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Food for Thought: Excerpted from Feedstuffs
ANOTHER 40 million people have been pushed into hunger this year, primarily due to higher food prices, according to the U.N.’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). The group’s just-released estimate brings the overall number of undernourished people in the world to 963 million, which compares to 923 million in 2007.
In the next 40 years, it is estimated that the amount of food that will need to be produced to feed the world’s growing population will be greater than the amount already produced throughout the history of humankind. That is a huge challenge for farmers and ranchers around the world, and as Erpelding [of Elanco] explained, it is only achievable through continued access to technology, improvements in genetics, proper animal care and efficiency in production.
Sustainability, availability and affordability are equally important in feeding the world.
I often get involved in discussions where technology is painted with a broad black brush. Technologies, such as hybrid crops, effective veterinary treatments and even GMOs are primarily responsible for the the availability of affordable food. Technology can support sustainability, like some crops that can grow in salt-poisoned soils or with less nitrogen.
It is important not to reject technology just because it is technology. It is also important to look at the entire impact and cost of technologies, not just the bottom cash line. Policies and production decisions should be made based on facts (all of them) and not emotions.