Soil and Food
Soil and Food
Agriculture and the Fertility of the Earth
This chapter concerns the politicizing forces of food and agriculture, as well as their impact on global nutrition and thus, population. Consider the soil—the primary foundation of agriculture and land cultivation—at once ubiquitous and mundane, the soil symbolizes land and territory and fertility, and the significance of its functions with regards to population growth and the old ideals of colonial expansion, among other things, cannot be overlooked. Population theorists of the mid-nineteenth century grappled with the importance of soil and its economic and political weight, and the agricultural sciences were inevitably joined to discussions regarding population (or, more specifically, overpopulation). While primarily a geopolitical concern, this preoccupation with soil would eventually yield the biopolitical implications to be discussed in the following chapters.
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