Farm and Food: Feeding the world, but not talking about it

September 11, 2013 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Farming Practices, United States, Daily Email Recap

Farm and Food: Feeding the world, but not talking about it

Our good friends at Progressive Farmer magazine fill 15 pages of their September issue with a well-researched, well-written “special report” on “Feeding the World” (

The four-color, four-story package hits all the humane highlights U.S. farmers and ranchers expect in these stories of manifest destiny when “the world will look to the U.S. to help stock the global food pantry.”‘

The report’s central premise is bold: “With dwindling natural resources, changing climate and already-stressed environment, will the world’s farmers and ranchers be able to … boost food production by 70 percent over the next 40 years to satisfy … more than 9 billion people?”

Fifteen pages later, I have some idea of the answer. What I didn’t find anywhere in all the facts, figures, photos and words, however, is any discussion on population.

How do we in U.S. agriculture constantly chew over how much food the world might need in the future and never once get within a hoe’s length of discussing population?

On its face, whether brown, yellow, black, red, white or whatever, population is one entire side of the two-sided food coin. As such, any discussion on any aspect of food availability in any future decade or century must include a discussion on population.

So why don’t we ever talk about it?

“We don’t like to talk about population,” explains Rob Dietz, co-author of “Enough is Enough: Building a Sustainable Economy in a World of Finite Resources,” “because these conversations quickly go to topics dominated by personal views such as liberty, happiness and life. That makes us uncomfortable, so we avoid them.”

To read the full article, please click here:

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