In 1968, biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted widespread famine in the coming decades. He made the reasonable assumption that the world population was growing far faster than food production and the increasing population was displacing arable land. Fortunately, scientists, farmers and corporations rose to address this challenge and Ehrlich’s postulate did not come to pass.
Brian Snyder writes (“ Time to defend the planet,” June 26, CDT) of an impending crisis facing our food production systems. Snyder claims that modern agriculture depletes resources, has negative effect(s) on the environment and produces food devoid of nutrition, while impoverishing farmers and enriching large ag-related corporations. He either is misinformed or has not bothered to research the facts.
In 1968, conventional wisdom held that disease and pestilence would continue to wreak havoc on food production. After all, that had been human experience for millenia. The truth ignored by Snyder is that advances in technologies, varieties and practices have led to unprecedented levels of not just food quantities, but food safety.
The U.S. enjoys the most abundant, the most affordable and the safest food supply in the world. Thanks to science and technology, U.S. agriculture also helps feed a hungry world. Much like the global warming discussion Snyder mentions, his ag reforms are a solution in search of a crisis.