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Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 08:05:22

baha wrote:Just so you know this does not come easy...out of 180 pea seeds, 8 came up. We replanted the whole row yesterday with fresh seeds. Lesson learned...pea seed does not keep well. One year frozen gives 50% yield, two years and don't waste your time.

Hopefully there is still time to get some results.


Traditionally mature peas were dried gently, then stored in a cool dry root cellar, not frozen. Perhaps you need to store them in a refrigerator next time?
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 08:47:17

Thanks Tanada,
I have been reading...This is only my third year growing green-peas. It is very challenging. The first year we planted about 12 plants and got one meal. The next year we planted half a row and got four meals. So this year I went all out hoping to actually can some.

At the same time we planted an equal number of snap-peas each year and have been overrun. Snap peas are great fresh but not so good canned so we cut that down to just a few plants this year. Every year I try something new. This year it is greens like arugula, kale, and swiss chard. Neither one of us like greens very much but I'm betting fresh from the garden is a whole different experience.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby baha » Fri 31 Mar 2017, 09:09:34

BTW - Does that mean if we are left with the seeds in the Great Seed Vault in Scandinavia we will never see peas again?
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 30 Sep 2018, 08:11:55

Colin Carter and Aleks Schaefer just published an interesting new study in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, which powerfully shows that mandatory GMO labels are already having significant market impacts.

They found a creative way to explore this issue by focusing on the market for sugar …. This summary data they provide on prices of sugar from cane and beet sources suggests “something” change around the same time as the Vermont mandatory GMO labeling law.

Indeed, the data suggest consumers will still want to avoid products with GMO labels, which provides incentives for food retailers and manufacturers to find ways to avoid GMO ingredients.

Here are the main findings.


“Our analysis supports the explanation that the divergence in U.S. prices for refined cane and beet sugar was the result of Vermont’s mandatory GE labeling. The divergence occurred on or around July 2016— the month the Vermont Act took effect.

Counterfactual price estimates generated by a regression model suggest that GE food labeling initiatives generated a small premium for cane sugar and a price discount for beet sugar of approximately 13% relative to what prices would have been in the absence of such legislation.”


These changes in raw ingredient prices will ultimately have impacts on retail food prices. All this suggests that mandatory labels aren’t a free lunch.


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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Sun 30 Sep 2018, 14:26:55

Tanada wrote: Colin Carter and Aleks Schaefer just published ...

Funded by the American Enterprise Institute. - AEI.ORG
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/american ... institute/

These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.

Aleks Scaefer - American Enterprise Institute Profile

http://www.aei.org/profile/k-aleks-schaefer/

15 Commodity-Friendly Professors - Colin Carter

https://commodityhq.com/investor-resour ... rofessors/

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 01 Oct 2018, 09:39:56

'We've Bred Them to Their Limit': Death Rates Surge for Female Pigs in the US

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... An estimated 97% of the US’s 73 million hogs are raised in closed barns or confined feeding operations. In these systems sows often live the majority of their lives in gestation or farrowing crates that don’t allow them to get up or turn around. In this system the average sow produces 23.5 piglets per year – or ten per litter at a rate of 2.35 litters annually. After two to four litters, most sows tend to be replaced by younger gilts who can produce piglets at a higher rate.

In the late 1980s, Grandin added, pigs were bred with three traits in mind: rapid weight gain, thin back fat, and a big loin. Now, she added, “They’re breeding the sows to produce a lot of babies. Well, there’s a point where you’ve gone too far.”

“We’ve bred a contradiction into these animals,” says Leah Garces, outgoing executive director of the US branch of Compassion in World Farming. “Over the last few decades, sows to have been bred to have less back-fat – because people don’t want to eat as much fat – but we also want them to produce more and more babies. And that’s not biologically possible; their bones are weak and they don’t have enough fat to support the reproductive process. We’ve bred them to their limit and the animals are telling us that.”

The high incidence of animal loss in confinement systems is one of the main reasons that Paul Willis, co-founder of Niman Ranch (now a subsidiary of Perdue Farms) spent years building an alternative to modern hog farming. “I have a neighbour that has been raising pigs [in a confinement system] … and they have a dumpster, and I can go by there almost any time of the day or week and it’s full of dead hogs,” said Willis.

... For those pursuing a maximal approach, there are new products like the Hercules' Arm, a $7,000 (£5,330) piece of machinery that went on the market in 2017. It is marketed as “a unique and revolutionary way to effortlessly remove … heavy dead pigs from stalls”.

Next Stop ...

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Mon 01 Oct 2018, 12:59:26

Groundcherry: Genetically Engineered Fruit - the Next Strawberry

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Altering fruit DNA could be the next big thing in the world of berries, according to a team of scientists.

Taking the groundcherry or physalis, a tasty fruit that has never gained widespread popularity, they were able to quickly boost its size and productivity by editing its genes.

In doing so, the researchers say they have turned a niche crop into one that is far more suitable for mainstream farming.

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To ready the groundcherry for store shelves, Lippman and Van Eck needed to address some of the plant’s shortcomings. The researchers wanted to make its weedy shape more compact, its fruits larger, and its flowers more prolific. They used a three-pronged approach to tackle the problem: the team sequenced a sampling of the groundcherry’s genome, figured out how to use the genome editing tool CRISPR in the plant, and identified the genes underlying the groundcherry’s undesirable traits.

That genetic work relied on previous studies Lippman and others have already done in tomatoes. Knowing which genes control certain tomato traits let the researchers find and manipulate those same genes in the distantly related groundcherry.

Next, Lippman wants to fine-tune the groundcherry traits they have begun to improve and manipulate additional characteristics like fruit color and flavor. He notes that some traditional plant breeding will still be necessary to perfect the groundcherry as a mainstream crop. And he can't say exactly when the fruit might make it to market. Releasing a new variety will first require navigating CRISPR intellectual property rights.

Zachary H. Lemmon et al, Rapid improvement of domestication traits in an orphan crop by genome editing, Nature Plants (2018)
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 02 Oct 2018, 10:48:09

Designing More Productive Corn To Cope With Future Climates

Maize, or corn, is a staple food for billions of people around the world, with more maize grown annually than rice or wheat. In Australia, maize has the widest geographical spread of all the field crops, but it remains a small crop compared to wheat or rice. However, it is a crop that has all the key elements to become the food and fuel crop of the future.

"We developed a transgenic maize designed to produce more Rubisco, the main enzyme involved in photosynthesis, and the result is a plant with improved photosynthesis and hence, growth. This could potentially increase tolerance to extreme growth conditions," said lead researcher Dr. Robert Sharwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis, led by The Australian National University (ANU).
"There is an urgent need to deliver new higher-yielding and highly adapted crop species, before crops are affected by the expected climate change conditions. These conditions will increase the threats against global food security, and the only way to prepare for them is through international research collaborations."

... "In our study we improved CO2 assimilation and crop biomass by 15%, but now we know that we can also increase the pool of active Rubisco and these numbers will increase even higher," said Dr. Sharwood.

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"Our next step is to do field trials to see how our maize behaves in real field conditions. We have tested them in glasshouse and cabinet conditions, but now we need to go into the next phase," said Dr. Sharwood.


Genetically Modified Crops Pass Benefits to Weeds

... Few studies have tested whether transgenes such as those that confer glyphosate resistance can — once they get into weedy or wild relatives through cross-pollination — make those plants more competitive in survival and reproduction. “The traditional expectation is that any sort of transgene will confer disadvantage in the wild in the absence of selection pressure, because the extra machinery would reduce the fitness,” says Norman Ellstrand, a plant geneticist at the University of California in Riverside.

But now a study led by Lu Baorong, an ecologist at Fudan University in Shanghai, challenges that view: it shows that a weedy form of the common rice crop, Oryza sativa, gets a significant fitness boost from glyphosate resistance, even when glyphosate is not applied. ...

“If the EPSP-synthase gene gets into the wild rice species, their genetic diversity, which is really important to conserve, could be threatened because the genotype with the transgene would outcompete the normal species,” says Brian Ford-Lloyd, a plant geneticist at the University of Birmingham, UK. “This is one of the most clear examples of extremely plausible damaging effects [of GM crops] on the environment.”


Pioneering Biologists Create a New Crop Through Genome Editing

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Crops such as wheat and maize have undergone a breeding process lasting thousands of years, in the course of which mankind has gradually modified the properties of wild plants into highly cultivated variants. One motive was higher yields. A side effect of this breeding has been a reduction in genetic diversity and the loss of useful properties. This is demonstrated by an increased susceptibility to diseases, a lack of flavor or reduced vitamin and nutrient content in modern varieties. Now, for the first time, researchers from Brazil, the U.S. and Germany have created a new crop from a wild plant within a single generation using CRISPR-Cas9, a modern genome editing process. Starting with a wild tomato, they introduced a variety of crop features without losing the valuable genetic properties of the wild plant. The results have been published in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.

As the parent plant species, the researchers chose Solanum pimpinellifolium, a wild tomato relative from South America, and the progenitor of the modern cultivated tomato. The wild plant's fruits are only the size of peas and the yield is low—two properties that make it unsuitable as a crop. On the other hand, the fruit is more aromatic than modern tomatoes, which have lost some of their taste due to breeding. Moreover, the wild fruit contains more lycopene. This so-called radical scavenger is considered to be a valuable antioxidant.

The researchers modified the wild plant by using multiplex CRISPR-Cas9 in such a way that the offspring plants bore small genetic modifications in six genes. These decisive genes are considered to be the genetic key to features in the domesticated tomato. Specifically, the researchers produced the following modifications to the wild tomato genome: the modified fruit is three times larger than the wild tomato, which corresponds to the size of a cherry tomato. Plants produce 10 times the number of fruits, and their shape is more oval than the round wild fruit. This property is popular because, when it rains, round fruits split open faster than oval fruits. The plants also have a more compact growth.

Another important new property is that the lycopene content in the new breed of tomato is more than twice as high as in the wild parent—and no less than five times higher than in conventional cherry tomatoes.
..."Our modern crops are the result of breeding—with all its advantages and disadvantages. A lot of properties, such as resilience, have been lost, and we would only be able to regain them through a laborious, decades-long process of backcrossing with the wild plant—if at all. The reason is that properties that are the result of the interplay between numerous genes cannot be restored through traditional breeding processes. In many aspects, domestication is like a one-way street. With the help of modern genome editing, we can use the advantages of the wild plant and solve this breeding problem. In brief, molecular 'de novo domestication' offers enormous potential—also for producing new, desirable properties."

Moreover, adds Prof. Kudla, it will now be possible to take healthy plants that have not so far been used by humans, and by means of a targeted increase in the size of their fruit or by improving other features of domestication, transform them into entirely new crops.

ImageImage


Engineering Plants for a Sustainable Future
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 02 Oct 2018, 11:44:10

More Bad News for Artificial Sweetener Users

FDA-approved artificial sweeteners and sport supplements were found to be toxic to digestive gut microbes, according to a new paper published in Molecules by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

The collaborative study indicated relative toxicity of six artificial sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharine, neotame, advantame, and acesulfame potassium-k) and 10 sport supplements containing these artificial sweeteners. The bacteria found in the digestive system became toxic when exposed to concentrations of only one mg./ml. of the artificial sweeteners.

https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/23/10/2454
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Wed 03 Oct 2018, 09:04:27

A warning copied directly off of a package of "Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake" limited edition Fall cookies:

"The ingredients from corn, soy, and sugar in this product come from genetically modified crops. Learn more at pepperidgefarm.com"
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby onlooker » Wed 03 Oct 2018, 09:16:07

http://theconversation.com/how-gm-crops ... orld-71112
The innovative ingenuious genetic manipulations may in fact be what will prevent mass starvation in the coming decades
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Wed 03 Oct 2018, 09:51:58

onlooker wrote:http://theconversation.com/how-gm-crops-can-help-us-to-feed-a-fast-growing-world-71112
The innovative ingenuious genetic manipulations may in fact be what will prevent mass starvation in the coming decades

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Thu 04 Oct 2018, 15:48:22

Scathing Report Accuses the Pentagon of Developing an Agricultural Bioweapon

A new technology in which insects are used to genetically modify crops could be converted into a dangerous, and possibly illegal, bioweapon, alleges a Science Policy Forum report released today. Naturally, the organization leading the research says it’s doing nothing of the sort.

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The report is a response to a ongoing research program funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Dubbed “Insect Allies,” the idea is to create more resilient crops to help farmers deal with climate change, drought, frost, floods, salinity, and disease. But instead of modifying seeds in a lab, farmers would send fleets of insects into their crops, where the genetically modified bugs would do their work, “infecting” the plants with a special virus that passes along the new resilience genes.

For Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents (HEGAAs) to work, a lab-developed genetic modification needs to be inserted into the chromosome of a target organism. And that’s where the insects come in. The system would utilize leafhoppers, whiteflies, and aphids genetically altered in the lab using CRISPR, or some other gene-editing system, to carry an infectious virus to pre-existing crops.

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Needless to say, there are concerns about how this technology might be used—especially in consideration of its primary funder, namely DARPA, and by extension, the Pentagon.
... “It is our opinion that the knowledge to be gained from this program appears very limited in its capacity to enhance U.S. agriculture or respond to national emergencies,” write the authors in the new Policy Forum. Instead, they say, “the program may be widely perceived as an effort to develop biological agents for hostile purposes and their means of delivery, which—if true—would constitute a breach of the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).”

The Policy Forum piece also notes how transgenic virus-infected and genetically altered food crops could, conceivably, be made available to national or international markets, and that no regulatory framework exists to handle this.

But it’s the “secondary intention” alluded to by DARPA that’s raising the most serious flags—the use of HEGAAs as a defensive response to threats. As DARPA explained at the onset of the project, emphasis ours:
... National security can be quickly jeopardized by naturally occurring threats to the crop system, including pathogens, drought, flooding, and frost, but especially by threats introduced by state or non-state actors. Insect Allies seeks to mitigate the impact of these incursions by applying targeted therapies to mature plants with effects that are expressed at relevant timescales—namely, within a single growing season. Such an unprecedented capability would provide an urgently needed alternative to pesticides, selective breeding, slash-and-burn clearing, and quarantine, which are often ineffective against rapidly emerging threats and are not suited to securing mature plants.

The authors of the new report interpret this as “an intention to develop a means of delivery of HEGAAs for offensive purposes,” such as engaging in biological warfare against. The introduction of this technology, the authors argue, would herald the advent of an entirely new class of biological, insect-dispatched weapons that could conceivably be used to introduce various deleterious characteristics. The authors further warn that this technology could motivate rival nations to develop similar programs.

Darpa disagrees.
... These traits will be expressed for a limited duration, after which time the plants will return to their original state, according to Bextine. Also, insects could be engineered such that they’d die after just one day.

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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby vox_mundi » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 09:38:59

Big Agriculture Eyeing Genetic Tool for Pest Control

... "Gene drive is headed toward agriculture," said Jim Thomas, research director at ETC Group, a Canadian-based NGO that tracks potentially dangerous bio-technologies, and lead author of a report on the technology's inroads into Big Agriculture.

In the United States, at least, it already has a foothold.

Associations representing the US citrus and cherry industries, for example, have commissioned tailor-made gene drives to combat the pests threatening their crops—and their bottom lines.

In January, the California Cherry Board noted "considerable progress" in developing a "functional" gene drive system for the invasive spotted wing fruit fly (Drosophila suzukii), which has devastated cherry, peach and plum orchards.

"Our plan it still to continue with caged trials and ultimately wild releases," the group noted in its annual review.

Agri-chemical and GMO giants such as Monsanto-Bayer, Syngenta-ChemChina and Dow Dupont, meanwhile, are reportedly tracking the technology's emergence.

"Gene drives offer agribusiness new potential opportunities to generate income from the problems faced by farmers," Thomas said.

But with a new twist: rather than making plants pest-resistent, gene drive technology alters the pests, rendering them harmless or programming their extinction.

Critics calling for a moratorium on the release of gene drives in the wild fear they could mutate, jump to other species, or spread far beyond target areas.

And yet, in the absence of national or international regulations, the technology could be used on large-scale farms or orchards within a few years.


UN Warns of 'Perfect Storm' of Hunger, Climate Change

A potent combination of hunger, climate change and man-made conflicts are creating a "perfect storm", the head of the UN's food arm warned Tuesday in a call to action on World Food Day.

"You've got a nightmare, the perfect storm heading your way," David Beasley, World Food Programme (WFP) chief, said in a speech in Rome, where the United Nations' food agencies are headquartered.

... "For every one percent increase in hunger, there's a two percent increase in migration," Beasley said.

Some 821 million people, or one of every nine people on the planet, suffered from hunger last year, marking the third consecutive annual increase, according to the UN's latest hunger report.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 11:40:57

I find I don't have a problem with waging genetic warfare on crop pests, the vast majority of which are invasive species, accidentaly introduced by mankind to agricultural areas. If we can cause an invasive species to go extinct in a selected area, that would seem to be a net benefit to humanity.

The fact that those same areas contain monoculture crops that have themselves been modified, either by selective reproduction or actual laboratory gene edits, is a seperate issue. But selective crop reproduction modified the wheat the Romans planted into modern wheat, with grains that are about 64X as large as the original version.

Although I remain uneasy about the risks involved, I am reluctantly supporting genetic manipulations that increase food yields. If we cannot curb our reproduction, we need every form of agricultural yield increase to feed an ever-growing population without converting the precious remaining lands from natural biodiversity to human food production.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 12:43:12

There is little or no evidence that genetic modification increase yields of food/fiber crops, rather they increase dependence on chemistry. Both of the original and still the most commerically successful products (transgenic Bt corn and Roundup Ready soybeans) merely fiddle with dangerous biocides. The former contains a toxin originally found in the Bacillus thuringiensis soil bacteria, while the soybean merely encourages more herbicide us. Neither help to wean us off petroleum.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 13:54:15

pstarr wrote:There is little or no evidence that genetic modification increase yields of food/fiber crops, rather they increase dependence on chemistry. Both of the original and still the most commerically successful products (transgenic Bt corn and Roundup Ready soybeans) merely fiddle with dangerous biocides. The former contains a toxin originally found in the Bacillus thuringiensis soil bacteria, while the soybean merely encourages more herbicide us. Neither help to wean us off petroleum.



You need to do your research more carefully, before inserting your foot in your mouth again. The popular media spent an entire year bashing GMO food, but remember they are not scientists and are the last thing from impartial.

https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/2018/02/gmo-crops-increasing-yield-20-years-progress-ahead/

The impact of warming, the serious population overshoot, and serious shortfalls in water/petroleum/etc. are being compensated for with increased yields from GMO's. Likewise the GMO crops sequester atmospheric carbon significantly better than the ancestral forms.

I say, let the marketplace decide, as with organic produce. We have laws about GMO warnings on food packages already, you can spend more of your money on non-GMO if you wish.
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 18:11:20

It's a bad meta-study you linked to. For many reason. Here is a critique.
https://gmofreeusa.org/news/articles/gm ... -debunked/ And yes, the critique is from an anti-gmo site. But it is a very studious comprehensive and well written piece. But beside the point.

GMO'S are beside the point. It ain't GMO's that are a problem. It's industrial chemical agriculture. The real issue . . . always has . . . been the loss of topsoil. We are farming the soil, just as we farm ancient hydrocarbons. Short term fix for 7 billion. It's a one-way ticket to doom.

So for instance, the Central Valley's continual irrigation returns saltier water to the surface, concentrating ancient salt aquifers and recent fertilizer salts. All industrial chemical agriculture is a short-term fix. Organic depends on compost and normal soil cycles. Green manure. Animal compost. Organic is better for the soil, for you, me and the next generation. Better cost more. Capitalism at work :)
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 18:49:56

Understand however that mechanized agriculture enabled the population overshoot to begin with. Start any form of fully sustainable agriculture including the soil conservation you advocate, and you near instantly have a food shortage. That means that we are well past that point, because BILLIONS would starve if we only grew food sustainably.

Fortunately there are alternatives that do not require soil at all. For example, for years I have been enjoying hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The gain in yield from soil - even organic soil - to hydroponics is typically 50% to 100%, by defintion with zero soil damage.
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Warning: Messages timestamped before April 1, 2016, 06:00 PST were posted by the unmodified human KaiserJeep 1.0
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Re: Genetically Modified Food Pt. 1 (merged)

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 16 Oct 2018, 21:04:31

Vertical farms. Yeah
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