Saturday, May 21, 2011

Feeding the World...Just In Case it Doesn't End

Happy Judgment Day everyone! If you, like me, are still sitting snugly in your home with no sign of apocalyptic weather outside, then it appears Mr.Camping's calculations are, yet again, incorrect. Ah well, looks like we'll just have to continue with business as usual.

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If the world were to be ending in the next few months, farmers would have a whole lot less to worry about. They wouldn't have to tailor their management practices to a multiplying world population, nor would they need to worry about meeting our unique demands.

I came across an article exploring this issue this morning on Drovers CattleNetwork. The article, "Commentary: What if the world doesn’t end and we have to eat GMOs?" by Greg Henderson, explains the importance of science and technology in agriculture. GMO's have acquired a reputation of an evil, industrial, and mutating force to plants and crops.

"The debate about GMOs is far from over, nor should it ever end. Hearty, robust debate encourages companies and our government to continue to monitor the safety of such technology. But, so far, GMOs have been proven safe, with many benefits to farmers and our environment.

Henderson recognizes the source and backing of the consumer's hesitation, as all farmers do. But he also points something out I have tried hard to convey to my non-agricultural friends: The world cannot be fed without the inputs of technology. This includes management systems to control pests and weeds and increase yields. High yields mean more food for the world in a shorter time, and as long as our world's population continues to grow, more food is what we need. 
"What happens if the world doesn’t end, or, more specifically, if GMOs aren’t the scourge of the Earth? The answer, of course, is that GMOs are helping to feed more people while allowing farmers to utilize more environmentally-friendly practices. "

Let me know your thoughts on the article.

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