Posted on | October 2, 2012 | 2 Comments
Driving through South Central Florida yesterday. The density of sugar cane seems to dwarf the corn and soy fields of the Midwest. With a food culture based on white sugar, corn, soy, wheat and stockyard beef, is it any wonder that the “cane” would stretch for endless miles? I was working on a master plan for a small holding southwest of Lake Okeechobee near the Caloosahatchee River, which stretches from the lake to the Gulf. It is one of the ten most endangered rivers in the US. Lake Okeechobee contains enough chemical agricultural slop that it is a willing supplier of this soup to the river. Once a meandering, slow river that was not connected to the lake, the army corp of engineers made sure that they straightened and deepened it so that the future of agriculture in South Florida would be made viable for the future of corporate farming. As I drove through what would become white sugar, one of the banes of our culture, I could not help think of the massive destruction of our land by the chemical companies and the monocultural sensibility that pervades our psyche, from the Wal Mart engine to soybeans. But what really struck me was the thought that all that coffee that we Americans consume, fair trade or not, has turned the topical understory into another monoculture that feeds our addictions. Is there an end to any of this or have we accepted this as the status quo? Do we care? Does it matter?