December 17, 2007

Security as resilience & sustainability

Michael Pollan has an interesting article in The New York Times Magazine which manages to mention swine, almonds, antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, and the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus that's been implicated in Bee Colony Collapse Disorder. Here's an excerpt of Our Decrepit Food Factories:

"For years now, critics have been speaking of modern industrial agriculture as “unsustainable” in precisely these terms, though what form the “breakdown” might take or when it might happen has never been certain. Would the aquifers run dry? The pesticides stop working? The soil lose its fertility? All these breakdowns have been predicted and they may yet come to pass. But if a system is unsustainable — if its workings offend the rules of nature — the cracks and signs of breakdown may show up in the most unexpected times and places. Two stories in the news this year, stories that on their faces would seem to have nothing to do with each other let alone with agriculture, may point to an imminent breakdown in the way we’re growing food today."

Update: in The San Francisco Chronicle Magazine Carl Nagin asks, How Safe Is Your Salad?

Apparently, "new industry rules for leafy greens aim to protect consumers from E. coli. Farmers and conservationists question the science [and the common sense of the grocery industry groups] behind the standards."

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