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feeding the world population

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  • SArjuna@aol.com
    ... it. 13 million people need food aid on a regular basis. Of course, many of them do not get it and die. This situation will become much, much worse as
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 26, 2004
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      In a message dated 5/31/04 8:07:12 PM, u3288545@... writes:
      > "Quick question: If we go back to hunter gathering, can we feed the entire
      > world population? Or do we need agriculture?"
      >
      > We are not presently feeding the entire world population. Far from
      it. 13 million people need food aid on a regular basis. Of course, many of
      them do not get it and die.
      This situation will become much, much worse as we have less and less oil
      available, as our food production system is gasoline dependent. The war in
      Iraq really is about oil, and many more will probably follow. The US
      lifestyle depends on oil.
      What we need is to be realistic and start living more sensibly. This
      means not only finding alternatives to oil/gasoline but getting over the idea
      that the economy has to keep on growing and we have to have more and more
      stuff, and taking strong steps to voluntarily limit population growth. If we
      don't do these things voluntarily, it will happen the hard way, with wars and
      starvation.
      Then maybe the survivors will be hunter gatherers.
      Shivani


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    • John Warner
      Shivani s comments are right on. I ve been reading about this for months now on the web, the most imformative site being http://dieoff.org. It would seem
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 27, 2004
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        Shivani's comments are right on. I've been reading about this for months now on the web, the most imformative site being http://dieoff.org It would seem that termanal decline of industrial civilization will start to set in before the end of this decade.
        Carrying capacity in a hunting/gathering context is somewhere around one human being per square mile. It would depend a lot on the land, of course.

        But I've got a new twist to hunting and gathering that readers may find interesting: rather than hunt and gather materials that can be eaten directly, one hunts and gathers mulch material and uses that material to support raised intensive beds. A thousand square feet of intensive bed will support one person, one year on a 2400 kcal/day diet. These figures come from John Jeavon's Ecology Action. A book, "One Circle", published by EA, outlines diets in minute detail. Great reductionists those EA folks.

        A reader on this site may say, "Intensive beds! This is not natural farming! How impure." But think of this: if a natural farmer went and cut browse for her goats, then ate or obtained milk from the goats, just about anyone would agree that this would be a perfectly natural thing for a natural farmer to do.

        But if one steps back far enough to see the whole picture, intensive beds are a lot like goats. They need fodder to procuce food just as goats do. But they are a lot less trouble and are satisfied with materials that not even a goat would eat. I don't know if one goat would sustain one person for a year--I strongly doubt it. Yet most of the goats I've known can destroy a 1000 square feet of garden in a couple of hours.

        John Warner
        Madera Whole Systems Agriculture near Fresno, California
        Market growers since 1996







        To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, June 26, 2004 4:54 PM
        Subject: [fukuoka_farming] feeding the world population



        In a message dated 5/31/04 8:07:12 PM, u3288545@... writes:
        > "Quick question: If we go back to hunter gathering, can we feed the entire
        > world population? Or do we need agriculture?"
        >
        > We are not presently feeding the entire world population. Far from
        it. 13 million people need food aid on a regular basis. Of course, many of
        them do not get it and die.
        This situation will become much, much worse as we have less and less oil
        available, as our food production system is gasoline dependent. The war in
        Iraq really is about oil, and many more will probably follow. The US
        lifestyle depends on oil.
        What we need is to be realistic and start living more sensibly. This
        means not only finding alternatives to oil/gasoline but getting over the idea
        that the economy has to keep on growing and we have to have more and more
        stuff, and taking strong steps to voluntarily limit population growth. If we
        don't do these things voluntarily, it will happen the hard way, with wars and
        starvation.
        Then maybe the survivors will be hunter gatherers.
        Shivani


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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      • Mary Jo Terry
        Would you please define hunter gatherers? I am fairly new and interested in being able to grow feed for my animals as well as the family on relatively small
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 27, 2004
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          Would you please define hunter gatherers? I am fairly new and interested in being able to grow feed for my animals as well as the family on relatively small acerage.
          Jo_Al
        • benonthenet
          ... find interesting: rather than hunt and gather materials that can be eaten directly, one hunts and gathers mulch material and uses that material to support
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 28, 2004
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            > But I've got a new twist to hunting and gathering that readers may
            find interesting: rather than hunt and gather materials that can be
            eaten directly, one hunts and gathers mulch material and uses that
            material to support raised intensive beds. A thousand square feet of
            intensive bed will support one person, one year on a 2400 kcal/day
            diet.

            You can feed one person on less than 1,000 square feet. It all
            depends on what is planted.

            > A reader on this site may say, "Intensive beds! This is not
            natural farming! How impure."

            Cutting browse for goats and gardening intensive raised beds don't
            equate at all. Intensively raised beds only survive with tremendous
            input of water and materials from ecosystems outside of the garden.
            Otherwise you end up with diminishing ratios of organic mater and
            minerals in the soil.

            The whole point of intensive raised beds is to improve upon nature -
            to force the earth to produce more than it naturally would or could.
            There is no way that I know of to use natural farming in intensive
            raised beds.

            Intensive beds are not natural farming, however they do serve the
            purposes of producing food when space is very limited and recycling
            waste organic matter from homes and businesses. However, organic
            waste from homes and businesses can be surface composted in a natural
            farm/garden system as well.

            Natural farming may not produce the same quantity of food in the same
            area at intensively raised beds, but it does not affect any outside
            ecosystem like raised beds and is a heck of a lot LESS work to
            maintain. You could walk away from a natural farmer or natural garden
            for months on end and still have a perfectly functioning food system.
            The same can't be said of intensively raised beds.

            I suspect natural farming can produce more than most think. It
            probably all depends on what is planted and how the planting cycle is
            stacked.

            Benjamin
          • SArjuna@aol.com
            ... The kind of gardening taught by Jeasvons is not intensive but biointensive. Not the same thing. The whole point is that nothing is needed from
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 28, 2004
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              In a message dated 6/28/04 6:18:53 PM, benonthenet@... writes:


              > Benjamon said
              >
              > "Cutting browse for goats and gardening intensive raised beds don't
              > equate at all. Intensively raised beds only survive with tremendous
              > input of water and materials from ecosystems outside of the garden.
              > Otherwise you end up with diminishing ratios of organic mater and
              > minerals in the soil."
              >
              The kind of gardening taught by Jeasvons is not intensive but
              biointensive. Not the same thing. The whole point is that nothing is needed from
              ecosystems outside the garden itself. You grow your own compost/mulch.
              Another thing that ought to be added, that I have not heard anyone
              talking about here, is humanure. Just what it sounds like. Only then are you
              putting back in what you take out. To think of our excrement as "waste" is
              just that.
              If you are doubtful, read the book Humanure.
              I live near Milwaukee, where tons of raw sewage is dumped into Lake
              Michigan every time we have much rain. (Which is very often, lately.) Now,
              THAT is disgusting.
              As the author of Hunanure points out, "there are two kinds of people -
              those who s--- in their drinking water and those who don't." Now who is more
              intelligent?
              Shivani




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