We knew the world population will grow in number.
We knew the world will need more food sustain them.
We knew our land and water to grow food is limited.
We knew this 50+ years ago, and we developed improved agricultural and animal farming techniques to increase the yield and profitability. Without continued deforestation and buildup of further unstainable methods of food growth our options seem limited. Unless we become creative and make decisions that are contrary to methods we have adopted over the last several decades. Our oceans, polluted by trash, pesticides and animal waste runoff/spillage are warming, rising & dying.
We know that arguably between 9% & 14% of the man-made greenhouse gases come from the industrial animal production (Concentrated Animal Farming Operations (CAFO)). This requires 160 times the land and 8 times the water per calorie, compared to vegetables and grains. Eating less beef is part of the solution. Also, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published in October warned of catastrophic consequences—food shortages, worsening poverty, and the destruction of island nations by rising seas—as soon as 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions persist at their current rate.
Now, you may agree or disagree on one or more of these items. We cannot do anything we want with our trash, water and land without doing it safely, intelligently and restoring what we take. You will have farmer and GMO advocates like Kevin Folta, Jennie Schmidt and Erin Fitzgerald that will tell you with bias, that farmers are doing their best and the GMO is necessary for the future. I would I agree, with nuance disagreement and careful review of the GMO efforts. But, they are doing their best to support their families and those whom they report in an industry that has been conformed to a separate production industry (Animal Ag and Food Additives). Their role is important and not an easy one, where future will require a change from the past.
Advocates such as these and many others should be considering alternatives where they can sustain the human being and the earth without continuous overuse and more so, misuse of all our resources. Perhaps considering the population of 9 billion by 2050.
One attempt to create a sustainable and soil payback effort is the Land Institute, an ecologically focused agricultural research group in Kansas. They selectively bred wheatgrass to create a variety with better yield, seed size, and disease resistance that it is calling Kernza. Kernza has a 10-foot root system and produces grain for up to five years. Standard wheat, by comparison, produces grain for just one year, and its roots are less than half the length.
We know what we knew.
We know more of what we knew.
We know the big picture.
Let’s do what we need to do.