The idea that the world might soon be unable to feed its human population is an old and powerful narrative that has recently been extensively exploited by agribusiness.
But it’s an idea that actually rests on some pretty shaky foundations, mostly based on flawed mathematical models that support a business-as-usual model of farming and food production.
According to a new analysis by Dr. Jonathan Latham these models either underestimate global food supply (now and in the future), or they cause the models to overestimate global food demand (now and in the future).
Dr. Latham argues that rather than a food shortage we have a global glut. As such there is no real justification for extreme measures to improve yields, or to turn to GMOs or pesticides in order to feed the global population.
If we want to feed the world well, agricultural practices and policies should be driven by criteria such as ecological sustainability and cultural appropriateness―not trumped-up concerns about yield.