Today’s episode touches on a broad landscape of important questions in sustainability, thanks to the social sciences. Do Americans want a largely agrarian food system? Or an industrial model? Who is the principal beneficiary of an industrial model? Rural communities? Consumers? Agribusiness interests? Does an industrial model extract rural wealth, “hollowing out” farming communities? Is sustainable intensification good for farmers? Or do they end up being the lowest-cost producers in global commodity chains? If so, who benefits from that? Is it in society’s interest to help farmers stay on the land, in hopes of creating robust, middle-class, family-owned farming communities?
Featured music: Beethoven 3rd Symphony Movement #1, performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, imslp.org