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Firstly we all eat too much, secondly we should all grow some things ourselves (every little helps) and thirdly we should all cut down on eating meat particularly cows which are totally uneconomic in terms of the output per m2. If all the areas given to livestock was used for arable land we would have huge surpluses the world over.

"Substitute human labor for planet-destroying artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and machinery." Ha, ha -- tell that to a Chinese or Indian subsistence farmer who's longing for a better way of life and a route of dire poverty.

I couldn't wait to get off the farm myself, where we kids were the human labor. Hobby gardening ain't gonna feed the world.

Bravo to you ! So well stated !

Michelle, it took me a while to get back to the computer.

Point 3: Listen to the real thinkers is a good thing to do, but you have to know what type of glasses the thinkers are wearing.

From the article about Jerry Glover . . ."The process involves meticulous genetic detective work, breeding and crossbreeding seeds to select characteristics that will ultimately make a top crop." Well that sounds like what Monsanto, most universities and government programs are trying to do. Where is the line drawn before the genetic engineering is too much?

I live in a small farming community between a college and two state universities. The eggheads have all sorts of ideas for growing better but they don't work except on extremely small scale or they need genetic engineered crops to succeed. Joel Salatin has practical ideas that work but the cost of food production is higher than larger farms. Joel upsets the conventional apple cart and is well worth listening to.

The point here is you have to be careful to whom you listen to because so many good ideas are scams. We see those scams in several of the failed green businesses in today's news.

Another example is a project funded by tax dollars to increase the sharing of knowledge between the two nearby universities. So far it successfully spawned one business run by a local man who was already in business. The overall impact on our economy is negative (tax dollars in minus everything going out). The sponsors are essentially governmental agencies using our tax dollars to get money from the federal government or other universities. Good idea with a bad result.

There are many voices in this debate and the ones with practical experience whose ideas work are often drowned out by the big wigs.

Parts of the earth are inhospitable to humans and to gardening but you can still grow food and flowers there if you are willing to expend the energy. Hydroponics and related endeavors produce wonderful crops but must rely on chemical solutions to feed the plants. But most people are not going to invest in hydroponics because of the initial set up cost. For years magazines have touted the high rise farm with hydroponics and animals all working together to make our food. Well right now it is too expensive to implement.

Encourage your friends to garden.

Have you ever wondered why the Bible called the Garden of Edan a garden rather than the Farm of Edan?

anne, it's not about turning rangeland into cropland. It's about growing food for people, not for livestock.

Right now, 90% of soybeans, 95% of oats, and 80% of the corn grown in the US goes to feed livestock. These crops are grown on cropland, many of them are subsidized, grown with gmo seeds and pesticides, etc.

It's a massive waste of resources. Look at the transportation alone:

crops grown for livestock are hauled to feedlots
livestock are hauled to feedlots
livestock are hauled to slaughterhouses
then to processing facilities
then to packaging/market

crops grown for people are hauled to packaging/market

Jemma, sorry, it was your comment about freeing up "cropland", as opposed to freeing up crops, that threw me. I do understand how eating less meat can help.

The above comment (by 'cotton sifter pads') is of course an ad come-on, but the human who created it merely copied and pasted the exact words used by jemma (a real person I'm guessing) in an earlier comment. I hate to see my name used in this endeavor, but I guess in the Wild World of the World Wide Web we have to put up with shameless (and lazy!) marketing. Is capitalism a force for good or ill on this planet? Although I enjoy many of the fruits of capitalism, I fear it's the former. And back to the original point of this post (I think), I fear that humans won't solve the problem of global hunger/starvation by relying on "the open market."

Lest I be viewed as a total crackpot, please ignore my comment above, posted (it says) at 9:46 AM today. The offensive comment that I was referring to has been removed. I am NOT directing my remarks to "anne."

"Okay, I am now officially sick of the cowardice and lack of imagination demonstrated by many academic agriculture experts. They purport to address the question of the day: How are we going to feed 7 billion and counting people without destroying the planet? But they offer no answers, or only weak and partial answers."

It takes 11 acres or enough land to grow a years supply of food to feed 7 people to produce enough etahnol to power an average car for one year. To supply the 10% mandated in gasoline it uses up 1.1 acres of crop land for each car on the road. This would be food for 7 tenths of a person per car. With 125 million cars on the road in the US this means that today enough crop land to feed 87.5 million people is used to grow corn for ethanol.

Ethanol / biofuel pollutes more than gasoline. It uses more energy that it displaces. It costs $5 billion a year in subsidies. It will cost 200,000 deaths of the world's poorest people wordwide according to the World Health Organization. It is responsible for huge food price increases.

Nothing could impact food production more positively, reduce food prices, feed the world and save lives more effectively than eliminating ethanol subsidies and forced use. Support by Republicans, Democrats and especially the president for the use of ethanol is inexcusable.

Thats my suggestion. I don't think it could be considered weak and it is a far more substantial answer than any other suggestion I have seen.

....and if it were not for the Monsantos of the world and hybridization of corn, wheat and other crops 25% of the world would be starving to death.

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