The Militarization of Food: A Looming Threat to Farmland and Communities

February 21, 2019

Wendell Berry’s classic book, “The Unsettling of America,” contains a powerful message about the military’s role in food production. In this post, we will examine the complexities of this issue, discussing the potential repercussions and the pressing need for change to protect our agricultural land and communities.

A Call for Reflection:

Berry’s words are compelling as he emphasizes the seriousness of the situation at hand — the militarization of food. This refers to shifting our food systems into profit-focused, automated operations that prioritize immediate benefits over the future well-being of our agricultural land and local areas.

The Greatest Threat:

According to Berry, the biggest danger to our farmland and farming communities is the militarization of food. This shift from sustainable, community-focused methods towards a model of overuse and exploitation can have disastrous consequences, including the deterioration of our agricultural environment and the undermining of strong communities.

The Shadow of Government Policies:

The ramifications of using food for military purposes are not limited to personal decisions, but can also influence governmental regulations that promote unsustainable practices. Berry foresees a future where policies may encourage excessive exploitation and depletion of farmland, a situation already starting to occur in subtle yet troubling ways.

A Call to Reevaluate:

Berry’s warning reminds us to rethink our approach toward food and agriculture. We must prioritize the well-being of our farmland, farming communities, and food systems instead of just seeking profits. It’s vital that we adopt sustainable practices to ensure their longevity.

Championing Sustainability:

The issue of climate change and limited natural resources is becoming increasingly pressing. Berry’s call for change is particularly important in this context. We need to prioritize sustainability to resist the trend towards using food as a weapon. This means adopting regenerative farming techniques, pushing for policies that promote responsible land use, and encouraging a stronger relationship between consumers and the origins of their food.

The Path Forward:

As caretakers of the land, it is our duty to address the militarization of food directly. We should back farmers who prioritize sustainable methods, push for policies encouraging ecological health, and promote a culture that recognizes the essential value of farmland and communities.

Wendell Berry urges us to beware of the militarization of food, reminding us to find a balance between progress and sustainability. We must take action and reshape our food, agriculture, and community approach. By prioritizing the health of our farmland and farm communities, we can create a future where our food systems nourish our bodies and the earth.

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