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(Spiegel)   Redefining the economic system or "Did you know it takes 12 pounds of fish as feed to produce 2 pounds of salmon?"   (spiegel.de) divider line 44
    More: Interesting, German Finance Minister, University of Surrey, record sealing, civil services, Club of Rome, environmental degradation, economists  
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1925 clicks; posted to Business » on 03 May 2013 at 11:04 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-03 10:00:18 AM
Large fish eat smaller fish. This must stop!
 
2013-05-03 10:02:17 AM
I think it is a fantastic idea that people are currently too intellectually lazy to embrace as it would take a complete paradigm shift.  But it's something to aspire to.

The general idea appeals to me greatly, reminds me of the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness.
 
2013-05-03 11:09:06 AM
If you can make cereal taste like steak I'll eat that instead.
 
2013-05-03 11:17:24 AM

you have pee hands: If you can make cereal taste like steak I'll eat that instead.



What he said^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Within reasonable boundaries part of life is enjoying what life has to offer.  I'll be damned if I give up chicken, fish, or steak just so I can eat more grain to help some theoretical person in some faraway land take a breath.

I live in an area that supports clean water, dairy farming, raising meat-based animals, and the great outdoors for a reason.
 
2013-05-03 11:18:17 AM

brap: I think it is a fantastic idea that people are currently too intellectually lazy to embrace as it would take a complete paradigm shift.  But it's something to aspire to.

The general idea appeals to me greatly, reminds me of the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness.


It's a shame that the book is in German; now we'll never know what it says.
 
2013-05-03 11:19:17 AM
So what subby? The average american eats over 850 pounds of meat a year, which is slightly more than the average american weighs.
 
2013-05-03 11:21:17 AM
The future: kelp diets with a side of algae.
 
2013-05-03 11:22:13 AM

CPennypacker: So what subby? The average american eats over 850 pounds of meat a year, which is slightly more than the average american weighs.


Solent green isn't green.
 
2013-05-03 11:24:15 AM
Do you know that a 2lb salmon will produce 10 lbs of poop in it's lifetime.
 
2013-05-03 11:35:40 AM
My God, it's almost as if subby is beginning to understand how a food chain works!
 
2013-05-03 11:42:53 AM
Yeah, but you can't put Jack Daniel's Sweet Teriyaki FlavorSplosion Glaze Sauce on fish feed like you can on farmed salmon.
 
2013-05-03 11:49:39 AM
I'm glad that we're looking to a social psychologist whose career has been investigating the psyche of Nazi war criminals as the individual most qualified to redefine our economic system.
 
2013-05-03 11:51:39 AM
Yeah I was about to enjoy a nice trout filet when the waiter took it right off my plate and said "Sorry sir, we need to use this to grow more fish..."

Oh no, wait a minute, its lips, assholes and guts that are ground up in to pellet form as feed... or chicken McNuggets but that's another thread.
 
2013-05-03 11:58:49 AM
i.imgur.com
 
2013-05-03 11:59:47 AM

Dwedit: [i.imgur.com image 640x480]


Fark! wrong thread...
 
2013-05-03 12:00:14 PM
I do my part by not having children. This entitles me to drive a Hummer and eat all the damn steak I want. If everyone would stop having six farking kids, there would be plenty of luxuries for everyone to consume without unsustainably damaging the environment and ecosystem. There should be about 2 billion people on the planet. I'm not going to give up my luxuries to see to the welfare of some selfish asshole who wants to have ten kids.
 
2013-05-03 12:02:10 PM

Dwedit: [i.imgur.com image 640x480]


Electric Six is always relevant.
 
2013-05-03 12:02:22 PM

Dwedit: Dwedit: [i.imgur.com image 640x480]

Fark! wrong thread...


Might be even funnier out of context.
 
2013-05-03 12:02:27 PM
I was touring a fish farm in college, while they were feeding the fish we dared a guy to eat a fish pellet. From what he described it tasted like it's better for the fish to eat em.
 
2013-05-03 12:03:46 PM
i do wonder about this. the idea that perpetual growth is what drives our entire system seems to be fundamentally flawed in a world where we have limited resources. it probably wont completely collapse in my lifetime (say the next 60 years, i'm feeling lucky) but it seems like it is inevitable that we'll need to change our entire economic system eventually, maybe we should start now- if we can ease into it will be better than pushing it to the very limit and then suffering an epic collapse
 
2013-05-03 12:41:44 PM

joepainter: Do you know that a 2lb salmon will produce 10 lbs of poop in it's lifetime.


Some MBA is reading this thread and thinking to himself "what if we could stop them from pooping..."
 
2013-05-03 12:57:22 PM
How many pounds of fish would a wild salmon eat?

Some people just have no clue about the cycle of life.
 
2013-05-03 01:02:37 PM
our entire western economic model is really based on population growth and consumption.   if you dont' have population growth then the only other method of economic growth is through conspicuous consumption.   He's talking about what happens to the worlds economic model when populations stop growing. When only money growth will come from people buying junk that breaks down rapidly.  When we are (and this is happening now) only experiencing debt fueled growth.   When we are burning through resources that aren't there.

It's all gotta change or it's going to collapse.
 
2013-05-03 01:03:13 PM
Also remember: 12 pounds of sea-bound protein - that doesn't mean it's 10 more pounds of fish we'd eat. Lots of things we can make into fish feed pellets that we'd just throw away or back into the ocean.
 
2013-05-03 01:03:18 PM
A better title for this would be "Why do you think you're entitled to that high spot on the food chain?" We should all be eating plankton or algae, I guess.
 
2013-05-03 01:27:40 PM

BumpInTheNight: joepainter: Do you know that a 2lb salmon will produce 10 lbs of poop in it's lifetime.

Some MBA is reading this thread and thinking to himself "what if we could stop them from pooping..."


Meanwhile, in marketing, "I wonder if we could label salmon crap as some sort of delicacy?"
 
2013-05-03 01:33:48 PM

bromah: our entire western economic model is really based on population growth and consumption.   if you dont' have population growth then the only other method of economic growth is through conspicuous consumption.   He's talking about what happens to the worlds economic model when populations stop growing. When only money growth will come from people buying junk that breaks down rapidly.  When we are (and this is happening now) only experiencing debt fueled growth.   When we are burning through resources that aren't there.

It's all gotta change or it's going to collapse.


Capitalism is a means to an end, not an end in of itself.
 
2013-05-03 01:59:26 PM
The problem with all these things is that, eventually, you have to throw out capitalism, because capitalism is based on consumption and growth. If people have their needs met and don't go out and "consume", the machine stops. You can have an economy that works quite well this way, it just can't be anything at all like the current economy - many societies in the past have lived within their means, and there are even some today which do as well (just not many).

I think it would be extremely socialist or distributist, "from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs". It would require shared and distributed wealth (perhaps a gift economy), and the ability to get rich and stand above everyone while buying ridiculous toys would have to go. A right to housing would probably strip have the crap out of the economy, really - most people spend half their time working for rent. No rent, no need to consume as much. No need to drive to work every day, etc.

In any case, whether we do this on purpose or on accident, at some point there will come a reckoning. If you consume more than the earth can support, you must strip the earth... at some point the resources run low and you have to change your behavior. I think oil is still likely to be the driver, as production is very close to flat while demand is rising as the developing world, well, develops. I suspect there will be a move to a more electric world (electric trains, cars, etc) based on solar and (sadly) coal and gas. But global warming could be the driver, too - if climate destabilizes fast enough to impact food production, things will not go well.

I think it will be forced. Just look at what people are saying here. Nobody wants to eat meat less often. Nobody wants to give up maguro (which is why bluefin will probably go extinct, at least in the Atlantic). The entire system is built on profit, consumption, and destruction of resources. It's also extremely hierarchical, with social standing based primarily on money and ability to consume. There is no room for "good enough".
 
2013-05-03 02:03:07 PM

bromah: our entire western economic model is really based on population growth and consumption.   if you dont' have population growth then the only other method of economic growth is through conspicuous consumption.   He's talking about what happens to the worlds economic model when populations stop growing. When only money growth will come from people buying junk that breaks down rapidly.  When we are (and this is happening now) only experiencing debt fueled growth.   When we are burning through resources that aren't there.

It's all gotta change or it's going to collapse.


Population won't ever stop growing, though. You can't get people to stop farking.
 
2013-05-03 02:08:24 PM

Zavulon: Population won't ever stop growing, though. You can't get people to stop farking.


You can get them to stop having kids, though.  Look at Japan or Russia.
 
2013-05-03 02:11:17 PM

Summercat: Capitalism is a means to an end, not an end in of itself.


And what "end" is that?

Zavulon: Population won't ever stop growing, though. You can't get people to stop farking.


Population HAS stopped growing in the developed world - Japan is actually shrinking. It seems people will self-limit their population if a) they have access to birth control and b) women have some say in how many kids get pumped out.
 
2013-05-03 02:13:21 PM

Zavulon: bromah: our entire western economic model is really based on population growth and consumption.   if you dont' have population growth then the only other method of economic growth is through conspicuous consumption.   He's talking about what happens to the worlds economic model when populations stop growing. When only money growth will come from people buying junk that breaks down rapidly.  When we are (and this is happening now) only experiencing debt fueled growth.   When we are burning through resources that aren't there.

It's all gotta change or it's going to collapse.

Population won't ever stop growing, though. You can't get people to stop farking.


Why not both? We just need some of those dystopian reality/game shows. Just a few little tweaks to the elimination round and we're good.
 
2013-05-03 04:32:08 PM

bromah: our entire western economic model is really based on population growth and consumption.   if you dont' have population growth then the only other method of economic growth is through conspicuous consumption.   He's talking about what happens to the worlds economic model when populations stop growing. When only money growth will come from people buying junk that breaks down rapidly.  When we are (and this is happening now) only experiencing debt fueled growth.   When we are burning through resources that aren't there.

It's all gotta change or it's going to collapse.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midas_World
 
2013-05-03 05:09:18 PM
Ah, the mysteries of energy flows.

In reality, that's pretty good. I read a rule of thumb (I have a book of rules of thumbs) which said that the food chain is very inefficient. Each level uses only about 5% of the energy "available" in the previous level.

Mind you, very few energy conversions are efficient. Humans don't do much better than Nature.

The environmentalists and greens do have a point:  you get a lot more food value a lot cheaper at the bottom of the food chain. Eating carnivorous fish is really quite costly, although the food web in the oceans is topsy-turvey with respect to the food web on land.

Carnivores on land tend to taste terrible and there is a lot less bio-mass in the form of lions and tigers and foxes and wolves than there is in the form of sheep, rabbits, and chickens.

Carnivores in the sea tend to taste great (blue fin tuna, salmon) and there is a lot more biomass in the form of large fish than there is in the form of small fish, although the latter breed so fast that they can feed the top-heavy upside down food pyramid easily,

It is true that we would get a lot more food a lot cheaper if we ate the anchovies and the "sardines" instead of the big game fish.

On the other hand, I've never quite bought into the enviro-green dogma. It is true, for example, that you can grow a lot of wheat on the farmland that feeds a cow.  But I have the following reservations:

Meat is whole food. You can get all of the essential amino acids from meat. To get all of the essential amino-acids you need to eat a variety of plant foods, such as rice, beans and lentils.

A vegetarian must eat a diet of

rice, beans, lentils
beans, rice, lentils
lentils, rice, beans
beans, lentils, rice

blah, blah, blah, blah.

Spare me your damned monotonous gramnivor diets.

Another thing: eating grain is just as fecking unnatural as eating nothing but meat or fish, and twice as bland.

If you had to point to the things which have made humans a menace, grains would certainly be one, especially wheat, the most expensive and least nutritious of the grains. There's a reason we feed this shiat to cattle. It is dull. Cattle don't care.

Also, there's a heap of bullshiat in the idea of cattle being fed nothing but grain. Grain is expensive and mostly used to "finishing" cattle in feed lots before slaughter. It's the icing on the cake of a cow's life of browsing and then chewing its cud for about 12 hours a day.

In reality, you'd need much more land to eat a full and healthy vegetarian, let alone vegan diet. And much of the land used for pastures or the raising of forage for animals is unsuitable for the kinds of crops that a vegan would eat. All in all, some fish, meat, fowl and so forth is economical, and this has been demonstrated by careful analysis. Depending on where you raise your meat and how, it can be a very cost-effective addition to the diet. Chickens and pigs and cattle can all be fed on stuff humans can not eat and waste that humans will be producing any way. In many Third World countries, the privies are built over the pig pens so the pigs can recycle what humans DO eat and DON'T digest, namely their crap.

Pigs will happily eat shiat that even humans don't touch.

In short, or rather at some length, I don't think it is entirely senseless to feed livestock. We get leather, glue and many other products from livestock in addition to the food value. And in any case, even wild game is scarcely more efficient than livestock, although they are very lean. Perhaps too lean. You have to have a certain amount of fat to be able to consume protein without poisoning yourself. Meat that is too lean requires fat and oil or else you will get sick.

When it comes to dogmatic Holier-than-Thou enviros and dogmatic Mammonite anti-enviros, I am with the Doge of Venice: A plague on both your houses!

Question your food. And chew it carefully.
 
2013-05-03 05:19:56 PM
On the whole, I am an aqua-culture skeptic. I don't think this is really progress--destroy the wild game fish and replace them with fat, watery, tame fish full of drugs? No, thank you. You can do better.

I did listen to a science podcast (Quirks & Quarks, IIRC) that talked to an aqua-culteralist who was using his head. He discovered that he could make more money and produce less waste by farming carnivorous fish (like salmon) in cages over cages full of smaller fish (white fish, let's say, or minnows) and that adding crustaceans and shellfish on the bottom of this stack led to even more profitable, cleaner fish farms.

In other words, he slowly reinvented the wheel of nature, where each critter's waste is food for another layer of the food web.

This is the way to go if you must farm fish.

Much traditional peasant agriculture in the East has learned similar lessons: the peasants raise rice, pigs, ducks, geese, carp and shrimp together. Of course, there are many flaws in this system. One, it is highly labour-intensive, two rice takes up a lot of arsenic naturally, three, from the point of view of hygiene, Chinese peasants are appalling, even to the Chinese Communist Party bureaucrats, but all in all, it's a system that is cheap and efficient, albeit sub-optimal and clunky.

Both gung-ho capitalist technocrats and Chinese peasants are often very naive about the knock-on effects of their behaviour and the externalities that they create for not only the rest of us, but themselves if they only knew what they were doing to themselves by eating shiat like rice, beans, lentils, drug-filled Millennium Hand and Shrimp.

Oops!

Does that Man have a Duck on His Head? Does he think we don't notice?
 
2013-05-03 05:22:39 PM
Terry Pratchett's Man with a Duck on His Head, one of the Ankh-Morpork Beggar's Guild's Finest, is the original "My hat is a duck. Your argument is invalid" meme. How can you refuse to give a penny to a Man with a Duck on His Head? He is obviously trouble and somebody you want to go away as soon and as far as possible!

Don't invite Old Man Trouble in to stay! In fact, try your damnest not to believe that he exists, or else he will!
 
2013-05-03 05:36:59 PM

Zavulon: bromah: our entire western economic model is really based on population growth and consumption.   if you dont' have population growth then the only other method of economic growth is through conspicuous consumption.   He's talking about what happens to the worlds economic model when populations stop growing. When only money growth will come from people buying junk that breaks down rapidly.  When we are (and this is happening now) only experiencing debt fueled growth.   When we are burning through resources that aren't there.

It's all gotta change or it's going to collapse.

Population won't ever stop growing, though. You can't get people to stop farking.


but it can slow to a crawl.  the US is pushing  a <1% growth rate now.  Europe, Russias, asia is even shrinking.  Eventually this iwll be the constant.  a pop doubling every century or so.

It's slowed down to nothing here, the only money being made now is by exploitation of the developing nations and inflationary methods.
 
2013-05-03 07:14:33 PM
brantgoose:

(snip)

I don't think it is entirely senseless to feed livestock.


(snip)

If the price of oil keeps going up, we'll soon remember the two biggest reasons we started eating lots of meat in this country. You want to transport calories to the city cheaply? Put them in an animal. You want to store calories over the winter? Store them on the hoof.
 
2013-05-04 01:36:15 AM
adamatari:

Population HAS stopped growing in the developed world - Japan is actually shrinking. It seems people will self-limit their population if a) they have access to birth control and b) women have some say in how many kids get pumped out.

you forgot c) 20+ years of economic stagnation, where the younger half of the population moves from temp contract to temp contract without any benefits.
 
2013-05-04 04:58:50 AM
I love the smell of Fark idiots in the morning.
 
2013-05-04 06:25:36 AM
So says someone who specialized in "studying the psyche of Nazi criminals " who decides to dabble in economics.
 
2013-05-04 07:54:32 AM
Many dumb comments re the Salmon.

I assume sub's point is that something like salmon farming is wasteful. Farming predators spends way more "food" than you get out of them. It is like farming lions when instead you could just eat the cows you grow to feed the lions.

Of course you could extend that and make us all vegetarians but I needs mah meet.

Most of the fish I eat is tilapia, they eat plant matter so they are better for the environment all in all.
 
2013-05-04 02:38:48 PM

meanmutton: I'm glad that we're looking to a social psychologist whose career has been investigating the psyche of Nazi war criminals as the individual most qualified to redefine our economic system.


Economics is an extremely broad topic. If you think economis is only about money and has no social psychology involved you should either get educated on the matter or just unplug your computer.

/The psyche of Nazi war criminals has nothing to do with economics, granted.
//Social scrientists can still say a lot about the fundamental working of an economy.
///I'm an engineer, why am I having to educate someone on the scope of economics?
//Are all of you taking crazy pills?
/Why am I asking so many questions in slashies?
 
2013-05-04 05:20:11 PM
As long as the salmon is still worth more than 6 times the feeder fish (which it must be), this is really only at the expense of fish lives..
 
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