against the grainAn article by Richard Manning entitled ‘The Oil We Eat’ in the February Harper’s Magazine (not available online) bolsters the case I made in my post earlier today about the connection between overpopulation, biodegradation, pollution, war, violence, mental illness, loss of biodiversity, and the politics and economics of food. The most remarkable argument Manning makes is that it actually costs more energy to produce a lot of our agricultural products than these products contain. This is made possible, of course, by the billions of dollars of agricultural subsidies paid mostly to low-employment agribusiness corporations, at taxpayers’ expense, so they can export these extravagant products to other countries, undercutting and dislocating those countries’ own farmers and ruining their domestic economies.

Manning talks more about this in his new book ‘Against the Grain’ due out later this month.


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3 Responses to THE OIL WE EAT

  1. Dave says:

    Excess protein does not get turned to fat….

  2. Marijo says:

    Like “Diet for a Small Planet”– ideas that will change forever how I think about my food. I never knew that fertilizer was a petroleum product, and I guess I just never thought about all the fuel we use in farming and transporting and processing all that grain. Go figure. (I really should renew my subscription to Harper’s.) Thanks, Dave, for posting this. I hope they let you keep it, if they find out.

  3. Murph says:

    The various arguments about the damage caused by grain/vegetable production are, of course, all true. However, as the article points out, 80% of America’s grain production goes to feed livestock. You’re not escaping the damage caused by grain production when you eat meat (unless you’re one of the lucky few who can shoot one elk a year for your meat supply); you’re just adding the meat production environmental damage to the grain production damage.

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