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Start Taxing Organic Products To Conserve Water?

    California is now in the fourth year of extreme drought and our Governor is telling us that we need to reduce our water consumption by 25%. He is proposing a long list of directives, however, water-policy analyst agree that California’s thirst for water won’t be seriously reduced until consumers are hit with higher prices for water.

    Terry L. Anderson and Henry I. Miller, both fellows at Stanford University, believe they have a better idea – they want to start taxing water-wasting organic products to reduce their demand.OrganicFoodHealth_m_0904

    They refer to a 30-year side-by-side trial performed by the Rodale Institute where yields of organic and conventional farms were compared. The study showed that conventional farming beat organic handily in “total system yields” (by 30%), nitrogen efficiency (by 60%), and labor (by 35%).

    Another survey they refer to was performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That survey consisted of 14,450 organic farms, covering 4.1 million acres. When compared to conventional farms, they found that organic corn yields are 30% lower, organic rice yields are 41% lower, organic spring wheat yields are 53% lower, organic tangerine yields are 48% lower, and organic lettuce yields are 70% lower.

    Molecular genetic-modification techniques are banned in organic agriculture. The authors went on to say that not only do genetically engineered crops offer higher yields with less use of insecticides, they can also be crafted to use water much more efficiently. Their goal is for us to get “more crop for the drop”.

    Does this mean our school teachers are going to tell students that in order to save our state we need to stop buying water-wasting organic products? Will they be taught to only eat genetically modified foods? Wow, I never thought I’d ever hear anything like this!