Food for Thought

I am constantly amazed at the quantity of factual information and common sense we are willing to ignore in order to maintain high levels of profit or a guarantee of perpetual monopoly.  I'm talking specifically here about methods of farming and the factual basis of how ecosystems work.  Do we really believe our current system of agriculture can continue infinitely without grave consequences?  That starry-eyed optimism is obsolete, and now we're in a tight spot: do we continue depleting the soil, the water and fossil fuels while creating an ever-growing circumstance of waste and pollution?  The other option is much more difficult and much less profitable: redesign and transform the food industry to follow the natural cycles and interdependencies of localized ecosystems.

I read a brief commentary a few weeks ago in The New York Times (link to Source above).  What caught my attention the most were these lines: "In early American agriculture, only sophisticated farmers like Washington and Jefferson were using crop rotations in their fields.  There was simply too much good land available.  It was too easy to farm a piece and then move on when the soil was depleted."

I am not a farmer nor an ecologist, but I do eat quite regularly, so I have an invested interest to participate in farming and ecology.  I need to stop and think: How is my life and the lives of my sources of food affected by the components of the food system?

Posted on November 21, 2012 .