That's a fair comment in some respects, but it reminds me of a comment my
brother once made. He's a wildlife biologist, and I asked him for advice on
how to keep the deer from devouring the farm profits. "You can't blame the
deer," he said. "They're just trying to help the ecosystem by eliminating
Thanks, bro. Why is it that the deer eat the radicchio and ignore the
Russian thistle, which is no less an exotic?
More seriously: Some part of the term "sustainability," it seems to me,
has to do with the ability to supply a great diversity of foods from local
or regional sources.
We've figured out ways to grow--without a toxic arsenal, synthetic or
organic--most of the vegetables and fruits that are suited to our climate.
A few crops we gave up on, not because we couldn't grow them successfully
but because we couldn't grow them profitably. Big difference there.
While we Pennsylvanians don't have quite the problems that Brazilians must
have with diseases and pests that flourish in heat and humidity, we sure
have more trouble with those problems than farmers in semi-arid regions.
('Course, they have to have their irrigation water shipped in, which isn't
all that sustainable, either.)
I think Brazilians deserve locally grown tomatoes. I also think that human
ingenuity, working with instead of against nature, will figure out a way to
make that possible without toxic soup.
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