Humans have evolved from being mobile hunters and gatherers to stable agricultural societies
that further evolved into urban societies distanced from the production of its food supply. Our
food system has changed as societies have formed bureaucracies in the social and political
organization of communities.
The Green Revolution with its myths has played a vital role in building global agribusiness
that 1s our current food system. Transnational/multinational corporations are gaining control of
markets through horizontal and vertical integration. Horizontal integration such as company
mergers 1s consolidating food processing and retailing sectors. These same companies are now
venturing into, and controlling a higher percentage of, worldwide food production, an example of
vertical integration. This vertical integration is shifting control of food production out of the
hands of small family farmers into the hands of multinational corporations, thus increasing
reliance on imports and biotechnology in global markets. These multifaceted, rapidly changing
aspects of our current industrial agriculture are briefly discussed in order to frame the alternate
model, sustainable agriculture that is embedded in an agrarian mindset.
Sustainable agriculture has been called the “Quiet Revolution” and identifies three principles
to be practiced in agriculture. The three principles balance methods that are ecologically sound,
economically viable and socially responsible. Nature is used without harm, and farmers gain
improved self-reliance, a key feature of sustainable agriculture.
We begin to “reculturize” agriculture when we reclaim and foster an agrarian mindset. The
first step 1s changing how we think about food. When we know why we are persuaded to eat the
way we do, we as eaters or consumers regain control over how we eat. We do have options for improving our food system. These options will, in turn, shift control of our food back to
consumers and will reestablish human relationships between consumers and farmers.