- Author: Marissa Palin
If organic agriculture isn't the answer, what about practices close to organic agriculture? What about sustainable agriculture? Can sustainable agriculture feed the world? According to Mark Bittman of the New York Times, it certainly can.
According to Bittman, "Anyone who opens his or her eyes sees a natural world so threatened by industrial agriculture that it’s tempting to drop off the grid and raise a few chickens." But sustainable agriculture practices, such as agro-ecology, immediately help support small farmers in less expensive and more productive ways, and make the system less susceptible to climate shocks.
Even the World Bank supports a shift to more sustainable agricultural practices. Their International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development Report, calls on sustainable practices as a solution to poverty, food security, malnutrition and poor health, environmental degradation, and more.
Anna Lappe, author and food activist, also argues in favor of sustainable agriculture as a means to feeding our growing population. Her short video "Can Sustainable Agriculture Feed the World" markets itself as a myth-buster against large-scale industrial agriculture.
What do you think? Can we feed the world with sustainable agriculture alone?
- Author: Marissa Palin
There's a big difference between the questions what is best for my family? and what kind of agriculture is best for the whole world?
According to Maarten Chrispeels, a plant physiologist and UC San Diego distinguished professor emeritus and Global Food Systems Forum panelist, it's very difficult to choose between organic and GM's. We're being bombarded with information, but how much of that is true? Do we even need to choose between the two?
Watch the video below to find out.
"If you're concerned about your health, there isn't any scientific basis to choose for or against organic, or for or against GM."
"If you're concerned about food, there is no scientific basis for choosing for or against GM or organic. If you're concerned about the environment, organic has some interesting practices that emphasize sustainability, but GM crops already lessen the impact of agriculture on the environment."
"The small picture: There is no scientific basis for championing or rejecting either GM or organic. But...you do need to eat more fruits and vegetables: 5 helpings of fruits and vegetables per day cuts the rates of many cancers by 50%"
"The big picture: GM or organic? is a false question. The moral issue for our world is: How do we abolish the food insecurity of 800 million humans? Organic agriculture with its lower yields cannot do this. We need all available and appropriate technologies and food production systems adapted to local ecologies."
What are your thoughts? Comment below.