How Change is Going to Come in the Food System

Here is an article by Michael Pollan off his site, which is worth checking out. http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/how-change-is-going-to-come-in-the-food-system/ Pollan has written numerous books on the food industry such as The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemna, and Food Rules. He is a journalist, but his books cover a large range from reporting to philosophizing. He is essentially the writer on the modern food system.

His article is practical and examines how problems will be solved, rather than the problems themselves. The article expresses one of my beliefs, that the sustainability of modern farming is in the end a matter of simple self-preservation. There are many people who have a deep connection with the land and see this as a reason to keep it healthy. But there are many more that don’t put any energy into forming this connection. I think the government, with its concern for economic and social issues, falls into this category. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this prioritizing. People will find what is important to them and fight for it. The environment might not even be a factor in many decisions. But in the end, whether we feel a connection to it or not, we all rely on the environment for food, for livelihood. Whether it is important to you because of its beauty or because of the resources it can provide, the land and how we use it will define how long and how well we will live on this planet.

I realize I have zoomed out a lot from Pollan’s article. Coming back, we know that no matter how much we believe in this cause, the change we want will uproot an “entrenched power.” And as Pollan points out, we have to prove to these powerful people what they can stand to gain from change before anything will happen. We have to take a practical approach to our organization, making allies as we spread and showing people how it can benefit them personally. The best approach will be not only open-minded, but practical and interdisciplinary.

In the words of Prince Charles, “It is, I feel, our apparent reluctance to recognize the interrelated nature of the problems and therefore the solutions, that lies at the heart of our predicament and certainly on our ability to determine the future of food.”

-Simon

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