Dave Matthews

“Our planet will not sustain us if we continue living the way we are. It cannot.” “People often say we must save the planet. The planet, in my opinion, will be fine. What we want to do is work with the planet so that we can make it too.” 

Dave spoke today about the how fundamental incentives affect outcomes. For a typical large corporation, the final goal is the bottom line. Because it doesn’t fundamentally care about us or our children, by its very nature it will engage in unhealthy practices. And for large corporate farms, the questions are, how do we make food the cheapest way that we can, and use the land as recklessly as we can, taking the most from it, producing as much “food” as we can — regardless of how good it is, regardless of what it tastes like, regardless of what it does to our children — so that we can enhance the bottom line. Factory farming is destructive by nature.

Replacing individuals in this type of large corporation doesn’t have a lasting impact, because the incentives are built into the system (though I say that we can make these incentives work by choosing to buy, not the cheapest food, but the best — for our families, the farm workers, and for the planet).

Dave then turned our attention to an entirely different mentality in someone who wakes up before the sun comes up, who cares for the land so that the land will care for them, who hugs their children when they come in from the field, who feeds their own children that food in the morning, and at lunch, and in the evening, who takes care of their neighbors with that food, who make an honest living from the land. These people want to save the planet just because of the nature of what they do.

Here’s 3 minutes of Dave Matthews speaking directly from the heart. And listen to his performance at http://www.farmaid.org/.


Published on: September 23, 2008
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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