Themes: To maintain sustainable agriculture, specifically when it comes to livestock, it is necessary that farmers allow their crops and livestock to live off the land, and not vise versa.
Key Quote: "Local farmers intentionally curtailed pigs exercise, creating muscles that were less oxygenated and therefor less chewy." This quote is very important as it reflected the pieces focus on the health of livestock. Usually, industrial farms will pack their pigs into tight cages and use fatty feeds to get the most meat out of their pigs. However, this is counterproductive as allowing pigs to roam gives them chewier and fattier muscles.
How this ties into food and sustainability: This piece focuses on how livestock should be treated as more than just cattle, and live off the land, rather than their feed. This ties into food and sustainability as the health of livestock and the environment they live in are dependent on each other.
Man and Nature Revisited Barber, excerpts from “Sea”
Theme: Often in agriculture and fishing, land and sea are seen as completely separate entities that do not intermingle. However, land and sea are co-dependent on one another for biodiversity and their overall health.
Key Quote: "We usually think of the beach as a demarcation line between land and sea." This quote is very significant as it represents a common, destructive mentality that most farmers have when it comes to the relationship between land and sea. These farmers see these two things as separate environments that should not interact. However, by using the example of Veta La Palma, Barber shows how critical the relationship between sea and land are.
How this ties into food and sustainability: This piece focuses on how dependent the sea and land are on one-another. This ties into food and sustainability as an important part of sustainability is the osmosis between all organisms in an eco-system.
The Dialogue between Humans and Nature: The Origins of Agriculture chapters from Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel
Theme: For centuries, humans have selectively genetically modified foods by picking crops with specific genes that give us the best nutrients and taste.
Key Quote: "Much as the Industrial Revolution changed the environment for moths, farming changed the environment for plants." This quote is very important as it emphasizes the drastic change the industrial revolution had on farming and our environment.
How this ties into sustainability: This piece ties into sustainability and food as it focuses on how human action can lead to more resilient crops and the utilization of crops that would otherwise be uneaten. The wild almond, for example, would never have been the widely used nut it is today without the cultivation of non-bitter, non-poison, almonds.