Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Whakairo te whenua, whakairo te tangata

So much of our identity, our economy, our lives is tied to the land - hell we've made a proverbially industry out of it...

Whatungarongaro te tangata toitū te whenua

David Montgomery in the New Internationalist argues we're running it all down:

We have, in effect, been ‘mining’ soil for much of human history. Indeed, the decline in fertility and loss of agricultural lands through wind and water erosion is a problem as old as agriculture itself. Civilizations from Babylon to Easter Island have proven only as durable as the fertility of their land. (See more here).

Also it seems our soil is losing its nutrients and this leads to less nutritious crops. Jo Robinson of The New York Times writes:

Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.

Scary, huh...

but kinda obvious if you have integrate all things but lets not point the finger.

What does this mean for kaitiakitanga? Do we have to go back to basics? Grow our own veges? (Trust me, it ain't easy getting the necessary daily calories for five mouths using 60 square metres of good soil and six bantams).

Do we buy organic? (paying the premium that the organic sector tells potential suppliers it can charge...)

Do we need more dustbowls?! (Prodding our leadership into action, like we've done with the GFC...)

As I've mentioned,we're restructuring at Lincoln 'varsity and I want to develop this theme of how we carve the land is how we carve the people. It crosses across all faculties, pulls in supportive Pakeha, focuses supportive Maori and their communities and starts the korero and the mahi we need to feed ourselves and feed the world, protect the future and live well.

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Simon Lambert

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