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Saturday, January 09, 2010

Facts About Food & Farming

One of the more pleasing developments of the last decade has been the long-overdue beginning of a national conversation about food -- not just the arcane techniques used to prepare it and the luxurious restaurants in which it is served, but, much more important, how it is grown and produced.

The only problem is that so far it hasn't been much of a conversation. Instead, what we have are two armed camps deeply suspicious of one another shouting past each other. The issues we're facing are not going to go away, and they are too important to be left to the ideologues. What I'd like to see happen in the next decade is a more constructive give-and-take, the start of a true conversation.

With that goal in mind, I'd like to propose a few ground rules that might help move us into the next phase -- fundamental principles that both sides should be able to agree on.

* Agriculture is a business. Farming without a financial motive is gardening. I use that line a lot when I'm giving talks, and it always gets a laugh. But it's deadly serious. Not only do farmers have expenses to meet just like any other business, but they also need to be rewarded when they do good work. Any plan that places further demands on farmers without an offsetting profit incentive is doomed to fail.

*11 more points follow. Click here to read them all.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 10:44 PM


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