Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Yes, We Would Say They’re Lying About Brazilian Soya

We’ve all rather grasped the idea that the Amazon is the lungs of the planet – it ain’t but we’ve been told it for so long – and that the Amazon is entirely irreplaceable – it ain’t, it’s mostly grown over the past few hundred years – and in general we should all Sting and worship at this altar of Gaia.

There are also those who would insist that international trade in stuff, especially food stuff, is a really bad idea and we must stop it. Because green, Gaia, etc, shut up peasants it’s now the four months of the year you get to eat turnips.

Mix and match the two together and you get the campaign against Brazilian soya:

Supermarkets and fast food outlets are selling chicken fed on imported soya linked to thousands of forest fires and at least 300 sq miles (800 sq km) of tree clearance in the Brazilian Cerrado, a joint cross-border investigation has revealed.

Tesco, Lidl, Asda, McDonald’s, Nando’s and other high street retailers all source chicken fed on soya supplied by trading behemoth Cargill, the US’s second largest private company. The combination of minimal protection for the Cerrado – a globally important carbon sink and wildlife habitat – with an opaque supply chain and confusing labelling systems, means that shoppers may be inadvertently contributing to its destruction.

The broadcaster and campaigner Chris Packham said the revelations showed that consumers needed to be given more information about their food. “Most people would be incredulous when they think they’re buying a piece of chicken in Tesco’s which has been fed on a crop responsible for one of the largest wholesale tropical forest destructions in recent times,” he said.

You see how this works? “Tropical forest destruction” means our Nando’s is burning the Amazon! Quick. Stop!

And the thing is this ain’t true. It’s not the Amazon they’re doing this to. Rainforest soils are truly terrible as places to go grow crops. So, people don’t. Well, OK, starving peasants burn down a few acres to grow runty corn for a year or three but capitalist farming doesn’t. There’s no point to it.

It’s the next area over:

which buys from farmers in the Cerrado, a woody tropical savanna that covers an area equal in size to Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined.

The Cerrado is not the Amazon. “Woody tropical savannah” means grassland with the occasional stand or clump of small trees. In terms of girt big trees it’s less forested than Gloucestershire.

Do look also at their claim. That an area about half the size of western Europe cannot, should not, be used to grow food. 2 million square kilometres is that Cerrado and they’re complaining that 800 square kilometres has been cleared (much more has, but their actual complaint here is about the 800). 0.04% that is. And 25% of the place is protected anyway.

No, really, think about this. Someone’s farming the area between, say, Farrington Gurney and Market Lavington and this really must stop because we’ve only the rest of Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to go.

They are, in effect, lying. They want to stop the international trade in food because localism. They know that the Amazon thing is fixed in our minds. So, they conflate the two.

In entirely unrelated news Chris Packham can go boil his head.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Total
0
Shares
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Raffles
Raffles
4 months ago

“The Amazon has mostly grown over the past few hundred years”

Really? Have you a source for that claim? A quick Google suggest that it is 21000 years old.

Genuinely interested in why you state this.

Raffles
Raffles
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim Worstall

Interesting article. Thanks.
I think the word “most” is unsupported though. As I read it the article is saying that a forest can recover if subjected to small scale clearing, not the massive scale we’ve seen in modern times.

Spike
Spike
4 months ago
Reply to  Raffles

Lefties lie about everything. I got asked for a citation yesterday on Twitter. She didn’t need it and neither do you. Lefties use #Science not to measure anything but to shush their adversaries.

However long the tropical swamp has been there, we have the technology to re-create it, if we needed it (and the only impartial measurement is profit). Meanwhile, fauna we can eat sinks carbon dioxide and emits oxygen just as swamp fauna does.

Spike
Spike
4 months ago

I had not heard this new bit of tenuous guilt-by-association, chicken feed is environmentally incorrect so my order of Chicken McNuggets is killing the rain forest. Anything to restrict our liberty with our consent – as we’ve seen with Covid.

John B
John B
4 months ago

But is it chlorinated?

Bongo
Bongo
4 months ago

Roll on leaving the EU customs union. Back in 2016 the representative of US chicken exports association (it had a proper name but I don’t recall it) came on Radio 4 and said the reason USA chicken is cheaper is because the USA has the world’s cheapest animal feed. Costs of battery chicken production from barn to fork were about the same in the USA as the UK, he said. So in January 2021 the UK can work something out to allow the chicken producers to get cheaper feed from USA and not from Brazil, if it wants to. Alas,… Read more »

Arthur the Cat
Arthur the Cat
4 months ago

Interesting snippet in Wikipedia on savannas:

“Savannas are subject to regular wildfires and the ecosystem appears to be the result of human use of fire.”

I.e. savannas are like the Downs, a human creation.

Snarkus
Snarkus
4 months ago

Tims right about Amazon and at least in Oz, northern rainforest has been invading dry schlerophil forest, (eucalypts to most people) after the local natives were stopped from frequent burnoffs. The first explorers such as Ludwig Leichardt described grass plains where there is now endangered rain forest. As for Amazon, LIDAR is showing remnants of cities, causeways and roads under tree canopy. built by a huge agricultural civilisation as described by first explorers. Explorers 50 year later found nothing but jungle. Sociologists are finding cultural relics of a big organised society such as families who are special, royalty in fact.

Can you help support Continental Telegraph?

If you can spare a few pounds you can donate to our fundraising campaign below. All donations are greatly appreciated and go towards our server, security and software costs. 25,000 people per day read our sites and every penny goes towards our fight against the Establishment. We don't take a wage and do what we do because we enjoy it and hope our readers enjoy it too.


Donate
9
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x