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Organic Foods.  Should We Believe?
Posted: 16 June 2007 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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JustAThought - 16 June 2007 10:41 PM

with one quotable and ignorable poster’s exception,

JustAThought, I did receive your PM and as mod I have brought your issue up, whatever it is, with other mods and admin.  We will get back to you when we can.  If you start commenting on the board about it, then I will respond in kind as a moderator.

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Posted: 16 June 2007 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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First, I wonder if any can comment on whether it’s right for an invitee to a dinner party to request special preparation of food because he/she is vegetarian?  (Or because of religious dietary practices?  Or personal tastes, such as not liking, say, spicy food or liver?) I feel that if someone is extending hospitality, it’s not up to the guest to tell him or her how it must be done, yet I realized this is just an opinion not to be shared by all. 

Second, is it acceptable for the vegetarian who doesn’t request special service to pick around the host’s food?  As in, “Let’s see.  The salad has egg in it.  The side dish has honey.  The muffins were made with milk, and that prime rib main course is definately a no-go.  That’s okay, please don’t let me be any bother.  These olives make a splendid dinner!”

Guess these are really etiquette questions more that ethical ones, and while I try to make nice with people generally, I’m not so interested in social nicities (my wife’s the polite one). FWIW I don’t usually mention that I don’t eat meat when invited to someone’s house unless I’m asked, which isn’t unusual since here in CA people with particular food requirements are pretty common (vegetarians, food allergies, etc). But I wouldn’t mind if someone I invited over had special preferences they wanted me to accomodate (if they weren’t a jerk about it), and I usually ask if they do when I extend an invitation to someone I don’t know well anyway. I do, however, feel fine about choosing not to eat what’s offered if it’s something I’m not comfortable eating. I don’t make a big deal out of it, but I don’t think it’s necessary to ignore my usual practices just to be polite.

I’m fairly flexible about travelling. When in Tanzania last year, I expected I’d end up eating meat since it’s a ubiquitous part of the local cuisine. But interestingly, there are enough Muslims in the coutnry who can’t eat meat unless it’s kosher, that there is always something vegetarian available almost anywhere since they generally avoid meat when travelling just to be safe. So goofy as I think the religious dietary rules are, they worked out nicely for me there. On the other hand, it was slim pickins in Louiseville, KY let me tell you!  :grin:

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Posted: 19 June 2007 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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mckenzievmd - 16 June 2007 08:54 PM

The part that I consider unethical is the treatment of the animals

I wonder (it is not rethorical, I really wonder) if there is a way to produce enough food for the hughe number of people in the world (despite the fact that we currently don’t produce enough food for all!) without this (nasty) industrial practices. I deplore this practices (because, rationally or not, I am very sympathetic to animals), but I don’t know if the economy (or the technology) could make it a bad memory.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Well, whether a technological fix is possible is always a guess, though technology has certainly improved agricultural efficiency in the past. Of course with respect to meat, it is not a necessary part of the diet, and it is much less efficient and more expensive per calorie to produce than most plant foods, so one could argue we could feed a lot more people if land devoted to raising animal products were instead devoted to raising plant crops. Ultimately, rational control of our own fecundity is the only real answer, and I despair of that ever being achieved so I hope for a technological fix.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sorry if I am heavy, but this topics is very interesting to me.

mckenzievmd - 19 June 2007 03:17 PM

though technology has certainly improved agricultural efficiency in the past. Of course with respect to meat, it is not a necessary part of the diet, and it is much less efficient and more expensive per calorie to produce than most plant foods, so one could argue we could feed a lot more people if land devoted to raising animal products were instead devoted to raising plant crops.

I never thinked in the economy of food production, but it is an interesting point. I think it would be very interesting see that applied to the country I live in (we have a lot of space and an extensive animal breeding system, in which is not uncommon to see animals (*) almost free in large yards when you go to the countryside, and also the foreign products like agrochemicals are very expensive, and also we have a lot of land unsuitable for agriculture, so we use to breed goks, lambs and sheeps). I suppose this kind of studies are of the kind one should expect to be produced by the local authority, but I dont know for sure.

Ultimately, rational control of our own fecundity is the only real answer, and I despair of that ever being achieved so I hope for a technological fix.

Yes, I hope too. But I see another trouble (one may say that I am very pesimistic): our economy relies in the continuous growth, and this is hard to achieve without an increasing number of persons. We have a lot of things that depends on growth (retirements systems, for example). As I see, at any point in history the growth will end, and this could be terrible for our economy.


(*) Mostly cows, and some sheeps. The chickens are grown in the ussual and nasty way.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Barto,

Certainly the problem of continuous economic growth as a fuindamental feature of capitalism is an important one, and it may be hard to sustain with a stable population (though I think the populations of some industrialized countries have begun to level or even decline slightly, without yet any sign of an significant effect on economic growth).

Local conditions do also affect the economics of agriculture. Part of the reason for domestication of livestock, it is theorized anyway, is that they can convert inedible plants on unarable land into food people can eat. But because of the loss of energy at each stage of the food pyramid, it inevitably costs more and requires more land to grow a given number of animal calories vs plant calories. The question is whteher the ultimate efficiency is greater in making more land arable, intensifying farming on existing land, or trying to raise animals on land otherwise not suitable for agriculture. I’m no expert in the area, so I don’t really have an answer.

Tambien, hay unos miembros de esta communidad que hablan espanol, entonces aunque tu ingles es excelente (y sin duda mejor que mi espanol), si te conviene usar espanol de vez en cuando para clarificar una idea, es posible que estos miembros puenden entenderla asi y ayudarte en compartir esta idea con los otros.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Brennen, you are right, some developed countries are facing a stabilization in populations growths, but still keep a growing GDP. I would say that it is still a very new phenomena to see its implications, but some things (as the public retirement systems) seem to have started to suffer for this. Also I tend to see the flexibilization of some inmigration rules as a recognition of this trouble by the goverments.
I dont think that a stabilizated population is the end of the capitalism, but the (sooner or later) necesary stabilization, imho, would end a couple of things as we know it (sorry for the offtopic, but I think that overpopulation combined with the need of a continuous growth is, if not the only root of our troubles (*), a very strong contributor).

As far I see, you are absolutely right with the termodinamics argument. I have to face it: my carnivore lifestyle is not extensible to the rest of the world, no matter how much I like it. In fact, I think it is another example of how privileged we are.

____
On the other hands, I make an effort to write in english. It would be very helpfull if all you could point out when I was not clear on what I tried to mean. Learning is a continuous process, so any correction on my writing will be thankful.


(*) The other root could be irrationality, which prevents us to attack the first root.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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mckenzievmd - 19 June 2007 06:06 PM

Tambien, hay unos miembros de esta communidad que hablan espanol, entonces aunque tu ingles es excelente (y sin duda mejor que mi espanol), si te conviene usar espanol de vez en cuando para clarificar una idea, es posible que estos miembros puenden entenderla asi y ayudarte en compartir esta idea con los otros.

Tradusca por favor.  Mí español es no muy bien.  :(  I think it says, “Also there is one member of the community that speaks spanish, something something your English is excellent and without a doubt better than my Spanish…”

See?  I can get most of it but not all of it.  I need to get my dictionary for the words I don’t comprehend.  Yes, I know it wasn’t for me, but I like to test my Spanish skills.  Yes, I know some Spanish skills and maybe able to help also, but not a lot.  I read it better than I can write it.  Maybe between us all, we can combine our skills, if you need clarification.  smile Yes, I sort of got the jest of it.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Sorry Mriana. What it is intended to say (though my Spanish is pretty limited as well) is “Also, there are some members of this community who speak Spanish, so even though your English is excellent (and without doubt better than my Spanish), if it is useful for you to use Spanish once in a while to clarify an idea, it is possible that these members can understand it (the idea) and help you in sharing the idea with others.” No secrets, just a rare opportunity to work on my language skills, though clearly Barto prefers to use English, and his is easily good enough to get his ideas across without any help.

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Posted: 19 June 2007 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Yes it is and I guess I didn’t do too badly with what little I tried to translate.  LOL  I just got my verbs wrong, as usual, but that was without my dictionary in one hand and reading the Spanish at the same time.  LOL  Maybe I’ll get it right one of these days, but it takes a lot of effort just do translate as much as I did for myself.  :(  I’m glad Barto prefers to use English- less effort for some gringos like me.  No insult intended Barto, becuase I do love the Spanish language, it just wears me out trying to figure out what it says.  :( Thanks for translating Brennon. smile

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