7 billion for dinner? Here’s how to feed them

The Economics of Happiness

ImageBy Steven Gorelick

At this time of year – the Thanksgiving season – more Americans are celebrating conspicuous food consumption than giving thanks for a successful harvest.  But in either case it’s a good time to consider how to feed not only America’s population in the years to come, but the rest of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants.

Most people – even many of those who support small farms and eat organic food – believe that there’s no way to feed the global population without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, fossil fuels, biotechnology, heavy equipment, and the rest of the agribusiness arsenal.  In fact, the 2013 World Food Prize  – which supposedly recognizes individuals who have improved “the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world” – went to three stalwarts of the biotech industry, including the Technology Officer of Monsanto and a lead scientist at Syngenta.

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