From the point of view of this essay, that is, as far as the distinction between markets and antimarkets is concerned, the splitting open of the nutrient cycles had important consequences. Every input to food production which came from outside the farm (not only fertilizers but also insecticides and herbicides) was one more point of entry for antimarkets, and hence, it implied a further loss of control by the food producers. While a century and a half ago farms produced most of what they needed (and hence ran on tight nutrient cycles), today American farms receive up to seventy percent of their inputs (including seed) from the outside. (7) Worse yet, the advent of direct genetic manipulation has allowed large corporations to intensify this dependency.
Although most of the early technical innovations in biotechnology were created by small companies engaged in market relations, antimarket organizations, using the economic power which their large size gives them, readily absorbed these innovators through vertical and horizontal integration. Moreover, these antimarkets were in many cases the same ones which already owned seed and fertilizer/pesticide divisions. Hence, rather than transferring genes for pest-resistance into new crop plants (thus freeing food producers from the need to buy pesticides) these corporations permanently fixed dependence on chemicals into the genetic base of the crops.
This is the best case I’ve read for organic farming: a reduction in outside dependencies (ie, resilience).