For this second episode (27 minutes) on the Business of Food, Professor Richard Walker discusses the history and continued use of pesticides (the concept of gas chambers was started in the fields of California) and the describes the variety of available fruits and vegetables thanks to the State's melting pot of nationalities.
Dr. Walker continues with the logic of growing rice in the desert (there is none, except that it is a best seller in Japan), the agricultural lobby's inordinate influence in water allocation rights (Governor Jerry Brown’s multi-billion dollar tunnels project) and closes with why the drought has caught so many off guard.
California is a world leader in agriculture. Take note, this is not about farming, this is agricultural capitalism and it is relentless.
The State's growers take the finding of markets, killing pests and turning out a variety of food that is the envy of the world very seriously. Nearly endless water rights and labour standards right out of Steinbeck (the harvest gypsies of the 21st century) have allowed these growers to profit enormously.
In this first episode of two (26 minutes), UC Berkeley Professor Richard Walker walks us through the State's climactic trump cards, the industry's early application of technology in the 19th century and how it has adapted to current technology to increase production through apps, GPS and other means. He closes this episode with a discussion of the role that genetically modified organisms play, the tendency to have smaller companies and the key role that immigrants play in the industry, putting food on the table not only in the United States, but around the world.
Episode two, to be released around 20 December, will discuss the history and continued use of pesticides, the variety of fruits and vegetables thanks to the State's melting pot, the logic of growing rice in the desert, the agricultural lobby's influence in water allocation rights and why the drought has caught many off guard.
In this episode, EPIC’s Rob DiPerna discusses the split in the community between those favouring logging and those against it. He details the Headwaters “deal” reached between the US government and Maxxam and its consequences.
Rob also walks us through some of the challenges in being “certified”, specifically for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and how the private sector’s regulation is not always what it seems. Finally, he takes us through the work that still needs to be done in the forests and shares with us his favourite place in California (no surprises here, but it’s very specific).