Claire Hope Cummings, in this third segment of interviews hones in upon the essential problems plaguing our agriculture system, industrialized agriculture. “Our bodies are not machines”, Cummings reminds us, all the parts of a biological (agriculture) system must remain healthy if we are to produce healthy food to feed healthy people. Industrial agriculture production is not intended to feed the world, according to Cummings, it’s designed to maximize profits for a relatively, few corporations that control the food system.
The overarching theme is corporate monopoly and control (power); the massive consolidation within the food industry ultimately threatens not just the availability of certain foods, it encourages monopolistic practices that undermine the health of the farm, the environment, and the health of the eater. Cummings warns us loud and clear, with Genetic Engineering, and other newer more pernicious technologies (nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and robotics, etc.), we are not employing our human ingenuity to work in accordance with the laws of Nature, we are seeking to control and dominate Nature.
Cummings raises troubling moral and philosophical issues we must tackle forthrightly, or risk a terrible fate. How should new technologies be used in agriculture, who decides, and for what purpose? Do we have the moral right (not to mention the inherent wisdom) to use technologies that sever our bond with the natural world? With the reliance upon industrial agriculture, have we lost the vital connection between the farmer, the land, and the eater, to the point where we have endangered ourselves, and the planet?
On Wednesday, in the final part of this series, Claire Hope Cummings shares her hope for the future.
Watch the complete series: