pollan, complexity

posted April 17, 2010

Having brought the agricultural literacy of the average american up at least six notches with his articles and books: with elegant simplicity and  succint summings up , michael pollan has now got the awkward task of addresssing the undeniable complexity of agriculture. It must be a bit maddening for him, because every field is different, crops have been developed along line that are not compadible with the simple elegance of polyculture, the structural obstacles faced by farmers wishing to transition to a lower energy sustainable farming are quite complicated. Its a technical as well as cultural process, there are risks, there is research needed, different varieties of crop, different equiptment a different program. Its a challenge, and frankly agriculture is already challenging and challenged enough to but producers on the defensive– now all these bossy consumers with 2 cents of pollan-knowledge start feeling like they can criticize farmers practices. It ruffles feathers sometimes– which is ultimately healthy. Food production, having been partially demsytified, has lost the protection of that cloak, and lost its Norman ROckwell Sacrosanctum. Well fine, the chicken needs to be ruflled. And THIS is a conversation about that ruffling.