Wednesday, April 1, 2009

V. Shiva nails it: Bringing food security close to home is the essential thing

To feed our ever-growing appetites, we push industrial agriculture
methods on once-traditional agrarian societies, and now we want these
faraway lands to produce a different kind of food: biofuel, to feed
the West's automobiles. At some point, Shiva argues, we're going to
have to choose between sacred cow and sacred car.

Shiva founded an organization called Navdanya to promote research in
organic agriculture and saving heirloom seeds. In her 2008 book Soil
Not Oil: Environmental Justice in an Age of Climate Crisis, she argues
that the rebirth of sustainable, traditional agriculture offers the
best way forward, in both India and in the West.

"There is a myth that there are agricultural societies, and then there
are industrial societies and service societies, as if when you become
an industrial or service society you don't need food," she says. "As
we hit climate chaos, as we hit peak oil, assuming that you can get
your food from far away and use fossil-fuel-intensive systems to
produce food is totally not sustainable. Bringing food security close
to home will have to be the project of the future."

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