Are you young and fit and looking for a meaningful career? Become a farmer. Nothing is more important than growing food. Of course! The way we grow food is not only about eating but also the future climate.
We are at a crucial crossroads as we look at the challenges of feeding billions more people on the way. One road leads to Intensive Agriculture and the other to Agroecology. The first seeks to increase yields by using new technologies such as GM seed and potent fertilizers. The second one treats raising food as a complex ecology that includes many different natural and cultural processes.
Advocates of the first make a good case for the necessity of intensive agriculture and claim it can be sustainable. It’s a complicated and crucial issue.
Which direction do you think is the best one?
Growing crops can either release tons of carbon, or they can actually sequester carbon. That makes a huge difference to the climate. Farmers are just now learning how to sequester carbon.
You can be a big-scale farmer and go in the business of selling the food you produce, or you can organize community gardens for people who don’t have the space or proper conditions for a garden at their own homes.
Or you can simply have a garden. You can grow a lot of food even if you live right in town. You might even be able to have chickens and goats. Bees too. Urban farming is spreading fast.