Can We Re-invent Food Production?

April 27, 2009 by · Comments Off 

I heard Michael Pollan awhile back on NPR* and have not been able to get it out of my mind.

He explained that the roots of the current U.S. agricultural system go back to the Nixon presidency. Nixon was worried about inflation of food prices and asked an agricultural economist how to keep them under control. According to Pollan, the answers created today’s reliance on corn and soy which are produced (and subsidized by the U.S. government) in mass quantities to ensure low cost. They are used for feed and for processed foods of all kinds. They are also the key ingredient in the processed foods that have come to dominate the U.S. diet and fuel our obesity epidemic. Read more

Of Bananas and Industrialization

January 10, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

One of the chapters in the book project I am working on about the intangible economy talks about how traditional command and control is giving way to a more bottoms-up approach to organizations and management.

One of the conclusions generally drawn from the collapse of the Soviet Union was that its top-down centralized planning-based economy was a failure. Yet, we in the West should not dismiss this lesson. We are much more top-down than we realize. A great illustration of this came this week Read more