The culture shift that is encouraging companies to use more sustainable farming methods is not based on new ideology. Back in the time of Antiquity, the forms of farming that occurred would be considered extremely “sustainable” and “environmentally friendly” by today’s standards. Part of this is because in the past, farmers and horticulturalists did not have the kinds of technologies we have today that makes it easier to cut corners. However, what I find interesting is the idea that many companies looking to move into sustainable practices, aren’t relying on new technologies but improving on methods used in ancient times.
Indeed author Penelope Hobhouse explains that, “in modern ecological planting schemes chemicals to combat pests and disease are being increasingly discarded to be replaced with more biologically friendly natural methods, many of which were pragmatically employed by the earliest gardeners” (53). So while the trend to move to environmentally sustainable products is increasing based on public opinion and advertisers are doing everything they can to cash in on the venture (see seventh generation products), the idea of sustainable agriculture is as early as gardening itself. What changed was man’s interest in mechanical processes to lessen the turn over time of a process that can be completed within the realm of nature, and nature alone.
Hobhouse, Penelope. The Story of Gardening. London: DK Pub, 2002. Print.