Archive for price manipulation

Lipstick on a Pig

Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution, Organic agriculture with tags , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2014 by Rob Wallace

I have discovered that I cannot burn the candle at one end and write…with the other. –Katherine Mansfield (1919)

By casuistry as uproarious as it is dismal, a Minnesota hog farmer claims ‘factory farms’ no such thing.

Why yes, our barns, equipped with automatic feeders and temperature and air controls, look like factories. Why yes, hog genetics reducing diversity and fat content limit the animals’ toleration for weather and, left unsaid, disease.

But on the heels of bad publicity around vile abuse at a Pipestone farm damning piglets as so many uncooperative widgets–see the video above–Wanda Patsche tells us don’t call them factories. They’re owned by “my neighbors, my friends, fellow church members…,” who, in actuality, are caught in Big Ag contracts that, as we described here last month, hold the farmers to all the value chain’s liabilities and allows them none of its control.

Y’know, like factory workers. Continue reading

Grainmorrah

Posted in Ecological resilience, Influenza, Organic agriculture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2010 by Rob Wallace

I gave the following presentation Friday night at Give & Take, an interactive show and tell happy hour held monthly at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis. Both informative and a lot of fun. Even our ancestors, without a smartphone among them, played like kids on the harvest moon. But fair warning: history has shown the most innocuous festival can turn rebellious when its partisans’ longstanding grievances have been ill-addressed in the workaday.

We’re going to play a game called Grainmorrah. Unlike tic-tac-toe we can’t just jump right in as we don’t already know the game’s premise. So we’re going to run through a few slides for a little background.

Continue reading