Saturday, March 13, 2010

Business vs. Nature

There's an interesting interview with Susan Dworkin on this week's Living On Earth.

It caught my attention when she said, "Business loves monoculture, but nature loves diversity." An interesting bumper sticker, perhaps, for capturing the essence of why diversity in our seed stocks has diminished.

Dworkin has written a book about one of Norman Borlaug's disciples, Bent Skovmand, called Viking in the Wheat Fields. It should be interesting, since Dworkin opposes the patenting of life forms as apparently Skovmand did, but praises the Green Revolution.

I hope the book has a bit more sophisticated science than the interview.

While I'm waiting to get it from the library, I'm going to think about another point Dworkin makes, that we the people have been largely kept in the dark about agriculture issues while a few government bureaucrats and representatives of global corporations make decisions about our food supply. We need more civic discourse about the food system.

This is a point I have been trying to make as one of the "education and communication" stakeholders in our local Food System Alliance. It's not enough to teach the kids through school gardens and reskill the adults in food growing, prep and preservation. We need to have forums on food issues that aren't just limited to the foodies, farmers and nutritionistas.

At Thanksgiving Lutheran on Thursday evening (their lenten series is using the ELCA world hunger prayer calendar) Karen commented on how we should be thankful that we are hearing more about our food system these days, thanks to Michael Pollan's books, popular documentaries, etc. Hear, Hear!

You can find the short Dworkin interview here:

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