A Word to the Wise
While reading comments to a recent NY Times blog on antibiotic usage in agriculture, I was struck by one response:
Plain and simple, the industrial food chain is unsustainable. Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma are two books that can tell you all you will ever need to know about the US industrial food system.
Really? Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser have all the answers? I’ve read Pollan’s books and repeatedly noted my admiration for his skill as a scribe by hailing him as one of America’s premier fiction writers. Schlosser, on the other hand, is just another hack with an agenda.
If you base your opinions entirely on the writings of one collective viewpoint, your vision is seriously limited. Having little more basis for your opinion than two very slanted books is far more dangerous than some of the questions raised in the article about intensive housing and antibiotic use. A proclamation such as this one – which, by the way, is but one of many similar statements – connotes the intellectual stricture placed upon an issue when one refuses to consider anything but their own preconceived notions.
Blogger Eric Ekholm makes a very profound statement about half-way into the article that summarizes the problem very well:
The debate over animal confinement, it seems to me, is fundamentally one of values, and comes at a time when public notions about animal welfare are shifting.
That shift is an extreme one. One that requires balance and moderation, lest we pass that tipping point and effectively handcuff our food production system.
Please have a look at the videos on my YouTube channel and hear from the farmers themselves.