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which nation has the best agricultural practices?  RSS feed

 
                                            
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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I've been researching GMO crops and government policy in the US and, well, it has me really curious as to which nations have the best agricultural/food policies (best by what we here would consider key - sustainability, biodiversity, nutritional density, food safety, etc).

I'm pretty new at poking into this, so i'm not sure where to start.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I don't like how coercive they are in enforcing most of their policies, but I've read some good things about the food system of Cuba. US sanctions and the collapse of the Soviet system forced them to take great strides toward sustainability, and local food security also seems to be a high priority. They even compromised on collectivism, because independently-operated market gardens turned out to be more productive (within constraints typical of Cuban conditions) than large operations.

Interestingly, there are enough fresh vegetables, shortages of meat and of sugar, and a tremendous surplus of physicians. So a typical surgeon can make more money moonlighting as a black-market chicken butcher, than the hospital pays for the day job. Not exactly a utopia, but it certainly doesn't have the same flaws as the US food system, and might be healthier overall.
 
Brenda Groth
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this could turn out to be a very interesting thread..i too was going to say cuba..as they do produce more food per household than most countries do..at least from what i have heard..on such a small area of land.

if you took that same amount of land in the us and used it like cuba does it would be interesting to see how much could be produced, esp if they did it in a sustainable mixed way rather than row cropping.

i love it when i see peoples small homesteads just popping full of food..but those kinds of statistics are not entered into any governmental data banks..at least no bean counters have been out here counting my produce ..or do they have any idea what we grow.

i just ordered myself another fruit tree and another grapevine today..that is where all my spare change goes to.
 
                                            
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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What sparked me wondering was the documentary "The Future of Food", which delved into GMO policies and the efforts of different groups to get better labeling and testing done on them.

It seemed that there are numerous countries in the UK who've taken a hard line against GMO foods, as well as many nations in Africa.  It got me wondering which countries are on the side of right when it comes to food production and which, well, aren't
 
Haru Yasumi
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I did a quick search to try and find a credible source for this information, but I saw a video lecture where it was claimed that ~54% of Russia's agricultural output in 2008 was from gardens.  This was followed by a further breakdown of how many % of potatoes and other staple crops came from gardens which I cannot recall.  The abstract on this 1999 article claims 40% of Russia's total agricultural output is from gardens:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VC6-3VNHP19-1&_user=10&_coverDate=09%2F30%2F1998&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1441524679&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=1d74a1755f8e3875f5455cdcfcd472a9

I thought it was an astonishing bit of information that I would have never assumed to be true.  It took some poking around before I began to believe it.

I believe the video I first heard of this from was Reconnecting to Nature through Spiritual Permaculture - by Dr Leonid Sharashkin, Ringing Cedars Press.
 
                                            
Posts: 59
Location: Bellevue, WA
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i take a lot of the Ringing Cedars stuff with a grain of salt. did you find independent citations of those claims?
 
Haru Yasumi
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Yes there are academic articles on this and I found a quick one, albeit from 1999, and linked it.  I would look into it for yourself.
 
                                            
Posts: 59
Location: Bellevue, WA
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I certainly will, you've really got my interest piqued. For a country so large, to generated that much of their food production is remarkable.  Even more so considering how rough their growing conditions seem to be.

i certainly wasn't disparaging your comment, just being dubious of the Ringing Cedars reference.  I'm still on the fence about that group.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Nathan Johns wrote:~54% of Russia's agricultural output in 2008 was from gardens.


Dmitry Orlov explains this as an adaptation to the unreliability of large Soviet agricultural systems. More good, related info in this presentation:

Closing the Collapse Gap
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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