Letter: `Efficient' farms
Wednesday 04 August 1999
The peculiar, but widely used, definition of "efficiency" ignores the value of organic matter and humus to long-term viability and production. It ignores the high costs of soil erosion from soils which have been depleted of organic matter by a reliance on artificial inputs and it ignores the heavy use of fossil energy in terms of pesticides, fertilisers and machinery to produce every grain.
This peculiar "efficiency" takes no account of the widespread contamination of ground and surface water by pesticides and nitrates and their knock- on effects on human health. It does not put a value on the loss of wildlife which cannot coexist in such a system.
But perhaps most strange of all is the implication that organic agriculture is less efficient because it employs more labour. Putting money into the pockets of a local workforce is of far greater benefit than providing revenue to distant and unaccountable agrochemical and fertiliser manufacturers.
If that is defined as inefficient, then it is the rules that we must change.
Green Party Agriculture Working Group
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 #NotGuilty: Second Oxford student writes of brutal rape by two men who then threw her in a bin as part of campaign against victim blaming
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 Oxygen-starved 'dead zones' with no marine life up to 100-miles long discovered in the Atlantic Ocean
- 5 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous Six: Make-up 'used to darken skin of actors to make them look Native American'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils