Monday, January 14, 2013

One Man, One Cow, One Planet

 It's very important now to find hope, and there are heroes all over the place, I've found, people doing great things for both the present and the future, and yet you rarely hear of them.  New Zealander  Peter Proctor and his wife are such Heroes, quietly creating a revolution with biodymanic agriculture.  As we face the consequences of big business farming and an unsustainable future, here is another movie that is freely available, and very important.  

What they have to say: 

"What does an environmentally friendly biodynamic food system  actually look like? Here's  a blueprint for a post-industrial future.  The outcome of the battle for agricultural control in India may just dictate the future of the earth.  Our existence on this planet is precarious. Desertification, water scarcity, toxic cocktails of agricultural chemicals pervading our food chains, ocean ecosystem collapse, gmo, soil erosion and massive loss of soil fertility. Our ecosystems ore overwhelmed. Humanity's increasing demands are exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity.

Modern agriculture causes topsoil to be eroded at 3 million tons per hour. (that’s 26 billion tons a year)- Human mass is replacing biomass and other species. The carrying capacity of the earth is almost spent.  The mantra of free trade has failed the world’s poor. There is a better way.
Biodynamic agriculture may be the only answer we have left."


PonderSeekDiscover said...


You know, I’ve been living well under the poverty level of a third world country for the last four years. In that time frame I have spent less than $200 – and this is in Houston, Texas. My little house is made entirely of salvaged materials. I salvaged four bicycles from the bayou (illegally discarded) and made one good bike out of parts from all. All of this time I have fed myself (I’m vegetarian) and up to 11 full grown dogs by foraging in dumpsters. If you spent as much time as I have foraging in dumpsters you would be sickened by the amount of food that is so casually wasted in this country. Cheese, yogurt, beautiful fruits and vegetables, all kinds of meats (often still frozen), canned goods . . . on one trip I hauled back 5 one gallon cans of Maxwell House Breakfast Blend and could have had a dozen more. If one jar of spaghetti sauce in a case breaks during shipping the whole case is casually discarded, etc. etc. And I’ve only foraged from small groceries and fast food establishments; all of the major grocery chains use compaction type dumpsters which are only accessible from inside the store. I hate to even imagine the amount of edible food that is discarded at a typical Sam’s Club or Walmart – it’s sickening to even think about.

According to the EPA more than 50% of the food produced for human consumption in this country ends up in the land fill. Meanwhile, over 40% of the children in the greater Houston area (Harris County, Texas) are classified “food insecure.” In other words, they don’t know when their next meal is coming.

You know, recently the Houston Chronicle ran a laudatory article about Waste Management (America’s largest landfill operator and waste recycler) talking about their recycling program which includes mining methane gas from many of their landfills. This is certainly commendable but it’s a negative sum game; it costs a great deal more energy to produce food, especially meat, than what is extracted with methane mining!

That said, all of my friends and family are ranchers! I grew up on a family farm and ranch and plan to return one day. Many of the issues raised in your movie are being addressed in the developed world by science (e.g. subsurface drip irrigation and low pressure pivot irrigation, water monitoring transducers, University developed fertilizer analysis and spreadsheet software, etc.); I’m a big fan of scientific solutions. I’m just not convinced that farmer’s markets and organic farming is going to be able to sustain the Earth’s human population in the future. Are we going to turn into Vonnegut’s 2BRO20 or some such? I don’t know . . . it’s certainly something I think about. Anyway, I would direct your attention to this lecture by the Global Warming environmentalist, Mark Lynas (; he makes some interesting points. Also, make sure you read all 532 comments, some are rather interesting . . .

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lauren for highlighting this beautiful and positive message,
I believe this film is important to us here in the "1st World" as we can learn simpler methods of farming as well as biodynamics. We desperately need to take back the soil, and grow soil, build soil - quit using such heavy equipment. This is also in addition to stop monocropping, chemicals, GMO, the even worse hits to soil.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Fascinating video. Thank you for posting.

Lauren Raine said...

thanks for your comments.......a fascinating film indeed, and much food for thought.

PonderSeekDiscover said...

Hey Lauren,

Well, I can tell my comment went over like flatulence at a dinner party! It’s not surprising; I’m the kind of guy who was baffled when I found out most folks viewed Greg Bear’s classic, Blood Music, as a horror story! In 1990 I was at a Thanksgiving Gathering just south of Big Sur and when The Dead came to the Bay we all road tripped up and partied in the Golden Gate Park. I was rolling with a cat we called “caveman” and a fellow, Alexis, who was a Greenpeace canvasser. We all dropped acid and when the police showed up and started beating up freaks we left and went to the house Alexis was staying in. The house was owned by a photographer who was also an executive with Greenpeace. I went and had bagels with Alexis and the photographer the next morning and they asked me, “What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to drive back to Nebraska and join the Marine Corps,” I replied. They said, almost in unison, “You can’t do that, there’s a war fixing to start!” “I know,” I replied, “that’s why I’m joining the Marine Corps!” I went from tripping on Haight to Marine Corps bootcamp in a matter of weeks. The Marine Corps didn’t get me at all. I offer this as explanation for the curve ball . . .

Anyway, I’ve been reading the autobiography of Indian Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda, and recently finished Chapter 46 titled, The Woman Yogi Who Never Eats (Giri Bala); I thought you would find it interesting . . . perhaps even synchronistic . . . but maybe odiferous: (