“Science” is derived from the scire – “to know”.
Each of us should know what we are eating, how it was produced, what impact it has on our health.
“Agroecology, not the mechanistic and blind paradigm of industrial agriculture, is the truly scientific approach to food production.”
The knowledge we need for growing food is knowledge of biodiversity and living seed, of living soil and the soil food web, of interaction between different species in the agroecosystem and of different seasons. Farmers have been the experts in these fields, as have ecological scientists who study the evolution of microorganisms, plants and animals, the ecological web and the soil food web.
In industrial agriculture the knowledge of living systems is totally missing since industrial agriculture was externally driven by using war chemicals as inputs for agriculture. Soil was defined as an empty container for holding synthetic fertilizers, plants were defined as machines running on external inputs. This meant substituting the ecological functions and services that nature and farmers can provide through renewal of soil fertility, pest and weed control, and seed improvement. But it also implied ignorance of the destruction of the functions by the toxic chemicals applied to agriculture.
This complex knowledge of interacting, self-organizing, self-maintaining, self-renewing and self-evolving systems that farmers have had is now being confirmed through the latest in ecology. At the agricultural systems level, agroecology, not the mechanistic and blind paradigm of industrial agriculture, is the truly scientific approach to food production.
At the level of organisms, epigenetics and the new knowledge that cells are in constant communication with each other is leading to the emergence of a new paradigm of life as communication and intelligence. Living systems are not dead matter, assembled like a machine.Yet in recent times only one kind of knowledge, the Mechanistic Reductionist paradigm based on seeing the world as a machine, and reduction of a system its parts, has been elevated to the status of science.
The emerging sciences of complexity and connectedness expose the oceans of ignorance in which the mechanistic fundamentalism is steeped. Because living systems are self-organized complexity—and notmachines— knowledge of a small fragmented part in isolation of its relationships with the rest of the system, translates into not-knowing.