Blake Hurst is a farmer in Missouri, and something of an anti-Pollan:
…we have to farm “industrially” to feed the world, and by using those “industrial” tools sensibly, we can accomplish that task and leave my grandchildren a prosperous and productive farm, while protecting the land, water, and air around us.
The argument is made very engagingly, with hard numbers as well as telling anecdotes, and a real passion for farming:
Young turkeys aren’t smart enough to come in out of the rain, and will stand outside in a downpour, with beaks open and eyes skyward, until they drown.
But sadly, as ever, the debate is framed as either/or, black or white, organic or industrial, no grey allowed, no nuance:
I deal in the real world, not superstitions, and unless the consumer absolutely forces my hand, I am about as likely to adopt organic methods as the Wall Street Journal is to publish their next edition by setting the type by hand.
And yet Mr Hurst admits to some organic-like practices, such as rotations and the use of manure, on his unashamedly “industrial” family farm. I can’t help thinking, not for the first time, what a step forward it would be if we tried not to think in mutually exclusive dichotomies all the time. Anyway, read the whole thing at The American.
LATER: USDA explores the unexplored potential of biotech crops in an organic setting. Talk about shades of grey.