WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Author and food-choice advocate Joel Salatin declared his Virginia organic livestock farm is five times more efficient than comparable farms during a one-hour talk and Q-and-A at Williams College on Thursday (Feb. 23).
"We are averaging five times the biomass production per acre of any farm in the county -- five times -- 400 cow days per acre compared to 80 cow days per acre," said Salatin, of Polyface Farms in Swoope, Va. "Now, if some trans-genetic modification company figures out a way to increase production by 2 percent, they get a week of press on New York Times. I'm telling 'ya we can quintuple it and build soil in the process, and run it on real-time, real-carbon cycling from solar energy, right now!"
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His one-hour talk highlighted his book, The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer to a full house at the 250-seat Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall was laced with humor, hubris and mispronounciation of the USDA and FDA. He described soil as alive, the challenge of genetically-modified organisms, a main-stream media "bought and paid for" by agribusiness, the need to promote agriculture to children.
"We are growing young people today who have never watched the mystery of a seed turn into a plant, What can possible be more pleasurable than eating food from plants in soil that you cultivated," said Salatin.
He said the average American male between 20 and 35 years of age spends 20 hours a week playing video games, said Salatin, adding: "Is it really more pleasurable to be the top scorer on Angry Birds?" The problem with video games, he said, is it gives the player the false sense that he or she is in complete control of everything. In the real world, plants or livestock die if they aren't properly cared for.