Re: Irradiation

sgh1@cornell.edu (Steve Hall) wrote:

>Jeff Gold wrote:

>        It seems we should be asking questions not just about new
>technologies, but about existing ones as well.  It appears that it is
>possible to prevent new technologies or at least hold them at bay for a bit.
>What about moving toward more sustainable use of the ones we have?  Any

Interesting topic! Ok, here's my $0.02:

At the producer level: 

Education seems to be the key. Farmers are really reluctant to do
anything they feel they HAVE to do. However, if they can see a benefit
to it, such as financial benefits in crop rotation vs. intensive
pesticides/fertilizers, and often, if "their neighbour is doing it"
and it seems to be working..  then it might be willing to give it a
try. But policies ENFORCING sustainable practices don't usually work.
We've had an issue here with a wetlands protection policy where all it
did was polarize most rural communities, and discredit any shred of
credibility that government extension workers had  for some

The decision to "do the right thing" has to come from within the
producer/landowner/farmer. But how to get these "good news stories"
into the agricultural press, and other media is a difficult sell. In
my experience, I've seen that the media doesnt seem to pick up on
issues that are  not really "scandalous". Continue to target these
messages to specialized publications, and find ways to promote more
"sustainable practices" - whatever they may be, seem to be good

At other levels: 

Without getting into detail, economic incentives and de-centives often
can have a great impact on what people do (Money talks!!) We've got a
few incentive programs around here (managed forest tax rebates,
conservation land tax easements) that sort of fade in and out with
each successive provincial government. However I've seen more
conservation practices go on when there is some kind of incentive
program in place. 

I guess the complexity of the whole system requires really deep
examination! Anyone care to talk about the food/land-use system
anywhere else, and continue the discussion, go for it!
Patti Story, P.Ag. 
Ottawa, Canada.