Thursday, June 9, 2016
Agriculture and sustainability
Austin Miles, a college student, wrote an interesting piece about sustainability and scale, which ran in Ohio University’s student newspaper, The Post. The article states that no measure of distance, no simple definition of local or global is an indicator of either inherent sustainability or environmental degradation. Here's the conclusion:
"To zealously support local food systems themselves may be unsustainable. That defensive localism, often characterized as elitist or bourgeois, stresses the importance of a sort of purist local food system in opposition to the global, capitalist system. In Athens, for instance, the 30 Mile Meal promotes local food as a sustainable response to the influence of corporate interests over the food system. But the local food system in Athens could not be characterized as sustainable because it is not necessarily equitable.
"A truly sustainable food system may require consideration of multiple scales because they are all connected. The local scale is nested within the national scale, which is in turn nested within the global scale. The world, globalized as it is, will require an food system that can operate on all of those scales. The local food system surely is important, but the road to sustainability will require that we move beyond localism and regionalism and figure out how we can use the various scales as means to create a sustainable food system."