June 10, 2001
Cuban food, yum.
Did you know that Cuba has converted from large-scale, "modern" agriculture to small-scale organic agriculture over the past decade, and is doing quite well? I didn't.
...contemporary Cuba turned conventional wisdom completely on its head. We are told that small countries cannot feed themselves, that they need imports to cover the deficiency of their local agriculture. Yet Cuba has taken enormous strides toward self-reliance since it lost its key trade relations. We hear that a country can't feed its people without synthetic farm chemicals, yet Cuba is virtually doing so. We are told that we need the efficiency of large-scale corporate or state farms in order to produce enough food, yet we find small farmers and gardeners in the vanguard of Cuba's recovery from a food crisis. In fact, in the absence of subsidized machines and imported chemicals, small farms are more efficient than very large production units. We hear time and again that international food aid is the answer to food shortages—yet Cuba has found an alternative in local production.