The Coming Crisis of Global Food: A Break from The Crisis with W. Berry

By Liam Hysjulien

While I had already begun writing a piece on the looming 2011 food crisis, in lieu of my birthday, I decided to shelve it for this month.  Instead, I felt the words of Wendell Berry offered more on the subject of food, hope and the future than I could possibly say.  I know heroes are supposed to have feet of clay, but few people inspire me more than this man.  Enjoy.

“If we believed that the existence of the world is rooted in mystery and in sanctity, then we would have a different economy. It would still be an economy of use, necessarily, but it would be an economy also of return. The economy would have to accommodate the need to be worthy of the gifts we receive and use, and this would involve a return of propitiation, praise, gratitude, responsibility, good use, good care, and a proper regard for the unborn. What is most conspicuously absent from the industrial economy and industrial culture is this idea of return. Industrial humans relate themselves to the world and its creatures by fairly direct acts of violence. Mostly we take without asking, use without respect or gratitude, and give nothing in return.”

Wendell Berry, From The Agrarian Standard

Poetry: The Apple Tree

Prose: The Idea of Local Economy

About lhysjulien

Liam Hysjulien is a graduate student in sociology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His areas of study are Food Systems Theory, food sustainability, food policies, and urban agricultural projects. Please send questions, comments, or concerns to
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1 Response to The Coming Crisis of Global Food: A Break from The Crisis with W. Berry

  1. Charles says:

    In context of anti-abortionists, formulation like “regard for the unborn’ is problematic. Better “regard for future generations.”

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