After a long drive through the endless industrial warehouses, outlet malls, and grassy swamplands, our small UMiami field trip crew arrived at our destination: ECHO demonstration farm in Fort Myers, Florida. According to its site, “ECHO is an information hub for development practitioners around the world. We gather solutions from around the world that are solving hunger problems and disseminate them to our active network. Continue reading “ECHO Farm Field Trip”
After this homework assignment, I’m leaning pro-GMO. We need to differentiate between GMO and Monsanto, rather than heap our fear and loathing on a believed-to-be potentially carcinogenic (not proven) technique which, in reality, is not solely controlled by agribusiness. Millions of potential cases of starvation and malnutrition have been prevented with new crops such as the “Golden Banana” or flood-resistant rice. In these instances, human ingenuity and manipulation are creating rejuvenating relationships between people and the Earth. Celebi is happy.
I am frustrated by the lack of nutritious, non-destructive foods in our pantry on the farm. There is a contingency that negatively affects the environment and/or ourselves in each product we have stored away from the grocery store, while we peer over fields of naturally occurring nutritious abundance.
We like to think of ourselves as humble (or omnipotent) stewards of the Earth. We like to believe that we are the most powerful force in nature. That plants grow because we will them to. In fact, our will contributes significantly to our ability to produce huge amounts of staple foods, animal products, and even organic vegetables. Our mighty plow churns through the soil, our hands wrangle the uninvited weeds, and lo and behold, the seeds we painstakingly nurture in plastic houses set root and flourish in our fields.
Ever since I began dabbling in vegetarianism my freshman year of college, I’ve received a lot of bewildered, intrigued, and defensive responses. Fluctuating between omnivorism, vegetarianism, and veganism, I’ve been a proponent of each group. Through the idealism and dogma bound up in each phase, I’ve come to believe that only honesty and critical self and societal reflection can bring any progress to this hotly contended, gridlocked debate.