Monday, July 18, 2011

An Interesting Book...

Several years ago I had a good friend send me a series of CD's. He had joined a book club called and bought a number of books to  listen to. He happens to be a long haul truck driver who hauls food grade liquids...from grape juice to Bourbon, liquid chocolate to orange juice, milk to wine.

I have to admit I had seriously procrastinated about listening to this book. However the time had arrived and I plunked the first CD in my little portable player, stuck in my ear buds under the earphones I wear on the tractor and went out to cultivate my farm field. Well the book gripped me, it is both disturbing and informative and explains how "Industrial" became a word that applies to agriculture. Yes it is based on the American system but that is one thing that disturbed me as much as anything. We in Canadian Agriculture have closely followed US trends even though they did not originally apply to our Agricultural situation.

Here in Alberta we are growing more and more corn. Chemical fertilizer has become an enormous industry that has done incredibly well for itself.  Farmers are becoming trapped in a cycle of the need for increased yields and spiraling fertilizer costs. And worse yet the downgrading of their soil.

In one part of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" the Author follows a bushel of corn from its seeding in the cornbelt of Iowa to the end product  of a fattened steer. I have learned far more about field corn than I had ever expected.  Now I am halfway through the book and I have barley to seed, by the time it is in the ground I should have finished listening.

This book has made my farming speed by and has given me new insight and concerns about this "lifestyle" that has become an Industry.  I would soundly endorse it anyone who farms or is concerned about the food they eat!  Read this book!

Now I am heading out to seed, ear buds in place and fresh batteries in the CD player. "Food for Thought"

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