Abundance vs. Scarcity

I think of abundance as definitely as positive word, but I’ve also come to realize that it doesn’t always bring what we most desire. Like the abundance of rain in 2018 (or was it over-abundance?). Or the abundant freeze/thaw induced sogginess this winter. However, when it comes to abundant food or abundant money, abundance offers a measure of security. Or if you’re a grass-farmer and have abundant grass in the pastures, abundant earthworms (which indicate vibrant soil health), even abundant work, you know you’re richly blessed. But that’s just one side of the story.

One of the foremost conversations in conventional food and agriculture revolves around the direct opposite of abundance, which is scarcity. Whether it’s disease, pestilence, or propaganda about world populations surpassing agriculture’s food-producing ability, scarcity seems to be the overriding concern. However, the scarcity mentality prevails among more than just agricultural circles, we live in a time when many people are obsessed with scarcity. Half of environmental science class at any university is devoted to it. We’re running out of energy, money, minerals, food, water, species, air. In the 1970’s, radical environmentalists predicted that we’d be out of oil by the 1980’s. I don’t say that to disprove them, because the world could still be running out of oil, but I use it as an example of the prevalent scarcity mentality.

Scarcity in food production is not nature’s design—it’s man’s design. Early settlers to the America’s found vibrantly productive soils that yielded abundantly with little care. But they and their subsequent generations did not possess the knowledge of how to properly steward and maintain that pristinity. And as the subsistence farming of early America turned into uninhibited capitalism of the industrial era, Americans progressively mined the pristine soils formed over many centuries—and sad to say, still do. Although mankind has gained a vast amount of knowledge about how our universe works, industrial food and farming is depleting mineral, soil, water, and energy resources today—yes, creating scarcity—and at  unprecedented rates. No longer is it a lack of knowledge, but the ag community has become drunk on chemicals, GMO’s, pharmaceuticals, and CAFO’s (confinement animal feeding operations). Basically intoxicated on sheer dominion. It’s a dominio grounded in the scarcity mentality, but interestingly, it also fosters scarcity.

But let’s not lose the good news. Thoughtful, practiced ecological food production—which is stewardship with a conscience—is building those reserves. New technologies and new methods of land care are creating abundance out of scarcity. While left wing environmentalism views all new technology as bad for earth stewardship, I disagree. It is positive when used correctly and responsibly. I like the Weston A. Price Foundation’s tagline; Technology as Servant. And by the way, I don’t buy the world hunger line, for the simple reason that far more food is being produced than the world can possibly consume—which proves that the deficit lies in distribution rather than production.

I think it’s safe to say that the scarcity mentality is based on fear. Fear of discomfort, fear of disease or pathogens, fear of financial ruin, fear of the unknown. Because fear controls people, scarcity is often used as an advertising scheme to con the listening or watching audience into buying.

I oppose the scarcity mentality, and promote a mindset of abundance. Most of the things we fear will never happen, and even if they did, they rarely come on the scale or to the degree we imagine them. We believe the natural world provides abundance when properly stewarded. The above “We Believe” statement is a conviction we have. Furthermore, we’re just unconventional enough to think that abundance comes to those who believe in it—and who proactively pursue it. We view good earth stewardship as a win-win situation where nature abundantly rewards the steward. And while we may be the hands-on stewards of this particular piece of the earth, you are definitely co-stewards with us. With that, let’s focus on the positive expressions of abundance, redemption, and healing—and pursue them. And that’s the View from the Country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *