Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sexy Farmers

"I've seen chefs receive almost mythical rock 'n' roll status. It may be time for farmers to receive that fame."

Michael Ableman makes an interesting point; Organic is no longer hip. If it is at Wal-mart, how can it be? Now that we are concerned about food miles, who wants organic vegetables from California in New York or Toronto?

According to the Star, The advent of mass-market, big-business, organic agriculture is pushing those on the cutting edge of food production away from the term "organic." Now they're urging uber-green consumers to buy locally, to know where your food comes from and to create a relationship with the farmer who grows it. Another buzzword is sustainability, meaning preserving an ecological balance instead of depleting natural resources.Ableman says farmers now need to start selling themselves as artisans – as people who can help us relate to what we eat.

His message becomes almost fatalistic. Like many in the organic movement who are mistrustful of modern society and government, Ableman believes that global warming and the imminent collapse of the conventional agricultural system will force us to return to our roots as a communal, agrarian society.

"Like midwives, farmers have begun to take on an almost mythical ambiance. They hold a deep knowledge of natural cycles that are disappearing," says Ableman. "This is no longer a romantic idea. This is no longer the purview of a special few. If we are going to be able to move through and survive the massive changes that are taking place, many more of us are going to have to find our way back to the art and the craft of growing food."

The Star continues: "He's trying to make farming sexy, the profession of choice for a new generation of trendy, like-minded fatalists: eco-conscious young people convinced that the end is nigh and that a return to local farming communities is necessary."

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