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Humble Spud Poised to Launch Food Revolution


Stashed in: Awesome, Plants!, World Hunger, World Hunger, Botany

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Last week the project beat 560 competitors from 90 countries to win the prestigious USAid grand challenge award for its salt-tolerant potato. “It’s a game changer,” said de Vos. “We don’t see salination as a problem, we see it as an opportunity.”

again.. another good idea misguided.  The real money in agriculture is in industrial crops like corn, hemp, and cotton. Come up with salt-tolerant versions of those and the fertile lands can revert to food production.... Reminds me of the hyperloop thing: a good idea which will go nowhere b/c it's designed for people instead of commerce.

Excellent point.

Well that means that someone without a profit motive (NGO? Non-profit? Foundation?) could take these findings to places where the need for food exists and the for-profit industries don't want to be.

I'd love to see the humble potato go where it's needed.

Putting sea water on agricultural land is probably a really bad idea no matter how bad the land. Also expect the lunatic anti-GMO fringe to kill this idea off in no time.

I'm not sure the anti-GMO people focus on more humanitarian efforts trying to assuage World Hunger.

They seem focused on corporations.

There's an old joke, "What is Dutch language?"

"It's speaking German with a potato in your mouth..."  Leave it to the Dutch to always be pimping out their potatoes.

As happy as Dr Arjen de Vos looks on his pile of potatoes, there's nothing new here, except the spin of everyone looking at this agricultural method in relation to fresh water scarcity.  Diluted sea water and, more specifically, the sea minerals in suspension within it, has long been understood to be one natural way to supplement denuded soils, if not a way to reclaim them.  

Even an idiot like me has been doing this for years, but since I'm landlocked in Austin, I just order the stuff online by the bagful instead of taking my bucket seaside:

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Yes, our oceans hold the majority of water on earth, and also the majority of all trace minerals that used to be in our soils.  Industrial agricultural has merely accelerated a millennia long process of denuding our soils of trace minerals faster than the natural cycles of life can replenish them.  Where once we had hardscrabble methods of farming healthy soils with hundreds of incredibly diverse trace minerals, we now have mono crop fields pumping out high-yield crops at densities that not only never lay fallow or have animals poop and die upon them to regenerate their natural cycles, but now simply siphon on only what Round-up Ready Monsanto decides to put in their downline production runs.  And yummy, plants just love that lack of shit.

Natural minerals in suspension in sea water can be applied in diluted ratios to most all types vegetable and fruit agriculture as well as animal husbandry (apologies, but somehow I can't upload a rotated version of this pic):

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Some of the local farmers here in central Texas also use sea water minerals on their produce and bring that to our local farmers market.  Tastes great!

Some chefs prefer sea salt because of those sea minerals.

Makes sense that it would make some of the produce taste better.

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