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Woody Tasch: Farming and Harming

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global oneness project Farming and Harming It's an amazing thing because people do not think of agriculture as harming. They think of farming as--farming and harming: there's a poem. Woody Tasch - Point Reyes Station, California - Author, "Slow Money" They think of growing food as a positive thing, as not harming. But given what I just said about the use of fertilizers and microbes and whatever-- --if I say, "You're killing trillions of microbes to grow your food,"-- --everyone's like, "Oh, come on. Get over it." But the reality is the way we grow food is destructive. The real truth of the matter is is that our species has never learned how to live sustainably. I mean, really, let's just cop to the problem. We've never learned how to live sustainably. When there were 250 million of us running around killing wild boar, we didn't have much impact. And if you really look at what's happened population-wise, it's more dramatic than people can even-- Going from 2 billion in 1945 to 6.6 billion today, it's our lifetime. It's this lifetime right now where everything kind of got out of control. We're still in it, so it's hard to see it. When we went 10,000 years ago from hunter/gatherer to an agriculture-based society-- --we didn't actually know what the hell we were doing. We were very clever in figuring out how to start growing certain kinds of grains and vegetables-- --but we didn't have a clue what the long-term ecological consequences were-- --because again, there didn't seem to be any when there was 500 million of us, even 1 billion of us. Now there are 6.6 billion and in order to try to be on this treadmill to stay ahead of the diminishing returns-- --we have to keep going faster and faster and putting more chemicals on and growing more and more. I would say this generation--I'll just say the generation from now to 25 years from now--will be a revolution of consciousness-- --when people will realize that the way we grow food has actually inadvertently become destructive. It was totally inadvertent. No one did it on purpose. And again, think of cigarette smoking--good metaphor. No one knew it caused cancer but then gradually we figured out it caused cancer. Even when we figured it out, it was hard to stop. So it's the same deal. We're addicted to certain forms of behavior that started before we knew about them. Gary Snyder's comment about food being where we explore our harming of the world is not a frivolous comment. It's basically if you really understand what it takes to extract fertility and turn it into food for human consumption-- --it is a very delicate process.

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 45 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 110
Posted by: global on Mar 9, 2009

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