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Technology & Innovation

Down the Farm

The Facebook game FarmVille is making agriculture sexy again. But are online farms warping our view of how food is made?

“Farming, which many city folk once associated primarily with children’s books and distinctive if not entirely flattering tan lines, is suddenly in vogue,” writes the LA Times. “Never mind that most of the food we eat comes not from cozy acreages reminiscent of the setting of ‘Charlotte’s Web’ but from big corporate operations. Never mind that census data tell us that fewer than half of family-run farms show a positive net income (in other words, most farmers need day jobs). Even though farming no longer quite makes it as ‘a way of life,’ it’s somehow become the next best thing (or maybe an even better thing): a lifestyle.” The report says the trend started with last year’s reality dating show “Farmer wants a wife”, then went postal after the Facebook game FarmVille (where you grow crops, keep cows and trade with your neighbours) took over the internet. But the danger of online agriculture is that “a whole generation just might grow up believing that strawberry milk comes from pink cows.”


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