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Fifth World agriculture is the wave of the future


Cyberterra, 18 January 2010 — The critique by reader Eric A. Woods of the book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan, made me realise that my observations about agriculture in the book, The Fifth World: Micronationalism on Steroids, are not only good, but brilliant, rational, and right in every way. On pages 51 and 52 of my book I suggest that the certified organic farming we often see today is really Fourth World farming in philosophy:
It is therefore clear that certified organic farming is heavily regulated, and generally Fourth World in scale and philosophy more than Fifth World. . . Fifth World farming is more about meeting organic standards the old-fashioned way, by virtually removing all chemical pesticides and fertilizers, but unlike Fourth World farming, it is do-it-yourself farming, so the producer(s) and the consumer(s) are the same person(s).

I go on to suggest that Fifth World farming "is really farming for everyone, in the sense you don't even need a little good soil, or a lot of space. Fifth World farming is really farming with Earth-Box®."

Well, Eric A. Woods' pessimistic and yet realistic observations about Michael Pollan's book, suggest that Fifth World farming is actually the wave of the future:

Perhaps his best writing in the book is when he attempts to analyze whether it is possible to grow food sustainably and well on any scale at all, and when he concludes that you can't, someone like me, who is trying to grow food on a small scale, looks up ready to cheer. Because such a conclusion should lead inevitably to the next step ie, to the idea that the only solution to the problem of industrial agriculture is that a lot more people have to grow food, both for sale and at home. But he never quite gets there, and that may be the great flaw of the book. . . By implying that self-provisioning is a fantasy in this modern world, Pollan essentially suggests we leave the farming to the farmers but there simply aren't enough farmers to have a small, local, organic farm everywhere. If we're to reduce our footprint more than anyone can by hopping over to whole foods in the SUV and picking up a box of whole wheat mac and cheese and some organic apples from China, people are going to have to take some responsibility for feeding themselves. No, they don't have to go hunt wild boar. But they might have to grow a garden, or make possible a nearby farm. They might have to encourage their children to grow up to be farmers. And they might have to imagine a world in which feeding oneself is not either a work of magic or a work of industry, but simply the ordinary job that ordinary people have been doing for thousands of years. [source]