Wendell Berry on the Future of Food

“Our fundamental problem is world destruction, caused by an irreconcilable contradiction between the natural world and the engineered world of industrialism. This conflict between nature and human interest may have begun with the first tools and weapons, but only with the triumph of industrialism has it become absolute. By now the creaturely world is absolutely at the mercy of industrial processes, which are doing massive ecological damage. How much of this damage may be repairable by economic and cultural changes remains to be seen.

Industrial destructiveness, anyhow, is our disease. Most of our most popular worries — climate change, fossil fuel addiction, pollution, poverty, hunger and the various forms of legitimated violence — are symptoms. If, for example, we were somehow granted a limitless supply of cheap, clean energy, we would continue and even accelerate our destruction of the world by agricultural erosion, chemical poisoning, industrial war, industrial recreation and various forms of development.’

And there is no use in saying that if we can invent the nuclear bomb and fly to the moon, we can solve hunger and related problems of land use. Epic feats of engineering require only a few brilliant technicians and a lot of money. But feeding a world of people year to year for a long time requires cultures of husbandry fitted to the nature of millions of unique small places — precisely the kind of cultures that industrialism has purposely disvalued, uprooted and destroyed.”

Read the rest here.

About mjbutterworth

Coffee. Books. Bicycles.
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2 Responses to Wendell Berry on the Future of Food

  1. Julie Donovan says:

    I think we should follow in the footsteps of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore and go on the Master Cleanse periodically to prepare our bodies for the inevitable food shortages that will happen. That way, when the food runs out we’ll know that we can at least subsist on maple syrup, vinegar, and hot sauce.

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