Consumption vs. conservation

Published online: Jan 11, 2013

When Indiana author Scott Russell Sanders spoke earlier this week at the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts annual meeting in Indianapolis he spent much of his time comparing consumption to conservation. 

He said while people need to eat - farmers need to take a closer look at how they grow their food.

"The Purdue Extension service is estimating that Indiana is still losing 100 million tons of topsoil a year," he said. "That's better than it was during the Great Depression and it's better than it was in the 1950s. But it's still not good enough."

Sanders tells Brownfield - as much progress that has been made in conserving topsoil and protecting waterways - there is still a long way to go.

"I'm all for farming, but how we grow food and how sustainable our methods are is another question," he said. "I think that a lot of the methods that are currently being used are well designed and well thought through, and ecologically wise. But I also think other methods that are being used in modern, large-scale farming are not sustainable."

He said he simply wants healthy lands and healthy waters for future generations.