Sunday, 24 June 2012


I’m thankful for the darkness
As the tears stream down my face
I wonder if you’re there Lord
And you fill me with your grace
 I wonder why we suffer
Why you allow these things to pass
I need your blood and body
I need your Christian Mass
But, Lord were learning as we suffer
To know that you are there
It may be through the rain drops
To know your loving care
The many sleepless nights we sleep
To know that we depend
Lord, your love is so unfailing
You love will heal and mend

English Vintner

Saturday, 23 June 2012


How can I say I love you,
in a thousand different ways
How can I show you love
when it’s not on my mind
My love for you is paling
Compared to how you love
Scars and feelings tearing
Freedom slowly flows
Art is an expression, 
of my own love for you
But how can this expression
be more than my inflection?
My love for you is failing
compared to who you are
It’s scary to me also
how shallow my life is
There’s nothing other in me
but somehow carry on
What’s wrong is the beginning
the beginning of a song

English Vintner

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

What is Organic Food?

What is Organic Food? Wilkipedia defines it as Foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.
This definition leaves a lot of leeway on how to grow things ‘organically’. If you walk into a grocery store and see the label Organic it can be somewhat of a disillusion as to how it was grown. From the definition it might sound like a plant grown naturally, without the use of pesticides, fertilizers and GM seeds. However, ‘Organic’ doesn’t prohibit the use of those, only limits the options of what you can use. Most ‘Organically’ grown food is grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, the difference is that they are ‘naturally’ derived not synthetically made. I say ‘naturally’ because some could argue about how ‘natural’ it is when you subtract it and use it in high concentrations. At this point you could ask the question how is it any better? Organic farmers can still use hybrid seeds, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Why grow it this way if you are going to call it ‘Organic’? Easier: marketing and money. The label ‘Organic’ drives the price very high, resulting in food sold for even twice as much as other food. 
Is ‘Organic’ really any better? It seems that we still have to use pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, we still use hybrid seeds. So is there any real difference? If you look at the ‘Organic’ agriculture you will see that the difference is probably not huge, some even argue that ‘Organic’ farms use more pesticides on their crops. Potatoes and apples for instance, grown Organically use lots of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. However, if you look at the crops on a whole, only 2-3% use poison control. The preferred method by many is the use of insects which prey upon bugs damaging the plants. 
But still, why should we go Organic? We still have to use some form of protection in the form of poisons or expensive insects, don’t we? Well, we do live in a fallen world. The curse is on everything, from the rose on the bush to the tall strong oak. We don’t have perfect soil or plants any more. However, through the use of good organic practices we can obtain some form of agriculture method that can result in a pesticide free, herbicide free, fungicide free farming. 
How can this be done? First of all let me tell you what good organic farming looks like. Tilling is something that man has done for centuries, and yet, is it really necessary? In fact it is not necessary. Look around you, in the forest. What do you find there? First you find a layer, of dead leaves and branches that form a thick mulch not allowing many weeds to penetrate into the soil in which to grow and become a ‘nuisance’. 
Second, if you dig underneath the mulch you will find a loose, friable, airy soil, that smells clean. How does it become like this? This is the result of the decomposition of leaves being pulled under by earthworms and being composted by bacteria. 
Thirdly you will find soil that is not overly dry or wet. The mulch on top displaces the water when there is too much, and holds in water until it is full, like a sponge. Do the trees ever get watered except by rain? Do the trees get fertilized, except from the composting of the dead leaves and droppings of animals? Do the trees need a herbicide to keep down weeds? Or pesticides or fungicides? The answer is no. Generally you find healthy plants growing by themselves without our help.
How can we take this and put it into our farming methods? Composting and mulch are the two answers. The use of good compost will do several things. Compost holds much more water than soil does, resulting in less watering. It also provides nutrients from the decomposed matter as well as a soil that is light, airy and rich. 
Mulching does several things as well. The first thing it does is it provides a barrier between the soil and the rain and sun. This keeps the soil from drying out and getting packed down. Second if you are using a mulch such as wood chips, the outer surface of the mulch is dry and seeds will not germinate on it, meaning weeds are no longer a problem. Thirdly it holds in lots of water as well as breaking down into compost while on the soil.

Okay, so you have a good soil that holds water and doesn’t require buying fertilizer. But don’t you still need to use some sort of pest control? Well, let’s first address the reason why bugs eat plants? Bugs eat plants to live, but the interesting thing is they eat plants that are unhealthy. Deficient in a nutrient or under stress. So now our goal is no longer to keep bugs from eating the plants, but to figure out the problem with the soil and fix it. We are no longer trying to cover up the wound, but trying to clean it out and fix the problem. Once we have a soil that is airy, rich in nutrients, holds water, and doesn’t have weed problems our plant can grow healthy and strong, and a strong plant can withstand a lot. 
We now have a strong healthy soil that will produce healthy plants. Work is minimal, cost is minimal and the return is very rewarding! With a method like this the yield is higher than conventional and the food is healthier! I believe under the right system, Organic Farming can result in higher yields and a sustainable growing system that will support us for much longer than conventional farming methods. I believe that despite the curse, God’s creation shows a good example of what good farming methods look like, look to God and see what he has made and learn from Him.

English Vintner

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Organic Foods Unhealthy and Bad for Environment

Organic Food
The other night Penn & Teller: Bull! aired a new episode discussing Organic Foods and interviewed several scientists as well as organic food activists in order to determine whether organic foods were actually healthy or not. Some interesting facts came about and all the arguments for organic foods were suddenly debunked.
Contents [hide]
The LA Times also reported on Organic foods as well supporting Penn & Teller's conclusions.

Good For The Environment

Organic food supporters kept discussing how organic food is better for the environment, with less toxins being absorbed by the soil and little to no preservatives or pesticides.
Turns out, pesticides and preservatives are used in organic food. In fact, in order to not use "synthetic" pesticides (which the American cancer society has found no link to a cause of cancer and pesticides) these organic companies have to use more poisonous and even more deadlier pesticides that damage the environment.
The amount of land used to grow organic foods actually means that more trees are cut down and more green land needs to be destroyed.
If all farmers in the world went organic, there would be 3 billion people starving (and many more who cannot afford it). Price of food would skyrocket, that can lead to war--so stop eating organic food and support world peace!

Better Taste

The Penn & Teller: BS episode tried various blind taste tests, and it seems like the non-organic foods actually taste better most of the time and no one can tell the difference either.
Organic Foods
The idea of organic tasting better seems only to be psychological in nature.


Organic food is frequently claimed to be healthier. Due to more poisonous pesticides being used, it's probably not.
Organic Antioxidants
The LA times article as well as Penn & Teller both conclude that there are no extra nutrients in organic food. The article also concludes that there are very little differences in terms of the growing of organic foods (only in pesticide).


Lately, we've heard from many people who are under this growing belief that cancer rates are skyrocketting--that diseases are caused by chemicals in our foods--or that unnatural or chemical-based products are bad for you.
This fear is generated by a lack of knowledge of chemistry, biology, and a lack of attention to scientific journals and constant bad news that is spread by the media (because bad news generates more viewers).
Don't get started on genetically enhanced food, that scares everyone. Even though most genetic engineers will tell you how harmless it is and how well researched everything is (one even compared it to cooking).
Of course, that doesn't mean go and buy all the artificial products and supplements in the world (chances are, you don't need them).
However, it would be good for you to know that, since the 1950s, cancer rates have dropped in all categories (whether that's because of treatments or reduced causes of cancer, we may not know for certain). The reason we hear bigger numbers for cancer deaths are because of population increases.

Now here is a comment left in the comment section by someone, I thought it was well written and good thoughts on the matter.

First of all, the environmental impact of organic farming is less than that of conventional farming, because organic farming practices actually maintain carbon levels in the soil, thus creating more sustainability during weather changes, droughts, etc.
Second, the yield for organic farming may be worse for some particular crops (like potatoes for example), but is actually comparable or better in some cases for other crops like (meaning the same amount of land needed -- no more trees cut down than conventional farming). Given this information, on top of that, the impact on the eco-system surrounding organic farms is lessened and it has been shown that the diversity of wildlife is higher in areas where organic farming is implemented.
Synthetic pesticides that are used on conventional farms have been shown to kill animals, reduce reproductive capabilities, and has been shown to harm some people that eat the food. Also, the Soil Association's guidelines for organic farmers only allow them to use 4 types of pesticides--where conventional farmers use over 300 different types. Of the four types that organic farmers can use, they are composed of materials like softsoap or rotenone (natural origin), or simple chemical products containing copper and sulfur (which break down naturally with sunlight minimizing any environmental effect). As for the copper compounds, the copper is already naturally occurring in the soil, and most conventional farmers actually have to manually add copper to the soil to correct for their copper deficiencies (because their soil is nutrient deficient). I'd love to see the references that Pen and Teller have for their claim that organic farmers use much more deadly pesticides, because the research out there just doesn't support that claim. It is true that organic potato farmers and organic orchard farmers use pesticide spray more than conventional farmers (in many cases)--but in terms of overall farming, organic farmers spray only 2-3% of their crops.
As for the nutritional benefits of organic food versus conventional, number one the animals that eat organic feed are healthier overall as their diet is closer to what they naturally eat anyways, and contain less deadly pesticides. Due to higher overall health of the animals, there is no need for routine use of antibiotics, so the residue that is often found in conventional farmed meats isn't a problem in organic farmed meat. In terms of nutrients in the food that we eat, many studies have shown that organic food is higher in antioxidants, flavinoids, and other vitamins. Organic produced milk is higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A, than non-organic milk. Organic standards also prohibit a huge list of additives that are present in non-organic food reducing food allergies and many adverse health effects.
The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) actually agrees that organic farming will help meet the needs that global food needs require, better than conventional farming for numerous reasons including sustainability, less resources needed, less irrigation needed due to better water retention in the soil, etc. I think the evidence speaks for itself. The Pen and Teller conclusion was based on false pretenses and cherry-picked research if anything. They should have looked at global evidence and overall research if they weren't so concerned with their own personal agenda.

English Vintner

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

This is unedited, and I don't have the time to edit, otherwise I would've.

I just had someone threaten the existence of all that I have worked and believed in for the past three years. What do I think? The person who it was I had great expectations, I expected to love him, his work, and what he had to say about the environment. What I was met with was not what I expected. I wasn’t judging him by the first, or by the second lecture, I’m still not judging him, I think he has a lot of good ideas and is doing a good job, and I even agree with him on many other things, but when he THROWS out, yes throws out that organic agriculture has actually ANY good at all, and that conventional modern agriculture and science are the way to do it, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Afterwards I regretted asking his opinion because, after knowing it, I’d rather I hadn’t known. How can someone say that? In other words until modern genetic engineering and artificial growth hormones, and fertilizer we were killing our selves by growing organic food. 
I don’t think I want to get into a personal conversation with him, that will make me dislike him more. 
I am still in shock, I didn’t realize that people out there actually, really believed that GMO was GOOD for you!? I can understand a company like Monsanto, or someone working for them, and only for the money, but to actually think they are much BETTER? 
I have done hours and hours and hours of research over the web. I’ve read books and books about health, food, and agriculture. I have personally seen the results of Organic gardening.
Health issues I take with GMO. 

First, when you start mixing up genes you start raising some eyebrows, but when the genes you are putting in are from a pesticide? You’ve really got me worried. And then the fact that when you do that you are altering the protein form (like in GM Wheat) which alters it in a way making it harmful for your body when you eat it. But if you think GMO is good, where does it stop? Do you believe in poisoning the soil to the extent of killing of all forms of bacteria and beneficial insects? How can you actually believe that plants grow better on artificial forms of NPK and NOT have trace minerals and elements, and then they are HEALTHIER? I just don’t understand, how something growing in poor soil can be healthier.
Agriculture, well. Let’s just say I don’t believe he’s seen the right methods of Organic Agriculture. I’ve done hours of research on Organic gardening, farms, and methods of Organic Farming, and I’ve seen results that were better than conventional.
Sustainable agriculture according doesn’t seem to line up with GM grown crops. Chemical fertilizers add salt to the soil which will build up and cause a problem. They also kill or force insect and bacterial life out of the soil. Organic gardening done the right method doesn’t need fertilizer, water (except at planting), pesticides or herbicides in a good system. All these can be done with simple organic practices. 
The more I hear from the GMO side of the debate the more I want to spend my career showing that Organic Farming can result in higher, healthier, and reduce the amount of water, fertilizer, and poison use in farming. There are many places where groups have gone in and changed the farmers from conventional to organic and the result was a yield 5x higher! They actually started making money and having a surplus for themselves.
The reason why America has the agriculture that it has is because of money. A good organic farming system would be cheaper than the billions spent on farming each year, thus the fertilizer companies, pesticide/herbicides companies would all but go out of business and not be making nearly as much money. The agriculture system we have comes down to money. What makes more money, GMO crops or Organic? Organic might on the outset look like more intensive labor, but with the right system could easily be much cheaper. Conventional farming uses chemicals to make the plant grow, and chemicals to keep insects of the plant as it grows, thus requiring vast amounts of money to grow it.
With perfect soil having all the nutrients (that includes trace nutrients) a plant will be completely healthy. A healthy plant will not attract insects to it, thus a healthy soil results in a plant without the need for insecticides to grow. Conventional Farming doesn’t fix the problem, it just covers it up for a while. 

English Vintner