How can we produce enough food for a growing population AND sustain ability to produce it? What are some of the positive + negative environmental aspects of this?
How can we produce enough food for a rapidly growing population while sustaining our ability to produce it? What are some of the positive and negative environmental aspects of this issue?
This, of course, is one of the major problems any society has with a population explosion, being able to economically feed that population. Science in agriculture has long been in the business of increrasing the efficiency of food production. The agricultural revolution that has occured at different stages bears witness to this as well. At first, man worked the ground with a stick. Then, with the invention of iron, man worked the ground with a piece of iron on the end of his stick. Someone had the bright idea of harnessing the pulling power of oxen, and later horses, and had a better way to till the soil. The invention of tractors, and all their evolution, brought forth still much more increased efficiency with which man could coax more crops out of the ground.
Today, scientists are still on the cutting edge, particularly in a controversial field known as genetic engineering, where they insert a particular sequence of genetic code into the DNA of a plant or animal. This insertion is supposed to produce a desirable trait, particularly towards food production. This all sounds fine and well, until you realize this is a relatively new direction, and that we do not know all the benefits or consequences that lay ahead. As the wizard Merlin once put it, "Predicting the future is like tasting a new recipe; the only true way is to bite into it, and then, you're stuck, good or bad".