Round Up and Grains

Little or nothing to do with distillation.

Moderator: Site Moderator

Butch27
Novice
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:07 am

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Butch27 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:45 pm

dunluce wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:06 pm
I find it funny that certain "beliefs" are not tolerated, and yet others are. For instance, several times I have seen members here mention things like no one cares what you believe or think, it's the solid evidence that matters. Like running a still unsupervised....or what happens in a reflux column.

But yet we have a huge discussion from a self-professed mechanic who is discounting all the science behind Warthaug's arguments...and people who support that.

There's a reason for the scientific method, and NONE of the resulting has to do with what someone "believes" or "thinks".
So you would be game to put your next ferment in a triple rinsed glyphosate container?

Edit: Of course you would be required to drink the resulting product. No sac runs.

dunluce
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 153
Joined: Thu May 21, 2020 9:27 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: Grain Caution

Post by dunluce » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:21 pm

Butch27 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:45 pm
So you would be game to put your next ferment in a triple rinsed glyphosate container?

Edit: Of course you would be required to drink the resulting product. No sac runs.
And what do you think this would prove?

Butch27
Novice
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:07 am

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Butch27 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:44 pm

You seem to be supporting Warthaug's assertion that glyphosate is less toxic than table salt. If that is indeed the case then I would think you would have no problem using an empty glyphosate container for a fermenter.

If table salt was sold in a large plastic containers I would have no problem using that container for a fermenter but under no circumstances would I use a glyphosate container.

User avatar
tubbsy
Swill Maker
Posts: 184
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:34 pm

Re: Grain Caution

Post by tubbsy » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:49 pm

Butch27 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:45 pm
So you would be game to put your next ferment in a triple rinsed glyphosate container?

Edit: Of course you would be required to drink the resulting product. No sac runs.
I'd have no problems doing so. Indeed, the fermenters I currently use are ex boric acid drums. Children and pregnant women should stay clear of boric acid, but they should also stay clear of what I make in them.

But the concern over this is way overblown. You're worried about a Group 2A carcinogen (glyphosphate - probably carcinogenic) contaminating your Group 1 carcinogen (alcohol - is carcinogenic). Seems to me there are bigger and better things to concern yourself with.

Butch27
Novice
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 4:07 am

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Butch27 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 6:06 pm

We have kind of butchered this thread. My apologies to the OP. Perhaps we should take it over here. https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtop ... ead#unread

The Baker
Master Distiller
Posts: 3386
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am
Location: Northern Victoria, Australia

Re: Grain Caution

Post by The Baker » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:41 pm

I will use grain farmed under the usual conditions, that may use (approved) insecticides against pests.

I will not use seed grain that has been heavily treated to preserve it and to keep insects from infesting the grain
and is not approved for human consumption.

Geoff
The Baker

Warthaug
Novice
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:17 am

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Warthaug » Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:58 am

To keep things under control I've removed the double-quotes..hopefully everything still makes sense.
NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:21 pm
Granted, I used the wrong terms. In my defence it's been 20+ years since my Biochemistry degree and I'm a little rusty. The reality is that chemical use has incresead over time, and is more universal. This has gone hand-in-hand with the increasing mechanisation of farming.
Although total chemical use is up, chemical use per unit of food has fallen over the past 20 years. We are able to produce much more today using much less than in the past. Mostly thanks to advances like glyphosate which give more effective and safer options to what we had to use previously.
NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:21 pm
A balanced system is optimised by the presence of some animals. Chickens and pigs are good for turning over ground. Cattle provide direct fertilisation. All can be used in an advanced crop rotation system. But unless you are truely blinkered, you cannot hope to claim that modern agricultural practice in the western world is a balanced system. Our cultural desire / expectation for meat to be included in every meal requires a technological solution to meat production. The wastage from farming is far from sufficient to fulfill our current requirements for meat.
Again, while using pastured animals to turn over ground is useful at a small scale, it simply does not work in the large scale. There is a reason why those methods have been abandoned by farmers - they are much less efficient, less productive, and more costly than modern methods.

As for "balanced", you'll need to define that because it can mean almost anything. Our methods are sustainable though, which in terms of long-term human well-being and avoiding having to expand farmland into new regions, is what is most important. We (and most crop farmers) monitor soil quality and thickness, with most farms in north american seeing increases in soil depth over the past 20-30 years (which is a good thing). Most non-organic farmers have moved to no-till farming (again, a wonderful approach only enabled by things like glyphosate) which helps to prevent soil loss and protects many of the animals and insects that live in the soil that would otherwise be killed by tilling.
NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:21 pm
OK. So we keep it as a byproduct. This is not the same as growing corn to produce it. And corn oil? <pauses to google it>. Interestingly you don't see corn oil in supermarkets in France. Sunflower, Olive and Rape Seed are the staples here. It might be an ingredient in special frying oils, but I confess to never having heard of it before.
Corn oil is big business - its one of the more common oils used in commercial food production - and that includes in France. Its not commonly seen in consumer markets, even here.

When a farmer plants a crop they don't know who its for or what purpose it will serve. You sell your corn (or other crop) to whomever offers you the best price. In our case, in 2020 we had/have contracts with an exporter who sends it to China, a local fuel ethanol plant, and a distributor who sells in smaller scales than we do to smaller customers. The year prior, 100% went to China. This year - who knows? We'll find out in the fall when we negotiate with sellers.

NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:21 pm
Note the section of your quote that I've highlighted. So that's 1/3 of the land used for corn production that could be eliminated were agricultural animal use balanced. According to wikipedia that would be 32,000,000 acres of land. While I'm happy to agree that certain agricultural practices cannot be economically scaled a look at any home garden, be it a small veg patch or a small holding will show that there is a hard limit to the number of animals that can be usefully raised on a given surface area. At some point you have to start shipping in resources. It's fairly simple maths ultimately.
I notice you managed to ignore the part where that crop land will largely be turned over to other crops, as you need to now grow the protein in plant form to replace what was formerly used to raise meat. You're not getting 32 million acres back, you're moving that to other crops - and introducing the issues with disposing of the field waste that was formerly fed to animals.
NormandieStill wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:21 pm
Fundamentally you can feed more people from 10 acres of arable land than you can from 10 acres of livestock land. And I'm aware that not all land can serve both purposes, but any time your arable land is being used to subsidise livestock production elsewhere it's "wasted".
No, its not. To repeat the important part of what I wrote previously, but was ignored, the bulk of material that comes off of fields is not human food. Lets repeat that again, since you've missed it before - the bulk of material that comes off of fields is not human food. With corn, a bushel weighs about 50 lbs, and you get about 1 ton (1,000 lbs) of silage (leafs, stems and cob - e.g. inedible stuff) for every 7 bushels of corn. That's a human food:waste ratio of 1:3. So whether I sell that corn for human use, industrial use, or animal feed, I'm still stuck with 3 times the weight in something only good for animal feed. So, no matter what, that will be exported to an animal farm for use as feed - which, in turn, will necessitate a portion of grain for finishing.

I'd also point out that, at least here, grain that is used for animal feed is typically unfit for human consumption - e.g. it would be illegal (and immoral) to sell it for food. Farmers don't want to grow feed corn - it tyipcally sells at a loss, compared to what it costs to grow. It's literally the lowest-quality third of the crop that has no other buyer.

Try applying your "simple maths" to that, and tell me what you solution is now.
Last edited by Warthaug on Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Brewer for decades, dabbler in distilling trying to get better at the craft.

Warthaug
Novice
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:17 am

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Warthaug » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:04 am

Butch27 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:24 pm
Warthaug wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:33 pm
..... Not really. Keep in mind that very little of the corn grain (the human-edible part) is used as animal feed (in the US, its about a third of total corn production. The portion fed to animals is mostly the cob and silage (fermented corn stalks). The remaining 2/3rds of corn grain itself is used for human food (whether processed or whole),....
I'm not sure how they silage where you are from but I don't believe that they do not include the grain portion. After the grain portion is harvested they may feed the leftovers to cattle but that is not silage.
No where did I say silage was from the grain portion - the part of my post you quoted pretty clearly states it is not. Silage is the stems, leafs and cob from the corn, stored in a way which allows it to ferment. This preserves the material, and increases the availability of its nutrients.
Brewer for decades, dabbler in distilling trying to get better at the craft.

Warthaug
Novice
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:17 am

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Warthaug » Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:53 am

Double-quotes removed to shorten things up.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
You seem to have a fideistic attitude toward that human product that we call science, and which is fallible as all human endeavours. Often good or very good, but always prone to mistakes and re-evaluation.
I am a scientist by profession, so yes, I am quite confident in how it works and am also familiar with the standards we use to evaluate (and reevaluate) evidence. No other human endevor has worked as well.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
Pharmacology ends up re-weighing side effects in pharmaceutical compounds many years after those are on sale (Vioxx comes to mind at the moment, or Aulin).
Bad examples. Vioxx wasn't re-evaluated, it was a deliberate attempt by Merck to hide cardiovascular effects that they knew about before the drug ever hit the market. And despite spending millions on the fraud - including paying people to write ghost-authored articles, and even creating fake journals to publish supportive articles - epidemiologists uncovered the fraud within a few years.

That's how well epidemiology works. Even well-funded, highly motivated attempts at fraud (by a very wealthy and powerful company, I'd add) are quickly found out.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
Toxicology, epidemiology lack reliable data because they cannot use men the way rats or dogs can be used in a laboratory. It's all statistics, and I know statistics enough to think like Disraeli about it.
Sadly, we have a lot of human exposure data. Not in the lab (thankfully, that's Nazi-level evil), but due to things like industrial accidents and suicide attempts. Sadly, suicide is a major issue among farmers, and suicide by ingestion of farm chemicals is a not-uncommon way its done. It's a tragedy, but it also means we have a lot of human-derived data on toxicity and pharmcodynamics of these compounds.

As for stats, they're just mathematical equations that are as good as the data you put into them. Stat's don't lie, they just spit out a number. Put in good data, you get good stats. Put in garbage...well we have a term for that in science, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). A big part of scientific education is learning how to separate the good from the bad.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
Again, our ability to study the "toxicology" of a product is also based on the statistical base. We have much more data for natural cultures than for modified cultures or for chemical substances that don't exist in nature. It's an inescapable problem, whenever something "new" arrives on our field, plate etc. we can only begin collecting "data" (scientific, empirical, statistic) from that moment. Things don't always work as expected and this is shown only after a large number of person is exposed to a substance for a large number of years in a large number of circumstances.
None of the above is correct.

Toxicology is not an actuarial (statistical) science, its a prospective/observational/retrospective (human exposure) & experimental (animal/cultured cell exposure) science.

How much we know about a substance is merely a product of how much effort has been put into collecting the data regarding that substance. Being old does not mean we know more - in many cases, what is old is ignored in studies, as it is familiar. To use your tomato example, there are 234 toxicology studies on glyphosate, but only 150 on tomatoes, of which a third are on other pesticides and not the tomato's themselves.

So no, we do not know more about the toxicology of "old" tomatoes than we do about "new" glyphosate - the opposite is the case. And the toxocology we do know about tomatoes shows that in some circumstances, they are less safe than you may assume :angel:

Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
This seem to show again a fideistic approach to science. If the world was as easy as you suppose, we would have foreseen the mad-cow disease, and we would have foreseen that, given a certain food, cows react by producing strange badly-formed proteins which, in turn, are harmful in the long run and not only to the cow, but also to the human eating the cow (which was shocking to me to discover because I would expect a protein to be just digested by my organism). But the fact is, we don't know exactly how a substance will interact with a body. Our models did not foresee cows to be poisoned by "scientifically safe" cattle feed.
We did foresee mad cow disease. The first disease shown to be cause by a prion (kuru) was discovered in the 1950's (the discoverer received a nobel award for this). By the 1960 prions were shown to be the cause of a large range of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in animals and humans. And that the consumption of neurological tissue was the cause of transmission of most of those was also discovered at that time. Ever since then, scientists were ringing the warning bell about the risk of transmission to humans. Carleton Gajdusek's speech when he received the nobel prize in 1974 was pretty much an hour long screed on why it was critical action be taken. We (royal we, I'm not that old) were ignored because it wasn't politically expedient for politicians to upend the food system to prevent the problem.

So science did pretty good with prion disease (and smoking/cancer - scientific warningsfor that date back to the mid-1800's - and fatty diets, and sugars, and acid rain, and global warming, etc). Sadly, policy tends to lag science by decades.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
I don't know how familiar you are with diseases like the Corea of Huntington. This is an illness which is produced by a toxic protein which is produced by certain persons, who have a certain genetical "modification", or "trait", and which damages your nervous system many decades into your adult life. This is something which begins to be better understood only in recent years. It's a deadly poison produced by your own body if you have a certain sequence of genes (let' say, 39 repetitions you are OK, 40 repetitions you could be ill or not, 41 repetitions you will develop the illness in your adult or old life).
I'm very familiar with it, its a classical example of a genetic disease. It also has a well-known genetic mechanisms that causes it to arise (duplication of repetitive regions during DNA replication), and we've (again, royal we, this is far from my own field of work) have made gene therapies for these patients that reverse the defect, and replace the defective gene with a version incapable of undergoing the duplication process that results in disease. They're currently in phase II trials.

So the cure for the disease is literally to GMO the patient.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
An OGM might, in hypothesis, produce some kind of strange proteins which we cannot see now and which will cause harm to our organisms some decades in the future of regular consumption. We cannot "model" exactly, given the huge amount of genes of a creature, the exact consequence of each gene.
Except that this is a non-issue, at multiple levels:
  1. We can control where in a plant (or other GMO'd organism) the inserted gene is expressed, and it is trivial to prevent genes from being expressed in the portion we consume.
  2. Regulatory bodies do not allow genes not commonly encountered via normal exposures to be used on GMO's destined for human consumption. So, for example, the genes used to make crops roundup-ready or insecticidal (Bt), both use genes from soil bacteria that we are exposed to frequently - with every breath you inhale both of these bacteria, as they are commonly found in airborne dust. To use your own terms, the genes in these GMO's are very old to humanity - we've been exposed to them in every meal, and in every breath, since before we even thought to come down out of the trees.
  3. Proteins which are toxic, like the one causing huntingtons - are easy to identify. They have very specific structural characteristics which are easily identified (to the point where, in my course, I teach 3rd year undergrads how to do it). Proteins such as these would not be of interest for GMO's, for the simple reason that the same thing that makes it potentially hazardous to you would also make it an issue in the GMO'd organism.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
Besides, it is to be seen whether, when you modify an organism, you can exactly hit only that genes that you think you hit and modify them exactly the way you want. "Errors of copy" are always possible and actually happen continuously (as in nature, one might say, but with different mechanism and therefore maybe more unpredictable).
Again, no, this is wrong. You cannot even start the regulatory process without providing a full genome sequence of the organism. Where its inserted, and what other effects the insertion had on the genome, are even disclosed in public documents. Once in an organism, the mutation rate will be the same as the basal mutation rate of that organism. GMO'd DNA isn't magical - its just DNA, and the organism treats it all the same.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
I fully agree, but in this as in other realms of life, in order to balance risks one must be first aware of them. And after being aware, the way I balance my risks will be different from the way you balance yours. It's a personal choice. "Science" does not exclude risks and does not exclude the underestimation of risks.
Yeah, but your "balance" has been achieved on the back of a lot of misconceptions and falsehoods of how science, GMOs and genetic engineering works.
Birrofilo wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:48 pm
And let's not dwell inside the can of worms of whether science is really positive, neutral, objective, or is instead heavily influenced by ideological, religious or cultural beliefs, or economical interests. You can find "scientific proofs" in the '50 that marijuana pushes people to commit homicides, and you can find "scientific studies" in Nazi Germany about the superiority of certain races, and you can find "scientific proof" in our age that, if you have an antibody of a certain unknown and never-seen virus, you will certainly get the illness in the next 5, or 15, or 25, or 50 years. You can find tons of scientific studies about coffee being good for you and coffee being bad for you, etc. You are being fed, now, the "science" that is also the result of present-moment cultural structures, need, fears, prejudices etc.
Which is why science is built upon multiple studies and the formation of a scientific consensus (which is always amendable when new data comes along). So yes, you will find contrary studies in almost any field. But that doesn't mean that the science isn't settled, or that it is wrong. Science advances incrementally, and mis-steps are made along the way. But at the end of the day there are more than 30,000 studies into the safety of GMO's and this has lead to a very clear scientific consensus on their safety.
Brewer for decades, dabbler in distilling trying to get better at the craft.

User avatar
Birrofilo
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 334
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 pm
Location: Caput mundi

Re: Grain Caution

Post by Birrofilo » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:36 am

@Warthaug

I will not answer in detail because this will become a long and ultimately useless discussion, I will try to outline some basic ideas.

User @Butch27 expressed a generic mistrust about the behaviour of certain market participants: farmers who might use pesticides in an illegal way, pesticide producers who might lobby the scientific, the political world and the public opinion into not seeing potential risks etc.

Your basic answer is that you are a scientist, you know how science work, therefore you trust science.

When I pointed you some "failures" of what in the past was justified by "science" (be it Vioxx or Aulin etc.) you point out that science is right, but "politics" is to be blamed. Politics doesn't see for many years that the data produced for Vioxx was iffy, politics takes many years to take action against fatty food, smoke etc.

So you are substituting another possible hidden source of problem (politics) to the hidden source of problem exposed by @Butch27.

But the fact is, when you buy somethign (GMO corn, Vioxx, cigarettes, cars etc.) you buy it "all", all the science and the politics in it. You are buying the result of all the procedure.

And just like you might say "I trust science it's the government which did not find the problems in Vioxx and is untrusty", another can say "I trust science, it's the government which did not find the problems in GMOs or glyphosate or Vioxx or meat given to cows".

Ultimately also for Vioxx many doctors would have said that there is a serious scientific procedure for the approval of a new molecule or a new medicament. Organic farmers have always contested the feed given to kettle in the non-organic sectors but many non-organic would have waved the "science book" in their defence and said "We have no scientifical evidence it is not safe". Until we have it, that is!


Besides, even if some part of "science" did talk about the dangers of prions, it is of all evidence that a larger part did not, and that the problem happened because what you call "politics" others can legitimately call "science" (bad science, interested science, twisted science, but that's it). I am sure that, in a conversation like this many years ago, a "scientist" would have gone out with saying that there is no scientific evidence that that cattle feed would be problematic.

Science is not a person with one voice. "Science" is contradictory on most subject which are not clearly and definitively established. In the EU the approval of GMO is much slower than in the US because "science" is much more skeptical.

Also, I don't agree with the logic that the more studies there are on a certain substance, and the surer that substance is. As you confirm, there are no studies on the toxicity of tomato as-is, which doesn't mean that tomato as-is is less safe than tomato treated with pesticide! We can talk price, productivity, food problems etc. but there is no doubt that an organic tomato from your garden is better than a tomato from a monoculture which was harvested green and matured with methane. You need to test pesticides because they are poisons and are suspect. You don't need to test milk and pears.

Also, if the results of chemical interaction were inspectable, as you appear to mean, from the study of their action mechanism, which is scientifically known, one might ask why there is so much need for phase III tests for approval of pharmaceuticals, and why there is a continuing surveillance on each pharmaceutical even after it is on sale for decades. Becuase the fact is, that all what we know about chemistry and human body is not enough to foresee all possible interactions. We cannot foresee, we can only make educated guesses.

When "toxicology" arrives to a conclusion, that's because somebody remained intoxicated notwithstading the "science" which was put into the product!

Also, I don't agree with your idea that we know the toxicity of certain substances because of the attempt to commit suicide with them, because that just gives us information about heavy poisoning.

What people is concerned about is the slow and continuous poisoning which is difficult to be seen. And when it is seen (by toxicologists) it is seen because people actually got slowly, subtly intoxicated. Basically people don't want to make the toxicologists' statistics of tomorrow :wink:

tiramisu
Swill Maker
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: Grain Caution

Post by tiramisu » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:50 am

With regard to GMO in the food supply in the USA my understanding is that it is treated as "natural" and does not actually require testing to prove that it is safe to the FDA. So much for science.

User avatar
ShineonCrazyDiamond
Site Mod
Posts: 2954
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:14 pm
Location: Look Up

Re: Round Up and Grains

Post by ShineonCrazyDiamond » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:38 pm

Gentleman, I think the topic has strayed from our common goal of home distillation. As such I have split off the useful few post about grains, and locked it in safety (although I might move to Grains later and stickie). For the time being I have left the rest of the conversation here in off topic, but recommend you bring it back around to relevance on distillation, or start to move on. The 2 rules I was worried about here was courtesy and politics, and it's kissed around both at this point. If it's just a debate, take it to pm's. There was educated disscussion here, I don't want to make your efforts disappear. I think it has just run its course here at HD.
"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond."

User avatar
shadylane
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 7311
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:54 pm
Location: Hiding In the Boiler room of the Insane asylum

Re: Grain Caution

Post by shadylane » Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:06 pm

tubbsy wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 12:22 pm
Is a big juicy T-Bone steak classified as toxic to you?
Not until It's been cooked over a charcoal fire.
Then It has to be properly disposed of. :wink:

Post Reply