agriculture

The time I was happy about fungi in my bathroom

 A few months ago I had some serious fungi in my bathroom. And unlike the time it appeared, grey and speckled, in the dark dank bathroom of my old rat-trap Brooklyn apartment, I was thrilled. This time it wasn't mildew, it was oyster mushrooms. 

The meat in your milk

 I remember when I was a vegetarian and I first encountered literature on veganism that described the dairy industry. When I learned about how older cows and unwanted calves were sent to slaughter, it made sense to become a vegan. To this day, beyond people who don't like meat or who come from a vegetarian cultural tradition, vegetarianism doesn't make much sense to me. Even for people who are religious vegetarians, the dairy produced in most of the US is a far cry from that traditionally consumed in India.

No, I won't eat mor chicken

 I've seen a lot on social media the past week about boycotting Chick-Fil-A because they support organizations that aim to restrict gay rights. This is amusing for me because I grew up in Marietta, Georgia, eating Chick-Fil-A all the time. And I even went to Camp Winshape, which was started by Truett Cathy, Chick-Fil-As founder. Back then I was a fast-food-fried chicken Southern Evangelical.

The Myth of Sustainable Meat and James McWilliams

People keep sending me The Myth of Sustainable Meat by James McWilliams. If you've followed this blog long enough you'll know I've blogged about James before. I'm also a regular commenter on his articles on the Atlantic. I've been enough of a nuisance that I've gotten his attention and he's written about me too

Storage:Possible Neolithic Agent of Disease

When humans started transitioning towards agrarian ways of life around 10,000 years ago, it wasn't just the types of food that changed. It wasn't just about more reliance on grains and less on meat, but about a fundamental change in the food system. True hunter-gatherers literally live day to day, not storing any food for later use.

Is that chicken really free range?

 So after the silly article in NPR, a lot of people simply said that paleo is definitely not about grain-fed meat. But I find a lot of people who purchase "alternative" products are eating grain-fed meat without even knowing it, simply because it's pretty hard to do commercially viable chicken or pork without it. I and others have worked on models, but they aren't coming to a store near you anytime soon. 

Wisconsin, 2022

Wisconsin 2022. Things have gotten bad since 2011. The economy recovered somewhat, employment didn't. Outsourcing, automation, productivity per person, and general economic stagnation have produced a dire economic situation, particularly among young people. The dream of productivity gains allowing people to work less has turned into a nightmare. It's more productive to have fewer employees than to let people work less. Few young people are getting married. Fertility is dropping. Resource prices, particularly for fossil fuels and synthetic fertilizer, just reached an all-time high.

Coconut Agrobiodiversity

 Coconuts of French Polynesia is a fascinating blog I found though the coconut Google group. Unfortunately, it's in French, so I read in in Google Translate. Since most of us eat coconut products imported and processed far away, we don't really think about what kind of coconut those foods came from. Apparently many traditional cultures use many types of coconuts. There are oil coconuts, water coconuts, medicinal coconuts, and fiber coconuts for example.