Farming has become an occupation and cultural force of the past. Michael Pollan's talk promoted the premise -- and hope -- that farming can become an occupation and force of the future. In the past century American farmers were given the assignment to produce lots of calories cheaply, and they did. They became the most productive humans on earth. A single farmer in Iowa could feed 150 of his neighbors. That is a true modern miracle.
"American farmers are incredibly inventive, innovative, and accomplished. They can do whatever we ask them, we just need to give them a new set of requirements."
Kevin Kelly cofounded WIRED in 1993 and served as executive editor of the magazine from its inception until 1999. He currently holds the unique title of senior maverick. Kelly’s most recent book is What Technology Wants (2010), about long-term trends in what he calls the technium. He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984 to 1990, Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He cofounded the Quantified Self movement and the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and he helped launch the pioneering online service the WELL in 1985. He is the author of the best-selling book New Rules for the New Economy and the classic 1994 work on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.
Michael Pollan is the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, a New York Times bestseller.
His previous books include The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World (2001); A Place of My Own (1997); and Second Nature (1991). A contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Pollan is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in 2003 and the Reuters-I.U.C.N. 2000 Global Award for Environmental Journalism.
Pollan served for many years as executive editor of Harper's Magazine and is now the Knight Professor of Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley. His articles have been anthologized in Best American Science Writing 2004, Best American Essays 2003, and the Norton Book of Nature Writing.
"Estimates are between 10-15% of all atmospheric carbon could be returned to the soil with sustainable agriculture practices," says author Michael Pollan. He suggests developing a method to measure and reward farmers for sequestering carbon.
"The real key to genetic engineering is control of intellectual property of the food crops that we depend on," says author Michael Pollan of companies like Monsanto. He advocates an open source GE model.
System of crop cultivation that uses biological methods of fertilization and pest control as substitutes for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which are regarded by supporters of organic methods as harmful to health and the environment and unnecessary for successful cultivation. It was initiated as a conscious rejection of modern agri-chemical techniques in the 1930s by the British agronomist Sir Albert Howard. Miscellaneous organic materials, including animal manure, compost, grass turf, straw, and other crop residues, are applied to fields to improve both soil structure and moisture-holding capacity and to nourish soil life, which in turn nourishes plants. (Chemical fertilizers, by contrast, feed plants directly.) Biological pest control is achieved through preventive methods, including diversified farming, crop rotation, the planting of pest-deterrent species, and the use of integrated pest management techniques. Bioengineered strains are avoided. Since organic farming is time-consuming, organically grown produce tends to be expensive. Organic produce formerly accounted for a minuscule portion of total American farm output, but it has seen a huge proportional increase in sales in recent years.
Originally Posted by MTGRAY
Well folks any way one throw's the commercial around to promote their policy money still is the bottom line
of all capitalist societies. As you will pay the tax for all who are more educated. the new trick bio-blah blah to global warming blah blah=your tax's.
Couldn't have said it better myself, except for the blah blah part, which shows some surprising disdain for sustainability, health, and our planet. Yes, in American Capitalism, AKA commercialism, the only way to get things done is with money. And thank goodness if a little of my money goes to something that might help the planet.
Of course, if we merely adjust policies currently in place to meet our knowledge and to use money and resources more efficiently, then it wouldn't even cost any extra. If I were a real conservative, this is the sort of action I would be interested in seeing in Washington, as opposed to the current popular brand of Conservatism, which is all hypocrisy, anger, ego, and lies.
Well folks any way one throw's the commercial around to promote their policy money still is the bottom line
of all capitalist societies. As you will pay the tax for all who are more educated. the new trick bio-blah blah to global warming blah blah=your tax's.
The problem with GMOs is that they have been designed for profit. Just like anything else designed for profit there are shortcuts, biased testing, and a push for a return that outweighs the advantage of the product. They were also released into the "wild" without any thought to consequence of that action. If there was a way to develop some sort of GMO life form which would be tested for generations before use -maybe- I could endorse such a thing and only on an "open source" basis since then anyone would be able to have access to study it. These would have to be in a strictly controlled INDOOR environment before it could be introduced - if at all. There is no reason that GMO's can't be grown in greenhouses to prevent the spread into natural areas. It needs to be treated as a unknown time bomb because that is what it could be. If there was no dangerous problems with this then it would have naturally occurred thousands of times over by now.
Thanks for paying close attention to Mr. Pollan's words. However, in Chapter 14, Question 4, he says that he can imagine genetic engineering that supports sustainable agriculture. He adds that by and large the type he envisions is not being worked on now. What he imagines is open source genetic engineering.
I just came to Fora.tv to see this video of Michael Pollan speaking about GMOs and I am immensely disappointed with the subtitle you choose to put on it! It's pure spin!
Michael Pollan did not support at all genetic engineering as a key for sustainable agriculture! He just mentioned problems with it! What he said was "if it was the complete opposite of what it really is, then I would consider discussing about it, but as it is, I'm not even going to waste my time considering it".
He didn't endorse it in any way!!! Could you please do us a favor and change that erroneous subtitle? Thanks.
Good evening. I am Kevin Kelly for the Long Now Foundation. Stewart Brand isabsent. His on a fieldtrip to the site of the Long Now Clock. And I will be host for thisevening.The next talk that we have is actually this month. We usually have this one a month, butwe have actually two in May. The next speakers Paul Romer, the economist. Who willbe speaking on May 18th and also a bring to your attention. If you like this talk, youmight be interested in the one on July 28th, Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak. Whoare talking about organically grown and genetically engineered food for the future. So,speaker tonight is Michael Pollan. He will be signing books, copies of his In Defense ofFood paper back out here at the end of the talk. He also will be appearing in thedocumentary called, Food Inc. Which will be shown I think sometime in June, first weekof June or so. He appears in that and he also will be talking to us tonight about deepagriculture. So Long Now is about trying to think in terms of long term thinking and that isnot also done with food, food is a system. You like to take a system view of it and that isis what Michael Pollan is actually expert at. Thinking about the kind of systematic viewof food through time, but also unlike who thinks systematically also thinks about it withhis heart. He is a food lover and that combination is actually very rare. On taking boththe immediate view and the long view. And with that, I like you to welcome, Michael Pollan.Thank you. Thank you very much, thank you Kevin. They want you back stage to fixyour microphone. Thanks a lot. Thanks for coming tonight. It really is a special honorto be invited into this community and I am very appreciative. I looked at the list of pastspeakers and many of my heroes. So it is and a little bit surprising. Because I thinkpeople do not think of food and farming is about the future so much as the past generally.Certainly that was the common view of agriculture in our society, to very, very recently.It was kind of yesterdays news you know, about a sexiest green acres or Beverlyhillbillies or the CBS prime time line up until a few years ago. But that is clearlychanged. How we feed ourselves, today goes right to the biggest questions of our time.And that is what I want to talk about. Farming is almost cool. Hardly a week goes byand I am not exaggerating, where I meet a software developer who is taking his options inbuying a farm. So what I like to do today, I am going to talk for about 40 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 45 minutesand then take your questions and I look forward to hearing them. But I want to offer akind of state of the movement address. Talk a little bit about where we are, because weare at this very interesting fulcrum moment. I think of change around food and where weneed to go long term. Those of us who have been working for many years to reform thefood system and the American way of eating. We suddenly find ourselves in a very oddand in some ways exciting, but also uncomfortable new place. No longer holding a signoutside on the granite steps of the USDA or the capitol. But inside with the seat at thetable. Challenge now is to figure out what to say. I want to start out with a little quiz. Iam going to read you quote and you tell me or try to tell me which well-known critic ofthe American food system said this. Here is how it goes, "Our entire agricultural systemis built on cheap oil. As a consequence our agriculture sector actually is contributingmore greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time it is creatingmonocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats. That are also nowvulnerable to sky high food prices or crashes in food prices. Huge swings in commodityprices and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare cost. Because theyare contributing to type II diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things thatare driving our huge explosion in healthcare cost." Any idea who said that? YesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦President Obama said that. Is not that kind of amazing?What that tells us is that we have a president and we know he is a supreme dot connector,right in many ways. But he is a very good dot connector in the food system and that hehas made the links between the way we grow our food and the healthcare crisis on theone hand and the energy and climate change crisis on the other. That is a very bigconnection to draw and it has tremendous implications. So we have a president whounderstands these issues. We actually have a Secretary of Agriculture who appear TomVilsack. Who appears to be charge with the mandate for reform. We do not know howfar that is going to go. Although we do know his number 2, a woman and KathleenMerrigan, who is very closely identified with writing the organic rules and is a devotedreformer. Is running the Department of Agriculture, that is kind of mind blowing. Andthen of course we have Michelle Obama. Who so far may be doing the most importantthing of all. Which is to say, talking about real food, planting a garden. A garden shetook pains to tell the media it was an organic garden. She did not have to take that extrastep and you know it really pissed off the crop protection industry as they currently liketo call themselves. They wrote her a letter actually. It was kind of, it was polite, butpointed about, "We really think by making this garden organic, you have cast aspersionson conventional foods in our industry. We really hope you consider, buying and usingsome of our wonderful crop protection products."Anyway, so all that is very exciting. It is given a huge boost I think to the movement andindeed to home gardening. If you try to buy garden seeds. You know, you go to yourgarden center and you will find kind of holes, missing teeth in that great wall of seedpockets. But the question still remains, "Is there a mandate for real change? Is Obamaprepared to use his considerable political capital on this issue? Do we have a path thatwill take us from where we are and where we want to be?" Obama certainly did not runon a platform of reforming food and agriculture. Yet my argument tonight is that sooneror later, first term or more likely second term. He will find himself forced to deal withthe food system. Because he will have a lot of trouble, he would discover. Makingsignificant progress on healthcare cost or climate change or energy independence,without tackling the food system. Because it is the shadow problem overall those threeother problems. And the way we are feeding ourselves is at the heart of all three issues.Consider this a couple stats. The food system as that quote indicated and this news hasreach Obama. But the food system as a whole. That is agriculture and food processing.Uses more fossil fuel, about 20% of the total and contributes more greenhouse gasses, notjust CO2, but methane and nitrous oxide from fertilizer. To the atmosphere than anyother industry. Somewhere depending on the studies and none of them are reliable.Between 17% and 34% of greenhouse gases traceable to the way we are eating. Theindustrialization of American agriculture over the past 50 years, has transformed itfrom a system that use to produce 2 calories of food energy for every 1 calorie of fossilenergy. Because calories are just energy, right. You can have food calories, you canhave fossil fuel calories. So 2 calories you would get 2 calories of food for every calorieof fossil fuel you put into the system. To our system today, it takes 10 calories of fossilfuel energy to produce 1 calorie of food. When we use this word, unsustainable. Whichis a vexed complicated word often misused. I think that is a pretty good case for anunsustainable industry. Given what we know about the future of fossil fuel. Then thereare many worse cases than that. feedlot beef ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ your Mc DonaldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hamburger, if it is fedfrom corn, it is been fed from fossil fuel. It is even worse, 55 calories of fossil fuelenergy to bring 1 calorie of food to the table. So when we eat from the modern industrialfood system and this is the keypoint. We are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gas.Which is kind of crazy when you recall that every calorie we eat. It is ultimately theproduct of photosynthesis. That is the only way to get food energy off of this planet. Issunlight feeding plants, plants turning that light, couple simple minerals and carbondioxide into edible calories. It is the only way to do it and if you are eating meat, you areeating the result of photosynthesis in the feed. If you are eating fish, you are eating theresult of photosynthesis in the algae at the bottom of that food chain. So it is the onlyway to do eat. Food is the original solar technology. And there is I think enormous hopein that simple fact.Now let us turn our attention briefly to healthcare crisis. Since 1960, when I was a boy.Spending on healthcare in this country has risen from 5% of national income to 18%. Wewould not be able to insure everyone on this country, unless we get those cost undercontrol. Now there are many reasons for high healthcare cost. But one of the biggest andperhaps the biggest if you look into the CDC. Is the cost of preventable chronic diseaseslinked to diet. Four of the top 10 killers are chronic diseases link to diet. Two-thirds ofheart disease can be traced to diet, 40% of cancer can be traced to diet. Most of type 2diabetes, most of obesity obviously, CDC estimates that of the two trillion dollars weare spending on healthcare today, 1.5 trillion, three-quarters goes to preventable chronicdisease. This does not even include the cost of antibiotic resistant diseases that arecoming off our feedlots or the effects of agricultural pollution. Now, is it just acoincidence, that in these years that healthcare cost were soaring from 5% of nationalincome to 18%. It is between 17% and 18%. The cost, the percentage of our personalincome, we spent on food, plummeted from 18% to 9.5%. So you see as we have spentless on food, we have spent more on healthcare. Which suggest that cheap food, perhapshas a hidden cost.So that is the bad news. Our food system is broken. We probably can't afford to keep oneating this way. Cheap food has cost us dearly and our agricultural policies are largelyresponsible. The intention of those policies and I can not emphasize too much. Theextent to which the food system we have is the result of the incentive system we createdaround food. For our farmers, for our processes. The food system we have is not theresult of the free market. Is not the result of nature, there is nothing inevitable about it. Itis very evitable and it isÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ that is the real word. So we have to pay attention to policyand we will as we go through this. So that is the bad news, the good news is though thatfood is this original solar technology. If there is any part of the economy, we should beable to resolarize, you would think, it is food.We are as a society I think, coming to a very important recognition, and that is that youcan not have a healthy population without a healthy diet. I think that is generallyaccepted. What is less well known, but equally important and I think it is dawning. Isthe idea that you cannot have a healthy diet, without a healthy agriculture. That these twothings are intimately linked and there is no way to protect yourself merely by getting theright nutrients, eating the right things from a sick food chain. That really does not work.So the good news is that Americans increasingly sense that this system is broken. Wehave leaders who understand it is broken. A movement for reform is building and themarket for alternative kinds of food, whether you are talking about organic or pasturebased or local is booming.The even better news is this. The same policies that will reduce agricultures contributionto climate change and the energy crisis will also dramatically improve public health.There is no issue of trade offs, this is not a zero sum, this is one those lucky issues that isnot zero sum. We can make progress in all this fronts at once. Make the system safer,more secure, more sustainable and tastier. Not only here in America, but in thedeveloping world as well. I think we would not be able to do again, is make food ascheap as it has been or something that we can ever take for granted again.Now, food reform you know, that is a big chaotic subject. It needs a lot of differentthings to different people. And you have got lots of people on this movement working atin their own little fiefs. I mean you got people working on school lunch, very importantwork here. People working on labeling, you have people working on building local foodeconomies. Bringing food-to-food deserts in the inter-cities. Getting the trans fats outof the food, out of food. All these different kind of elements and it is a little inchoate as amovement and that is why when I use this term movement. Some people are kind ofsurprised. But there is very little in the way of organizing ideas. Big, simple ideas thatwill knit these people together. And that is what I want to talk about, the big picture.The virtues of a big guiding idea, is that it can help you judge all the smaller ideas. Allthe proposals, all the new technologies to come along. Are they moving you in thedirection of your big idea or away from it? We have policies, we have personal policy.But we have public policy, so we do not have to rethink every question that comes up.So, I want to lay out, that big idea. A long-term framework for reform and this is theprocess I began in an article you may have read, farmer in chief in the New York Timeslast fall. At the time I did not know who the Farmer in Chief would be. A chief featuresthis ideas as I say it is not zero sum. It does not pit rural farmers against urban eaters. Orthe interest of health and the environment against the interest of American farmers.Here is the core idea, we need to wean the American food system. Off it is heavy 20thcentury diet of fossil fuels and put it back on the diet of contemporary sunshine. That isbasically it. Easier said than done of course. It will require changes at every link in thefood chain that connects you to the soil that you are eating from. Changes at the level ofthe farm, the marketplace and the culture. And I want to walkthrough those three levels.But we do know this, the sun still shines, very brightly. Brighter than ever in fact. If anypart of the modern economy can be solarized, it should be food. I want this very brieflyrun through how we got here. This idea that we are eating fossil fuel is not immediatelyapparent. Basically when we begun industrializing agriculture which is begins beforeWorld War II, but really takes off with World War II. What we were doing, another wayto phrase that is we are taking labor out of the farm and replacing it with fossil fuel andtechnology. So that all the big innovations, not all of them. Most of the big innovationsin agriculture, such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer, pesticides most of which are madefrom petroleum were basically fossil fuel products and they were very much the productsof World War II. We took the munitions ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ ammonium nitrate is bomb fuel as we learnedin Oklahoma City a few years ago and we converted that to fertilizer. The same factoriesthat are making bombs one day on its given day in the 1947 begin making fertilizer ingreat quantities. Vandana Shiva says that we are still eating the leftovers of World WarII and that is what she means, we are eating the results of that conversation of fertilizerand nerve gases which become our pesticides. Those grew out of research into how tokill people. We found that in tiny doses, they kill bugs pretty reliably.Now, the reason what those technologies allow you to do is something that does nothappen in nature very much and that is monocultures. Very large fields of the samething. Which have certain advantages, a monoculture can be at a very simple sense, anefficient technology and these are technologies. One tractor, one pass can harvest awhole field of corn. One corn planter can plant 18 or 36 rows at the same time. Somoving from diversity to this monoculture allowed you to greatly increase production.But you could not do it without these technologies. Because if you kept, if you just havecorn upon corn upon corn, you would deplete your soil, but ammonium nitrate fertilizersource of nitrogen allowed you to replenish the soil from a bad. Monocultures are alsosupremely vulnerable to pest, you build up a huge population of the pest of your corn oryour soy or whatever it is. So you cannot have a monoculture without pesticides todefend them. This worked really well, it still works really well from one measure and weneed to acknowledge the achievement of this system. Which is that put one way, you canwalk into a fast food outlet and you can get yourself 2 or 3 thousand calories of food, youknow ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a days worth for less than a minimum wage for one hour. If you think about it inthe long course of human history, where people have put so much time and effort tokeeping themselves fed. This is an amazing achievement. It just happens to have comeat a very high cost. So but we should acknowledge that. This has been our policy, wehave rewarded farmers for planting monocultures. We only subsidize five crops, if youare a corn farmer, we give you money to grow corn and soy, but if you want to in a rowbroccoli, that land is permanently ineligible for subsidies, okay. It is illegal for you todiversify your farm, under our current agriculture policies. We wanted to encourage this,robust the great 1970ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s era Ag Secretary said, "You know, plant fence row to fence row,it get big or get out." This is our goal, it was our goal, because the public's interest wasin having more cheap calories. We need to remember when we started. I am trying to bea sympathetic to this regime as I can. That you know, early in the 20th century, the bigpublic health problem was people were hungry. Even Kennedy when he look at povertyfound in the month, in a great deal of rural hunger and urban hunger. So we ask ourfarmers to solve the great public health problem of that time. Which was we need morecheap calories and they did it, they did a brilliant job. The challenge today, is to onceagain align the public interest, with the work of farmers. Because I am convince thatAmerican farmers can do whatever we ask them to, as a society. We just need to askthem for something a little different.Fossil fuel played other roles in the system, it allowed us to nationalize the system. Wecan move food from California, with the refrigerated trucks all the way to New York andwe begun doing that. Fossil fuel pump the water in the irrigation systems. Fossil fuel iswhat allows us today, to have this in a really crazy supply chains. I mean we are catchingsalmons sustainably. Native Americans are catching salmons sustainably in Alaska. It isthen being flown to China to be fillet and then flown back to California to be eaten. Sowhen you see that sustainable salmon at whole foods. You have to realize what has notbeen counted. California now feeds New York that is an amazing idea. Iowa imports90% of its food, this is the best soil in the world, does not feed Iowa. Because theyexport raw material corn and soy. Gets turn into process food, they buy it back. Iowa isa food desert by and large. We Herman Daly pointed out, we import sugar cookies fromDenmark and export sugar cookies to Denmark and he said, "You know, it may be a goodidea to swap recipes instead."But this system will not go on indefinitely. Something very interesting happened lastsummer when fuel price got as high as they got. The cost of shipping a box of broccolifrom Salinas Valley to the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, went from $3 a box to $10 abox. Price of broccoli went through the roof in New York. What happened when it hitthat price, it is very interesting. You had companies like [indiscernible] the big growersand packers in central valley, buying farmland in New England. Because they saw thewriting on the wall. They saw that this is crazy, we are not going to able to ship produceacross the country, indefinitely. We are going to have to figure out a way to grow foodnear to where people live. That they will be doing and not New England's farmers is atragedy I think. But hopefully the New England farmers will get into that deal.So I think we understand that we are in this little moment of cheap fossil fuel and thatwhatever you think of the system, however much you like it. It depends on that fossilfuel and can not survive it getting expensive again. So the challenge is then how do youget the system off of oil, which is so deeply implicated. And by the way it is mostimplicated than the fact that, we have no farmers left. We only have a million fulltimefarmers in this country. 305 million people are being fed by 1 million. That isastounding. These are the most productive humans who have ever lived. One Iowafarmer they are. One Iowa farmer feeds about a 150 of his neighbors. And that has neverbeen the case and probably can not continue. Because it all depends on cheap fossil fuel.So how do you get your system off of cheap fossil fuel? That is what I want to walk youthrough. You need radical reforms at three levels. Reforms that are going to take a longtime. Reforms that has some serious obstacles before them. The first is, on the farm. Iam going to talk a little bit about agriculture. The key to getting farms off of fossil fuel isfiguring out how you produce lots of biomass without, without it, right. Amazinglyenough, nature produces huge amounts of biomass every year without fossil fuels,without pesticides, without fertilizers. So how does he do it? And we have understoodthis for a long time. In fact some of the intellectual history of this organization dovetailswith that knowledge and that is in 1971 and this really is the beginning of the modernfood movement I think. Wendell Berry, published an article in the Whole Earth Catalog,introducing Americans to the work of Sir Albert Howard. An English agronomist, whohad spent a lot of time in India, studying peasant agricultures in the '30s and he explainedthat the way you did it was you modeled your system on nature. Whether you are talkingabout a forest or a prairie. These systems were sustainable. They renew their fertility,they have cycles of growth and decay and they dealt with pest through bio diversity.Through many, many species. You did not find monocultures in nature. That hasbasically been the core idea since then of organic agriculture. How do you mimic, howdo you best mimic those systems and move monoculture to polyculture. Which is to saygrowing many crop in rotation or symbiotically. The power to produce huge amounts offood from such systems has been proven. Producing huge amounts of food basicallyfrom sunlight, soil and water at very different scales. I have written about some of it, ifyou read Omnivore's Dilemma. I describe Joe Salitin's remarkable farm. Which is nowas many, many imitators in California. These orchestrated five species dance ofcreatures. That produces huge amounts of meats from very little land. But we have proofthat you can do this at large scales too. In one interesting case, is Argentina. Where youhave farms of five and ten thousand acres. Bigger even in the farms you find in Iowatoday or Nebraska. And they have this very clever rotation. Which is to say that theygraze ruminants most the cattle on grass for five years rotationally. This grazing buildsup so much fertility on the soil. So much carbon in the soil that they can then plow thosepastures, those perennial pastures and get three years of grain, corn, soy, whatever theywant without any fertilize whatsoever, without any pesticides because the weeds thatwould be a problem in the pastures cannot survive tillage and the weeds will be aproblem until fields cannot survive years of perennial. So we know you can do this and alot of it depends on redefining our sense of what a clever technology is and what Isuggest is that a really smart rotation like that eight year rotation in Argentina is as cleverand powerful a technology as the latest genetically modified seed and we need to look at itthat way. The question is why do not we look at it that way. Well, by and large becausebecause there is nothing to sell in the case of the rotation and what makes agriculturereally work in a sustainable direction are processes more than products which is whythere is very little RND that goes into developing these technologies. So one of thethings we need to do is shift our research agenda in that direction and not count in privatecompanies who will not be able to figure out a way to lock up the intellectual property ofa really good relationship between chickens and cows and pigs on a farm. So, that is onething. We need to research ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we need to shift the whole research agenda. Thegovernment though as I suggested subsidized this whole move toward strict monoculturesand there is no reason why with a different set of policies changing the incentives wecannot move agriculture back. There is one reason why, actually I will get to that. Weshould for example, instead of right now our subsidies reward farmers by the bushel.How much can they grow of these five crops that we subsidize? We could reward theminstead for diversification. For how many crops do you have? We will pay you more foreveryone you add to the rotation or we will pay you to plant a cover crop in the fall whichvery few farmers do today. Cover crops by themselves, another great technology,completely unglamorous, you know what they do is they keep soil from eroding over thewinter when it is lots of snow on it. They build up carbon in the soil. Farmers do not doit. Why not? Well they usually get a break if they spray their fertilizer in the fall becausethe fertilizer spread is not as busy as they are in the spring. And they want ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and theyhave a whole lot of reasons. They have to deal with their convenience and the fact thatthey are not rewarded for doing it. Nothing could do more to clean up the Gulf ofMexico than cover crops in Iowa and places like that. Fertility, you know in the sameway that cheap oil is a curse because it leads to profligate use? Cheap nitrogen has beena curse too and there should not be such cheap nitrogen and there won't be when fossilfuel prices get high. It quadrupled in price during the oil spike. But we also needmunicipal composting. We need mandatory composting in our cities to generate compostto bring back to our farms and we are really just you know throwing out all of fertilitythat we are growing. To diversify farms to really close this nutrient loop you need to putanimals back on farms. One of the things our subsidies did was allow farmer to sell theirgrain below the cost of production and this sucked all of the animals off of America'sfarm and put them on feedlots because the feedlots operator could buy grain morecheaply than a farmer could grow it so it became uneconomical for farmers to haveanimal on their farms. This was a disaster from an environmental point of view and Iwould argue from a cultural point of view as well. When you take animals off of farmsand put them on feedlots you are taking, this is Wendell BerryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s line, you are taking abrilliant solution which is to say the animals consume crop waste and give you fertilityand the plants feed the animals and get fertility from the animals. You take this brilliantsolution technology too and you neatly divide it into two problems. You have a fertilityshortage on the farm where the crops are being raised that you remedy with fossil fuelfertilizers and then you have a fertility surplus on feedlots where you have these manurelagoons where we are breeding things like swine flu. That you know this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you wouldthink farmers would die for this stuff. No, they do not want it. It has got too manypharmaceuticals in there. It has got too many phosphorus in it and so it sits therereleasing methane and nitrous oxide into the air. So, like any animals back on farm, it isvery, very important. We should be subsidizing our farmers and I do believe we shouldsubsidize farmers by the way. I do not think the answer is to go to a free market systemand agriculture. It has never worked in any reported civilization. Farming is subject tocrises of overproduction that are just unavoidable. We can talk about that later if youwant. But what we should pay them for again is to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is for fulfilling the interest of thepublic which we are not doing. We are out of phase. They did a good job. They didwhat we asked them to do. Now let us ask them for something else and what should weask them for? Well, the one big thing I would ask them for is sequestering carbon. Takethis 700 million acres of farm and ranch land and manage it in such a way that it is takingcarbon out of the air. Estimates are between 10 and 15% of all atmosphere carbon couldbe returned to the soil with sustainable agriculture practices, I am delighted to hear AlGore talking about this issue for the first time as part of the solution. And there are wayswe could do that. We have to learn how to measure carbon better. We have to figure outthe best ways to do it. But we know rotational grazing where you move the animalseveryday produces huge amounts of carbon in the soil. I can explain how later. Weknow that organic agriculture compared to conventional agriculture builds up the carbonin the soil. We know how to do this. We have to figure how to measure it and how toreward farmers for it. And one of my big concerns about this cap and trades scheme isthat the first bill to emerge from Henry WaxmanÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s committee simply left agriculture out.We are not going to get a handle on climate change by ignoring agriculture. Not when itrepresents a third of the problem. Why did they leave agriculture out? Because that iswhat big Ag want them to do. They do not want to be involved because in addition to thecarrots of paying farmers for sequestering carbon or generating you know energy, youneed sticks as well. You need to take Tulare County where vast amounts of methane andnitrous oxide are leaving these huge cattle confinement operations and make them pay forthat in the same way that power plants are going to pay for their emissions. So, you needcarrots and sticks in agriculture and nothing could do more to drive the whole systemchange that we are talking about than that. But you should also be rewarding farmers forcreating bee habitat. We have a crisis of the honeybees right now. That is the result ofmonoculture. So let us reward them for taking out a row of almonds every ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know50,000 rows and put in a row of flowers of perennials so that the bees stick around for thewhole year. We should reward farmers for generating electricity for wind energy. Weshould, and this might sound weird, one of the most important functions of agriculture isto keep cities in check stopping sprawl. We should reward farms in critical areas asbulwarks against sprawl. So again the basic goal is to realign the public interest. Whatwe need is a society and then reward farmers for giving that to us. Now I said that therewas an obstacle and the biggest obstacle to what I am describing is labor. We do nothave enough farmers I do not think to grow sustainable. I said we were down to about amillion. That is not enough and as fossil fuel gets expensive or runs out we are going toneed more people on the land. It is hard to imagine 20 or 30 more million people on theland in this country. I actually think it is easier to move developing world agriculture in asustainable direction as much as Monsanto wants to bring their seeds to Africa. I thinkthat it is a place where this kind of systems will work really, really well because we stillhave a lot of people on the land and industrializing agriculture there and driving them tothe cities seems like not a smart idea but what do we do here? Well, we have toencourage the many people, the many young people today who do want to farm, make itpossible. Make cheap land available to them. Make an education in agriculture availableto them. And there are signs that this is happening. For the first time the new agriculturecensus that is done every five years found an uptick in the number of farmers in America;the first time in history, about a hundred thousand new farmers today over five year ago.Very small farmers, local farms, people at FarmerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Market, CSAs, so we have to makefarming cool. We have to make it pay well to encourage people to go back to the landand the last thing we have to do on the farm is preserve farm land near our cities. That isone of the most important, most endangered resources we have. We are lucky in SanFrancisco that you do not have to travel hundreds of miles to get to a good farm land butwe have to make sure it stays this way. In the same way that if you want to develop awetland you have to meet a very high bar of proof that is absolutely necessary and youwill be strongly discouraged from doing it. The same should hold true for prime A1farmland that you should have to provide a food system impact statement before you areallowed to develop it because once houses go up on this land; it will never be farmedagain. I say that although I just heard about, there is an environmental group that isactually bulldozing defunct real estate developments in the central valley now. So, Imight be wrong about that. The trust for public land is involved in a big project toactually return a subdivision to parkland but the next step is farmland and we shouldincorporate farms in our development schemes. We should reward developers in thesame way we reward them for you know open space. We should reward them forincluding farms. I mean what if we have farms in the middle of all those subdivisionsinstead of golf courses. Would not that be great? With CSA's, with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ anyway, so that isthe last point on farms.Now, you ask, can we feed the world this way? This is the big question and I get askedthis all the time and I will tell you the really honest answer, I do not know. I really do notknow but the reason I do not know is we have not tried and a lot of people are prepared togive up before we try. I also know that there is a whole slack in this system. Half of thegrain we grow in the world is going to feed animals and that the great slack is of coursemeat eating worldwide. I also know that a quarter of the food we are growing is simplywaste. So there is probably enough land to grow all the food we need for the 10 billionthat are coming. The labor I think is really the big question. But you know beforepeople, it is so interesting how people are just, they raise this question and then they turnto Monsanto and you know we, by the same token, we do not know if we can ran anindustrial civilization without cheap fossil fuel. We do not know if we can do that eitherbut we know we have to try. We know we have to try and the same goes for food and itis not all or nothing. You commit yourself, you move in that direction, you shift theresearch agenda, we have the models, and what we need are the people and thecommitment to do it.Now, level 2, I am going to go a little faster through level 2 and 3. If the farms diversifyyou know somebody has got to buy that stuff if they move to five crops in Iowa and thereis nobody left to eat food in Iowa. That is not going to work. Right now the grainelevator only will buy corn and soy if you live in Iowa. So, we need to diversify the foodmarket place. We need to build a real local food infrastructure. We need four seasonsFarmerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Markets in every town in America not expensive buildings. As soon as youhave FarmerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Markets that were not simply seasonal and we have to remember the ideaof a 50-week FarmerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Market that we are all spoiled on here in California is quite rare inthe rest of the world but if you have indoor structures, beautiful structures like theBoqueria in Barcelona and Europe is full of these structures you would have farmersgrowing produce under glass, more root vegetables and more meat and cheese and all thatkind of food which show up in those markets. So that is I think is a very important thingwe need to do. The basic premise though here is we need to decentralize the foodsystem. Now you say that might be a little less efficient and I will concede it is lessefficient but one of the most important lessons I think of the last few years is that asimportant a value as efficiency is, resilience finally is a more important value. An efficientsystems by definition are not resilient because resiliency depends on redundancy, rightand by definition that is inefficient to do things you know twice. So, the advantages ofdecentralizing the food system are many though. It will reduce fossilfuel consumption but more important the system can better withstand shocks and the onlything we can be sure of going forward is that there will be shocks ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ oil price shocks,weather shocks, pathogen shocks, terrorism shocks and one of the real vulnerability ofour food system of this national food chain based on monocultures, based on only fourcompanies selling all the beef, three grain traders you know incredibly cinched wasteeconomy of this food system is that it is explicitly vulnerable to accidental or deliberatecontamination. We learn this after 9-11. The government was looking for all thedifferent vulnerabilities in our society and the GAO did a report government accountingoffice and they said one of the biggest vulnerabilities of all is the food system. We havea single hamburger grinding plant that is feeding 50 million people over the course of themonth. We have a single lettuce washing facility that is doing 26 million servings ofsalad every week. A single canister of poison introduced into those systems could killhuge amounts of people. And the government saw this threat and said well yes we have aproblem to centralize food production in this country and then buried it because nobodywanted to go there. Nobody wanted to go there but we need to go there. And if we re-localized the food system, we will be eating more real food because this system ofmonocultures feeds into a system of heavily processed food. They can you know thedeathless twinkie that lasts you know on the shelf for years is very much tied to the systemsystem I am describing. So the market is pushing things in this direction. There isincredible ferment. Lots of effort to re-localize food but the government can do a lot toencourage it and to get out of the way in some ways. They need to deregulate small foodprocessors who you know I talk to farmers all the time. They are growing wonderfulpork but they are not allowed to smoke a ham without having a hundred thousand dollarsof facility because the rules are designed for Hormel and a little farmer with his youknow couple of hams simply cannot afford to be in that system. We need antitrustenforcement. This food system is so heavily concentrated that even if we just went backto the level of antitrust enforcement of Dwight Eisenhower we would have a completelyfood system than we have now. I think that most important thing the government can doto create a, you know renaissance of local food production and consumption would besimply to regionalize food procurement. Just you know pass a law in the same way wehave a law that a certain amount of procurement for say military contractors. It has to gominority contractors because that satisfies a public goal. Well, what if 1 or 2% of all themoney the government spends on military bases, on prisons, on schools went to localfood production, food grown within a hundred miles, that would do it, just that 2%. It isall we need. And we also need to develop urban ag because there lots of places wherefood can be grown in cities and one of the most exciting things happening in this foodmovement that I did not mention earlier is what is happening in our cities. If you go toDetroit there is an amazing project there to feed the city from the city. Will Allen is avisionary farmer in inner city Milwaukee who is growing huge amounts of food on twoacres in the middle of Milwaukee and has plans to feed 10% of that city from city fromhis farm. So we need to support that kind of work and there is evidence that thisgovernment will be supporting that. I think we barely began to test the potential of urbanagriculture to deal with these food deserts which is such a big part of the public healthproblem. So that is level 2, the economy. There is a lot we can do. It is not thatexpensive. It just takes a commitment on the part of the government and the foodindustry that is willing to allow it to happen and that may be the hard obstacle there.And level 3 is the food culture. The fact is I have described this as a supply drivenproblem; that we have all these cheap calories coming off the farms. It is turned intoprocessed food that we eat. It ruins our health, it ruins the land, and it really has ruinedthe occupation of farming for so many people. Well we are all implicated in the cultureof fast, cheap, and easy food. If you look at the numbers for this food industry, we spentabout 881 billion dollars on food every year. You know how much of that gets back tothe farmers? They clear about 69 billion of that. Okay it is a tiny, tiny amount and 14billion of what they are clearing is subsidies. Just to give you an idea, the people whomake the packages, the cellophane, and the cardboard, they are clearing 69 billiondollars. They are making more money than the farmers are okay. We are spending moremoney on the packages our food comes from than on the farmers. So we cannot expectthem to drive this change. That is too much to ask. It is really that 770 billion dollars offood marketing, food processing which is to say convenience eating. So you know thefarmers are not the decision makers here. To a larger extent it is about policy and it isabout us and that means changing our behavior. We need to enlist more people in thismovement and that is why I think what Michelle Obama is doing is so important. Weneed to begin with our children. We need you know Alice Waters really got this oneright. The fact is that the way you begin to change the food culture is teach children howto grow food, how to cook food, and how to eat food. Now that might sound a littlepaternalistic that our schools should be teaching children how to eat and that strikesparents as odd. But make no mistake, we are teaching them how to eat right now. If yougive kids for lunch chicken nuggets and tater tots and 10 minutes to eat them in, you areteaching them very effectively how to become a fast food consumer for the rest of theirlives. So we need to teach them in a different way. So I think reform of school lunchwhich is very much on the agenda this year, the school lunch re-authorization is comingup is vitally important. We need to bring back Home Ec. We need to make as AliceWaters said, make lunch an academic subject. I think she is absolutely right about that.Now we also need to teach adults because a great many adults are not aware that they areeating fossil fuel. They think they are eating hamburgers and french fries and you couldsee how they might make that mistake. It looks more like hamburgers and french friesthan fossil fuel. So we have to make it look a little more like oil and the way you do thatI think is you put a second calorie count of every package processed food that there areyou know 60 calories of food energy in this head of lettuce or whatever it is and 160calories of fossil fuel energy. So you can know at a glance are you eating something thattook more fossil fuel energy than solar energy to deliver to you and if we put that onevery food package, at least those people who care would be educated about what isreally going on. We need much more ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ that is one example of a whole raft of measuresto make the food system more transparent. The fact is people are really deeplydisconnected from where their food comes from and it is very hard to find out. Theproducts all lie. There are you know images of farms and pastoral scenery on thepackages that really are coming from feedlots. When the food system gets this long andthis opaque it is very hard to know what kind of system you are really supporting andconsumers are deeply confused. So I think we need to move toward a system where therewill be a second bar code on every product, I know I am crowding these labels, and thatyou could run that bar code under a scanner under a kiosk in the supermarket and therewould come an image of the farm where that chicken actually lived. This is no longerexpensive at all and you would see the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you press another button and see the diet. Whatdid that chicken eat and what pharmaceutical went into that chicken and then you pressanother button and you see the slaughterhouse and nothing would clean up those awfulplaces faster than cameras broadcasting through the web to eaters on a 24-7 basis. So weshould be fighting for transparency. The principle of the glass abattoir, the glass wall inthe slaughterhouse you know will be more powerful than any regulation you could dreamof. And then of course we need and I proposed this in Farmer in Chief and I have beenvery happy to see that it is actually happening is that the White House set an example andMichelle Obama has began to do that. We have a White House organic garden which isyou know very ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ how thought that this would actually happen except for Alice Watersactually but I never thought it would really happen. You know this sounds symbolic butif you go back to World War II when Eleanor Roosevelt did the same thing, we got to apoint where there were 20 million victory gardens in America in World War II and theyprovided 40% of the produce in this country. We have this huge resource called theGreat American Lawn and so the extent we can rip that out and begin growing food, thatis most local food of all; that is the shortest food chain of all; the freshest, most nutritiousand often tastiest food that you can possibly grow. But gardening is very, very importantfor other reasons too and I am going to end on this point and talk a little bit more aboutpolitics perhaps when we sit down because gardens teach a different way of being in theworld. A tremendous part of our problem I think confronting climate change today is thatwe all feel helpless. It is too big a problem and our lives are just too deeply woven intothe system of what Wendell Berry called the cheap energy mind. By that he meant we doso little for ourselves today. We depend on distant others to feed us, to entertain us, to doour taxes, to do everything and it is only cheap fossil fuel that allowed us to have thisincredible division of labor. It has underwritten some good things but the challenge ofliving without cheap fossil fuel is the challenge of doing more for ourselves and thewonder of gardening is the discovery that doing something more for yourselves isimminently doable, imminently pleasurable and makes you feel empowered. And I thinkthat finally is what is driving this whole food movement. It is one area of our lives wherewe can take back power from the cheap energy culture and even if it is incremental, evenif it is in parts but we see how we can do it. We do not see how we can live without ourcars, without our heat, without our air conditioning but we can change the way we eat andbegin really to tackle these problems one delicious bite at a time. Thank you very much.