From this trip, I learned about how different organizations and companies are going about approaching sustainable agriculture. For example, Driscoll’s, the berry company, has its sustainability team dedicated to projects on recycling, food donations, and water conservation, yet only 20% of its production is organic. Then there are organizations like ALBA that are fully committed to organic farming and focused on education not production or profit. How does Driscoll’s balance the environmental consciousness displayed in their projects with their general non-organic approach? Anyway, all the organizations we visited had chosen some method that they believed would make an impact on the overall health of the planet, and the combination of all these projects initiated from a variety of interest groups and stakeholders, farmers, environmentalists, water quality monitors, will be the guide to the planet’s future.
There were so many highlights from this trip: kayaking in Elkhorn Slough, hiking in Point Lobos, water testing, picking strawberries and planting onions when we visited ALBA, just being outdoors with nature, hearing the variety of perspectives that people have because they are surrounded by such different landscapes.
Well, my PWR for this spring quarter is titled Domestication: How Humans Shape the Natural World, which will definitely allow me to explore our relationship with plants and animals, especially those that we grow and raise as food. Domestication is the change induced by humans on other organisms, inherently the opposite of natural selection, and with this definition, I’m really interested in learning more about GMOs and if GMOs still count as some sort of domestication or if they fall into an entirely new category. If we wish to create a sustainable food system based on organic farming and a much more hands-off approach to growing plants and raising animals, then why would GMOs fit into this system? Also, how did we, as a society, transition to monocrop farming?