Systems thinking food writer Michael Pollan interviewed by Vancouver’s the Tyee after a talk in support of the University of British Columbia’s Farm. The interview – Garden Fresh – discusses US agricultural policy and resilience food systems:
On whether he’s trying to rally a movement in time to avert disaster, or just prepare us for the inevitable mess caused by scarcer oil, degrading ecologies, and global warming:
“It’s more the latter. We need to have these alternatives around and available when the shit hits the fan, basically.
“One of the reasons we need to nurture several different ways of feeding ourselves — local, organic, pasture-based meats, and so on – is that we don’t know what we’re going to need and we don’t know what is going to work. To the extent that we diversify the food economy, we will be that much more resilient. Because there will be shocks. We know that. We saw that last summer with the shock of high oil prices. There will be other shocks. We may have the shock of the collapsing honey bee population. We may have the shock of epidemic diseases coming off of feed lots. We’re going to need alternatives around.
“When we say the food system is unsustainable we mean that there is something about it, an internal contradiction, that means it can’t go on the way it is without it breaking up. And I firmly believe there will be a breakdown.”