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Farmer Joel Salatin Gives a Memorable Speech for Thinking Green


With an enthusiasm that borders on brilliance, Salatin encourages us to participate in the food system and leave paranoia and scarceness aside.

Holistic farmer Joel Salatin has given one of the most inspiring and inspirational TED talks. He joins the growing “organic rebellion” movement, which questions the food policies in large cities and is devoted to refocusing cities towards earth and life.

Trillions of creatures live in the soil”, Salatin points out during his TED talk, “an entire invisible life on which we completely depend. And nonetheless, no-one speaks about it. We have 3 trillion of them inside us, a community desperate for us to embrace them. But in our Greco-Roman, reductionist, Western, lineal, fragmented, compartmented, disconnected, systematised, individualised society, oriented towards parts, we don’t take into account that this is a world of beings, not a world of machines.

Salatin continues to stress that, since the agricultural and pharmaceutical industries have decided that everything can and should be manipulated but not improved, meaning it can be seen “mechanically” and not as a living being, undesired consequences such as diseases, spontaneous abortions, etc. have arisen. “A culture that sees its life from such an egocentric, dominant and conquering point will see its citizens in the same way, cultures in the same way also”, he says.

In turn, what he suggests is that in our discussions about technology we strive towards a fundamental movement that considers biology, life. “Machines can’t heal, life can heal. The landscape, plants and animals can heal”. We have created a dead food system. “Herbicides and pesticides seem way sexier than compost. And there is more sex in a compost pile” concludes Salatin.

We must undoubtedly consider that, if our food doesn’t rot, if its ingredients are unpronounceable or if we cannot make it in our kitchens, it is probably something we don’t really want to eat. The scientific obsession of producing more with less and genetically modifying all life forms in order to increase production levels and decrease costs has had a huge and negative impact on our nutritional density.

Salatin urges us to participate in the living creature community that inhabits our soil, food and guts. “It’s as simple as having chickens in your kitchen: they eat your compost, help you out in your garden, they’re cleaner than dogs… if we had chickens in our kitchen we wouldn’t have to worry about non-organic eggs or inhumane factory farming” he points out.


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