Front page, Europe and international, International

“Why everyone who is sure about a food philosophy is wrong” (T Haspel, Washington Post)

28 Jul 2015

Upon this title, Tamar Haspel, writer, demonstrates that the “unbreachable divide between advocates of modern conventional agriculture and, essentially, everyone else, from the mainstream (organic, local, anti-GMO) to the less-so (biodynamics, permaculture, agroforestry)” is not only partisan, but also misleading, “for the simple reason that food and philosophy don’t mix”.

According to T Haspel, agriculture is a matter of pragmatism, of flexibility, of adaptation, especially to climatic and soil conditions: “Heavy use of chemical fertilizers can lead to water-polluting runoff, but that doesn’t mean the best alternative is no chemical fertilizers at all”.

She takes a comparative “look at the good and the bad of the kinds of agricultural approaches that attract the most attention”:
– Organic
– Locally grown food
– Anti-GMO
– Conventional agriculture
She concludes : “Ditch the philosophy. No more unifying principle. Call off the dogma. Instead, think small. […] The appeal of ideas like organic and local is understandable, and there are lots of good reasons to feed yourself and your family that way. It’s when those ideas are used to paint the world’s agricultural landscape in black-and-white that the trouble starts. The solutions to the problem of feeding people and protecting the planet are endlessly and irredeemably gray.”

The whole article is worth reading