Where food and water come from

Grocery Store by i5design via Flickr
There’s a great article about a speech David Suzuki – environmentalist, scientist, activist – gave at McGill University in The McGill Daily.

He described speaking to children in Toronto who could not explain where water or food came from, only that it was supplied by the economy.

Our deep disconnection from the environment, and increasingly our inability to establish even theoretical connections between the soil, plants and animals in our food chain and ourselves, is maddening and sad. Especially urban children, in the developed and developing world, have no idea where food comes from.

Increasingly – as Michael Pollan elegantly argues – food also isn’t food anymore. Most items we buy from supermarkets are industrially assembled from component ingredients (most of which are based on corn), containing chemical compounds that we wouldn’t recognize as ‘food’ if we were to examine them individually.

So it’s understandable that children don’t understand where food comes from. Adults don’t either. We are deeply confused and uncertain about the world we live in:

Suzuki also underlined the interconnectedness of humans with their natural world – a point not often made by mainstream environment critics. “We are the environment. There is no distinction. What we do to the earth we do to ourselves,” he said.

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