UNC Kenan-Flagler Sustainability Blog

From Shared Tables: “Can Industrial Agriculture Feed The World?”

March 5, 2012 By Joel Thomas

Tom Philpott Shared Tables UNC #4668This post written by Marcie Barnes for Greenetarians.com - live from the Shared Tables 2/28/12 keynote on UNC’s campus

Tom Philpott is the cofounder of Maverick Farms, a center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. He was formerly a columnist and editor for the online environmental site Grist and his work on food politics has appeared in Newsweek, Gastronomica, and the Guardian. He currently writes about Food and Ag for Mother Jones.

Typically the argument is framed around “can organic feed the world” and the conventional answer. can chemical-intensive, geographically concentrated/patented seeds feed the world?

This kind of agriculture is promoted by the US government, foundations like the Gates Foundation, etc. People who promote it are so certain of it’s promise they are “cooking up” a new “green revolution” to feed Africa.

If a region can grow something relatively easily, it should focus on that thing, which is why corn and soy production are concentrated on in the US, and 80-90% of vegetables are grown in California.

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