The facts are these:
- Resources key to non-organic food production are either running out or becoming priced beyond viability.
- GM’s advantages come mainly from their convenience, but that convenience is only accessed through intense use of fossil fuels, for which, see (1).
- Food for 9bn people needs to focus on nutrition. Organic delivers this. (See my recent post on the science of organic.)
- If we carry on as we are, we’re screwed.
Everything else is noise. We don’t have to trouble ourselves with taste, shape, ethics, or anything else, because the only game in town for long-term sustainable provision of food for humanity is organic. We are compelled to action not because it doesn’t befit civilised man to behave in such a manner or any other such utopian ambition, but because – and let me be perfectly clear on this:
We do not have the resources on this planet to continue as we are.
Food production is a topic unlike any other. It is the energy which drives all human activity. As such we need high-quality food. This means high vitamin and nutrient availability to keep us healthy and productive, not just alive enough to be dependent on healthcare. Providing access to enough high-quality food is a long chain passing through growing, harvesting, processing, storage, transport, distribution, trading, retailing, preparation, and waste management. At some point on that chain, we are all involved. We are all responsible.
We need to redesign the system to have food security as its primary goal. It’s not a war, but it is a state of emergency. We have a common problem coming our way fast. And the most effective way to respond is coherently, together. That doesn’t mean we all have to go at once, but it does mean that before this is resolved, we will all be working to common goals.
And you know what? Despite appearances, we are so ready for this.