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Steve Savage
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Attended Stanford, UC Davis
Lives in Encinitas (near San Diego)
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Steve Savage

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Why The Current Round Of Ag-Chem Consolidations Worries This Agricultural Scientist
This no-till field is good for the environment and the food supply. Such innovations involve many expert contributions I am concerned that we may be on the verge of a major loss of knowledge and experience in the agricultural sector. In the 40 years I have ...
This no-till field is good for the environment and the food supply. Such innovations involve many expert contributions I am concerned that we may be on the verge of a major loss of knowledge and experience in the agricultu...
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A New Gig For Bees: Start-up in Canada Enlists Bees To Deliver Pest Control Agents
A honey bee visits and apple blossom.  It may someday be protecting that flower from a bacterial infection (This post originally appeared on Forbes on 2/1/16 ) Bees and other pollinator insects are critical for the production of  15-30% of the crops  on whi...
A honey bee visits and apple blossom. It may someday be protecting that flower from a bacterial infection (This post originally appeared on Forbes on 2/1/16) Bees and other pollinator insects are critical for the productio...
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Is There Arsenic In Your Rice?
Brown Rice (image via Wikipedia) Over the past several years there has been an active discussion about whether the arsenic that is found in various crops is of significant health concern.  Arsenic occurs naturally in many soils, and it is taken up particula...
Brown Rice (image via Wikipedia) Over the past several years there has been an active discussion about whether the arsenic that is found in various crops is of significant health concern. Arsenic occurs naturally in many so...
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An extremely well done article on the bias inherent in imagry
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Chi Mel
There are no pesticides used in U.S. Ag with anything close to the persistence you claim and food residues are consistently low
This warning from the London "Tube" could apply to organic farming (This post originally appeared on Forbes 10/9/15) The productivity of organic farming is typically lower than that of comparable “conventional” farms. This ...
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The Productivity Of Organic Farming In The US: Mind The Gap
This warning from the London "Tube" could apply to organic farming (This post originally appeared on Forbes 10/9/15 ) The productivity of organic farming is typically lower than that of comparable “conventional” farms. This difference is sometimes debated, ...
This warning from the London "Tube" could apply to organic farming (This post originally appeared on Forbes 10/9/15) The productivity of organic farming is typically lower than that of comparable “conventional” farms. This ...
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Inconvenient Truth: There Are Pesticide Residues On Organic
(Originally posted on Forbes 2/8/16 ) A recent review article in the scientific journal  Nature Plants  makes the claim that organic produces "foods that contain less (or no) pesticide residues, compared with conventional farming."  That's not what the  lat...
(Originally posted on Forbes 2/8/16) A recent review article in the scientific journal Nature Plants makes the claim that organic produces "foods that contain less (or no) pesticide residues, compared with conventional far...
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How Satellite Technology Can Help California's Water Woes
(This post originally appeared on Forbes on 1/7/16 ) It's raining hard here in Southern California for the second day in a row. After four years of drought it's a welcome change, but it's also causing problems. Again today my cell phone sounded an alarm for...
(This post originally appeared on Forbes on 1/7/16) It's raining hard here in Southern California for the second day in a row. After four years of drought it's a welcome change, but it's also causing problems. Again today my ...
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Taking On the Merchants of Food Fear
New book available 10/29 from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and independent book stores (This post originally appeared on Forbes 10/29/15) Fear has always been an effective tool for exercising influence in society, but the internet age has enabled fear-based ...
New book available 10/29 from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, and independent book stores (This post originally appeared on Forbes 10/29/15) Fear has always been an effective tool for exercising influence in society, but th...
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A good critique of this talk
Last night we heard a talk by Diane Lewis, MD on The Great Healthy Yard Project (their web site is tghyp.com, run by Lewis from her home in Bedford, NY. Trained as a nephrologist (kidneys) and an i...
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Chi Mel,
The USDA data is separated between what fruits and vegetable are grown for the fresh market or for processing, so that isn't an artifact here.  Its interesting that you bring up the idea of the organic diet having less meat.  The biggest limiting factor on the expansion of most organic crops would be not having enough animal manure to use as fertilizer.  Organic growers are allowed to use manure or compost from conventional, but even with all of that you would not be able to fertilize 10% of what is currently grown.  Even the legumes need P and K.  Veganism and organic are quite incompatible
This warning from the London "Tube" could apply to organic farming (This post originally appeared on Forbes 10/9/15) The productivity of organic farming is typically lower than that of comparable “conventional” farms. This ...
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"Veganism and organic are quite incompatible"
Well it's a bit like saying homosexuality and society are incompatible. In both cases there is a place for both and nobody but extremists is pretending that one should replace the other for all crops. In both cases there are also middle grounds. The "gap" is not an antagonism.

Less beef does not mean vegetarian either, let alone vegan. There is no productive debate with such extremism. Organic consumers and farmers don't have only wrong premises, there are very good arguments to be respected in both types of farming. I personally think that the balance is on the organic side, including for increased food production, and I favor small local companies to global polluting chemical giants, but eventually it's up to the consumer to decide and to the farmer to adapt. Now if it's to replace the horizontal and vertical integration of conventional animal production with an organic equivalent, there would not be much to gain by switching to organics. But you can also view this as an opportunity to introduce new comers and reform the economic model a bit. Currently, there is not much incentive to farm when you have no control on the cost of your inputs and the price of your own production.

And there are vegan farmers too, I am sure they manage just fine on their scale, maybe with vegetal compost or mined P and K, even if it's not really sustainable in the long term. After all, phosphorus was first discovered in urine, of which we have an inextinguishable supply with all the coffee and tea and beer we drink... Brush compost is a great source of potash too (hence the "ash" part of its name when burning wood), it keeps the forests clean and less combustible, compost even generates heat or methane. Or we could probably get lots of potash from desalination plants if we manage to dissociate the different elements present in the slurry. It wouldn't be the only fertilizer that's a by-product of such industrial processes, like gypsum from the cleaning of coal power plants.
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Chi Mel,
There are plenty of European companies and research institutes who are developing (or trying to develop) GMO crop options.  Some of the earliest research in plant biotech was from Europe.  Still, I think it would be great if Europe became self sufficient for food so that they didn't need to keep messing with farming in other parts of the world
A deadline passed on Oct. 3 for countries in the EU to opt out of future "GMO Crop" planting approvals. This "opt out" arrangement was a compromise designed to also allow some other EU countries to move ahead with GM approval...
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Chi Mel - "If your wife's food intolerance comes from pesticides, then it's from those used on non-GMO soybeans."
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Well, as I've already stated, her problems were with the Alpro's original conventional grown industrial Soy, that stopped when she started drinking Alpro's Ecology Soy. Also as I stated, when I purchased the original Soy Milk drink once when they were out of Ecology Soy at the ICA Max store here in Göteborg, Sweden, she had allergies come back, but the amazing thing is I didn't tell her about not being able to purchase the ecology Soy. Only after the allergic reactions again did she question what I purchased. Go figure.

I've actually looked up Almond Milk products, but there is very little actual Almond in the product, mostly water and thickening agents. 
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Scientist, blogger, speaker
Employment
  • Self employed
    Agricultural scientist, present
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Currently
Encinitas (near San Diego)
Previously
Denver - Grand Junction, Colorado. Newark Delaware
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An agricultural scientist, consultant, speaker and blogger
Introduction
I've been involved in agricultural technology for more than 30 years.  I was originally trained as a plant pathologist but my career has taken me into many other disciplines and touched on many different crops and geographies.  I'm married, have three grown kids and one grand daughter.  I like to garden, and play guitar.

I'm passionate about meeting the challenge of feeding 9-10 billion people without destroying the environments.  I believe that technology is a big part of how we will do that and I am deeply concerned about the increasingly anti-science environment in which we live today. I've been blogging now for more than 5 years and increasingly doing public speaking on this topic.  My speaker website is www.drstevesavage.com 
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Helped start the Colorado Grape Grower's Association
Education
  • Stanford, UC Davis
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