America's Food: What You Don't Know About What You Eat by Harvey Blatt

By Harvey Blatt

We don't imagine a lot approximately how nutrition will get to our tables, or what needed to occur to fill our supermarket's produce part with completely around purple tomatoes and its meat counter with slabs of fantastically marbled steak. We don't observe that the beef in a single fast-food hamburger may perhaps come from one thousand assorted livestock raised in 5 various international locations. actually, such a lot people have a pretty summary figuring out of what occurs on a farm. In America's meals, Harvey Blatt provides us the specifics. He tells us, for instance, 3rd of the vegatables and fruits grown are discarded for merely aesthetic purposes; that the substitute fertilizers used to complement our depleted soil comprise toxic heavy metals; that chickens who stand all day on twine in cages decide on feed with pain-killing medicines over feed with out them; and that the common American eats his or her bodyweight in meals ingredients every year. Blatt additionally asks us to consider the implications of consuming foodstuff to date faraway from agriculture; why bad nutrition is affordable; why there's a global Federation of aggressive consuming; what we don't need to know approximately how animals raised for meat reside, die, and are butchered; even if everyone is even designed to be carnivorous; and why there's starvation whilst nutrition construction has elevated so dramatically. America's nutrients describes the construction of every kind of nutrition within the usa and the environmental and illnesses linked to every one. After taking us on a journey of the yankee nutrients system---not basically the elemental nutrients teams yet soil, grain farming, natural nutrients, genetically transformed nutrients, nutrition processing, and diet--Blatt reminds us that we aren't powerless. when we comprehend the proof approximately nutrition in the US, we will swap issues via the alternatives we make as shoppers, as electorate, and as moral people.

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Source: Organic Center, 2007. Note: The base year is 1961. S. Department of Agriculture reveal a tenfold increase in both the amount and toxicity of insecticide use in the United States from the early 1940s to the 1990s. Paradoxically, during the same period, crop losses from insects rose from 7 percent to 13 percent54; losses to plant pathogens grew from 10 percent to 12 percent, and losses from weeds decreased from about 14 percent to 12 percent. Increases in losses from pests in the corn crop confirm this perverse correlation between increased use of ever more potent pesticides and an increased proportion of pest-induced losses.

If legumes are unable to restore the nitrogen content of the soil, additional nitrogenous fertilizer will have to be added. This will increase both the cost of growing crops and the number and extent of near-shore dead zones. Crop Farming and Crude Oil The bottom of the oil barrel is now visible. S. agriculture, once fully dependent on energy from the sun, has become so reliant on fossil fuels that it now takes more than 1 calorie of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of food. 68 The manufacture of fertilizers and pesticides could not exist without petroleum and natural gas, which are used as both sources of energy for production and a base from which the fertilizers and pesticides are produced.

But the pesticides sprayed on the new rice variety killed these natural predators along with the planthoppers. In some areas the planthopper population rose in direct proportion to the amount of insecticide sprayed. The most successful defense against the planthopper was found to be an ecological one: farmers used the minimum amount of pesticide that also allowed natural predators to help in destroying the invaders. When this combined approach was used, overall yields rose by 15 percent as pesticide use declined by 60 percent.

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