When a carrot's not a carrot!
If you can't measure it, you can't improve it" Peter Drucker
Apologies for those suffering from cognitive dissonance, I didn't have a good carrot photo!
"The carrot conversation" took place between Dan Kitteredge of Bionutrient association and myself a good number of years back in Ireland. I think I inspired him to write a similar blog (of which I received no personal thanks), but I did get a handful of good tips, books and people to follow so Dan, we can call it quits:)
It's conversations like this that inspire better understandings of land based processes with a view to developing better farming and growing practices without exterminating all other life forms on the planet. As with any subject matter, higher quality inputs generally equate to higher quality outputs, (and if they don't, it's the exception that proves the rule), what pursues is a greater potential to act and often with potent points of agency. Generally things change quickly when actions align with values.
Farming these days is not what it used to be.......
Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to draw attention to the fact that we live in privileged times. Tribal conversations of veganism, vs vegetarianism, vs carnivore(ism) are luxurious ideals to which we can all ascribe and can only take place thanks to modern technology in the form of the combustion engine, synthetic/organic fertilisers and cheap oil/energy. The reality is, without such means, we'd all be climbing out of our narcissistic bubbles offering gifts a plenty to the best grower in town. The conversation of dietary choice inherently detracts from the following salient points; Regardless of dietary choices, we need to develop growing systems and processes of food/plant production that ensure plants are photosynthesising at optimal rates. If we can do this, we don't need poison to kill of bugs trying to eat our unhealthy plants. Fertilisers be them synthetic or organic also become redundant. The simple fact is, plants grow best in living soil and have done for 650 million years. Modern agriculture in its current form is redundant and is functions (or malfunctions) due to the fact that oil is cheap, and the market is ignorant of what real food is.
How this blog ended up based around carrots I do not know, it could be some deep scarring going back to childhood, being forced to fat, muddy carrots from Mick the veg as opposed to those gleaming Somerfield ones, wrapped neatly in plastic in bunches of 10. I can still remember the non taste of the latter. Thanks to the force-feeding techniques of my devoted mother, I'm an avid devotee of real food. Those gleaming carrots just don't cut the mustard and in truth, I think it was the mud that I was most adverse to.
With distorted a worldview of the masses and the consequent witch hunt against farmers, facts become anecdotal, and vague abstractions of truth creep in to replace hard facts. Which is why I love pieces of technology like the bio nutrient meter. It's a tool that measures nutrient density of foods (www.bionutrient.org). The conversation surrounding biodynamic, organic, conventional (or chemical should I say) becomes irrelevant since the only way to cultivate plants of quality is by building life in the soil. If anyone wants to argue with me, let's have a food fight, starting in the soil. Best carrot wins (and by best, I mean most nutrient dense).
I'm not going to bore you with the numbers, but it's common knowledge that food nutrient density is diving, energy inputs in the form of oil, fertilisers and the "kill it" cocktail all on the rise would attest to the fact that something is going seriously awry in orders of magnitude when it comes to how food is produced. With the aforementioned tool, we can all become students of health, and ensure consumer behaviour is aligned with hard facts. As Bucky Fuller once said "you don't change things by fighting the existing reality, you change things by making what exists obsolete". This tool, when calibrated and ready to go does exactly that.
Rebuilding a food system based around values of health and well being can only be achieved through sound understanding of ecological processes. As a result of which, potentially game changing pieces of technology hit the streets. Big up to Dan and his crew!