by Eufemio Rasco Jr.
Agriculture is the single most important technological change in history. It is responsible for creating civilization as we know this today. Among its major impacts is on human nutrition and environment. Since the industrial revolution and subsequent green revolution, however, agriculture has become decoupled with environmental care, and worse, even with human nutrition. Food systems resulting from industrial ("modern") agriculture gave rise to what is now referred to as the Western diet, which is linked to global epidemics of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other chronic diseases. "Modern" agricultural practices are also blamed for resource depletion, pollution, and climate change.
In this presentation I will describe how "modern" agriculture and food systems have evolved, what is wrong with them, and the technological trajectories and societal changes needed/now evolving to ensure that agriculture will not only be good for farmers and businessmen, but also for the consumer and the environment.