Category Archives: new crops

Farming, Employed labour and political power.

Not to vote really should be a punishable offence. However, what will the elected politicians do for farming?

 

The more cynical might notice that, during the run up to an election, a large number of organisations and individuals become suddenly vocal in putting their case and asking for cash, pointing out that such additions would earn votes. Those wishing to be elected make promises which those with any intelligence take with a very small pinch of salt and then vote, not for their approved candidate but against those they like least.

For over 200 years, farming has become more and more efficient, employing less and less labour and has become a smaller and smaller proportion of the voting electorate.

The truth is that farming needs to forget the politicians (all of them) which will forget farming and, instead, get on with cutting costs (recycle wastes instead of buying mineral fertilisers), growing higher value crops and adding value to their production.  However, that is still not enough, farming has to market itself and its products better.  Much better and much more actively. Doing all of this will employ more labour which will, in due course, make it politically more influential.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 31 May 17

 

Bring back the F Plan Diet

Mama Mia

To be made from plant protein or animal protein;, that is the question.

There is no doubt that awareness of what is good for the planet exists, particularly amongst the middle class, some of whom will actually do something.  Mostly, however, those with a lot of money (Trumpists) will pay lip service to the subject but carry on enjoying themselves.  Those with less money are just driven by cash and survival – care of the planet tomorrow is irrelevant.  The truth is that the mass of the electorate in western democracies is voting against the establishment.

A further truth is that meat production takes a lot more resources than crops and is not as conducive to a long, healthy life as is plant-based protein. In an episode of Years of Living Dangerously, Gisele Bündchen and Andrew Steer reveal that producing meat and dairy is responsible for 85 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from Americans’ diets. Shifting to more plant-based foods can make a big impact. (But Donald Trump does not seem likely to move in that direction.)

To make the switch to plant-based protein, the global population needs to make wind (“farting”) socially acceptable, even sexy.  Pity the F-Plan diet was a short-lived fashion.  We need to bring it back.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 7 February 2017

Bring Back the F-Plan Diet

Bread

Meat eating or vegetarian?

There is no doubt that some general awareness of what is good for the planet exists, particularly amongst the middle class, some of whom will actually do something.  Mostly, however, those with a lot of money (Trumpists) will pay lip service to the subject but carry on enjoying themselves.  Those with less money are just driven by cash and survival – care of the planet tomorrow is irrelevant.  The truth is that the mass of the electorate in western democracies is voting against the establishment.

A further truth is that meat production takes a lot more resources than crops which can be fed direct to humans and meat is not as conducive to a long, healthy life as plant-based protein. In an episode of Years of Living Dangerously, Gisele Bündchen and Andrew Steer claim that producing meat and dairy is responsible for 85 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from Americans’ diets. Shifting to more plant-based foods can make a big impact. (But Donald Trump does not seem likely to move in that direction.)

To make the switch to plant-based protein, the global population needs to make wind (“farting”) socially acceptable, even sexy.  Pity the F-Plan diet was a short-lived fashion.  We need to bring it back.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd 18 January 17

P.S.  Downloaded for free on the Sundays 15, 22 and 29 Jan, and 5 and 12 Feb.  .  Search  Survival by Bill Butterworth Amazon.

 

Russian Dandelion – Root Rubber

P1000857

This gas-tight cover on part of an on-farm AD processing plant is made from”rubber” and it is getting a bit short and global supplies are under threat.

The world is getting short of natural rubber for two reasons.  Firstly, we are all driving more cars. Secondly, fungal diseases in South America are making rubber tree cultivation there die back significantly.  Fortunately, we can produce natural rubber latex from the Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz).  The latex is slightly different from the latex from the rubber tree (Hevea brasileansis). In some uses it is slightly better, in some uses slightly not so good. In commercial reality, this is a potentially large scale substitute for tree latex rubber and it can be grown in Europe. There is a lot of work to do before it is commercial but here is a good example why we need to avoid species getting extinct – we might need any and every one, one day.

 Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 22 October 2016