Saturday, August 1, 2009

Food for Thought

I've stumbled across this very interesting article about what, according to the author, are the unthinking criticisms that "agri-intellectuals" level against modern farming. I'm still contemplating it, but it has made me think differently about certain things I had taken for granted when it comes to organic farming, "industrial agriculture," and factory farming of animals. His concluding paragraph:
But farmers have reasons for their actions, and society should listen to them as we embark upon this reappraisal of our agricultural system. I use chemicals and diesel fuel to accomplish the tasks my grandfather used to do with sweat, and I use a computer instead of a lined notebook and a pencil, but I'm still farming the same land he did 80 years ago, and the fund of knowledge that our family has accumulated about our small part of Missouri is valuable. And everything I know and I have learned tells me this: we have to farm "industrially" to feed the world, and by using those "industrial" tools sensibly, we can accomplish that task and leave my grandchildren a prosperous and productive farm, while protecting the land, water, and air around us.
Although I'm still processing the article, I can say I have learned a lesson that I've had to learn and relearn several times in my life: I should try to get the facts before opining on whatever it is I have opinions about.

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