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Pathways of Transition to Agroecological Food Systems


Pathways of Transition to Agroecological Food Systems

Adam Parsons

An alternative vision of farming and food systems has long been upheld by civil society groups and small-scale producers around the world, based on the science of agroecology and the broader framework of food sovereignty. But while many reports and studies have shown how less intensive, diversified and sustainable farming methods can have far better outcomes than today’s corporate-dominated model of industrial agriculture, the question remains as to how we can make the shift towards agroecological systems on a global scale.


A necessary step to exposing the many problems with industrial agriculture is to discredit its ideological icon, Norman Borlaug, the “Father of the Green Revolution”, Nobel Prize winner and the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and the National Medal of Science.

As is evident in his accolades, the entire industrial/political establishment has elevated Borlaug into mythic status, complete with his statue in the Capitol building's Statuary Hall, engraved with the words "the man who saved a billion lives". Horseshit.

Borlaug's biggest impact was to accelerate the destructive path toward a soil nutrient depleting, chemical input and water profligate agriculture system that has "become an existential threat to itself", not to mention the environment and the health of consumers who ingest increasing amounts of the chemicals that industrial agriculture needs to produce its crap.


Olivier de Schutter and the IPES-Food approach reminds me of the 20-year old slave Gabriel in 1800 Virginia whose plan to end slavery was to kidnap the governor of Virginia, James Monroe, and hold him hostage and then talk reason into him and others about the evils of slavery, thereby ending it. Gabriel was hanged.

This isn't a question of reason. This is a question of entrenched money holding on to power. Big Ag knows very well that their industry is a fraud.

We need more Vandana Shivas and Colin Todhunters who aren't so reluctant about exposing industrial agriculture as the criminal enterprise it is:

"These interests have succeeded in rolling out a system of economic plunder and bad food and poor health across the planet. If the ordinary person were to engage in biopiracy, ecocide, the devastation of livelihoods and to knowingly poison the environment and food, as these corporations have, they would face years of incarceration."