Poison Without Purpose

Poisoning the land in the name of putting food on peoples’ tables …P1140588

… is pointless when as soon as a crop is sown …


… more weeds rise up than were ever poisoned. And when the crop (see below, in its infancy, is pumpkins, for decorative purposes…


… the poisoning is just poisoning for culture’s sake. Some countries don’t allow this kind of nonsense. We should be one of those countries.

6 replies »

  1. Modern farming has become so chemicalized we don’t seem able to support current population levels without it. Those of us who grow some of our own food or buy from farmers & ranchers who raise more organic food are lucky. But that’s not an option for most. No one seems to have a workable answer.


    • Ah, but there is the practical application of chemicals and then there are ones that are just wasteful. Farmers can use weedkillers to increase crop yields, just to cut down on labour costs, or, simply, wastefully, with no positive effect, as I showed. Similarly, apple farmers can spray for destructive insects, or they can spray for insects that make harmless marks on apples, which do not affect yield, edibility, storage or taste. The latter are illegal applications in parts of Europe. Currently, wheat growers in Washington and Idaho, where most of the US wheat is grown, spray their wheat with Glysophate 3 days before harvest, so the harvest is uniform and can be efficiently scheduled for efficient harvest by machine. This is more a technology problem than a crop problem and, besides, Glysophate has just been declared a carcinogen by the WHO. Things can be done. Many chemicals are used to solve non-essential problems, to reduce human labour, or just stupidly. What’s more, something like 50% of the corn grown in Iowa, with petrochemical inputs, goes for making ethanol, to burn in car engines. If it’s about food, that should stop. There’d be a 50% increase in corn productivity overnight. We can actually do things, and that is positive and exciting. Sorry for ranting. With a bow and a smile, Harold.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Up here, the group running a welands education centre (across the road from my property), also involved in coast-wide conservation issues, has somehow convinced themselves and several government agencies, that glyphosate is the only thing that will deal with knotweed. And where does it grow? Mostly on the sides of the highway, by drainage ditches running into (eventually) salmon-bearing streams. The ditches are full of frogs and salamanders and we know about their skins and also their vulnerability in the face of UV and air and water born toxins. I am polite but insistence that it’s the wrong thing to do and they listen, also politely, but don’t hear. I’ve given them the WHO reports. But I’m not a scientist. I’m not even a self-proclaimed naturalist (i.e. I don’t take part in the annual bird counts or bio blitzes because the world around means more to me than quantitative reports). This matters to them because it comes down to who is an “expert” and who isn’t. (I’ve never wanted to be an expert. A passionate amateur is what I aspire to!) One of them, when I asked, “How do you justify this when so many pollinators visit knotweed?”, replied, “I’ve never seen an insect on knotweed.” To which I suggested he needed to get out more and pay attention. With a bow and a smile,


  2. I do agree that the organic food movement seems to have been constrained to providing designer food for the wealthy. That is a social problem that needs attention. If we could talk about class in North America, we’d make some inroads into the problem, I think.


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