Sustainable Agriculture. Foodcoops. CSA. with Friedrich Leitgeb

Aug 16, 2017 by

by Greti Mayer

As far as the economics of food production and distribution are concerned, there are alternatives, too. Friedrich Leitgeb spoke about organic agriculture in connection with Foodcoops and Solidary Agriculture Cooperatives (CSA). He named agriculture as one of the most present actor in all nine fields from the Planetary Boundaries and Global Grand Challenges chart. And from here the necessity to challenge first of all our way we eat. Mr. Friedrich Leitgeb presented in his short speech some of the main alternative movements. Starting from the necessity to work hands-on on this path for food sovereignty, he is developing and researching on his own organic farm, and relates this to his field of interest: social movements and civil activity. He was comparing nature’s biodiversity, which is losing day by day species of plants and animals, with the diversity of the products we find in grocery shelves. The paradox is that the colourful packed foods are the product of just a few companies / corporations worldwide. And from here we can easily see the monopolization of the food industry. The industrialization of agriculture and the chase for increased profit made a big impact on our societies.

As an important source of information about these dangerous trends, he mentioned the Global Report  of IAASTD “Agriculture at the crossroad” 2009, quoting statements such as “Business as usual is not an option anymore” and “organic farming is the most sustainable form of agriculture”. Nevertheless, at this very moment, only 1,1% of global agricultural land is certified “organic“.  The excuse of the system that conventional agriculture developed because there is a lack of food on Earth is not scientifically supported. If the agricultural fields would be rationally used only for food and if we would consume rationally, eating less meat (but of better quality), then the mathematical calculations of some experts shows that we can even feed the whole world, with less CO2 emissions as well.

Contrary to Economics, food science is more practically oriented. It is easier to start and learn by doing. If the economists succeed in messing with many of the human feelings like respecting nature, having empathy, being resilient, trusting each other, here some people succeed quitting the system with producing their own food. Of course, the good flavour of food and its natural content of ingredients gives confidence and encourages more people to try farming by themselves. So, we can find farmers’ market, box schemes, consumers cooperatives, online sales, processing and marketing cooperatives etc. Maybe the most advanced form of disconnection from the system in our complex times is the co-housing/farming community. There people are learning about real democracy and are trying to live in community with Mother Nature, and still keeping a decent standard of civilization and comfort.Talking about the advantages and disadvantages of growing organic food he mentioned that we should not neglect the trend of sustainable agriculture too, where some of the regulations from organic agriculture can be implemented. But still adding a plus on the Planetary Boundaries chart.