Renewable Farming

Video glimpses of farming systems in two countries: France and Argentina

Video cameras on every smartphone and direct links to the internet bring you the power to literally show millions of people worldwide what you’re learning. When a video “goes viral,” it can multiply to millions of viewers in a global flood that no government or mainstream media gatekeeper can spike.

This power is amplifying video stories published by ordinary people keen to reveal the global need for healthier, toxin-free food. Here are links to two examples.

Screen shot from Argentine interview

The first video is an emotionally disturbing report on farm life in Argentina. We’ve previously published reports on demographic studies linking glyphosate with alarming rates of rising chronic diseases in children and adults. This 28-minute video was posted on Deutsch Welle, a German website. The farmers shown are speaking in Spanish, but the narration by reporter Juliette Igier is in English. Even though the story originates in northeastern Argentina — not an intensive large-scale soybean region — there’s a long history of extensive pesticide use, especially Roundup.  Caution: The images of affected children can be disturbing.

A sharply contrasting, and much more hopeful, video report is from two 24-year-old Frenchmen who traveled through rural areas of France. They reveal surprising ways growers are using fresh concepts of organic production. Europe has a dynamic appetite for wholesome, tasty and healthy organic food. Julian Pedrot and Antonin Deshayes spent eight months on the road, interviewing many innovative organic farmers. They summarized reports from 11 farms.

At this link, you can see and read (in English) the summary of their discoveries. The videos the wannabe French farmers post on YourTube are spoken in French, but you can get a good grasp of what they’re doing just by watching the video and catching a few English-sounding words. The report originated on the English version of a French news site,

One French video of particular interest here at Renewable Farming is Julian and Antonin’s report on a grower who uses “buttes auto-fertiles” (self-fertilizing beds) of raw organic matter and earth to grow organic, nutritionally dense food. This the same technique our grandson Blake is expanding onto the 20 acres we formerly used for corn and soybean field trials. 

In a separate conversation several days ago, longtime friend Keith Schlapkohl told us that American compounders of organic livestock feed are importing more than three-fourths of the organic soybeans going into their organic soybean meal and oil. Keith’s contacts indicate that U.S. organically certified soybeans often contain discouraging levels of impurities, from weed seed to pesticides. Apparently the pesticides originate from drift or long-dormant residues in soil. Even after three transition years from conventional farming, soil residues of glyphosate and other compounds can still be taken up by roots into organic crops. Chicken litter — while considered “organic” — can contain glyphosate excreted by chickens which were fed conventional feeds. Meanwhile, organic soybean growers in India are doing a meticulous job of weeding, cleaning and grading their organic soybeans.

Keith and partner Jeff Buresh of BRT Ag & Turf in Ladora, Iowa, have launched a  non-GMO soybean processing plant at 810 East South Street in Marengo, IA. The plant is now in operation, providing high-quality non-GMO soybean meal and oil using extruder processing.