Jul 6, 2015

Ideas & Notes On Developing Self-Sufficient & Self-Sustaining Local Economies To Create Greater Economic Equality Or Just To Disaster Proof The Country Against Local Natural Disasters

This post outlines a few ideas that can be used to create more efficient economic systems with less inequality and more durability(not to mention the extra jobs and professions that this would create)


The world's first commercial vertical farm is now up and running in Singapore! http://bit.ly/XvaOoD
Vertical farms  - Solution: Farm Vertically (or on roof tops)...
(which can also be made to go underground and blend with the landscape - which is a better idea, in my opinion, except for cities of countries like Bangladesh)...


The Problem

By the year 2050, nearly 80% of the earth's population will reside in urban centers. Applying the most conservative estimates to current demographic trends, the human population will increase by about 3 billion people during the interim. An estimated 109 hectares of new land (about 20% more land than is represented by the country of Brazil) will be needed to grow enough food to feed them, if traditional farming practices continue as they are practiced today. At present, throughout the world, over 80% of the land that is suitable for raising crops is in use (sources: FAO and NASA). Historically, some 15% of that has been laid waste by poor management practices. What can be done to avoid this impending disaster?


PICS: 11 NYC Rooftop Farms you might not know about. Including one that grows veggies in kiddie pools! http://su.pr/Af2TPd Urban Farming

Rooftop Green Sky Growers produce thousands of pounds of fish and veg in Florida http://bit.ly/Mu7m5w...
Will Allen is co-founder and director of Growing Power, Inc., an organization that is transforming the production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. Growing Power operates as an urban farm and education center in Milwaukee, WI, and more recently, Chicago, teaching urban youth how to produce low-cost healthy foods for their communities.

The Aquapod: A Free-Floating Fish Farm -The way most fish farms work—jam a lot of fish together in a tight net that’s anchored in one place—isn’t good for the fish or the environment. But these giant drifting balls of fish might solve both problems.


Random notes - food sources & improving food supply:

Food wastage, if eliminated, would solve the hunger problem without even beginning the long-term economic sustaining strategies on this page.

News Report: Almost half of the world's food thrown away, report finds:Figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers show as much as 2bn tonnes of food never makes it on to a plate

As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a report published on Thursday.

The UK's Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) blames the "staggering" new figures in its analysis on unnecessarily strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free and Western consumer demand for cosmetically perfect food, along with "poor engineering and agricultural practices", inadequate infrastructure and poor storage facilities.
In the face of United Nations predictions that there could be about an extra 3 billion people to feed by the end of the century and growing pressure on the resources needed to produce food, including land, water and energy, the IMechE is calling for urgent action to tackle this waste.
Their report, Global Food; Waste Not, Want Not, found that between 30% and 50% or 1.2-2bn tonnes of food produced around the world never makes it on to a plate.
In the UK as much as 30% of vegetable crops are not harvested due to their failure to meet retailers' exacting standards on physical appearance, it says, while up to half of the food that is bought in Europe and the US is thrown away by consumers.
And about 550bn cubic metres of water is wasted globally in growing crops that never reach the consumer. Carnivorous diets add extra pressure as it takes 20-50 times the amount of water to produce 1 kilogramme of meat than 1kg of vegetables; the demand for water in food production could reach 10–13 trillion cubic metres a year by 2050.
This is 2.5 to 3.5 times greater than the total human use of fresh water today and could lead to more dangerous water shortages around the world, the IMechE says, claiming that there is the potential to provide 60-100% more food by eliminating losses and waste while at the same time freeing up land, energy and water resources.

Farming problems:
Altogether, the USDA program tests about 40,000 cows a year for mad cow—a tiny fraction of the millions that are slaughtered or otherwise die each year. (Bloomberg puts the portion tested annually at "less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. cattle herd.") By contrast, in the European Union, all sick or downed cattle over the age of 4 years old, all healthy cows over six years, are tested before being slaughtered or rendered. The California cow, the USDA said in its Thursday statement, was 10 years and seven months old—so it would have been automatically tested in Europe.
How can you tell when your pig is fat enough? Why should you never buy mustard? What's wrong with eating potatoes? Which is better, beer or tea? And what type of straw makes the best bonnets? William Cobbett is the man to ask. Here is his book of practical advice to the rural labouring 'cottager' (first published as a part-work in 1821-22), the precursor in many ways to the handbooks on self-sufficiency that today entice so many city-dwellers.
A champion of the rural working class at a time of huge social and industrial change, a radical politician and a prolific writer, Cobbett is opinionated, passionate and enlightening, making 'Cottage Economy' a fascinating and entertaining window on daily life for the smallholders of his day, and still inspirational, almost 200 years later, to those who seek 'a good living' as the foundation of happiness. (Introduction by Philippa)


Yet Dow's pitch will likely prove quite compelling. Introduced in 1996, Roundup Ready crops now account for 94 percent of the soybean crops and upwards of 70 percent for soy and cotton, USDA figures show. The technology cut a huge chunk of work out of farming, allowing farmers to cultivate ever more massive swathes of land with less labor.

Superinsects Are Thriving in This Summer's Drought
Drought plus a plague of rootworms presents a compounded problem to farmers: The bugs tend to thrive under dry conditions, and the damage their incessant root munching does to plants above ground, like stunting their growth, is "magnified" by lack of water and heat stress, Ostlie and Potter add.
  • Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs
  • Pulses, nuts and seeds
  • Soya products and vegetable protein foods

Proteins are large molecules made up of long chains of amino acid subunits. Some of these amino acids are nutritionally essential as they cannot be made or stored within the body and so must come from foods in our daily diet.
Although all animal and plant cells contain some protein, the amount and quality of this protein can vary widely.

Currently our farming culture is one of Industrial Farming. These are often animals (especially cows) that are kept so badly and are so ill that you would reject buying one... especially if your goal was to eat it. And you wouldn't hunt it unless there was no other food around and you were desperate. This is covered in great detail in the mainstream media after 20 year campaign my many to make this knowledge public so I won't go into that. I would just like to point out where this sort of farming is leading us (on a global level).

The following examples are from the United States where Industrial Farming seems to have reached it's complete modern form:

Articles From Mother Jones:

Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case

Can You Get Mad Cow Disease From Milk?

Unlike, say, bacterial pathogens, prions are extremely resistant to heat. So, I've found two different studies that suggest that scrapie does in fact transmit from sheep to sheep through milk. Now, this research doesn't show that BSE can move from cow milk to humans. But it represents evidence that prions can move from animal to animal through milk. 

Human Breast Milk From Cows?

Fracked Beef: It's What's for Dinner?

About "Modern" Industrial Farming

Dairy Cows on a Factory Farm

Beef Cattle on a Factory Farm

Dairy Cows and Veal Calves on Factory Farms

Are Factory Farms Inherently Unsustainable? The Environment at Risk

Audio Book: LibriVox recording of Cottage Economy, by William Cobbett. Read by Philippa. {This is a general book. You may have to adjust some of the recommendations to fit your location and/or culture/religion. The goal here is simply to become self-sufficient, no matter where you live. This does not preclude trade. It DOES make communities self-sufficient in a natural disaster prone world. This is simply a question of survival on a community and civilizational level.}

The figures referred to in the section on ice houses can be viewed here.
Basic law of investment - diversify. 

Not something that banks gambling with money are interested in. This is more of a Mutual Fund concept. The idea is to diversify so if one company/stock goes down you don't go bankrupt.

The same should apply to all modes of production.

Rather than building up & centralizing our societies like the Tower of Babel...we should decentralize.

One storm and thousands of people go without power. Solution: Decentralize power consumption.

One strong virus and the worlds cow protein supply will end (maybe even starting the much feared zombie epidemic). We will survive but it won't be a pretty transition. Rather than wait for calamity to befall us and then picking up the pieces... why not just fix things now?

The more we keep using blanket solutions - such as industrial farming on a horizontal scale) on a planet made to adapt - (even we need stronger anti-biotics now or are immune to some anti-biotics I can't remember which), - while making more and more species of crops immune to dangerous chemicals... while insects (who were here before us and will be here long after us, unless our sun goes supernova) are continuing to thrive. Do you see anything wrong with this picture?  for example: Nearly Half of All US Farms Now Have Superweeds

With most of the US out of work, to focus on foods made with dangerous chemicals when alternative means of healthy and diverse farming is available sounds to me like a recipe for disaster. What do you think? (See information below before replying).

Dow and Monsanto Team Up on the Mother of All Herbicide Marketing Plans
At risk of sounding overly dramatic, the product seems to me to bring mainstream US agriculture to a crossroads. If Dow's new corn makes it past the USDA and into farm fields, it will mark the beginning of at least another decade of ramped-up chemical-intensive farming of a few chosen crops (corn, soy, cotton), beholden to a handful of large agrichemical firms working in cahoots to sell ever larger quantities of poisons, environment be damned. If it and other new herbicide-tolerant crops can somehow be stopped, farming in the US heartland can be pushed toward a model based on biodiversity over monocropping, farmer skill in place of brute chemicals, and healthy food instead of industrial commodities.

BBC: Foods containing protein
Why is protein important?From hair to fingernails, protein is a major functional and structural component of all our cells. Protein provides the body with roughly 10 to 15 per cent of its dietary energy, and is needed for growth and repair.

Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein


Protein for Vegetarians — A Simple Guide to Getting What You Need

Vegetarian Protein - Myth and Facts

The Difference Between Meat, Soy, Whey, Dairy, and Vegan Types of Protein

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