Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The information posted this week points out some of the negative impacts of the globalization of agriculture. What are some positive aspects of globalization? How does globalization impact your life? In your blog feel free to reflect on the negatives as well, many of which were pointed out in the readings for the week.

This touches on many of the issues I hold near and dear, namely, how can something which was manufactured or produced thousands of miles away really be good for me, the environment, or the global economy? Sure, it's nice to get raspberries for New Year's Eve champagne, or mangoes year round. And chocolate? I still give in to the impulse buy for a Hershy with almonds at checkout, even though it is not fair trade and probably produced using child labor and DDT. None of these things would be possible without the globalization of our economy.

I think the most important and overlooked commodity related to agriculture is not the seeds and fertilizers, but the knowledge needed to produce crops. Growing food is a knowledge-intensive endeavor, as anyone who has attempted a first time garden will understand. Annuals, perennials, dry or irrigated farming are just the tip of the iceberg. Most growers I talk to always confirm this idea that farming and gardening provide a constant schoolroom for learning. Cheaper and faster (almost instantaneous) communication has meant the translation of growing systems to far-flung regions, and the sharing of ideas and traditional systems has lead to new research focusing on not just the Green and Gene Revolutions, but especially the development of sustainable ag techniques.

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