Culinate

The future of the planet’s food

An interview with Robert Paarlberg

By
December 19, 2012

The fall/winter issue of Oregon Humanities magazine has an interview with the controversial agricultural expert Robert Paarlberg, the author of, among other books, Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Paarlberg isn’t optimistic about modern organic farming, repeating the by-now-much-debunked claim that organic farming can’t match the yields of conventional ag. And when he declares that the world’s impoverished farmers need synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, he doesn’t address the planet’s many problems with producing and using synthetic nitrogen.

But he’s right about the big picture: Agriculture alone, without the aid of progressive politics, infrastructure, and investment, won’t solve our global food problems.