Last month I was invited to be the keynote speaker at BioFach, the European organic trade show. They asked me to speak about if, and how, organic food and farming can feed the world. This week, I will be sharing part of my speech with you. Of course, the answer is YES! Modern organic farming CAN feed the world.
My goal in researching and writing Organic Manifesto was to end the confusion once and for all about is happening to our health and our environment through the rampant use of toxins in our old-fashioned chemical agriculture system.
Often, when I speak to chemical farmers, they think that organic farming is about going back to “the old ways.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The old ways often led to erosion, overuse, and land degradation.
And I don’t believe that chemical agriculture is modern, either, since it is based on an old-fashioned view of nature—that nature is something only to fear, dominate, and control. I believe that not only is it possible to move boldly into the future with modern, science-based organic farming, but that in fact we must do so if we are to survive on this planet.
And this week, I will tell you why.
Reason # 1: We already have too much food
The idea that we need to feed the world is a marketing MYTH that is promulgated to promote the sales of toxic chemicals and GMOs. And the sad fact is, most chemical farmers believe it.
A careful reading of the U.S. Farm Bill and its history shows that the main reason for government subsidies to farmers is to REDUCE production, in order to enable farmers to make more money from higher commodity pricing. Unfortunately, the increased artificial productivity gains by chemical farmers not only eat into their profits, but also destroy their long-term ability to farm by degrading their soil.
In 1998 Amartya Sen, an economist, won the Nobel prize for discovering that famines are not agricultural failures but political failures. And one of the major political and cultural failures is that in many places where famine is prevalent, women do the majority of the farming, and yet are not allowed to own the land, or even their own bodies.
If you doubt that we have too much food, just look at the obesity epidemic that started in America and is now spreading to the rest of the world. Obesity is a disease that is only enabled by our toxic chemical corn and soybean addiction.
The solution is modern organic farming.