Objections to Polyface

  • But it’s expensive
  • But their chickens and pigs eat industrially grown feed!

But it’s expensive

It seems a little bit more expensive than regular meat, but at this stage I side with Joel’s response to this question. Mother Jones asks the hip-pocket question:

I asked Joel how he answers the charge that because food like his is more expensive, it is inherently elitist. “I don’t accept the premise,” he replied. “First off, those weren’t any ‘elitists’ you met on the farm this morning. We sell to all kinds of people. Second, whenever I hear people say clean food is expensive, I tell them it’s actually the cheapest food you can buy. That always gets their attention. Then I explain that, with our food, all of the costs are figured into the price. Society is not bearing the cost of water pollution, of antibiotic resistance, of food-borne illnesses, of crop subsidies, of subsidized oil and water—of all the hidden costs to the environment and the taxpayer that make cheap food seem cheap. No thinking person will tell you they don’t care about all that. I tell them the choice is simple: You can buy honestly priced food or you can buy irresponsibly priced food.”
via No Bar Code | Mother Jones.

But their chickens and pigs eat industrially grown feed!

  • A concerned peakoiler might point out that Joel’s pigs and chickens eat industrially grown feed. The chicken and pig manure fertilises his fields. No wonder he grows such amazing grass for his cattle! It has industrial inputs, disguised as his chickens and pigs.
  • This used to concern me until I started researching how we were going to recycle phosphorus (above).
  • How are we going to grow our crops again? Nitrogen is not a problem when abundant nuclear energy can just suck it out of the air. Phosphorus and potassium will be recycled out of our sewage, or out of our oceans via kelp farms.
  • So the NPK from sewage and local council rubbish compost goes to biochar reinforced fields, grows the crops which feed the chicken and pigs which both feed us and provide manure for Joel’s fields.
  • And the grass? It feeds the beef, whose cow-pats then give the chickens 15% of their protein through natural maggots (and avoids 15% of that industrial chicken feed we are worried about).
  • And then the pork and chicken and beef all feeds us: which we flush down the toilet. But again, we cou
  • The efficiency of this system is staggering. It is estimated that about 80% of the phosphorus we put on our fields is never really utilised by the crops we grow. It seems to me that biofarming increases soil utilisation of NPK to account for all that extra biomass in these fast growing soils.