That's what I'd read in the New York Times this spring, in a story which reported that interest in buying local is thin, and the market for organic is even thinner. And this is largely what I saw there -- people preferred to buy vegetables from Germany, and farms I visited were wondering what their market would be in the future. Ironically, most of these farms were already organic because of the prohibitive cost of chemical amendments, but hadn't bothered with the paperwork. Most small farmers don't sell at all, but consume what they grow -- pure subsistence.In my high school biology class, many years ago, we were taught something that's now discredited: "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny"--meaning the development of the individual retraces the steps by which the phylum developed, hence the presence of gills at one stage of the fetal development. I wonder whether that's sort of true for economies--an agricultural economy which the Michael Pollan's of the world regard as ideal must necessarily transform into an industrialized agriculture before, perhaps, and this remains to be seen, developing post-industrial crunchy green characteristics.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
From Grist and Erik Hoffner: