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November 19, 2015

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I drove through that region a little further to the east in August last year during a visit to ASU, taking a detour to some mines after visiting the Grand Canyon. It surprised me to see that anything useful can be grown in that kind of climate and landscape! It was terribly hot and dusty - despite the monsoon season.

"Producing 1 kg of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing 1 kg of grain protein." (David Pimentel, in various publications) Thirstiest of grains, rice is thus more resource-efficient than alfalfa, wherever grown. Rice prices are near their ten-year low, however, while "Western U.S. hay prices have nearly doubled in the last 10 years." (AgWeb/Farm Journal)
"By the way, what is rice?
Don't ask me what rice is.
Don't ask me my advice.
I've no idea what rice is:
All I have learned is its price." - Brecht
Very much looking forward to future episodes.

You're right - resource efficiency is the key measure.

cotton + desert = demise of the Aral Sea

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