The Future Ecology of Food: Discussing Genetically Modified Foods, agriculture, and obesity

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by GirlAnachronism, Feb 2, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    A few hours from now, the U.S. Census Bureau's world population clock rolls over to 6.9 billion. And by the end of 2012, we'll have added nearly another population of Japan to the total as we cross the 7 billion mark.

    To feed everyone on our final push to 9 billion humans, we're going to need every trick in the book. We're going to need new genetically modified strains of wheat, maize and rice that can thrive on lower petrochemical pesticide/fertilizer input, that can grow in harsher terrain with more volatile climate conditions, less water, poorer soil.

    We're also going to have to start recycling biomass on national scales - reclaiming phospates and so on from our garbage stream and sewage. Urban communities will have to give up more and more of our wasteful water habits to free up more water for agricultural uses. This will be one of the greatest challenges of the next 50 years - conserving water for agriculture in the face of increasing urban demand. Regular meals of red meat will go back to being a luxury item for the world's middle classes as livestock operations decrease to divert production back into grains for direct human consumption.

    In any case, the era of cheap food and easy low quality calories is over. Even unhealthy, processed foods will keep getting more expensive. Ultimately, that will spell the end of the obesity epidemic in the industrialized world. America's poor and middle class will be priced out of the market for excess body fat.
  2. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    I'm not an archaeologist. I'll admit that. But it still seems a bit radical. Some of that stuff looks more hunter-gatherer. Of course, there is a sliding scale on this.

    Jabba:
    The problem with genetic engineering is they're doing nothing to make it thrive on lower petrochemical input; the big money in genetic engineering is on making plants that can survive herbicides.
  3. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    Put it this way: 11,000 years ago, it wasn't a matter of someone saying "You know, I'm tired of walking around with a spear to make ends meet. I think that I'll clear away this brush, plow the field, plant this grain crop, harvest it and store it for food during the dry season, along with a couple hundred of my closest friends. We'll call the place Jericho." :p Farming isn't a process that began overnight. It took thousands of years before grain even developed to the point where it could be farmed in an organized way as a primary mode of sustenance, as opposed to a convenient additional form of food.
  4. DarthIktomi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2009
    star 4
    I guess it all depends. But I will say that all sorts of special pleading goes into keeping other archaeological firsts at their latest. (If you've read Guns, Germs, and Steel, you might have noticed Diamond's treatment of Monte Verde, which isn't even central to his thesis, is marked by special pleading.)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.