Re: Local Food production (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 1995 14:49:01 -0300
From: Alasdair McKay <aa233@cfn.cs.dal.ca>
To: "Tom Hodges (moderated newsgroup)" <sustag@beta.tricity.wsu.edu>
Cc: Principles of Sustainable Agriculture <sustag-l@listproc.wsu.edu>
Subject: Re: Local Food production (fwd)

> Perhaps the idea was first explored in any detail by Jane Jacobs
> in her seminal book "Cities and the Wealth of Nations". Although
> she was talking about much more than food, as well. Foodsheds may be
> another name for bioregions? Certainly the focus of populations into 
> communities would have started with basic foods, as much as scarce 
> foods, such as salt, led to inter-regional trading, and commerce as 
> such.

While it may be rather an academic point to bring up in the middle of what
is a discussion of great importance to the present day and to the future,
may I ask what is the basis for "certainty" in the identification of a
basic food supply as the focus which led to the development of
communities? In a hunting and gathering economy, there is the possibility
of developing communities for the more efficient pursuit of large prey
animals, but the gathering aspect may remain more efficient if communities
do not develop. Hunter-gatherers might rather have formed communities much
more on the focus of mutual defence than around that of basic food
production. Sedentary agrarian communities may be a better "bet" for
forming around a basic food supply, but I understand that there is at
least some speculation as to whether agrarian communities may have formed
initially more because of a desire to harvest grapes or grain for the
production of alcoholic beverages (which are not as easily come by if one 
is always "on the move" ) and only realised the basic-food 
aspect of agriculture as an accidental by-product of that activity. 

Let it be clear that I do not put forward the above ideas as 
"certainties"  ---  almost as little is certain in our knowledge of the 
past as in our predictions of the future.   :-)

What's the archeaological evidence - if any - on this point ?

Alasdair McKay