The Inexplicable American Consumer Revolts Against Prescription Drugs

Wolf Richter's picture

Wolf Richter

Anecdotal evidence has been coagulating into numbers, and these numbers are now beginning to weigh down corporate earnings calls. It appears the toughest creature out there, the one that no one has been able to subdue yet, the ever wily and inexplicable American consumer, is having second thoughts about prescription drugs. And is fighting back. A paradigm shift.

We’ve already heard from some companies, such as drug maker Pfizer, whose revenues in the US plunged 18%, largely due to the collapse of its flagship drug Lipitor that is losing its battle with much cheaper generics. But the direst indications came from Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the US—and perhaps one of the best gauges of spending patterns for prescription drugs.

During the earnings call, CEO George Paz, who ominously was “not prepared to provide 2013 guidance,” embarked on a dark speech. The company’s clients had “unprecedented concerns about our country’s economic outlook,” he said. Unprecedented concerns! So even worse than 2008-2009. He went on:

Our health claim clients are expecting membership reductions in 2013. Large employers have pulled back on hiring plans, using contractors and part-time employees when necessary. Mid to small employers are cutting back or postponing health care coverage decisions while waiting for more clarity on Health Care Reform. And we continue to see low rates of drug utilization as individuals deal with uncertainty at the household level.

He lamented “the current weak business climate and the unemployment outlook” and was worried about the “challenging macroeconomic environment.” Shorts must have felt a certain frisson. Remains to be seen whether the dive that Express Scripts shares performed is a buying opportunity that will add to a cushy retirement or one that will slice off your fingers.

But beyond the company’s fate, he’d pointed at what ails the US economy, including a shift to part-time workers and contractors often without healthcare benefits, and smaller employers who, in their struggle to survive, are cutting back on healthcare benefits. As these workers—the inexplicable American consumers—are left to their own devices, they have to make their own decisions about what prescription drugs, if any, to blow their scarce money on.

Express Scripts has seen this trend in another area. Its Drug Trend Report, which dissected prescription drugs sold to its members in 2010 and 2011, sketched the beginnings of the paradigm shift: in 2011, specialty drugs sales increased 17.1%, down from a 19.6% increase in 2010; traditional drugs only eked out a gain of 0.1%, the lowest increase since it began tracking the data; and spending on all prescription drugs combined rose only 2.7%, also a record low. That was for 2011.

But the report didn’t include insights into the buying behavior of the 48.6 million uninsured Americans who’re even more reluctant to spend money they don’t have on prescription drugs they can live without. And it didn’t include the trends of 2012, which as Paz phrased it, are cause for “unprecedented concerns.”

Whatever the reasons, whether prescribing behavior by doctors or buying behavior by consumers, lack of insurance or lack of money, or the growing prevalence of generic alternatives: spending on prescription drugs, long considered recession-proof, seems to have bumped into a wall for the first time ever.

Healthcare costs in the US, around $2.6 trillion a year, or 17.9% of GDP, may be reaching a level beyond which the various players in the economy cannot go, or refuse to go, a market-based barrier of sorts. And the inexplicable American consumer may be on the forefront—not only those who don’t have insurance, but also those who have high-deductible plans.

In 2012, plans with deductibles of $1,000 or more made up 19% of employee-sponsored health plans. Families covered by such plans, for better or worse, are cutting back medical spending ... by 14%, according to a study last year. They’re making medical decisions where at least one part of the equation is their own money. And they’re accomplishing what no one has been able to accomplish so far, namely taming the untamable healthcare expense monster.

That the US has too much debt is no longer a controversial statement. Some may believe other problems are more urgent, or that we need to grow our way out rather than slash spending. But the debt-to-GDP ratio must decrease if we are to have a stable, prosperous economy. Read... One Chart Explains Why Government Debt Is Dragging on the Economy.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
jaffa's picture

The molecules of drugs are complex, and most of them consist of many hydrogen and carbon atoms, a few oxygen atoms, and one or a few nitrogen atoms. Drugs may also have no nitrogen atoms in it and many may have chlorine atoms in it, such as chloral hydrate. Thanks.

jaffa's picture

The spiritual and religious use of drugs has been occurring since the dawn of our species. Drugs that are considered to have spiritual or religious use are called entheogens. Some religions are based completely on the use of certain drugs. Entheogens are mostly hallucinogens, being either psychedelics or deliriants, but some are also stimulants and sedatives. Thanks.
garcinia cambogia extract

Amagnonx's picture

From what I've seen of attitudes in the US - it isn't unusual for people to be on prescription medicine - and for some people, that means all the time.


Where I'm from, taking any type of drug is highly unusual - something bad must have happened, and you are expected to either recover quickly and not need medicine, or die soon.


For prescribed drugs, only penicillin and anesthetics seems safe and necessary, I wouldn't be interested in anything else.


After that you can use silver, copper, bicarb soda, fish oil, shark cartilage, aspirin, hemp, turmeric, garlic, citrus, parsley, chilli, cayenne and black pepper, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar - and there are many other natural herbs and compounds you can add to the list that will protect you a lot better than anything you are likely to find in a prescribed drug.


The intellectual property laws are simply another way to extort and rent seek, as is the FDA and other regulatory protections enjoyed by big pharma.

Cycling Fish's picture

"All the billions spent on drug R & D and then foreigners get to buy the medicine on the cheap" this is bullshit. A simple reading of the Vioxx evidence will tell you where the money goes - marketing. American drug companies employ an army of marketers who push their shit to every doctor and hospital in the nation, and they spend up very big to do it.

The actual medicine manufacturing cost is often negligible - Genentech makes about Two billion dollars worth of Colony Stimulation factor (CSF) once a year in a stainless steel bucket with $10 worth of ingredients.

You think these bastards are ethical? Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, were fined $600 million by the FDA for "neglecting" to tell them of its addictive properties. Before that, we gave that company a licence for a non addicitve replacement analgesic which was more effective than opiates, non addicitive and available orally. They gave the licence back a year later "too expensive" was their reason.

Let me tell you how drug discovery really works:

1. Most original research is done by young researchers in universities and its publicly funded. Every now and again one finds something that is patentable and a possible line of attack for developing a drug.

2. You take your patent(s) to a venture capitalist. If they like the idea and the patents are strong they give you tier one funding in exchange for about Seventy percent of the company. You use that money to develop a candidate drug.

3. If your drug seems to work on animals, you stump up for phase one clinical  trials - trials to test for safety on humans involving very sick people who are going to die anyway.

4. If phase One doesn't kill anyone and the drug seems to do what it was supposed to do, you go the next round of VC funding, everyone again gets diluted down by the mezzanine finance. You pay for much more patents and then burn cash on phase Two trials - efficacy. Does the drug do something useful in humans? At what dose? What are the side effects?

5. If phase Two produces something that is worthwhile and is better than what is on the market that is when you go to Glaxo Smith Kline, etc. with your baby.

The drug company will first look at your phase two trial data to see if it works.

- If it works, they will first try and steal it from you by attacking your patent position if they can.

- If that doesn't work they will try and destroy your little company by buying off your backers, or your scientists, or your bankers, string you along till you run out of money, or simply stealing your data. If they can break you they will get your patents for pennies. Blackmail is not uncommon.

- Serious negotiations will only then start, which will be brutal  - you will be offered a royalty which may not eventuate for Fifteen years - if ever.

- Once they get the patents, and they make a competing product, and you were too stupid to ensure an ironclad performance clause is in your contract with them, they might just put your patents on the shelf and let them quietly expire so as not to hurt their existing product, or pay you anything.

- If they decide that the drug is commercially viable, they spring for phase Three trials which is where they test the stuff on thousands of subjects from poor countries to amass the necessary data for the FDA approval process. This costs big bucks and takes maybe four years. Sometimes they get it wrong or fudge the results like with Vioxx. They also build their marketing plan.

The actual research and development might cost no more than Twenty million to get to the end of stage Two trials. The next hundred million or so is phase Three and regulatory approvals. Anything on top of that is marketing. It is not uncommon for a drug salesman to hire a helicopter to take Two or three doctors to an up-market lunch.

To put that another way you pay $200 for Nexium in America. In Australia I pay $49 for exactly the same product. Do you think the company is selling it in Australia at a loss?



IamtheREALmario's picture

IMO, this is the start of a trend, not an outlier. However, the trend extends beyond the drug companies, the stock market and the banks, where it is currently quite noticeable.

When you are presented with a crooked, one-sided game that will harm you if you play, then the smart choice is to SIMPLY NOT PLAY THE GAME!

... and it will take all of the efforts of those who benefit from the game to try to force you to play ... and most likely they will cannibalize each other and self-destruct... "hopefully" not deciding to childishly pull down the rest of the world down with them... but given their selfish, imature nature a mature reaction is not likely.

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Mail order from Canada.  50% off, minimum, on non-generics. Duh!

CH1's picture

Silk Road: Anything you want, cheaply and reliably.

Thisson's picture

You're gonna trust criminals to provide you with needed medications?  How do you know it isn't just talcum powder (or worse) in your pills instead of medicine?  How do you know the dosage and efficacy are correct?  You don't.  Very risky.

IamtheREALmario's picture

It has become clear that drug companies have much greater concern for THEIR agendas than for those of their customers. In the past the American public had been mesmerized into a trust of false experts all claiming to be doing things for their benefit.

- government policians have shown themselves to be self-serving puppets of sociopathic financial elitists

- drug companies have shown themselves to be in alignment with self-serving eugenicists and depopulationists

- food companies/seed suppliers have been shown to be in alignment with self-serving eugenicists and depopulationists

- bankers and associated financial manipulators have shown themselves to be criminal fraudsters using a fiat system to enslave people, who add value through their labor, with debt.

- the controllers of military objectives and the alphabet organizations have shown themselves to be virtually sociopathic genocidal maniacs using the trust and good intentions of people to fight others with similar trust and good intentions.

- the countryclub set has been deluded into believing that they are masters deserving of the wealth they have been given as the expense of those who provide value ... but they are simply pawns and will most likely suffer the brunt of anger of the multitudes if they get angry enough for being abused... because I am thinking that they would be easy, yet misguided targets.

- western religeous "leaders" have been shown to be hypocrites. 

Now, the paradigm has shifted and those companies, oranizations and people in charge will need to adapt, either by pulling themselves back and taking a lower profile and giving something of value to maintain control... or they will most likely be cast on into the flotsam of history by those who they have ignorantly wronged.

One wonders if it was a time such as this that lead to The Reformation. It seems as if this polarization has been planned ... but who exactly is pulling the strings?

tonyw's picture

There is no reason for the huge quantities of drugs being taken other than drug company profits.

Stop stuffing your mouths full of GMO, prepared meals, aspartame, fizzy drinks and sugar and you won't even need half those drugs.

Take some regular exercise and you'll be fitter and healthier.

Drug companies are not there for the benefit of people just their own profits.


janchup's picture

Horrors! Exercise? No sugar? Stop eating crap? Jesus. Wouldn't it be easier to spend $500 month on meds, get a bad disease and die?

mademesmile's picture

They can't duplicate a home grown tomato for taste. Or a home grown anything for that matter. I'm drooling on the keyboard thinking about fresh sweet corn...

nah's picture

subsidize healthcare and credit, export heavy industry, tie peoples wealth to private markets


and now this

TideFighter's picture

I represented a client that operated two offshore pharmacies. When he revealed his profits to me, I almost hit the floor. He knew everything about the FDA, including their Internet facility where 60+ FDA employees crack down on foreign Rx's, using a database that alerts USPS to shut down packages from the sender's address and mailing codes. My client laughed after that statement and said, of course, that there are many ways of staying ahead. Drug companies track those numbers as well, and like insurance, raise prices to cover their loss. If I were looking for a new post-Obama business, I would consider an offshore pharmacy. 

JMT's picture

Exercise & eating right is key but I have to admit, I am hooked on that Adderall for ADHD.. Three days without it before the refill and I was experiencing bad withdrawl. When I filled the last script, I took 3 of the tablets at once at 8pm

madcows's picture

Gee, incomes are down, prices are up, times are tough.  Call it crazy, but I'd say people are choosing food, gas and rent over medicines.

It ain't rocket science, it's a crap economy and an overpriced product.

rbg81's picture

In many cases, its a crap product too.  On the earnest advice of a Doctor, I took one prescription drug for years.  On a business trip, I accidentally ran out.....and nothing happened.  In fact, I felt better.

Since then, I have a very high bar for taking prescriptions.  And only for as long as I absolutely need to.  Many of the commercials for such drugs are so ridiculous as to be paraodies of themselves.

trichotil's picture

one thing you'll notice at earthclinic is folks reporting the same pattern: doctor shrugs orders more tests to keep the $$$ rolling in. lather, rinse, repeat. they hate it when folks get together to compare notes and solve their own problems w/o the proverbial middle man. truth is the first victim of profit based medicine with the patient soon to follow.   (see zeolite under health topics)  everyone is iodine deficient, lugol's solution on amazon is a good option. it kills parasites that cause many diseases, used to be prescribed all the time til they figured out it was not good for profit$. most folks are also potassium and magnesium deficient (the former makes a good salt substitute, the latter alleviates depression).  radioprotective substances tend to promote good health as well. proper ph creates an environment in which disease cannot thrive. good baking soda like bob's red mill used to be consumed all the time as was apple cider vinegar.

a daily tbsp of cinnamon, paprika, coconut oil, and crytstal hot sauce works wonders.

dont hold your breath waiting to hear this info from an md, why do you think they call em croakers? they want your money and your life. vioxx alone killed about 500k folks.


tip e. canoe's picture

if i could give this and coolbean's comment, +1,000,000, i would.

spent all afternoon reading. including the section on earthclinic on urine therapy.   and that guy Ted from Thailand on earthclinic is a gold mine of knowledge.   check out his discussion on borax:

funny how the most effective remedies are also the cheapest?    

firmly believe in the theory that the #1 health problem our society has at the moment is parasites...on many levels.

time for a cleanse...

CoolBeans's picture

For too long, many people believed that if big pharma made it/sold it, it was good for you.  People are awakening.  

Yes, many people cannot afford medications - the costs are insane in most cases.  However, it seems there is a growing movement to opt for natural remedies before evil big pharma.  I'm one.

When you have some time for leisure reading - visit one of my favorite sites:

I've come across many great remedies that I've tried after my own research.

Whoa Dammit's picture

The guy that I work for had heart surgery for an artery blockage a couple of years ago and has since been taking all sorts of prescription meds. Ouside of the occasional dripping of blood from his face (warfarin?), the main problem is that he cannot remember things that he has told people to do from one day to the next or even on that same day. It's like he now has early alzheimer's. Because he is such a nice guy, people put up with it, but its very sad to see what the scripts have done to him.

jekyll island's picture

May not be the meds, he could have had a stroke while he was on the operating table that affected his memory. 

Never One Roach's picture

Why pay for anything anymore? I want it all for free--cell phone, food, car and a zero down house that I never have to pay a cent on the mortgage.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

a Fux News viewer I suppose.

It will take awhile for the disinformation poisoning to wear off, but you've taken the first step to recovery --articulating your psychosis out loud.

Once you return to this universe, be on the lookout for symptoms of "failed white authoritarian syndrome" That's very real.

notadouche's picture

But wait, I thought the government was gearing up for war on the new scourge of human kind, prescription drug abuse which is epidemic across the country.  Sort of diametrically opposed to the data shown here.  

toady's picture


Maybe market forces can quell the prescription drug abuse problem?

Nah, if mom stops buying her Xanax & grampa stops buying his Oxy the kids will just get a gun and jump the counter at the drug store. I see it on the local news about once a week.

MrBoompi's picture

Yes, the CEOs of the the healthcare-industrial complex are scratching their heads wondering why Americans don't spend 100% of GDP on healthcare!  Who needs food or heat or gasoline anyway?

And anyone who just can't support universal healthcare and the REAL cost savings it would bring, can just STFU when plans that do nothing to control costs and even have a detrimental affect on the workforce but cater to private companies are shown to be inadequate and expensive.

Socislism is only for the fucking banks.  It's capitaslism to the death for the rest of us.

GeezerGeek's picture

I'll believe that universal healthcare is good for the US when all current and past politicians turn in their gold-plated healthcare plans for one that is the same as I have (Medicare now). And to make it even more reasonable, have all the Obamacare waivers cancelled and force all private (including union) plans terminated.

I won't hold my breath. It's be like waiting for Congress to live under the laws they pass that apply to the rest of us.

sessinpo's picture


And anyone who just can't support universal healthcare and the REAL cost savings it would bring



And for those that don't support universal healthcare are those that understand that healthcare isn't universal, which MrBoompi doesn't understant, another liberal, whether he realizes it or not. The savings come from reduced benefits. Those that don't understand that won't STFU because they refuse to understand and accept reality that the reduction in benefits is cost control - NOTHING IS FREE. Cost control has a price.


Socialism is not for banks, socialism is for eventual suffering to everyone, including banks. Quite frankly, it is interesting that one would associate death with any ideology.


Are you honestly trying to tell me that if I choose one ideology over another, I will avoid death? Are you that far gone?



Slartibartfast's picture

It's not about socialism or capitalism; it's about logic and efficiency. George W. Bush passed a law forbidding individual states from gathering together for cooperative bulk purchases from Big Pharma, one of the key methods that universal healthcare (private or not) uses to keep costs under control and find savings. Obama should repeal that ridiculous giveaway to BigPharma and the handcuffing it imposes on states and therefore taxpayers. Talk about an industry giveaway! Provinces in Canada drive extremely hard bargains because they've got some real buying power behind them.

GoldenTool's picture

ObamaCare is going to fix all this guys don't worry.  

Fixing diet helps, go eat an apple, unfortunatly hedges know this that's why apple stock is so high.


operari sequitur esse

covert's picture

forced stupidity? forced waste of scaracity, lol. your fault, yes we can!


GoldenTool's picture

My father-in-law was fired by his doctor a couple of weeks ago.  He weened himself off his medications and was told if he didn't want to take the medications prescribed for him he needed to find another doctor.  Hopefully with the new healthcare rules this won't be allowed to happen...

Revert_Back_to_1792_Act's picture

My Sister just told her doctor that she had concerns with a medication he was trying to prescrbe to her.

Same line.."If you are not going to do what I tell you, you will need to find another doctor".

My Doctor (who was excellent) retired rather than spend all the money implementing electronic medical records.


Dear TPTB; My Medical record only belongs in a paper file in my Doctors office.


Governments do not have a good track record when it comes to having access to peoples medical data.




jekyll island's picture

Do you find that surprising?  

AnAnonymous's picture

Revolt among 'americans' to consume less?

Woo, where is the prescriptions for the pills to believe that stuff?

Widowmaker's picture

Doctors and the "medical" racket can eat shit and die.  No one cares.

JMT's picture

I have insurance but generic Adderall (Amphetamine Salts) cost $128 for generic but only $10 with insurance (but insurance will only give you a 30 supply at a time). It really does help with attention & focus along with Prozac (which is generic and only costs $8.00 for a 30 day supply of 80MG per day).. 

Mad Mohel's picture

I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

rufusbird's picture

I have to admit that drugs have saved my life from serious illness. That being said, however, I do think that they are often over used by doctors who are using a shotgun approach to illness that they have not identified.

About a year ago, one of the walkers who pass by my house stopped to talk. She is a school teacher who had been off off work and trying to recover from hospitilization following a big weight loss. She was emaciated and dying and loosing weight inspite of taking a variety of prescriptions. What ever they were doing was not helping. The impression I got from  her was that she was getting her life arranged for her death.

Figguring she had nothing to loose by trying, I hand peeled and chopped up a half quart of fresh garlic cloves, which I put into a jar and topped off with olive oil. The next time I saw her I gave it to her and instructed her to take two table spoons on toast twice a day. In return she brought me a bag of lemons from her tree.I asked her about that time, "Are you going to make it?" she ansered seriously "I don't know."

She stopped by a few months later and told me that she had stopped taking all of her prescriptions and only ate fresh fruits and vegetables and simple unprocessed foods. She looked like a different person. She had her womanly figure back and was back to working full time. She said her doctors office called her house but she would not return their calls and that she was looking for a new doctor or clinic.

Now I recognize that the above is not a solution to all or even many forms of illness. But I dare say it is one that is not used ofen enough.



dolly madison's picture

Yeah, the good eating doesn't solve everything completely, but  it helps.  I do have 3 autoimmune diseases, and the good eating hasn't cured them, but I do feel better than I did before.  I used to get winded really easily and get swollen ankles and poofy eyes.  And I used to get really hot all the time.  Those things never happen to me since I've been off the processed food.  I do still have to take my thyroid and insulin though or I will get very sick.

paint it red call it hell's picture

I am a gardener that has been learning the BioDynamic method of organic gardening from very earnest and devout to the method growers. During the 3 years I have been welcomed into their circle I have heard stories from their customers and personally experienced some amazing realizations awakening me to question the commercial food we are sold for consumption and the related debilitating malady's that are misdiagnosed and treated with pharmaceuticals.

Allergy to wheat gluten is a biggie with the population of these people growing dramatically in recent years. I personally have eliminated wheat from my diet voluntarily since reading an this particular article,

The results have been amazing; energy up, appetite down, weight dropping, mental fog lifting. Something is truly up with our wheat.

I have heard horror stories developing over a decade or more of intestinal distress treated unsuccessfully with medications that led to more meds to treat the symptoms of the initial meds. And similar to your example, with a diet change to eliminate chemicals from the food chain, problems vanished and medications were eliminated. I have been warned by skeptical alternative agricultural experts that the negative health effects of water soluble chemical fertilizer and pesticides on human health are small potatoes (pun intended) compared to what Round-up ready GMO crops are potentially capable of. The irony here is that its reported the genes spliced into,for instance, GMO cotton allowing herbicides to be applied liberally have spread to pig weed and other crop invaders. It has been reported that herbicide use is actually rising disproportionally year over year even as GMO crops are more broadly planted. What it is really about here folks is patenting seeds. Saving and then replanting seeds cross fertilized in nature, by nature with GMO crops is a prosecutable offense.

Weed growth is curtailed by the active ingredients in the herbicide by blocking the uptake of nutrient from the soil by the weed, that is as I understand it. Nutrients historically are provided by micro-organisms breaking down minerals in the soil making usable forms of nutrients available to the plants. So now not only are crops to be raised in soils flooded with chemical fertilize and pesticides killing beneficial microbes, they are now flooded with nutrient blocking herbicides and spliced with God knows what kind of genes.

The mistake here is thinking that modern agriculture is sustainable, it is not and now the indications are emerging amongst ourselves, our friends and our neighbors that human health is at risk because of it. Repeated application or water soluble N-P-P fertilizer sterilizes the soil of indispensable microbes that make nutrient and micro nutrients available to plants, and the soil breaks down devoid of plant sustaining life. No longer can nutrient substances be produced as the waste products of microbe colonies in the soil feeding on compost and rock minerals. Application of chemical fertilize engulfs the microbes in a highly toxic brew similar to their own natural wastes. Who among us would live long in an environment of essentially our own sewage?

Result, the soil sterilized of vital microbes produces vegetables that while looking pretty good raised on chemical substitutes, lack taste and nutrition. Now the unknown GMO complications have been added to the equation. With little oversight and practically no testing requirements from the FDA, the WORLD POPULATION have been designated as LAB RATS.

The GMO labeling initiative was defeated in California, now it remains anybody's guess which food products in stores contain GMO along with the usual blended chemicals and powdered aluminum already formulated into so many processed foods stuffs. I have even started to avoid corporate chain restaurants like the plague. (Just try to find a family owned eatery serving fresh food nearby)

Good luck finding something safe to eat folks. Buying food has become the same game as investing, nearly impossible to find something transparent or safe. Best learn to compost and make a traditional garden or better yet join a CSA practicing the type of agriculture that allowed civilization to develop in the first place. Trusting in Big Agra, like trusting in Big anything else, has taken a turn into the surreal.

I tried to edit this quickly into something readable, sorry if some errors were made.

trichotil's picture

shit is literally gold, get some composting toilets up and running.

anything that cantains canola, soy, sugar, or corn is most likely gmo. hell even papayas are now gmo.

LawsofPhysics's picture

two things;

"Allergy to wheat gluten is a biggie with the population of these people growing dramatically in recent years." --  I have been brewing beer from sorghum for 20+ years.  Such alternatives have been around for a very long time.

We farm or manage over 30,000 acres of arable land and remain one of a relative few small, family-owned commercial operations.  People's desire to drive and burn/use oil is only outdone by their desire to eat (and fuck).  The industry (and forces much larger than our operation) own several politicians and in California that would be the majority of the legislature.  You report does not suprise me one bit.

As far as feeding 7+ billion people using organic methods goes, good fucking luck.

MeBizarro's picture

That's the kicker.  Industrial agriculture has several huge downsides and from what I have read yields on a per acre basis can be comprabable if not better using organic methods but it varies considerably depending upon the crop you ar talking about.  Issue is that going back to organic methods (basically no industrializers fertilizers to supply plants with nitrate and no pesticicide) means that crop yields globally would notably decline and with it we would have wars and economic collapse.  It's a hell of a condorum with no easy answers.  

paint it red call it hell's picture

I hear ya.

I never claimed there is enough manure to go around. I voiced personal observations and concerns of my own while plugging support of community based agriculture.

As a side note, I am aware of a BioDynamic farmer who has turned operation of his own CSA over to a farm manager while he earns premium extra income preparing soil, planting then managing organic gardens for wealthy suburbanites that have a clue.

LawsofPhysics's picture

"managing organic gardens for wealthy suburbanites that have a clue."

Was thinking about moving in this direction.  Some of my former ARMY friends will also be providing a service "insuring the security" of those gardens.

ElvisDog's picture

Oh, come on, do you really think you need security for your backyard garden? Unless you have a 10 acre backyard and the zombies are starving in your neck of the woods I think that's pretty silly/paranoid.