147. Michael Pollan: We Are Headed Toward a Breakdown in Our Food System | Environment | AlterNet
July 6, 2009 § Leave a comment
michael pollen [whats in a name] on food
my bet is that what we’ll see from the Obama administration is a lot of support for alternative groups such as local and organic. Money for farmers to transition, money to rebuild local food economies. Whether we’ll actually see an attack on conventional agriculture is less likely, given the politics of it. The reason is you can’t do anything with the current agriculture committees we’ve got in Congress. You can’t drive any reform through. It’s going to take a few years to change the populations of those committees.
On whether he’s trying to rally a movement in time to avert disaster, or just prepare us for the inevitable mess caused by scarcer oil, degrading ecologies, and global warming:
MP: It’s more the latter. We need to have these alternatives around and available when the shit hits the fan, basically.
One of the reasons we need to nurture several different ways of feeding ourselves — local, organic, pasture-based meats, and so on – is that we don’t know what we’re going to need and we don’t know what is going to work. To the extent that we diversify the food economy, we will be that much more resilient. Because there will be shocks. We know that. We saw that last summer with the shock of high oil prices. There will be other shocks. We may have the shock of the collapsing honey bee population. We may have the shock of epidemic diseases coming off of feed lots. We’re going to need alternatives around.
When we say the food system is unsustainable we mean that there is something about it, an internal contradiction, that means it can’t go on the way it is without it breaking up. And I firmly believe there will be a breakdown.