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
- 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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Swarthmore College Environmental Studies
last updated 1/25/06