Community-Supported Agriculture

Katie Sauvain


The Big Question: Where is agriculture going? Where should agriculture go?

  • two situations – not mutually exclusive, but have very different philosophies
    • using biotech and computer revolutions to produce food (key words: efficiency, standardization) – production in factory farms, control by multinational corporations
    • a return to supporting local farmers and organic practices – production on small farms, controlled by farmers with support by community

Discussion Questions

  • Can you summarize the philosophies of these two approaches?
    • What are the supposed advantages of each?
    • What kind of person might support each one?
  • Is agriculture being phased out, or is it just adapting to a global market and new technology?
    • Should we worry about the losers (small farmers, Third World countries) in this transition, or are they inevitable losses in a natural process?
    • Are supporters of small farming trying to stop progress?
  • What worries people about the trend toward biotech and corporate control?
    • What are the disadvantages of this system?
    • Notice the language opponents use to describe the system.
    • How have biotech and factory farming affected the aesthetics of food?
  • How are CSAs a response to these worries?
    • What about them appeals to people?
    • Are they a viable solution to the perceived problem?
    • Whom do CSAs exclude?
      • Will there always be alternatives to biotech for those who can afford them? If so, why should those people be concerned?

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last updated 1/25/06