Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 Food Watch

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:19 pm

MikeW wrote:
Good article on this. Interesting point too on the inherent lag time involved in ramping up global food production.

Yep, that lag is called inelasticity of supply, my dear Mike!
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:22 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
MikeW wrote:
Good article on this. Interesting point too on the inherent lag time involved in ramping up global food production.

Yep, that lag is called inelasticity of supply, my dear Mike!

I did do economics y'know....
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:23 pm

MikeW wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
MikeW wrote:
Good article on this. Interesting point too on the inherent lag time involved in ramping up global food production.

Yep, that lag is called inelasticity of supply, my dear Mike!

I did do economics y'know....

It'd be interesting to actually do a graph of the current supply curve of food. I'd imagine it to be quite steep.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:28 pm

Today they are just now on cnbc talking that Sam's Club are also rationing not just rice but flour as well. This could feed on itself because people are rattled as here the gas price moves when the store owner decides and my station has gone from 3.17 to 3.39 and today it will be different again. I have an upside though. Yesterday Obama got about about 850000 votes but my favourate Ron Paul got 128000 votes. The message of the dollar collapse might be catching at last. Diesel is the price to watch as has been said about distribution costs of food. 4.65 yesterday so keep tuned for 5 dollars a gallon.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:08 pm

The Economist link provided by MikeW is excellent. This is a quote from one of the articles that shows how the market itself instead of solving the problem of food supply is making it worse by speculative buying.

Rice is very expensive, but we don't know why.”

The prices mainly reflect changes in demand—not problems of supply, such as harvest failure. The changes include the gentle upward pressure from people in China and India eating more grain and meat as they grow rich and the sudden, voracious appetites of western biofuels programmes, which convert cereals into fuel. This year the share of the maize (corn) crop going into ethanol in America has risen and the European Union is implementing its own biofuels targets. To make matters worse, more febrile behaviour seems to be influencing markets: export quotas by large grain producers, rumours of panic-buying by grain importers, money from hedge funds looking for new markets.

Such shifts have not been matched by comparable changes on the farm. This is partly because they cannot be: farmers always take a while to respond. It is also because governments have softened the impact of price rises on domestic markets, muffling the signals that would otherwise have encouraged farmers to grow more food. Of 58 countries whose reactions are tracked by the World Bank, 48 have imposed price controls, consumer subsidies, export restrictions or lower tariffs.


But the food scare of 2008, severe as it is, is only a symptom of a broader problem. The surge in food prices has ended 30 years in which food was cheap, farming was subsidised in rich countries and international food markets were wildly distorted. Eventually, no doubt, farmers will respond to higher prices by growing more and a new equilibrium will be established. If all goes well, food will be affordable again without the subsidies, dumping and distortions of the earlier period. But at the moment, agriculture has been caught in limbo. The era of cheap food is over. The transition to a new equilibrium is proving costlier, more prolonged and much more painful than anyone had expected.


The point about the time lag is also important. Global stockpiles have been diminishing for the last few years, and the pressures on them are increasing. It will take time to increase production, particularly against a background in which drought and floods have impacted on production.

Ireland is not food self-sufficient. We will either go hungry if there is a global food shortage or we will use any economic advantage to buy from outside, leaving other people hungry.

Our Green Minister for Agriculture will have to do more than get schools allotments going to meet this one head on.


This last link is well worth the time it takes to read, even though it raises far more questions than it answers.


The oil we eat:
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:43 pm

Ireland is not self-sufficient but with the EU behind us we won't do too badly. Of course our gain will be someone else's loss.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:43 pm

905 wrote:
Ireland is not self-sufficient but with the EU behind us we won't do too badly. Of course our gain will be someone else's loss.

Well, we export a lot of beef, grain and dairy produce to the rest of the world. We won't have large enough appetites to eat all the steak, cereals and milk/cheese/yoghurts produced by our farmers. We must export the vast majority of our agricultural output. Our cattle herd feeds on grass(which is free, renewable and not scarce) rather than grain which is the global standard. As a result of this we doubly benefit from rising food prices in these categories. Price rises in rice are very unwelcome since they frustrate our efforts to balance our current account.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:39 am

Acquifer exhaustion, water pollution (particularly with surface water and foul water treatment), other pollution, sprawling development, soil erosion, possible salination of large tracts of land if sea levels rise, soil exhaustion and population increase are all combining to make agricultural land scarce.

Is there any reason to think Ireland is not affected given the problems with contaminated surface water drainage around the country? I hope the Government are in possession of all the relevant information even if they don't publish it. Unfortunately, the likelihood is they don't know where we stand overall. Perhaps the growing focus of the IFA on food security will help us in this regard. Certainly the IFA say food security should be at the heart of government policy.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:56 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Acquifer exhaustion, water pollution (particularly with surface water and foul water treatment), other pollution, sprawling development, soil erosion, possible salination of large tracts of land if sea levels rise, soil exhaustion and population increase are all combining to make agricultural land scarce.

Is there any reason to think Ireland is not affected given the problems with contaminated surface water drainage around the country? I hope the Government are in possession of all the relevant information even if they don't publish it. Unfortunately, the likelihood is they don't know where we stand overall. Perhaps the growing focus of the IFA on food security will help us in this regard. Certainly the IFA say food security should be at the heart of government policy.

Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe with no policy in place for protecting Grade A agricultural land. Zoning for development takes place without reference to Teagasc or any other agricultural body. A lot of our best land is close to towns and cities for obvious historic reasons, and is being lost to low density sprawl. All you suburban dwellers should at least use your back gardens for spuds and your front gardens for fruit trees.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:49 pm

interesting short lead article yesterday -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/26/waste.pollution

"Sustainable" bioplastic can damage the environment - Corn-based material emits climate change gas in landfill and adds to food crisis

... made using GM Crops, taking up huge acreage, doesnt break down in landfill (emitting uncaught methane) etc etc ... but sold as biodegradable. Most of the big British users seem to have turned away from it now, though.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Sun Apr 27, 2008 3:08 pm

Atticus wrote:
interesting short lead article yesterday -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/26/waste.pollution

"Sustainable" bioplastic can damage the environment - Corn-based material emits climate change gas in landfill and adds to food crisis

... made using GM Crops, taking up huge acreage, doesnt break down in landfill (emitting uncaught methane) etc etc ... but sold as biodegradable. Most of the big British users seem to have turned away from it now, though.
I saw that yesterday in the Guardian front page alright. This morning CNN had its monthly programme on eco-solutions which is not up on the website yet and featured plastics made from corn but not in the context of straining the food markets but that seems to be the more and more becoming the case as energy-demands impinge on agricultural use of land

http://edition.cnn.com/CNNI/Programs/eco.solutions/
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:00 pm

Our economic system is profit driven, and linked to consumption. We are going through a stage where successive consumption-based solutions are being put forward to solve the energy consumption crisis. My gut feeling is that this is delusional and that leaving the issue to the private market will not work. There may have to be energy rationing and some types of carbon fuelled energy use may just need to be banned.

Brazil is energy independent and is doing well. It has its own energy resources, but I think more importantly a very low per capita energy consumption. Wind and water energy many have great potential, but ethanol and large scale biomass look to me like a disaster and have already led to stripping of vast areas of irreplaceable rain forest.

So-called green technology is insufficiently tested and evaluated by neutral bodies. The Greens are encouraging people to install domestic mini windmills that just don't function in any meaningful way, and to install woodburning stoves just after we have got rid of coal-smog that was killing people.

A biofuel company N.D.S.(?) just went bust in Germany because the regulatory regime had changed. It is too risky and difficult for the private sector to deal with this alone. We need to see massive public research and large scale public pilot projects.

I think the tide in Ireland has begun to turn away from non-science based gimmicks and was very happy to hear a Green Minister recently say the most important (and best value) thing people could do to improve their homes is draft proofing and insulation.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:01 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Our economic system is profit driven, and linked to consumption. We are going through a stage where successive consumption-based solutions are being put forward to solve the energy consumption crisis. My gut feeling is that this is delusional and that leaving the issue to the private market will not work. There may have to be energy rationing and some types of carbon fuelled energy use may just need to be banned.
The problem with the free-market, correct me if I'm wrong, is that it doesn't take time into account. Oil prices are globally inequitable now but I'd argue that they are also temporally inequitable. The world should be keeping it for the future, stretching it out and using it as a meta-source or to facilitate renewables and sustainability.


Quote :
Brazil is energy independent and is doing well. It has its own energy resources, but I think more importantly a very low per capita energy consumption. Wind and water energy many have great potential, but ethanol and large scale biomass look to me like a disaster and have already led to stripping of vast areas of irreplaceable rain forest.

So-called green technology is insufficiently tested and evaluated by neutral bodies. The Greens are encouraging people to install domestic mini windmills that just don't function in any meaningful way, and to install woodburning stoves just after we have got rid of coal-smog that was killing people.

A biofuel company N.D.S.(?) just went bust in Germany because the regulatory regime had changed. It is too risky and difficult for the private sector to deal with this alone. We need to see massive public research and large scale public pilot projects.

I think the tide in Ireland has begun to turn away from non-science based gimmicks and was very happy to hear a Green Minister recently say the most important (and best value) thing people could do to improve their homes is draft proofing and insulation.
There is a lot of room for lower-tech and more natural, local solutions but Big Science needs to have its place too. Is science and engineering largely market-driven and should it be more publicly-driven now to adapt inventions to be more sustainable? This would be hugely contrary to the free market of course but no doubt incentives exist from govenment to business to develop alternative technologies.

Is there less and less resistance to GM foods as news of these food crises hit us or is that again another technology with an equal and opposite reaction to its reputedly beneficial action?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:07 am

Ireland's Cereals Supply Balance has been just released today by the CSO.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:19 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Ireland's Cereals Supply Balance has been just released today by the CSO.

Quite surprising figures - we only produce 78% of the cereals we consume (as compared to 213% in France). Even the UK is self-sufficient in cereals.

I presume cows are less work for the farmers.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:31 am

DeGaulle wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Ireland's Cereals Supply Balance has been just released today by the CSO.

Quite surprising figures - we only produce 78% of the cereals we consume (as compared to 213% in France). Even the UK is self-sufficient in cereals.

I presume cows are less work for the farmers.

Kate P has posted about this. She says that Irish grass grows very well and fast and we can produce very good beef and milk - in other countries cattle are not reared on grass. She also says the land and climate is not so good for cereals. I don't understand why we can't produce a premium product that gets a better price, that being the case.

Teagasc produced a report five years ago that predicted that only southwest dairying would be commercially viable in the medium term future - they were obviously anticipating the current WTO negotiations.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:39 am

I am happy to see that the UN has paid heed to MN posters who recommended that the UN act swiftly to deal with the global food crisis.

BBC Link
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:35 pm

cactus flower wrote:
DeGaulle wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Ireland's Cereals Supply Balance has been just released today by the CSO.

Quite surprising figures - we only produce 78% of the cereals we consume (as compared to 213% in France). Even the UK is self-sufficient in cereals.

I presume cows are less work for the farmers.

Kate P has posted about this. She says that Irish grass grows very well and fast and we can produce very good beef and milk - in other countries cattle are not reared on grass. She also says the land and climate is not so good for cereals. I don't understand why we can't produce a premium product that gets a better price, that being the case.

Teagasc produced a report five years ago that predicted that only southwest dairying would be commercially viable in the medium term future - they were obviously anticipating the current WTO negotiations.

Kate P is right..... some extended family farm in the middle part of the south of this country and used to grow cereal until the 60s... then decided it was climatically inviable (yields destroyed in rainy summers etc); the Teagasc projections may also be based on the global warming figures as the western half of Ireland will get even wetter. This kills cereals, without excessive pharmaceutical assistance (mould + damp = low profits!), but the cows are just grand unless it's really swampy. The eco gospel that cows are bad is also based on calculations that they are fed on huge amounts of grain during the winter... not true here, they can be outdoors for up to 11 months of the year here (weather permitting). I don't think this has much bearing on the quality of the milk/meat, it just means production is less eco-unfriendy and less costly, given the current cost of grain.

In fairness to the farmers, in the UK farming community they like arable... they only have to plough harvest and spray a few times a year, whereas owing to the tagging and tracing (overall a good thing), calving, and other medical stuff, cows are MORE labour intensive, not less...oh, and they have to be fed in winter and there's the whole make sure they have enough water thing in the summer.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:46 pm

Thankyou for putting more meat on the bones of this discussion, expatgirl.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:06 pm

Ireland may become a major producer of maize, as it is better able to withstand summer rains than other crops. The only problem with it is it needs warmer conditions than ours to grow in, but new breeds have been introduced that can withstand the cold.

Maize is of limited use though, it's mainly fodder for cattle and corn. With more rain predicted Ireland's cattle will have to spend more time indoors as wet fields are badly damaged by cattle. This might result in cattle being eco-problems as Expat girl explained.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:11 pm

cactus flower wrote:


Ireland is one of the few countries in Europe with no policy in place for protecting Grade A agricultural land. Zoning for development takes place without reference to Teagasc or any other agricultural body. A lot of our best land is close to towns and cities for obvious historic reasons, and is being lost to low density sprawl. All you suburban dwellers should at least use your back gardens for spuds and your front gardens for fruit trees.

We aren't the only ones with that problem. Look at the SE of England... best land in these islands for climatic reasons and it is now a concrete jungle. Policy or no policy! And their NEW policy is to build even MORE housing there despite flood risk.

Re us suburbanites, one of the few things that did work nicely in the UK was the allotment policy. We could use some space for that sort of thing here in Dublin. I think Tallaght has some sort of policy group on this up and running, but could we find space for these elsewhere?? Particularly given the demise of the building boom (although you wouldn't think it given the no of cranes I can see from the Dart every am!) Wink
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:16 pm

905 wrote:
Ireland may become a major producer of maize, as it is better able to withstand summer rains than other crops. The only problem with it is it needs warmer conditions than ours to grow in, but new breeds have been introduced that can withstand the cold.

Maize is of limited use though, it's mainly fodder for cattle and corn. With more rain predicted Ireland's cattle will have to spend more time indoors as wet fields are badly damaged by cattle. This might result in cattle being eco-problems as Expat girl explained.

the solution to wet land is to slightly understock it, not to put the moo cows inside in the summer. The worst "churn" tends to be around gates etc anyway... dairy farms worse affected than beef owing to the trek to the milking parlour. There are also solutions... putting in a hardened gravel track (not tarmac!) across a field for heavy traffic (cows, tractor, machinery, etc). The best use of badly drained boggy land can be to use current EU incentives to plant woodland... sure we'll need to produce more of that indigenously anyway as it'll get more expensive to import....
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:23 pm

expat girl wrote:
905 wrote:
Ireland may become a major producer of maize, as it is better able to withstand summer rains than other crops. The only problem with it is it needs warmer conditions than ours to grow in, but new breeds have been introduced that can withstand the cold.

Maize is of limited use though, it's mainly fodder for cattle and corn. With more rain predicted Ireland's cattle will have to spend more time indoors as wet fields are badly damaged by cattle. This might result in cattle being eco-problems as Expat girl explained.

the solution to wet land is to slightly understock it, not to put the moo cows inside in the summer. The worst "churn" tends to be around gates etc anyway... dairy farms worse affected than beef owing to the trek to the milking parlour. There are also solutions... putting in a hardened gravel track (not tarmac!) across a field for heavy traffic (cows, tractor, machinery, etc). The best use of badly drained boggy land can be to use current EU incentives to plant woodland... sure we'll need to produce more of that indigenously anyway as it'll get more expensive to import....
Ah, but a wetter climate cuts the time a cow will spend outdoors. Your eleven months was already wildly optimistic.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Thu May 29, 2008 11:39 am

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2008/may/27/foodcrisis

This is a good interactive report on the global food crisis.

I am also posting a link here to our own Rice thread.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   Thu May 29, 2008 12:06 pm

Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Food Watch   

Back to top Go down
 
Food Watch
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 3 of 4Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 Similar topics
-
» Being wasteful with the Food for fast breaking.
» Food Tampering
» The Black Watch
» Eating food alone at home .
» Reoccuring Dream of "Food"

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Business and Finance :: Economy, Business and Finance-
Jump to: