Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Question....

What is the question? Well, that is a great question! But, I'm thinking more specifically about the question driving my interest in alternative agricultural systems.

Are alternative agricultural systems truly more sustainable in terms of reducing GHG, promoting economic viability of farms, and producing affordable, safe food, than more industrialized (modern) farming systems?

There is a lot of rhetoric being published from those arguing for a "perfecting" of modern agricultural processes, strategies and technologies, just as there others arguing for the alternative. But, when we move past the rhetoric we are still just as confused as before regarding the sustainable path to present and future food security.

Rather than proponents of each side of the debate continuing to ignore the other, it is perhaps time to engage in some serious comparative analysis that incorporate economic, environment and social dimensions. Understanding the complexity of interdisciplinary research, "most" of these studies are glaringly absent from the dialogue. It appears that one dimension supersedes all the others in current studies. It is usually economics, with environment coming in second and social coming in a distant third.

I think this needs to be changed if we are going to start identifying appropriate policies for a sustainable future, especially one where we can eat!

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