Michael Pollan on Deep Agriculture

I’ve been a big fan of Michael Pollan for a few years now, ever since he wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma. This talk sheds light on a new topic of Michael’s coined Deep Agriculture.

Kevin Kelly from the Long Now Foundation summarizes what Michael means by Deep Agriculture :

  • Resolarizing: First a post-modern food system should be “resolarized.” Right now it takes 10 calories of fossil fuel to manufacture 1 calorie of food on average, and 55 calories to produce 1 calorie of beef. If any industry should be solar-based it should be food, which was the “original solar economy.” Instead, right now “we are eating oil.”
  • Relocalize: Governments should reward farmers for diversifying away from monocultures. Pollan gave a few examples of where this has worked at scale. They should be rewarded for growing cover crops with the benefit of reducing erosion. Rewarded for returning animals to the mix. Rewarded for the amount of carbon they sequester in soil. Rewarded for halting urban sprawl by keeping farmland intact.
  • Revive: We need to revive the healing power of foods.