The Shifting Baseline, Food Myth Busting, and Food Forests

I just thought I would share some interesting information on the Shifting Baseline Theory, Food Forests, and Food Myth Busting. I came across these individual videos today while doing some research and some dots were connected in my brain. Each of these videos are short, less than 10 minutes, and together they are very powerful and absolutely inspirational (at least to me). I will give a brief explanation of each video with links and then give some extra credit to those that produced them.

The first article video, by E. Ray Gard, is “The Shifting Baseline” by Daniel Pauley.  It’s a TED Talk that explains a very important systemic issue in how we perceive biodiversity loss from generation to generation. Pauley explains “how we transform the world, but we do not remember it. We adjust our baseline to the new level and then we don’t recall what was there;” and “before an animal becomes extinct it becomes rare. So we don’t lose abundant animals. We always lose rare animals.”  I believe what is explained in this video can be applied to plant diversity and agriculture just as it is applied to animal species. This is important because it explains partly how we have come to believe that monocrop agriculture is normal and how we don’t see the real impact and harm industrial agriculture is causing.

The second article video, by Geoff Lawton, is a Food Myth Busting video. It challenges us to re-examine the question ” Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?” Our first response to this question is yes, but this video really takes us deeper into the question that we often go. I will let you decide the answer to this question for yourself. 

The third article video, by Craig Mckintosh, “A Permaculture Food Forest in Belgium” really caps off the day by showing a rather average couple, in a temperate climate, and their rather small food forest. It is a great example of what ordinary people can do and it is a perfect example of what the production side of a local food economy could look like and is indeed the type of reality I am trying to help create with my community.

I would highly recommend that you peruse the original articles from where I found these videos, as the articles themselves provide some extra information and context, especially the Food Myth Busters video (as there are additional links to informational resources and citations.) One last link that I would recommend is an interview that the Institute for Urban Technology did with Rick Nahmias of Food Forward, Geoff Lawton, Director of Permaculture Research Institute International, and Ernest Miller, head of UCCE Master Food Preserver program.



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