Tag Archives: agriculture

Cloned meat already on the menu

two_cows Wired has a lengthy piece on the increasing trend of cloned livestock – livestock that go on to produce the milk you drink, or the choice cuts you eat. Little more than a decade since the birth of Dolly the sheep, cloning is becoming accepted by the agricultural industry, if not the average consumer.

Whether Joe Average’s reaction to cloning (and similar technologies like GM foods) is a natural knee-jerk or a media-fueled disgust (or a combination of the two) is unknown to me, but it’s certainly not based on rational facts – animals are animals are animals, no matter how their birth was brought about. But if cloned livestock can freak people out, the reactions we’ll see when vat-grown meat becomes available should be pretty spectacular … [Image by FiskFisk]

[tags]agriculture, biotech, cloning, livestock[/tags]

The bad and good of biofuels

cornfield We’ve been hearing a lot about the potential of biofuels, particularly ethanol, as being a great (and green) answer to our global dependence of petrochemicals. Which is true, to a certain extent.

The problem being that corn ethanol, while itself a cleaner fuel, is a horrendously climate-intensive crop, the cultivation of which may cause as many (if not more) problems than it solves … which is why we’d be wise to look at the numerous other sources for the same chemical (like algae, prairie grass and fast-growing trees) which won’t cause an environmental and economic trainwreck further down the line. [Via Worldchanging]

Of course, we’ll need to do something about the enticing boondoggle subsidies that are making corn ethanol such an enticing political playing piece first. [Image by Jpeg Jedi]

[tags]environment, biofuels, economics, agriculture[/tags]

A Future For Organic Farming

323166029 7D432392Ba MOrganic farming is not just the way forward for wealthy suburbanites. A new study of studies estimates that if all world agriculture shifted to organic farming techniques the world would produce at the low end 2,641 calories per person per day, and at the high end 4,381. The current world agricultural output, including synthetic factory farming techniques, is estimated at 2,786 calories. Even more interesting is the fact that in developing countries small-scale, organic techniques may produce food more efficiently than synthetic alternatives. [kurzweil ai] [photo by Frankie Roberto]