A couple of months ago, I raised the question, can industrial agriculture feed the world? I was being intentionally provocative. For decades, policymakers have treated low-input, diversified agriculture -- "organic" in the sense described by the great British agriculture scholar Sir Albert Howard -- as a kind of hippy indulgence. Sure, it's nice to grow food without poison, but you can't feed the world that way. To feed the globe's teeming masses, you need loads of mined and fossil-fuel synthesized fertilizers, pesticides by the tons, patent-protected genetically modified seeds, heroic irrigation projects, gargantuan, petroleum-fueled "combine" machines, etc. But as I …
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