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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Joel Salatin...anti-fossil fuel conservative (who will be at 7Spings this weekend, come to think of it...)

A prolific author and charismatic speaker, Salatin has been preaching his unique brand of agrarian gospel for more than two decades, and his scathing criticism of factory farming ruffles more than a few feathers. (Salatin describes) himself as a “Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic farmer.

"In the U.S. we should have been using petroleum and modern technology to build healthy soil. Instead petroleum is put into chemical fertilizer, which further deteriorates the soil. We have squandered our mother lode of fossil fuels. Americans haul off 70 percent of all the urban compostable waste and dump it into landfills. It’s unconscionable. This is the number-one thing that has to change in modern agriculture. We cannot afford to continue floating our food* on oil. Farmers need to grow the carbon and fertilizer on-site, not bring it in from elsewhere. They need to move toward compost generation with light carbon footprints and away from factory-farming methods with heavy footprints."

"We did an audit here two years ago, when fuel prices spiked, because we’d read that 50 percent of the average farm’s expenses is energy. The audit concluded that energy was only 5 percent of (Polyface Farm's) expenses. That includes the cost of delivering our products to our customers, an expense that the average farm doesn’t have. The price of diesel fuel could go as high as almost ten dollars a gallon, and our farm would still be able to absorb the cost, because our energy expenses are currently so low. I should note that, for the purpose of that audit, we did not include the energy use associated with the feed we buy for the pigs and poultry."

*or the rest of what we seem to feel we need to live, for that matter.