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Michael Pollan: On the Steve Jobs of agriculture
By Tim Carman

Michael Pollan knows how to make tough information easy to swallow.
(Jahi Chikwendiu - WASHINGTON POST)
Michael Pollan may have one of the hardest jobs in the country: trying to encourage Americans to eat better — or at least better understand the current food system and how it has led to a diet that’s slowly making us sick.
The author and activist’s work sometimes leads him away from his computer and to venues like the Strathmore, where late last month he managed to pull off a careful balancing act. Pollan had to explain modern food manufacturing and complex agricultural policies while simultaneously keeping a music hall full of people entertained. He used props from the supermarket (sometimes known as processed foods). He used humor. He even used scare tactics.
On stage, he’s sort of like the Gallagher of the food movement, smashing old concepts instead of old vegetables.
I had a chance to sit down with Pollan for about 40 minutes before his Strathmore talk, which wasn’t nearly enough time to broach all the questions I had for him. Below is an edited excerpt of our conversation, the first of several planned for the All We Can Eat blog.
All We Can Eat: At an earlier stop on your tour, you told a Cleveland audience, “Really intelligent young people are getting into farming. Some will crash and burn, but someone will be the Steve Jobs of agriculture.” What do you imagine the Steve Jobs of agriculture will look like?
Michael Pollan: [Laughs.] I think the challenge is going to be to come up with farming systems that are sustainable, by which I mean don’t require a lot of fossil fuel and that are nevertheless quite intensive. The ability to produce large amounts of food in small spaces.
We have some examples. I think Joel Salatin is a possible contender. Will Allen, the urban farmer who has a very complex system involving fish and greens and other vegetables, where fish waste feeds the greens and the greens clean the water for the fish. So I’m talking about people who can come up with new rotations and new relationships between species to maximize production. I think there is a lot of experimenting going on.
The amazing thing is that it’s done without any help from the government. Very little research money goes into this. It’s just visionary farmers just figuring out how to do it. So I’m not talking about inventing a new vegetable we’re all going to want, but I’m talking about systems, devising innovative systems to use biology to grow food without a lot of fossil fuel inputs.
AWCE: I saw recently that Americans spend about 7 percent of their income on food. By contrast, China spends 33 percent of its income on food, France, 13.5 percent, and Japan, 14.2 percent. Americans seem to have this incapacity to spend more on food. How do you begin to change that?
MP: I think it’s an enormous challenge, because right now cheap food is baked into our economy and our society. It wasn’t always this cheap. When I was a kid, it was 18 percent of our income went to food, twice what it is now, at least. But we, beginning really with the Nixon administration, figured out ways to drive down the cost. This was a matter of agriculture policy and technological breakthroughs.
AWCE: Earl Butz.
MP: Earl Butz, exactly. And coming up with a system that promoted overproduction on the farms, and then that led to all this innovation in processing. How do you take all that cheap corn and soy and turn it into food? Or feedlots: Figuring out how to put animals in these highly concentrated operations and the use of pharmaceuticals that allow that to happen. So that has been the focus of our food system since the ’70s — driving down the cost of food.
We’ve gotten really good at it, but it turns out…that cheap food has enormous costs. In the same period of time that we went from spending 18 percent of our income on food to under 9 percent of our income on food, we’ve gone from spending 5 percent of our national income on health care to 17 percent of our income on health care. So we’re paying for that cheap food with our higher health care costs.
It’s not the whole story, obviously. There are other reasons that health care costs have gone up, but we could trade off spending more money for higher quality food and save enormously on health care costs. But there are no two entities putting those two things together. The government doesn’t put it together. They have agriculture policies that breed a health care crisis that they have to pay for with Medicaid and Medicare. The government operates at cross-purposes. The whole society operates at cross purposes.
AWCE: So how do you put that horse back in the barn?
MP: I don’t know the answer. I really don’t know the answer. I mean, it’s not enough to say we all should pay the true costs of food. We have to give people enough money to pay the true costs of food. It’s a bigger problem than the food movement alone can solve. It’s a social problem.
One of the reasons that Americans tolerated the decline in income from the ’70s to today, in real income…is that food was getting cheaper. People would not have tolerated that if food were getting more expensive or staying the same. So our ingenuity in driving down the costs of food, in the end, has subsidized the decline in wages. So we’re going to have to deal with the wage side, too, if you’re going to make food more expensive.
I mean, there are other things you can do. The government can shift the emphasis of its agricultural policies to make produce more affordable and soda less affordable. Right? Because we’re subsidizing soda right now. We have to align agricultural policy with health policy. That’s the challenge, in a nutshell.
AWCE: As you have mentioned, just cutting the ag subsidies to corn and soy is…
MP: It’s not going to solve the problem.
AWCE: Because a lot of these crops can’t be subsidized. They’re not durable. They don’t have the shelf life.
MP: Right, you can’t subsidize broccoli. A silo full of broccoli would be a compost pile. [Laughs.]
AWCE: A lot of people think, just cut the subsidies and subsidize something else. It doesn’t seem…
MP: It sounds right, you know, we should subsidize what we want to see more of. But the reason we got into subsidizing commodity crops is that they’re storable commodities. That’s the definition. So if you end up with an oversupply of corn, you can put it in a silo for five years, no problem.
If you want to encourage consumption and production of produce, you need to work on the demand side. I think that’s pretty well understood. You have to figure out a way — incentives for produce sections and supermarkets — to get the prices down. Vouchers to food stamp recipients expressly designed to buy produce, which would be very controversial. Food stamps advocates don’t believe there should be any restrictions on what you can buy with food stamps.
But let’s say you had a supplement, a $10-a-month produce supplement with your food stamps. That would do a great deal for moving the needle on American agriculture, and it would do a great deal for health in the population that struggles most with obesity and diabetes.
AWCE: That dovetails with something I wanted to ask you. Rule No. 13 in your recently updated book, “Food Rules,” says: “Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle.”
MP: [Laughs, anticipating the question.] Did you read that Journal piece? [Note: The story is about food manufacturers wanting to insert their products in the produce aisles.]
AWCE: The Journal piece. To me it was like: For every idea that the food movement comes up with, you’re dealing with a much larger business entity...
MP: And more intelligent. [Laughs.]
AWCE: That says, ‘I can go around this.’ How do you begin to compete with corporate America that can take every idea you, or anyone else in the movement has, and turn it against you?
MP: It’s a great question. Since I’ve been involved in this conversation with the public about how to eat and coming up with rules, there has been time after time where they have figured out a way...to take a rule and turn it into a new marketing campaign for junk food.
Haagen Dazs with their five campaign. I said — and I’m not the first to say this — ‘Don’t buy anything with more than five ingredients.’ They went out and started boasting, and it was the same five ingredients they had before. They didn’t change anything. Tostitos ran a TV ad where this woman picks up a thing that looks like Pringles or something, and she looks at the ingredients and says, “There are more ingredients in these chips than I’m going to have people to dinner.” Then she puts them back, and she takes Tostitos: “Only three ingredients!”
Now this latest thing, where we’ve been celebrating the produce section and the peripheries where you have this real food, so now the package-food people want to get in on that. And they’re very bold about it. They say, “We want the halo that comes with produce.” Well, that’s totally deceptive.
Fortunately, the supermarkets are resisting. They understand they’ve got something special, and the supermarkets are not in the same boat. We can generalize about Big Food, but supermarkets can make money selling many different things. They can make as much money selling fresh produce as they can package goods — and according to some I’ve talked to, even more. So they've got a cash cow in the produce section, and they’re not going to let Kraft [mess] it up. I mean, if they can help it.
So, yeah, the rule about shopping the peripheries is being eroded. What I did on the marketing was added a rule that said... “Don’t buy any foods that you see advertised on TV.” Anybody with that kind of marketing budget is selling packaged foods. Okay, the prune growers sometimes will get it together and get a public service ad on about prunes. The supermarket thing...well, that’s just another argument for going to the farmers market. They haven’t gotten in there yet.

Coming Monday: marketing food to children, the economy’s effect on the food movement and America’s ongoing love for McDonald’s.

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全日照  8個小時日照 瓜類、茄果類、豆類、山藥、豆薯(地瓜)。番茄、黃瓜、茄子、辣椒等喜溫中、強光性
蔬菜夏秋季生產,玉米、青椒、西瓜、南瓜、西紅柿、茄子、芝麻、向日葵類。
其次是根莖類,如:馬鈴薯、甜菜、胡蘿蔔、白蘿蔔、甘藷、山藥等等。至少需半日照,才能生長,芋頭雖喜歡全日照,但比其他蔬菜耐蔭。 
需要中等光照大白菜、甘藍、芥菜、蒜、洋蔥。 

長日性蔬菜白菜、甘藍、芥菜、蘿蔔、胡蘿蔔、芹菜、菠菜、萵苣、蠶豆、豌豆、大蔥、洋蔥。

短日性蔬菜豇豆、扁豆、莧菜、空心菜。         

中光性蔬菜黃瓜、番茄、茄子、辣椒、菜豆

菜豆

菜豆喜溫暖,不耐高溫和霜凍。菜豆種子發芽的適溫為20-30℃;在40℃以上的高溫和10℃以下的低溫,種子不易發芽。幼苗生長適宜氣溫為18-25℃。花芽分化的適宜氣溫為20-25℃,過高或過低溫度易出現發育不完全的花蕾、落花。

菜豆對光照強度的要求較高。在適宜溫度條件下,光照充足則植株生長健壯,莖的節間短而分枝多,開花結莢比較多,而且有利於根部對磷肥的吸收。當光照強度減弱時,植株易徒長,莖的節間長,分枝少,葉質薄,而且開花結莢數少,易落花落莢。

菜豆根系強大,能耐一定程度乾旱,但喜中度濕潤土壤條件,要求水分供應適中,不耐澇。生長期適宜土壤濕度為田間最大持水量的60%-70%,空氣相對濕度以80%為宜。開花結莢期對水分最敏感,此期土壤乾旱對開花結莢有不良影響,開花數、結莢數及莢內種子數減少。土壤水分過大時,下部葉片黃化,早脫落。空氣濕度過大會引起徒長、結莢不良。

菜豆具有深根性和根瘤菌,對土壤的要求不甚嚴格,但仍以土層深厚肥沃、排水良好的輕砂壤土或粘質壤土為好。土壤過於粘重、低溫、排水和通氣不良則生長不良,炭疽病重。菜豆喜中性至微酸性土壤,適宜的土壤pH為5-7.0,其中以州6.2-6.8最適宜。菜豆最忌連作,生產中應實行2-3年輪作。

菜豆生育過程中,主要吸收鉀和氮較多,還要吸收一定量的磷和鈣,才能良好發育。結莢期吸收磷鉀量較大。磷鉀肥對菜豆植株的生長發育、根瘤菌的發育、花芽分化、開花結莢和種子的發育等均有影響。缺乏磷肥,菜豆嫩莢和種子的品質和產量就會降低。缺鈣,幼葉葉片捲曲,葉緣失綠和生長點死亡。缺硼,則根係不發達,影響根瘤菌固氮,使花和豆莢發育不良。 耐陰半陰(大概3-4小時日照) 應選擇耐陰的蔬菜種植,如萵…

蝶豆花

蝶豆花 原產拉丁美洲的蝶豆花是一種典型的熱帶蔓藤植物,全年盛開。
butterfly pea,拉丁語叫:Clitoria ternatea,泰語叫Dok Anchan
中文名叫蝶豆花,藍蝶花,藍蝴蝶、蝴蝶藍花,還有蝴羊豆、豆碧等別名。
用蝶豆花當作高品位浪漫的茶品飲用、以及當作天然食品色素制作糕點是拉丁美洲和南洋國家的風情和習俗。
蝶豆花的味道自然甘甜,南洋國家的一些五星級酒店通常把蝶豆花茶當作高貴的迎賓茶來接待貴賓。
營養價值 蝶豆花具有豐富的維他命A,C和E, 而且可以提高免疫力, 幫助和促進皮膚的彈力和骨膠原, 同時還具有補腦,促進腦的活力,防止胃痛,抗憂郁、抗壓力、鎮靜、止驚厥、緩和情緒等天然保健功效。
蝶豆花中的天然藍色素,也是有療效的。如果將其加入檸檬並調制成花茶飲品,就是保健心臟血管的絕佳飲料。
食用價值 蝶豆花的可食部位是葉、花及嫩莢。較幼嫩的葉片及盛開的花朵,亦可拿來煮湯、油炸等。用嫩芽來炒肉絲或煮熟後食用,都十分可口。蝶豆花的葉及花的萃取液,可當作純天然的食品染料。

直達香草(herb4kitchen)
PS.營業用批量報價

錦鯉養殖基本知識

◎飼養與管理的重點 只要不是劇烈的變化,錦鯉很容易適應各水溫水質等環境的變化。並不是沒有大庭園就無法飼養,有人甚至在二樓陽台或頂樓陽台造水池飼養。然而我們是欣賞錦鯉雄壯豪邁之氣,因此水池盡量寬闊為宜,以水深1.2m以上為理想。魚池必須有底水排出,過濾循環等設備。用水不一定要取地下水,自來水也可以飼養。
<因為都市中有景觀安全的需求,及屋頂花園有荷重的需求,錦鯉池水深可以低到30cm左右。>
◎每天排水
A、糞或枯死的藻類全部送至過濾槽的話,耗氧量會增大,pH就下降,更會轉變為亞硝酸,增了過濾槽的負擔。為了盡量減輕過濾槽的負擔,每天至少把魚池的底水排水使固物排出去,把中間水送去沉澱槽及過濾槽。 
B、把固體廢物的魚糞集中排出,最好不要從池底打氣而是從排糞口的上方40~50公分打打氣。如此氣泡往上昇。池水產生對流。污物就集中於排糞口。
<可以設計水流把固體廢物盡量集中或排出到過濾系統中。>
◎過濾槽管理
A、細菌附著於濾材,分解固體廢物會消耗大量的氧。 
B、溶氧不足時,厭氧菌會把硝酸還原亞硝酸,或從碳酸氣發生沼氣,也會從硫酸分解產生硫化氫等有毒氣體。
<如果溶氧不足,可以優先把打氣設備放置到生化過濾槽中。>
◎溶氧要充份
A、水中溶氧不足的話,會影響錦鯉的生育,飼料的消化,,水質的維持等等。
B、硝酸,亞硝酸的濃度增高時,會影響溶氧量。所以優先去除硝酸及亞硝酸。
C、使用沸石可輕易去除硝酸,沸石量約等重於魚體總重量。
<沸石再生法,是將沸石浸泡25℃以上1:10食鹽水數小時,再以清水洗淨即可。>
◎水質的控制
水質硬度高的話,錦鯉肌膚經常會有少許充血的狀態。豔麗性也會慢慢消失,紅緋會上升。pH值低,肌膚變的很不好看,但是雖餵增色飼料,依然不見起色,徒增浪費。pH值7.1~7.5最適宜的。
◎鯉餌的重要性
良好的魚餌不會崩壞鯉的體型。餌的量也是在夏天水溫 高的時候,訂定停餌期間,才是整體來說使鯉變胖最重要的秘訣。如果還是想 要給很多餌的話,要增加循還量。錦鯉在水溫超過28度的時候,應給與相當於 鯉全體重量3%的餌。水溫25度時1.5%,水溫20度時0.3%,16度以下則要停止鯉餌,這就是鯉魚長得強壯的要訣。連續不斷地給鯉餌的話,引起內臟障礙, 而影響到鯉不會長壯,甚至導至體型的變歪。
◎魚病預防
水的管理與定期消毒都是很重要的步驟,…