In asking himself the question, "what do I and a bumblebee have in common?" Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore's Dilemma, hit upon a new way of looking at man's relationship with nature that could not only revolutionise the way modern food production is handled, but also vastly improve soil quality and the general sustainability of many farms.
Filmed at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design - an annual meeting of thinkers and innovators from around the globe) in 2007, and made available for free online this year, Pollan urges a re-think of our relationship with nature, arguing that Darwin's evolutionary ideas need to be taken to heart if we are to increase production in any sustainable fashion.
Pollan says we should be trying harder to work with nature to grow our food, not work against it by using ever-increasing amounts of fertilisers and other destructive farming practices.
By merely shifting our perspective, he argues, we can heal the Earth. And if the organic farm he uses as an example is anything to go by (with 100 acres hosting six different species of animals and producing 40,000 pounds of beef, 30,000 pounds of pork and 25,000 dozen eggs while continuously creating healthy, new soil), then the kind of permaculture he is championing could indeed be the tincture to remedy what is ailing modern farming techniques.
The video is 17 minutes long, and like many talks on the TED site, is well worth it!
Find it: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/214