William Bordeau wrote a piece for CalMatters, saying that CA water policy is restricting food production in the San Joaquin Valley and the COVID 19 emergency is revealing the importance of producing our own food. Cora Kammeyer answered that that’s not actually true about water policy restricting food production in the SJV. I have two different problems with Bordeau’s essay.
1. Growers in the SJV do not give a shit about producing food, as such. They are there to make a profit, and if they can do that by producing food, they will. But they are not growing food to feed hungry people. That is not the point of what they are doing. We would need an entirely different, non-capitalist system of farming if we want the point to be ‘feeding hungry people’.
2. If the COVID emergency reveals that America should never be dependent foreign countries to feed our hungry families, as Bordeau says:
This pandemic has undeniably affirmed the need for policymakers to absolutely ensure America retains her self-sustaining capabilities that keep grocery store shelves bountiful; and that we are never unnecessarily forced to entrust feeding our families to foreign countries.
then it also reveals that the rest of American cannot be dependent on California, as the dominant optimized farming region. If the COVID 19 emergency has shown that any place can be fragile and downed by disaster, then the solution is redundant, dispersed, resilient systems. Every region in American should be capable of feeding itself from non-plantation agriculture, even if all the regions aren’t as economically efficient as California.