Sustainability?

Sustainability is one of those goofy, feel good words that means nothing in the sense that it’s so loosey-goosey a term that its definition varies from one person to the next and it has few contexts.  A terrific op-ed in today’s NYT drives that point home: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/opinion/the-myth-of-sustainable-meat.html?_r=1&ref=opinion.

Here’s the thing: A dairy scientist told me years ago that standardization or industrialization created needed uniformity in products so that reliably they tasted as desired each time.  Efficiency in responsible industry leads to less waste and good wages.  Etc.

The world’s largest sustainable business is Walmart.  A farmer in Idaho who believes in sustainability may not believe in the health care of his workers.  The largest government project promoting sustainability was the idea of creating huge agricultural swaths in the Ukraine and Poland; that was Albert Speer’s vision.

The issues should be economic as well as a belief in marketing terms…

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