#028: Agricultural economist John Ikerd walks us through the very intentional strategy of overproduction as a precursor to market takeover, as we've just seen with the organic milk glut and subsequent cancellation of contracts with close to 100 organic dairy farmers in the Northeast by Horizon/ Danone. He also explains why industrial farming, with its focus on profitability and efficiency, is in opposition to sustainable practices from the outset unlike small-scale family farming.
John Ikerd is an agricultural economist, livestock expert, and Professor Emeritus and the University of Missouri. His books include: Crisis and Opportunity Sustainability in American Agriculture; Small Farms Are Real Farms; Sustainable Capitalism; The Essentials of Economic Stability; A Return to Common Sense; and Revolution of the Middle and the Pursuit of Happiness.
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The Real Organic Podcast is hosted by Dave Chapman and Linley Dixon, engineered by Brandon StCyr, and edited and produced by Jenny Prince.
The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led movement working towards certifying 1,000 farms across the United States this year. Our add-on food label distinguishes soil-grown fruits and vegetables from hydroponically-raised produce. It also identifies pasture-raised meat, milk, and eggs as compared to products harvested from animals in horrific confinement (CAFOs - confined animal feeding operations).
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We believe that the organic standards, with their focus on soil health, biodiversity, and animal welfare were written as they should be. But the current lack of enforcement of those standards is jeopardizing small farms that follow the law. The lack of enforcement is also jeopardizing the overall health of the customers who support the organic movement; customers who are not getting what they pay for at market but are still paying a premium price. The lack of enforcement is jeopardizing the very cycles (water, air, nutrients) that Earth relies upon to provide us all with a place to live, by pushing extractive, chemical agriculture to the forefront.
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