beef was 3.78/lb versus 4.25 for C&J

Walmarts price for Egglands best organic eggs was 4.08 versus C&J 4.00/doz. note Walmart had large eggs for 1.50/doz.. These eggs are produced by hens who  live? in a small cage and are fed antibiotics, arsenic growth enhancer, and who knows what else. This system of egg production was condemned by the Pew Commission as being one of the worst examples of mans inhumanity to animals. This system of egg production is now banned in California and other States. Anyone who eats these eggs with knowledge of how they are grown should be jailed as an animal abuser.

Considering that the beef has 7 times less saturated fat, is high in CLA and omega 3 and is grown in a way that builds topsoil, and is nutrient neutral, what a value! The only downside is finding these farmers. The eat wild website can be helpful in this regard. Just go to the related links on our website.

Healthy Recipes That Save our Natural Resources

March 18, 2010

The following recipes were selected to maximize health while considering the Nations water quality and topsoil loss disasters. The emphasis is on the Mediterranean diet, which minimizes meat, uses olive oil, avoids corn-based products and maximizes fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Another resource is Anne Whites well Illustrated Book.

Note: These recipe sites contain interesting comments from people who have tried the recipe. In most cases we have not yet tried the recipe and depend on the opinion of others who have. Ultimately we will depend on you the readers for your taste assessment and comments.

Chicken recipe using tomatoes and olive oil

Industrial chicken production is destroying topsoil and water quality in all East Coast estuaries. Please use pasture raised. The site may be helpful in identifying farmers.

Black Bean Soup

Legumes get most of their nitrogen from the atmosphere and are efficient in nitrogen use.

A change in Thinking About Shellfish

Shellfish have no adverse environmental effect. They are increasingly victims of our corn based food production system.

Fiery Beef and Noodle Salad

Pasture raised beef is high in omega 3 and CLA. Their production method builds topsoil and can be nutrient neutral on water quality. CAFO raised beef is the opposite in all these criteria plus the negative effects of feed additives and E.coli.

Petite Shanghai Cabbage w/hoisin sauce

Cabbage is particularly vulnerable to pesticide in chemical sprays. Ask site for names of organic farmers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Healthy French Fries & Seared Brussels Sprouts

Beet green Tangerine Salad

Greens are particular vulnerable to pesticide in chemical sprays. Use organic if possible.

Grilled Salmon

note: Wild Alaskan salmon is excellent food but most Atlantic Salmon found in supermarkets is raised in unsanitary conditions in pens in Maine, fed corn. and thought to be the cause of diseases in wild fish.


February 10, 2010

The following 7 issues are affecting all of us now to some degree but what does the destruction of our natural resources and our health mean to future generations? Some of these issues are now receiving attention. Most are not. Only an enlightened consumer can make a difference at this time. Thanks to the following for recent major network coverage.

Katy Couric did a segment on the use of antibiotics in and pathogens generated by animal production facilities on CBS evening news on Feb. 9, 2010 and on the same evening PBS news interviewed Mrs Obama on her new campaign to fight childhood obesity. On Jan 27 Oprah interviewed Michael Pollan. She asked him how we will feed a growing population if we changed from the corn based system which is so problematic to health. His answer was that if people demanded healthy food farmers would produce healthy food. He pointed out that while Americans spend a low 9% of their income on food today they spend 19% on health care. These numbers are just the reverse of what they were 50 years ago. He did not mention or place a value on the other major consequences.

1. More than 50% of the Nations topsoil has been lost due to denuding vast areas of the land surface area to plant corn. See reference 51, 52, 53

2. All major corn producing States except one are losing soil fertility as measured by loss of Soil Carbon by ignoring nutrient replacement lacking in chemical fertilizers. This destruction of our soil is irreversible without major change in production methods or a return to pasture production See reference 50

3. The eutrification of rivers, streams and estuaries in the greater Midwest including the Gulf of Mexico caused by a 9 fold increase in nutrient application mostly to corn have substantially destroyed these waterways as a species habitat. About half of the corn is used in animal CAFO’s and half for corn syrup and 13 other corn products used in processed food. The city of Des Moines IA was forced to install the worlds largest nitrate removal system to avoid major death syndrome in children. See references 30, 31

4, All East coast Estuaries including the Chesapeake Bay have been substantially destroyed as species habitat by chicken, dairy and hog CAFO’s and the production of corn feed. References 32, 33, 35. Also see the EPA nutrient load charts for the Bay.

5. Animal CAFO’s are perfect pathogen Incubators producing trillions of pathogens, which are transmitted by air to neighbors, workers and thence to hospitals.

MRSA (the hospital pathogen kills more people each year than aids). Corn fed cattle produce e-coli in their hindgut, which is impossible to control particularly in hamburger. See reference 2, and 21 from Johns Hopkins University.

6. All CAFO’s use regular dosage of antibiotics in feed, which is producing antibiotic immunity to some degree in humans.

7. America is the most obese society in the world. Particularly disturbing is that 19% of our children are obese. See Wall street Journal Opinion Reference 17

“America’s Failed Food Production System”

February 2, 2010

With 12 Recommendations for Change

View the PDF > America’s Failed Food Production System

Prepared by Donald R. Kerstetter for Trappe Landing Farm & Native Sanctuary – rev #1 October 30th 2009

Including a comment by Dr. Russell Brinsfield, principal, the Wye Agro-Ecology Center