Author Michael Ruhlman and Chef Dan Barber talk about modern industrial farming and agriculture in the United States as part of Chautauqua Institutions week long program called "What's for Dinner: Food and Politics in the 21st Century."
Dan Barber is the co-owner and executive chef of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the author of the forthcoming book, The Third Plate (May 2014, The Penguin Press). His opinions on food and agricultural policy have appeared in the New York Times, along with many other publications.
Michael Carl Ruhlman is an American author. He has written 12 books of mostly nonfiction, the best known of which have been in collaboration with American chefs.
Chef Dan Barber recounts his experience on a goose farm in Spain where geese are raised for foie gras without the common practice of being force fed that has sparked controversy from animal rights activists.
Chef and restaurant owner Dan Barber describes the tragic conditions introduced by modern agriculture in the United States. He calls upon the audience to start making better choices about food which ultimately turn out to be the most delicious.
System of crop cultivation that uses biological methods of fertilization and pest control as substitutes for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which are regarded by supporters of organic methods as harmful to health and the environment and unnecessary for successful cultivation. It was initiated as a conscious rejection of modern agri-chemical techniques in the 1930s by the British agronomist Sir Albert Howard. Miscellaneous organic materials, including animal manure, compost, grass turf, straw, and other crop residues, are applied to fields to improve both soil structure and moisture-holding capacity and to nourish soil life, which in turn nourishes plants. (Chemical fertilizers, by contrast, feed plants directly.) Biological pest control is achieved through preventive methods, including diversified farming, crop rotation, the planting of pest-deterrent species, and the use of integrated pest management techniques. Bioengineered strains are avoided. Since organic farming is time-consuming, organically grown produce tends to be expensive. Organic produce formerly accounted for a minuscule portion of total American farm output, but it has seen a huge proportional increase in sales in recent years.
Fortunately the United Nations and NGO's are are working to develop a genetically improved strain of human which can subsist on much smaller, cheaper-to-produce quantities of food, yet work just as hard while at the same time being psychologically happy to live in low-cost stacked concrete cubes.
This guy is not in reality. It is IMPOSSIBLE for us to continue to eat meat, in the quantities we eat now, and raise the meat compassionately, without harming ourselves or the planet. That being the case, we need to do 1 of 2 things:
1)drastically cut down (by 90%) our consumption of meat
2) drastically cut down the number of humans on the planet.
The guy in the foie gras lecture is one of the most pathetic selfish sad little man I've ever heard speak. It's new chefs like these men that are really ethically blind and dishonest about what is cruel humane and NECESSARY. What a sad lecture!!! What a sad time we live in.
Does this man really believe that whole planet can live off of farms like this and eat well? His math his moral understanding of the world is why our planet is collapsing into a waste land of over crowded animal farms. After watching this guy I want to become one of those vegans who attack chefs!!!!
I'd also like to add a point of this conversation. We don't actually need to have all of this meat that we're devoting so much resource to. You damper the demand for such large qualities of beef and chicken and you could, logically, have enough room to have cows graze naturally again. We could also make a more diverse diet for ourselves which would include more fruits and vegetables. No one is complaining that there won't be enough space for lettuce. Keep in mind I'm not a vegan or a vegetarian.
Some supporting facts:
Average chicken consumption has tripled between 1960 and 2000:
Beef tends to stagger more over time, but we eat about equal amounts of chicken and beef. If you include all meat, based on the 2000 study above, we eat about half a pound of meat a day. While I think meat can be very good for you, it's more than necessary.
Think of the price of real estate within 20 miles of a major city. Factor in the cost of building a ten acre area of (hydroponic?) grow space 64 floors high. That is one square mile of crop land. You will need lots of lights needing lots of juice. I say if you can do it and make a profit, knock yourself out. Stop bitching (not you, them) and show this skeptic the way. I'd be happy to level the playing field and do away with all subsidies.
If these men were to get what they want the result would be famine. Not one suggestion was given about how to feed the billions of people on this planet without using all the methods we now use (factory farms, fertilizer etc.). It would be laughable to see the citizens of NYC all trying to live by farming organically, not to mention the throngs of people living in the cities of India, China or Europe.