This website is now published on my mobileme account. Any opinions expressed, however, are totally my responsibility.
The original website was published through the courtesy of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Jim Andris, Sept. 17, 2003.
Now what could sustainable agriculture have to do with diet? Did I tell you that I was a philosophical analyst for many years? Well, it's all coming back. Take the word agriculture. One meaning given by Webster is "the science and business of raising plants and animals." Again the Webster Online Dictionary states that sustainable pertains to a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. Clearly, we wouldn't be too far away from the meaning of this phrase, sustainable agriculture, if we discussed how the business and science of raising animals could be accomplished without depleting or permanently damaging any part of the agricultural system, including minerals, soil, animals, plants, atmosphere, water supply, and humans. As far as the connection of sustainable agriculture with diet, it is helpful to remember that the term came into being because of great concern on the part of many over the depletion and/or permanent damage to our biosphere that was occurring because of our agricultural technology and marketing practices.
About this much I am clear: whatever it was that led to our inadequate food consumption practices has also contributed to our inadequate agricultural practices. When marketing products and making profit are put before public health and individual nutrition, when the development of resources for profit is put ahead of public safety and global welfare, then both the production of food and diet itself become less than optimal.