The Colorado NRCS soil health cadre is making the rounds around the state and had a special guest at their meeting in Monte Vista a few days ago. Dr. Jill Clapperton spoke about soil health and soil biology with a focus on potatoes… being in spud central Colorado. I’ve embedded the video on Youtube posted by Mike Collins, NRCS Area Conservationist in Alamosa CO.
As a side note – I hope it’s obvious that I try not to interject much opinion on these blog entries. I strive to make them with a “just the facts” emphasis and just point to the original article, video, etc. to let people make up their own minds about issues. But Jill makes a quick and possibly controversial point in this presentation that I’ve heard before and agree with entirely. We do NOT have a food production problem on this planet! We have corrupt political systems and broken food distribution systems. The push toward higher production, higher yield to “feed the world” may very well lead us down a path that is totally contrary to building soil health. The “Feed the world!” campaign is way off target. It’s unfortunate that producers are simplistically compensated by yield alone. Nutritional value, ecological sustainability, and distribution prowess should also be rewarded. Which it is to some extent in the local and slow food movements.
Even though we are fully capable of feeding the world in our current degraded state it would be irresponsible not to address it as such and strive to fix it. That would simply be stupid on many levels.