Organic Gardening

Bald Mountain Press: facts and statistics for composting, organic gardening, sustainable farming, permaculture, and agriculture.  For more information on organic pest control, healthy soil, and organic gardening, start at our organic gardening home page. Go here for Hawaii organic gardening.

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Secrets of the Soil : New Solutions for Restoring Our Planet by Peter Tompkins, Christopher Baird, Christopher Bird, William Thomas

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Fast Food Nation

Organic agriculture, or permaculture, is the only sustainable farming possible. Synthetic chemical farming kills soil organisms that produce healthy soil that doesn't need synthetic chemicals.

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Diet for a New America : How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins (Introduction), Joanna Macy Organic Gardening and Sustainable Agriculture Facts and Statistics

Amount of trash thrown out by average person annually: 1,500 pounds. Amount of trash thrown out by person who composts: 375 pounds.  Embracing the Earth, Mark Harris
Amount of money spent by Americans on lawn care aid annually: $6 billion.  Warren Schultz, The Chemical-Free Lawn
Increased likelihood that children who live in homes where chemical weed and insect killers are used will develop cancer: four times.  American Journal of Public Health, February 1995
A. Mozafar, Ph.D. of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, recently published findings in Plant and Soil proving plants can absorb vitamins from soil, and that using manure as a fertilizer can actually boost a crop's vitamin B12 level.  Organic Gardening Magazine, October, 1996, Rodale Press
Dr. Joseph Weissman , UCLA College of Medicine, says human breast milk could not be sold in stores due to the fact that 99% of mothers' milk contains dangerous levels of DDT.  Secrets of the Soil, Thompkins and Bird, Harper and Row
The Environmental Working Group, a part of Ralph Nader's Citizen Action lobby, released a study called "Forbidden Fruit," that said illegal pesticides (any pesticide found exceeding the legal limit for that crop) contaminate 42 fruits and vegetables, and twelve are particularly unhealthy (in order): strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, peaches, Mexican canteloupe, celery, apples, apricots, green beans, Chilean grapes, and cucumbers.  Gerald Fraser, Jan 31 - Feb 14 issue of The Earth Times
...it's estimated that less than one percent of insects are pests.  Chemical-Free Yard & Garden, Rodale Press, 1991
The following facts are from the book Diet for a New America, by John Robbins:

World Hunger

Number of human beings who could be fed by the grain and soybeans eaten by U.S. livestock: 1,300,000,000

Percentage of corn grown in United States eaten by human beings: 20

Percentage of corn grown in United States eaten by livestock: 80

Percentage of oats grown in United States eaten by livestock: 95

Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90

Percentage of carbohydrate wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 99

Percentage of dietary fiber wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 100

How frequently a child dies of starvation: Every 2 seconds

Pounds of potatoes that can be grown on 1 acre of land: 20,000

Pounds of beef that can be produced on 1 acre of land: 165

Percentage of U.S. agricultural land used to produce beef: 56

Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 16

Pounds of protein fed to chickens to produce 1 pound of protein as chicken flesh: 5 pounds

Pounds of protein fed to hogs to produce 1 pound of protein as hog flesh: 7.5 pounds

Number of children who starve to death every day: 40,000

Number of pure vegetarians who can be fed on the amount of land needed to feed 1 person consuming meat-based diet: 20

Number of people who will starve to death this year: 60,000,000

Number of people who could be adequately fed by the grain saved if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 60,000,000

Topsoil Depletion

Historic cause of demise of many great civilizations: Topsoil depletion

Percentage of original U.S. topsoil lost to date: 75

Amount of U.S. cropland lost each year to soil erosion: 4,000,000 acres, the size of Connecticut

Percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly associated with livestock raising: 85

Number of acres of U.S. forest which have been cleared to create cropland to produce a meat-centred diet: 260,000,000

How often an acre of U.S. trees disappears: Every 8 seconds

Amount of trees spared per year by each individual who switches to pure vegetarian diet: 1 acre

Rainforest Destruction

A driving force behind the destruction of the tropical rainforests: American meat habit

Amount of meat imported annually by U.S. from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama: 200,000,000 pounds

Amount of meat eaten by average person in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Panama: Less than average American housecat

Current rate of species extinction due to destruction of tropical rainforests and related habitats: 1,000/year

Energy, True Cost

Length of time the world's petroleum reserves would last if all human beings ate meat-centered diets: 13 years

Length of time the world's petroleum reserves would last if all human beings ate a vegetarian diet: 260 years

Principal reason for U.S. military intervention in Persian Gulf: Dependence on foreign oil

Barrels of oil imported daily by U.S.: 6,800,000

Percentage of energy return (as food energy per fossil energy expended) of most energy efficient factory farming of meat: 34.5%

Percentage of energy return (as food energy per fossil energy expended) of least energy efficient plant food: 32.8%

Pounds of soybeans produced by the amount of fossil fuel needed to produce 1 pound of feedlot beef: 40

Percentage of raw materials consumed in U.S. for all purposes presently consumed to produce current meat-centred diet: 33

Percentage of raw materials consumed in U.S. for all purposes needed to produce fully vegetarian diet: 2

User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the United States: Livestock production

Quantity of water used in the production of the average cow sufficient to: Float a destroyer

Water needed to produce 1 pound of wheat: 25 gallons

Water needed to reduce 1 pound of meat: 2,500 gallons

Cost of common hamburger meat if water used by meat industry was not subsidized by U.S. taxpayers: $35/pound

Current cost for pound of protein from wheat: $1.50

Current cost for pound of protein from beefsteak: $15.40

Cost for pound of protein from beefsteak if U.S. taxpayers ceased subsidizing meat industry's use of water: $89

Feedlot Sewage

Production of excrement by total U.S. human population: 12,000 pounds/second

Production of excrement by U.S. livestock: 250,000 pounds/second

Sewage systems in U.S. cities: Common

Sewage systems in U.S. feedlots: Nil

Amount of waste produced annually by U.S. livestock in confinement operations which is not recycled: 1 billion tons

Relative concentration of feedlot wastes compared to raw domestic sewage: Ten to several hundred times more highly concentrated

Where feedlot waste often ends up: In our water

 

Buy the book: Diet for a New America

These are old numbers now, so just imagine...

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