The Future of Food: Why Farmers Are Being Driven Off The Land

Chris Turner, author of the Geography of Hope and The Leap, (which I will be reviewing shortly), writes a wonderful article in the Walrus about how "The growing gap between what they produce and what they earn is driving many farmers off the land." One farmer describes the fundamental problem in the business:

There are two problems with traditional farming. The first is that a combine costs about as much as a house. The second is that someone else tells you what your product is worth.

The article is an eye-opening explanation of how the modern farm works, how farmers have to "get big or get out."

On farms today, everything has to work better than ever. Faster and more efficient, bigger and smarter, more precise and timely. The system is optimized to deliver the maximum yield per hectare, at the lowest possible cost per unit of production, guided by a largely undeclared continental food regime sometimes called "the cheap food policy." In the history of agriculture, no one has ever paid less for their calories than contemporary North Americans do.

Excellent reading in The Walrus
More on Chris Turner:
Environment Movement Should Change Their Message, Says Author Chris Turner
Clippings: Canadian Magazines on the Environment

Tags: Canada