Sleeping with the Enemy – or Why There is No Law of Chastity in Agriculture

In a comment to the post “Jesus is a Locavore” Kory made some great observations regarding the global consequences of worldwide locavorism.  Obviously he and I are not holding hands over this issue but I do think a lot of what he says is true.  But I think there is more that we can do and there is more that our ancestors did do centuries before locavore was even a word.

While conventional agriculture degrades the environment and is not likely to work well in the long term; it is still much more profitable than organic agriculture.  That means that as long as we can make it bigger, cheaper, faster and as long as the economics of it continue to make good bottom line sense the free capitalist market will demand that it continues.  In the long run there will always be people who choose the easy option over the more environmentally friendly one.  Plus, with increased need for large amounts of food due to the expanding world population; we will soon run out of room to grow enough crops to feed everyone if we only use organic methods

I was once taught by a church leader that as stewards of the faith and stewards of this earth it is our duty to teach the ideal.  We must teach “the letter of the law” and not “the spirit of the law” even though most will choose to live the latter.  So I have chosen to put forth this idea that the revealed standards of health in section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants are best kept with a green and local lifestyle because more and more people are becoming concerned not only with the health of their families, but also with the health of the environment. 

 Organic agriculture may become more prevalent as we become more aware of the negative environmental and physical effects of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, and other chemicals.  It is believed by some, on the worldwide front, that families who use organic agricultural in developing countries may make more money than traditional farmers in the same areas and have a higher standard of living.

Since neither type of agriculture seems to be going anywhere, it’s likely the two will have to coexist in the future.  The ideal situation would be that both methods were used in conjunction with each other depending on the environmental, financial, and political situation.  This way, people can have the benefit of increased yields from traditional agriculture along with the health and environmental benefits of organic agriculture.  The problem with this theory is that the two sides are unlikely to reach a compromise and work together any time soon.  These two different mind sets will probably be at odds until it is absolutely necessary to make changes. 

 While organic agriculture may not be able to take over the world and solve all the environmental and dietary problems we face; it still has the ability to make an significant impact. 


~ by Mel's Boy on Wednesday, 17 June 2009.

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