A Food Writer’s Manifesto

We all need one, and Grist’s new food writer lays his out:

Many food controversies tend to boil down to the same debate: One side insists on the necessity of progress through the application and advancement of ever more intrusive forms of technological control. The other extreme wants to chuck it all and go back to Eden.

This looks like a stark choice in the abstract, but in application, things always end up being a mix. I think we need to make every acre produce as much as possible, but that shouldn’t be our only goal. Our food should make the world cleaner and more beautiful rather than uglier and more polluted. Our food should support a broad middle class rather than tycoons and destitute laborers. Our food shouldn’t require the torture of animals. Our food should make us healthier.

Mainstream agriculture fails to deliver on any of these counts. The question is, can we come up with something that does any better?

Sounds good to me. In many ways this is the most important environmental and ethical question of our time.


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