One More Thought on That Ag/Americans/Identity Thing.

And to be a tad more blunt on the subject (instead of continuing to wax rhapsodic about the virtues of thinking historically):

If you believe the "food system" is "broken" and honestly want to help change it, then get real about agriculture. Think practical, folks. 

There's a lot at stake. Playing Alice Waters ain't gonna get us far. Fine, great, teach kids to garden and eat vegetables. Fabulous and I mean that sincerely (I cook every single day). But meantime, get practical about practical alternatives to everything in the system. Everything. Especially scale, the budget item that no one seems too interested in. 

The thing is: agriculture is one of humanity's finest accomplishments. Sure, yeah, things are fucked up. But we all wouldn't be here bitching about how awful the world is unless, ya know, humans had figured out how to protect the species. Historically, agriculture is a repository of humanity at its best, constantly striving and tinkering and thinking and imagining.

We still are! Agriculture today, globally, is a nearly exhausting hive of creativity. You want to fix the planet? Support agricultural research. Don't demonize it. Support it. Read up on ag "technology" (as we seem to be calling certain kinds of tools these days) to reduce stress and to reduce scut labor and still make the earth yield food and fiber. (*1)

Because if you don't get practical, you're gonna get stuck with a nation of people who've been duped into thinking the abundance is limitless just so long as we all commune over food --- and a nation of people spending away several centuries of economic and intellectual investment.  And, yeah, probably paying dearly for food ("dear" being relative; more than our current 10 percent)

And: If we lose agriculture to, say, the Chinese (which I've already noted is entirely possible), then who will we Americans be?

I'll shut up about it now.


*1: Now there's something that bugs the crap out of me if you wanna know the truth. Who commandeered the word technology and slapped it on narrow spectrum of "tools"? (*2)

*2: Okay. Maybe I do need a 12-Step for, uh, footnotes....