Lappe and Collins Myth 4 - new.pdf - myth4 Organic Ecological Farming Can't Feed a Hungry World MYTH Despite the many downsides laid out in the previous

Lappe and Collins Myth 4 - new.pdf - myth4 Organic...

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myth4 Organic & Ecological Farming Can't Feed a Hungry World MYTH: Despite the many downsides laid out in the previous chapter, industrial agriculture and GM Os are essential. Ifall ofus are to eat, we can and must learn how to make industrial agriculture more efficient and sustainable. If instead we were to attempt widespread food pro- duction without synthetic fertilizer and pesticides-organic farming- we'd be headed back to subsistence farming. Farmers wouldn't make a decent living, and there wouldn't be enough food for all of the world's people-much less the even larger population coming. Many would starve. OUR RESPONSE: It's easy to absorb the notion that any alternative to industrial agriculture is romantic, a lovely vision that simply can't work. In truth, however, it's the industrial model that's now proved not to work, failing both to end hunger and to be a feasible path forward. Fortunately, mounting evidence points to other paths that are not only productive but also realigning human actions with the Earth's natural systems-as well as aligning human societies with human needs so that all of us can partake in the bounty. Before jumping into this rich universe, first note that some studies show industrial agriculture producing higher yields than these alternative 101
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World Hunger paths. 1 Taking a wider view, however, we'll see in this chapter and throughout our � oak that many small farmers in the Global South who reject industrial agriculture and adopt ecological practices have the oppo- site experience: They are enjoying yield increases, some quite dramatic. In the Global North differences in yields are often small and diminishing, while the benefits of shifting away from industrial farming are huge. 2 Plus, in a world of abundant food-rife with the waste and inefficien- cies tallied in previous chapters-wouldn't it be a shame to let fear of the possibility that yields might be even modestly lower block us from seizing solutions at hand? It is precisely this shift-from a narrow focus to a wider view-that 1 defines the very different lens we invite you now to try on. If the downfall of industrial agriculture is its view of life as distinct, disconnected spheres, the key to the power of emergent, alternative approaches is a systemic view-seeing life's multiple dimensions in ,relation to one another, all connected and interacting. This systems · approach encompasses the quality of our relationships both with other 'human beings and with the Earth. It is called "agroecology." Thus, agroecology is more than a different way of growing food. Unlike the industrial model, it's not power-concentrating, but rather an evolving practice of growing food within communities that is power-dispersing and power-creating-enhancing the dignity, the knowledge, and thus the capacities of all involved. Agroecology thus helps to address the pow- . erlessness at the root of hunger. Applying a systems view to farming, agroecology unites ecological science with time-tested traditional wisdom : and farmers' ongoing experience. It is also a social movement, growing
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  • Fall '08
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