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
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians