Chefs, Cassava and Cows Down on 'The New Farm'

Here are just three of the many thought provoking stories we spotted, a bit late, in the August rendering of New Farm's online offerings.

According to a survey of 1,000 U.S. chefs by the National Restaurant Association locally grown produce ranked second on their list of 'hot items.' Organic produce came in third. Both were beaten for first place by bite-sized desserts. Apparently 71% of U.S. adults told survey collectors that they were trying to eat healthier when eating out.Another piece looked at what is needed to assist Africa to feed itself. The wide ranging article came up with a long list of initiatives that be of benefit. The ones that struck a chord to this reader were: adopting farming systems with a focus on preserving biodiversity, natural resource management and soil fertility improvement; supporting women in agriculture (31% of rural households are headed by women), intensify crop and animal production without the use of industrially produced chemical fertilizers, (cassava production has quadrupled during the past decade) and optimize irrigation and management of water resources (Community gardens in watered areas close to villages greatly improve community nutrition.)

Back in the U.S. an ex-organic dairy farmer discusses openly why his business failed. Of the keys reasons he gives is 'organic idealism.' "Many people drawn to organic farming are idealists, and that can get you into a lot of trouble, or at least trouble your soul. First off, let's dispense with the notion that the regulated organic dairy industry under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) is about idealism. It is not. It is about protecting a marketing position for a narrowly prescribed way of farming. I'm just warning you to go into organics with your eyes open."

::The New Farm.

Tags: Africa | Agriculture | Community Gardens | Pennsylvania

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