Poultry of Minerva

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Peter Shea, the Bill Moyers of the Twin Cities, for The Bat of Minerva show.

What began as a kind of intellectual portraiture, in which we explored how I got studying the evolution of infectious disease, spiraled into about as broad a thesis on the nature of disease and agriculture and prospects for a just future as I have compiled in one place to date.

The reason–and there is a reason–we talked in such a noisy place is revealed halfway through the interview.

For those night owls out there–or nocturnal bats or poultry off their counter-seasonal photoperiods–the show will be broadcasted locally Sunday midnight (Saturday night) on Metro Cable Network/Channel 6

5 Responses to “Poultry of Minerva”

  1. Interesting piece. Any idea how widely it might be viewed?

    For what its worth, there will be no poultry exposition this summer at the State and County fairs of Ohio either.

    You mentioned Christopher Leonard’s book during the piece – and I’d like to follow up there so I’m just double checking… you are referring to ‘The Meat Racket’ in that reference?

    I haven’t the time right now, but I would like to come back to an aspect of the current contract farming and the grow-out phase of BIG AG that you talk about in the piece. This is a paradigm shift within just one generation so there are many among us who can shed light on how and why decisions were made to go in this direction. Pester me if I forget to come back to this.

  2. rgwallace Says:

    Not very widely viewed, Clem, but on the record. It’s important to make contributions to a counterhistory. Today’s minority report is, perhaps, tomorrow’s creation story.

    Yes, ‘The Meat Racket’. Terrific, essential book. I’d love to hear more about the generational shift. So consider this my pester.

  3. Costs associated with the bird flu disaster are beginning to come in. Here’s a link outlining some… we’re not quite to a billion $ yet, but most of the cost outlined here are direct. A new water cooler riddle may be in the offing: What do Tyson and Perdue have in common wit Chase and BofA?


  4. rgwallace Says:

    That’s exactly right. Economist Thomas Elam puts the present sticker price at $1.57 billion in direct costs and $3.3 billion in total across the food sector, not counting the $550 million in clean-up costs and the $190 million to contractors for culled birds: http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/15/bird-flu-2/. The costs for Minnesota approached the profits for the previous turkey season. Another outbreak next year should just about do it.

  5. Are you familiar with Marc Bellemare in the Department of Applied Economics there at U Minn? I don’t know him personally, but have recently found he has (and still does?) studied contract farming.

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