Oregon State University

(Not) Business as Usual: A Modest Proposal for Sustainable Agriculture

(Not) Business as Usual

A Modest Proposal for Sustainable Agriculture

Historian Jimmy McWilliams makes some surprising suggestions about good ways to intensify agricultural production while respecting the environment, and asks us all to eat less meat.

7:00p Wed 15 Apr 2010, Oregon State University

McWilliams posterJimmy McWilliams

As an associate professor of American colonial and environmental history at Texas State University, James McWilliams is well aware that there never was a golden age for American agriculture, a time when farmers and farms were sustainable.

In his Food for Thought lecture Jimmy takes the current Food Movement to task for indulging in historical romanticism, and advocating that we go back to the past to achieve a sustainable future.  He explores six ways that agriculture can strike a balance between small, sustainable farms and large industrial farms in order to create a global system of agriculture that provides an affordable diversity of food in an environmentally responsible way.

  • lecture intro by OrB director Steve Strauss
  • lecture slides (pdf version)
  • study guide (pdf version)
  • podcastiTunes U
  • streaming videoYouTubeMediaSpace



More from Jimmy McWilliams

Jimmy writes a fortnightly column for The Atlantic Monthly, examples being:

alfalfaThe Genetically Modified Alfalfa Scare: Don't Panic
It turns out that the doomsday scenario du jour—in which all organic alfalfa is contaminated—is highly unlikely.



poor piggyMeat: Sometimes 'Sustainable,' Never Okay
Unless you're stranded with a pig on a desert island, an animal's capacity for suffering should trump desire for a BLT.



He's also the author of:

where locavoresJust Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly





More Food for Thought Study Guides

Back to Food for Thought

Contact Info

Copyright ©  2014 Oregon State University