Desert Farming, Lorena Stoves, Industrial Bacteria, and More

A collection of brief stories related to food and food production, including a study of desert farming in the Southwestern U.S., efforts to encourage the adoption of Lorena stoves in Honduras, and the creation of bacteria with industrial uses.

| January/February 1980

  • Bits and Pieces - desert farming - Fotolia
    Desert farming requires a certain amount of innovation, ingenuity and persistence.

  • Bits and Pieces - desert farming - Fotolia

DESERT FARMERS, PLEASE NOTE: If you grow crops in the low desert of Arizona, New Mexico, or southern California—using holistic or dryland methods, innovative irrigation or cropping techniques, or drought-hardy plants—your knowledge of desert farming is needed for a case study being conducted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

"SAFE" BEER: By the end of the year, most brewers should pretty well have removed nitrosamine (a suspected carcinogen that occurs naturally in the malting process) from their beers. The highest concentrations of the chemical are created when amines in barley come in contact with nitrous oxides produced by heat. . . and—in about one-third of the cases—the problem is linked to barley treated with herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that contain amines.

DIBROMOCHLOBOPROPANE DISCOVERED AT DISNEYLAND: DBCP—a nematocide that is known to cause infertility, testicular atrophy, chromosomal damage, and cancer among workers who come in contact with the pesticide—has been found in the water supplies of 24 California counties and in the large cities of Riverside and Anaheim (the home of Disneyland).

DOES EVERYTHING CAUSE CANCER? Of course not . . . but more people from every age group do die from the disease today than at any other time in history. In two years alone, the incidence of lung cancer increased by 13% . . . breast cancer by 17% . . . stomach cancer by 28% . . . and cancer of the prostate by 32%.

THREE "SUPER" WALNUT TREES have been developed by Purdue University. They are said to be superior in height, diameter, straightness, disease resistance, strong central stem tendency, and nut-bearing abilities.

DOUBLE TAXATION: For 16 years, Joseph Ochman, president and chairman of the board of New Jersey's Inter-Boro Savings and Loan Association, has waged a campaign to eliminate the tax on interest earned in savings accounts ... a practice which he feels amounts to double taxation and promotes inflation by discouraging thrift.

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