Thursday, December 04, 2008

Michael Pollan on Bill Moyers' Journal

Michael Pollan calls it like he sees it. "It is agri-business propaganda, people who are not interested in feeding the world," Pollan said on Bill Moyers show on PBS.

BILL MOYERS: We have 6.7 billion people on this earth, wanting to be fed. Do you think that we have a system that it will produce enough food, if we put into effect what you're talking about?

MICHAEL POLLAN: As long as the sun still shines. There is the energy to produce the food. The thing we need to remember, when people ask, "Can we feed the world sustainably?" is that about 40 percent of all the grain we're growing in the world, which is most of what we grow, we are feeding to animals. So there's an awful lot of slack there, if we're not eating nine ounces of meat a day. We're wasting 25 percent of what we're growing. I mean, there is, you know, there is plenty of food, if we organize our agriculture in a proper way.

The 'can we feed the world' argument has been used for 50 years to drive the industrialization of agriculture. It is agri-business propaganda, people who are not interested in feeding the world. They're interesting in driving up productivity, on American farms. Yes, some want to export it. ADM and Cargill want to ship it out to other places, but basically they want their raw materials as cheap as possible. I'm talking about Coca-Cola. I'm talking about McDonald's. And the way you keep you need overproduction to do that. You want your raw materials, if you're producing that McDonald's hamburger, or Coca-Cola, you're dependent on that corn and soy, and the cheaper that is, the more profit you're going to make.

Update:The archive of its' 11-21-08 show features a bonus interview with Pollan.

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