Balancing on a Planet : The Future of Food and Agriculture by David A. Cleveland

By David A. Cleveland

This e-book is an interdisciplinary primer on severe pondering and powerful motion for the way forward for our international agrifood approach, in line with an realizing of the system’s organic and sociocultural roots. Key elements of the booklet are a radical research of the assumptions underlying varied views on difficulties with regards to meals and agriculture around the globe and a dialogue of different options. David Cleveland argues that combining chosen features of small-scale conventional agriculture with sleek medical agriculture can assist stability our organic want for nutrition with its environmental impact—and proceed to satisfy cultural, social, and mental wishes regarding food.

Balancing on a Planet relies on Cleveland’s examine and interesting instructing approximately meals and agriculture for greater than 3 a long time. it's a software to aid scholars, school, researchers, and readers comprehend debates in regards to the present predicament and choices for the future.

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1. Malthus’s Argument Thomas R. , linearly) (Malthus 1992 [1803]:17–19). He believed that the incompatibility of these two rates of growth inevitably resulted in checks on human pop- 24 Agrifood Systems History and Future Industrial Countries Third World Countries Millions FIGURE 1. 2. Population pyramids in the industrial and Third Worlds. pdf. © Population Reference Bureau. Used with permission. ulation growth. In the first edition of An Essay on the Principle of Population, published in 1798, he emphasized two checks—positive and preventive (Malthus 1992 [1803]:15, Winch 1992:xiv, xvi).

It is not clear at this point what the balance will be between our ability to change our environment and our ability to change our behavior to avoid extinction. However, as is true for a finite individual organism, there are different ways for us as a species to approach the opportunity we have for life and different choices we can make about how we experience it. 2. Competition in Resource and Energy Cycles Through time and space, different individual organisms, populations, and species on Earth cooperate and compete to obtain access to a limited quantity of matter and energy.

This means searching for basic principles that underlie both modern and traditional agriculture, both modern and traditional demographic behavior, and both modern and traditional values and social organizations. This is not a quick fi x, but it may be one of the best ways to solve the present food crisis and to avoid future ones. As I will discuss in more detail in chapters 3 and 4, there are usually trade-offs between what is possible and our goals for the future, and also between the different goals we have for the future.

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