90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Future Of Food

On a crowded planet, it may get strange. We’ll dig in.

An unidentified produce employee restocks the shelf of bagged lettuce at a grocery store in Berkeley, Calif. (AP)

An unidentified produce employee restocks the shelf of bagged lettuce at a grocery store in Berkeley, Calif. (AP)

It’s 2035 and you’re sitting down to lunch.  The menu’s been changed up a little.  Nutritionally-enhanced blue lettuce from Afghanistan.  Rabbit, bugs, an African pizza may look good.  Fish, from a tank, for sure.  Growing at the speed of light. 

And a meat course pulled straight out of a bioreactor.  Cow, bison, chicken, pork – fresh from the test tube.  Oh, yeah!  Josh Schonwald used to call agricultural genetics “Frankenfood.”  Then he looked at the numbers.  Nine billion humans to feed soon.  It’s going to take more than crunchy organics, he says. 

This hour, On Point:  the food of the future.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Josh Schonwald, a  journalist and indoor aquaponic farmer, he’s the author of The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches From the Future of Food. You can read more about the book here.

Kurt Timmermeister, founder of Kurtwood Farms, a thirteen-acre dairy farm in Vashon, Washington which specializes in cheese production and weekly local dinners. He’s the author of “Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Miami New Times “Former Miami New Times writer Josh Schonwald isn’t a psychic or a pundit, but if he had to predict the future of food (and give us a hot tip for investing our savings), he would do it in one word: purslane. ”

The Washington Post “Just about anyone who writes about food comes to the task with built-in positive and negative prejudices, so there’s nothing unusual about that. As one who can’t imagine getting through the day without a healthy (or unhealthy) helping of cheese, I obviously do not share all of Schonwald’s biases, but on broader matters, his views are much to my taste. ”

Huffington Post “The reason I’d been punting on the “Thou Will Eat” answers is because of what I’d learned about food prognostication – the Italian who portended the end of pasta, the two 40s-era idealists who predicted that plankton was the future of food.”

Excerpt: The Taste Of Tomorrow

Use the navigation bar at the bottom of this frame to reformat the excerpt to best suit your reading experience.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Terry Tree Tree

    Food, Water, Shelter, and Fuel, are the Necessities of human life, as we know it.
       People have learned to eat many things others find repulsive, under severe conditions.
       If you say NEVER!, you may eat your words, AND what you’ll ‘NEVER”!
       Life has been tough many times in RECORDED history!

    • Alan in NH

      Anyone for poached rat? Fillet of Fisher Cat? Just as an interesting fact, I wonder how much food is wasted annually in U.S. restaurants. Not to say we don’t eventually come up against the problem of resources v. population anyway at some point. How far away are the meat farms of “Feed”?

      • http://www.facebook.com/jdlutz Jon David Lutz

        Alan, I’d bet there are literally millions of tons of food thrown out in restaurants as well as in homes every year.  I see so many people buying weeks worth of groceries and I wonder how much of it spoils before they even get a chance to prepare it.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Even that waste, is wasted!  It could be used to make methanol, ethanol, fertilizer, etc…!

  • Yar

    I read that 20 percent of the protein in the human diet comes from the oceans.  This statistic doesn’t tell the whole story; for a billion people in Asia, the ocean is their primary source of protein.  It isn’t like the world can simply cut back its protein consumption by 20 percent and solve the world’s problems.  Many people who rely on the sea for a large part of their diet are already close to the nutritional adequacy threshold.  It is lunacy to expect that we can destroy the productivity of 70 percent of the worlds resource and not have it effect our family personally, yet this is what our actions seem to indicate.  
    The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: The desire of the wicked shall perish. Psalm 112:verse 10

    • JustSayin

       The story of corporate greed, and the destruction of the US fisheries is a long one, but other nations should take note. The only reason the US continues to have seafood at all, is because the corporations moved to other seas, and without a break in production continued the same practices that decimated US coastal waters.

      The wicked are winning…

  • JustSayin

    Isn’t the flip side of resources, overpopulation?  I hear this all the time, too few resources for the ever growing population.

    Rationally, there are only a handful of solutions, but collectively humanity is like bacteria – It will keep consuming and reproducing as long as it has enough resources, and is viable swimming in its own waste products.

    Humanity is treating the entire planet like Easter Island, and some day the bulk of humanity will either be purged by a natural or man made virus, or people will need to be processed into food. Past a certain number even infinite energy

    In the future, will Tuesday be Soylent Green day? Human choices individually are intelligent, but as a group, humanity is no smarter than Rats.

    I don’t think there are two more earths in our future, that science states we will need to satisfy our rapacious greed.

    • aj

      Ok, well said, but my question for you is, how many biological children do you have if any?

      • aj

        P.S. I have one 12 yr old daughter to replace me when I die (I’m 30 now but my old man died at age 46 so… ). Baby Mama got two more kids, but their not mine. Though I must admit, I probably would have more seeds, if I hadn’t been shall we say preoccupied for a few years, a while back. Plus I’ve been a vegetarian (some fish,a lil dairy) for the last 3yrs and will be for the remainder of my life, so is my lil’ girl, so my consciense is clear.

        • aj

          I never owned a car (but fear not I can drive stick like the wind), I take the MTA, or I walk. Live in a building with about 20 other dwellings on a block a quarter mile long wiith about 500 other working-class and poor folk. None of them got cars neither. The real problem is all the affluent bumpkins way out in East Cupcake, with their 2 cars and a energy wasting McMansion, on a plot of land that used to be a local organic farm before it was subdivided for white people so they could live the “dream” while the planet and the rest of us go to hell.  So you should qualify your statement, in that, ALL BACTERIA IS NOT CREATED EQUAL!

          Your thoughts?    

          • aj

            P.S. You don’t control population like how they do it in the U.S. and China (mass homicide of your offspring through pre meditated murder a.k.a. abortion). No that’s immoral and sick. Instead population is intelligently controlled by 3 things in combination: education of girls, easy and EQUAL access to healthcare for girls (hormonal contraception, morning after pill, sexual ed, but NOT abortion), and last but not least eradicating poverty. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            MEN?  Men take responsibility for their offspring! 
               IF they were FORCED to take responsibility for ALL their offspring, regardless of excuses, BEFORE they could have ANY luxuries (tv, radio, beer, MANY more), above plain nutritious food, and there WOULD be LESS children!

          • Gregg

            It’s cool realizing the incredible difference in our lives. I live on 100 acres, part of it on a river that leads to an 800 acre lake plum full of fish. I have a car, tractor and a couple of trucks. I get much of my food from gardening and hunter friends. And fish. I don’t get into town much unless I’m working somewhere. I can’t imagine living in a building like yours. I take it you can’t pee off your front porch, that would be a non-starter for me. I’m not disparaging it all it’s just interesting and reminds me of how different conditions create different perspectives.

          • aj

            Au contraire, nature calls in the city too. We can piss off the roof…if your game. We’ll get us some 40 oz’s and you’ll be leaking like a sieve, lol.

          • Gregg

            100 years ago when I was a budding rock star, I peed of the rooftop of a hotel. I was drunk, on drugs and my toes were hanging over the edge 18 floors up. I sure was stupid back then, it’s a wonder I’m still alive with some of the idiotic things I’ve done.

          • Gregg

            I should add to allay all fears, I could not reach the pool.

          • Brett

            No need to reveal any short comings,as it were; your secret’s safe.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            LOL!  LOL!

          • Terry Tree Tree

            We share a love for the advantages of country life!
               I hope you don’t have the problems with the thieving drug-addicts, that I do!
               Imagine trying to respond to a fire, to maybe save a life, and the batteries are stolen from your fire truck?  The gas?

          • JustSayin

             I have a 15 year old car, and use it to visit relatives, and meaningful errands. I live in suburbia, but I can walk to work.

            I watched a few apple orchards in my area get mowed down for McMansion development. The area looks like hell now. As you said three cars, barking dogs, no trees of any kind, toxic lawns, etc. 

            Yes, not all are created equal. That is why I separated the actions of individuals from humanity. Individually individuals have to make decisions to survive in the frame work that the group (humanity) creates. It may be rational, irrational or forced compliance individually.

            There should be tax and other incentives to reward the good resource reducing behaviors.

          • aj

            Thnx for the response. I agree with everything you’ve said.

          • Adks12020

            I think you’re forgetting that the majority of the “bumpkins” you speak of are not at all affluent.  I grew up in the country and there are far fewer rich people than middle and low income people. 

            I have family and friends in NYC and I visit often.  I could never live there. It’s too crowded for me.  I get extremely anxious.

            Also, keep in mind that while you complain about “bumpkins and their McMansions” everything you eat, drink, use for fuel, etc. is imported into your city.  Cities also create more waste and pollution despite the availability of mass transit. 

            This bumpkin eats lots of wild game hunted from my local area, buys eggs from local farms, buys veggies from local farmers markets, and rides a bike to work.  I’m far from the only one.

            You can get off your high horse now.

          • Gregg

            Chickens are awesome. We have several who spend all day wandering around eating bugs and turning them into eggs. It helps enormously with the tics.

          • Adks12020

            It must be nice to have natural tick control.  I don’t know where you are but in my area the ticks are already much worse than last year due to the warm winter. I’ve been pulling them off my dog a few times a week and she’s treated regularly with frontline. 

          • aj

            I wasn’t talking about you. I know there is a distinction between rural people (not bumpkins) and suburban sprawl. Perhaps I should have made it more clear.

            Just like I’m sure you know there is a distinction between rich and affluent.

            Do you live in the state park?

          • Adks12020

            No I dont, although the Adirondack State Park is one of my favorite places to visit and I do go there at least once or twice a month to hike. 

            I do agree that suburban sprawl is terrible and a completely inefficient use of space.  Believe me, when I see another development pop up in what used to be a beautiful tract of land with hiking and biking trails through it my first instinct is to either vomit or want to punch someone…so we are probably similar in our views on that.

            I realized that my response was a little snarky after I posted it.  My apologies. 

          • aj

            No worries mate. I enjoy the pushback. It expands the dialogue.

          • J__o__h__n

            Cities are more efficient per capita than rural areas.

          • Adks12020

            That’s a pretty blanket statement.  Lots of cities are very inefficient.  Take most cities in the south, southwest, and west for example.  Horrible use of water, extremely high energy consumption (lots of driving and air conditioning) and terrible public transportation.  That’s not exactly efficient. 
             
            In an ideal world you would be right but unfortunately cities are developed in an ideal world.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Producing their own REAL food?

      • JustSayin

        Zero.

        It is a difficult decision either way, but I was able to avoid children. Its not really just a choice, but luck and getting to 30 with a rational partner. 

        I kinda gave my replacement to my sister, who had three. It made her feel better, and it cost me nothing.

        • aj

          You sound blessed. Forgive me, but have you ever thought about adoption? I couldn’t do it. But any affluent American couple with 2 biological kids, who consider having a third should adopt instead. It is morally and enviornmentally the appropiate thing to do.

          With the exception being someone like your sister, who has adopted your third niece or nephew, lol.

          • JustSayin

             We are too old for that now. My sister and I joke about my replacement. In some ways, he actually is very much like me, and that makes it even weirder.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Thanks for NOT having unwanted children!  The SYSTEM, and sex-slave market are FULL of them!

    • JustSayin

       Oops, that sentence got cut off… Is should be Past a certain number, (of people), even infinite energy cannot sustain the numbers.

    • rfra20

      Hey – we’re in a Kapitalist world man!  We need GROWTH every quarter, otherwise you know what happens – Recession and then heads will roll!  So just remember that the economy has to grow – forever!

  • http://ibelieveinbutter.wordpress.com/ Soli

    I’m a little perturbed that this discussion is still being framed as people having to eat “weird” things. Here in America, we’ve gotten really spoiled because we’ve been able to turn our nose up at foods the rest of the world still consumes regularly and even holds sacred. Like foraged plants, organ meats, and insects. Maybe if we weren’t so caught up with the idea of always eating the same cuts of meat and demanding a small amount of produce all year round this would not be quite the same degree of issue.

    • aj

      Absolutely, in Laos they eat primarily insects for protein. In the U.S., Americans eat steak whenever they fuckin feel like it. It’s abhorrent, my opinion

      • Gregg

         I had rattlesnake once, it tasted like chicken.

        • JustSayin

           I tried rattlesnake once as well in Arizona. But it did not taste like chicken to me. It tasted like snake, not bad at all, but different. It has a kind of delicate flavor, that needs proper preparation to bring it out.

          • Gregg

            I was just joking about the chicken part. I was just a kid and our neighbor had spent time in Nigeria. He caught killed and cooked the snake. It was huge (about 6′). This was in Florida.

          • J__o__h__n

            I’ve never tried snake.  I love eel and have wondered if they taste alike. 

          • Gregg

            I’ve had sushi eel and it isn’t like snake, but the snake was battered and fried.

      • jefe68

        Some grubs in the tropics are huge and full of protein. 

        • aj

          lol

    • JustSayin

       Those other countries wouldn’t touch a Hotdog. That’s where Americans catch up on the eating offal foods.

      • JustSayin

         …and all joking aside. Don’t think for a minute that anything goes to waste in America. Just because we don’t eat all of the parts of cattle, and other animals, does not mean we don’t use it.

        The unconsumed parts (and I don’t mean jello), are used in many products. The pink slime and tallow (lubricants) are used in asphalt and plastics to make them more durable and extraditable, the bones go into china and fertilizers, etc.

        http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2003/02/19/782866.htm

  • Gregg

    I am fascinated with farming fish and believe the industry has not reached it’s potential yet. I hope to get in on it. There is a place near me in Mountain City,TN pioneering a process called Aquaponics. One problem with fish in tanks is the build up of Nitrites in the water from waste. The water must be recirculated. Aquaponics uses the recirculated water to grow crops. Lettuce, herbs and leafy stuff works well. The plants act as a filter for the nitrites and the water is sent back to the fish. Some methods put the plants directly on the tanks with roots in the water. It’s a very closely monitored and precise process as the water is constantly morphing. At the end of the season you end up with a bunch of fish and vegies.

    • aj

      Fascinating and sounds sustainable at first glance. But its still cruel to the fish. my opinion

      • nj_v2

        Fish farming needs to be designed and regulated to be sustainable.

        Limited genetic diversity, the effects of escapedd fish and diseases on wild fish populations, accumulated waste, scarcity of feed materials are all issues that need to be dealt with.

        There are no magic bullets to our food or resource issues.

        • Gregg

          Many of those problems do not exist with recirculated aquaculture using tanks. The rest go away when the waste is utilized for crops. Farming in lakes, rivers and oceans is another issue.

          No, it’s not a magic bullet but it’s very cool and I’m going to do it.

          • nj_v2

            I was really referring to larger, commercial-scale systems. Individual, home-scale tanks are likely to avoid most of the problems, but it’s hard to imagine them being adopted by enough people to make a significant contribution to overall supply.

          • Gregg

            The larger commercial operations are indeed plagued with inherent problems, not the least of which is the environmental impact.

            You’re probably right about the overall supply. I just think the more local we can be the better. The place in TN is a research facility for a college but I can’t remember which. They are working on that very question as I recall. I’ll see if I can look it up, it’s been a few years. I’m curious.

      • Gregg

        IMHO fish are evil so I catch, filet and eat all I can. The only thing more evil is the worm. They deserve to be impaled by a hook and drowned. I’m a bad bad man.

        • aj

          Fishing for wild fish is not bad. Torturing a worm needlessly is perhaps excessive. Why don’t you try fly fishing without live bait, and let the worms alone in your vegetable garden.
           
          The cruelty is not catching and eating wild fish, its entrapping them in small pools, where they cannot swim free until the day they are filleted. But I still think its a worthy idea.

          P.S. Why are fish evil?

          • Gregg

            I’m just being dramatic AJ, fish aren’t evil but I hunt them down anyway. I fish with artificial bait all the time. I also have lots of worms in the garden. They don’t mind the hook much on the occasions I use them.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          EVIL?  Fish?  Worms?  HOW? WHY?

    • Brothersower88

       I like it!

      Yes, the other replies bring up important concerns, but there will always be concerns when new industries are starting.

    • Brett

      You know, Gregg, you’ve got a pretty good idea there (about a fishery, anyway; I don’t know much about the Aquaponics process, although I’ve been hearing the term with some regularity lately). I’ll have to read up on Aquaponics. I like the idea of symbiotic relationships in farming/business, etc.  

      When I lived in Asheville I used to shop at Earth Fare, and there was a small fishery that supplied them with freshwater fish. I can’t remember the name of the company, but I seem to remember that their tanks were maintained in rivers. 

      I remember something in the brochure about the company emphasizing how they limited the populations in each tank to minimize the spread of diseases. This seems key to me because it would cut down on the overuse of antibiotics. 

      At any rate, think niche. Supplying a quality product very few are supplying, and catering to smaller markets, seems to me like a good way to promote community on an economic level.

      While no fish quite taste as good as the ones caught in the wild, so to speak, the fish I ate from Earth Fare were heads and shoulders above the bland, commercial variety found in most grocery stores.

      One last thing before I take a little nap (a few music lessons coming before a gig later). I don’t want you to think I have any hate for you. Yes, we get heated, sometimes snarky, sometimes utilizing barbs and devices to joust, but A) I don’t even know you and B) come on, you’re a fellow musician who at least earns some of his income from playing music; you’re part of a great brethren who engages in probably the most universal of languages. This fact alone looms large on the respect scale. I also recognize your intelligence, no matter what I’ve led myself to pull from my quiver.   

  • aj

    If you eat twice as much big fish as you do sardines, herring, and anchovies, your overconsuming the oceans bounty. my opinion

    The ocean’s fish is just like the American Buffalo. Although in that case, the US government was intentionally exterminating the buffalo as fast as possible so they could force thee Americans into concentration camps. And make the land safe for white people to live the “dream.” You’ll go to hell for that one Uncle Sam. my opinion

    • TFRX

      The term “strip-mining the ocean” has been used for years by some columnists for exactly the same reason.

      It’s less visible than the plains which were crowded with bison, and then were empty, or the skies which were blacked out with passenger pigeons, but then later were not.

      That makes the collapse of fishing stocks more ignorable.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    I just hope some consideration is made towards safety and nutrition over just profit – given the record of factory farming over the past 60 years, I don’t have high hopes.

  • J__o__h__n

    We are going to run out of water before food becomes scarce.  Population needs to be controlled. 

    • aj

      Don’t be so alarmist Mr. P_r_o choice. There is infinite amounts of fresh water on the seventh continent. We just need a trans-continental straw, long enough to reach Antartica, as it’s melting glacier drips into the sea. It would be a closed-loop sustainable system for atleast a century.

      • aj

        Control population by educating girls, giving them single payer healthcare with free contraception, and eradicating poverty. NOT strangling the life of babes in the mother’s womb. Obviously you agree.

        • J__o__h__n

          Women should have the right to control their reproductive choices including abortion. 

          • Brothersower88

            Note this is a thought experiment that is not founded in my personal beliefs (devil’s advocate):

            (If a woman has the right to control her reproductive choices, shouldn’t men as well.  If a man doesn’t want to have his genetic material used to create another life, shouldn’t he have the right to terminate the pregnancy–even against the will of the mother?  Or would there have to be a lawsuit… It gets incredibly complicated.)

            Whose rights to “reproductive choice” takes precedence?

            The argument that it is a reproductive choice is extremely dangerous, and you might want to consider to what extremes such a statement could be taken to.

            There are better approaches to addressing abortion issues than oversimplifying the conversation to “reproductive choice”.

          • J__o__h__n

            Under ideal circumstances, the father should have input but ultimately it is her body and she should have sovereignty over it. 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If the ‘father’ has NO input, it’s immaculate conception?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The man CAN prevent pregnancy by him!
                MANY options, to do so!
               Should a RAPIST, or a guy that lies to get her pregnant, then ABANDONS her, have ANY say in what she does?  WHY?
               For the record, I am a white male.

          • Gregg

             They do.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          MAKING men responsible for ALL children they sire?  After Paternity Test?
             Vasectomies are FAR SAFER, Cheaper, Faster, Less Traumatic, Easier, and other advantages over Tubaligation etc…!
             I KNOW, because I HAD one, because the doctor explained this.   LATER, my wife at the time HAD her tubes tied, so I experienced the difference first hand!

          • aj

            I agree TTT.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Gov. Romney would get tough on China?
       FULL DISCLOSURE, then?
       HOW MANY U.S. companies, and JOBS, did Bain Capital destroy, and the JOBS and products were REPLACED by China?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      MY apologies!  I heard it mentioned, and thought I was on the Week In The News segment.

  • Victor Vito

    Soilent Green anyone?

  • nj_v2

    The recent Nature article 

    (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11069.html

    comparing yields from “conventional” and “organic” agriculture is likely to get mentioned.

    This shouldn’t be used to justify industrial agriculture:

    http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/05/organic-vs-conventional-agriculture-nature

    Time to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Industrial Agriculture?

    …I fear that a lot of policy makers and pundits will glance at the Nature study and conclude that at least the agricultural part of our food system isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing. They’re wrong.…

    [excerpt]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    All the discussion here appears to be about factory farming – what about local?  The addition of local to factory farming would be a big plus. It always gets dismissed as “not enough”, as if it has to be one or the other when it can be both. And not just local farms – if people spent the time, money and effort growing their own food as they do trying to maintain their lawns and other non-food greenery, it wouldn’t feed the world, but it would be a huge dent in feeding themselves.

  • Siva

     We have preferred mindless mechanization over the collective wisdom that mankind accumulated over thousands of years. As a result, food is already becoming poison contributing to chronic diseases like diabetes. Organic foods, whole foods and balanced diet are the jargons that belong to our grandmother generation. Are we going back to what our grandmothers ate ? Can we still do mechanized farming without comprising our grandmothers’ wisdom ?

  • notafeminista

    Let’s start with not growing food for fuel.

    • Brett

      I think this may very well be the first of your comments with which I can agree, at least the first to which I’ve felt compelled to reply. 

    • aj

      And drop the tariffs on Brazilian sugar cane ethanol to be used for DOT 20% ethanol per gallon of petrol regulations.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Do you eat your switchgrass raw, or do you have a recipe book of switchgrass?
         Sawdust?  The several other ethanol options to corn?
         EXTRA corn has been planted, over human and animal consumption, for ethanol production.

  • manganbr

    Much speculation here in Iowa about how the weather conditions this year may produce a bumper crop in corn. But then I have to remind myself what percentage of all this corn will actually turn into nutritious food at any point. Much of it will become ethanol, corn syrup, or, at best, cattle feed. Even in the last case, it doesn’t strike me as the most efficient infrastructure for “feeding the world,” as the agribusiness propaganda generally suggests. 

  • http://ibelieveinbutter.wordpress.com/ Soli

    And since the test tube meat got mentioned, is it really economical to be putting resources into yet another fake food source?

  • ToyYoda

    We need to  genetically engineer ourselves.  If we were half as tall, buildings can house twice as many of us for the same height.  We’d eat less.  We won’t consume as much cotton for our clothing.  We would be lighter so we’d save on gas.

    • JustSayin

       That is a very practical solution. shrink humanity by two thirds and there are the two extra earths we need.

  • ToyYoda

    Can the guest talk about genetically modified salmon that grow faster, and use less food?

  • J__o__h__n

    Isn’t tilapia unhealthy?  Aren’t most farmed fish fed garbage that diminishes their nutritional value?

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    How about permaculture, and spending all of the effort and fertilizer that is put into grooming suburban lawns into growing gardens. How about composting all of the possible food waste that is currently incinerated? There are so many better solutions that I can see before we need to go to test tube meat. Even if it tasted the same, something just seems wrong about it to me. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Food “enhancements” have been almost universally increased production, ability to hold up to transport, longer shelf life, appearance and uniformity. Nutrition has actually suffered. It’s only about profits.

  • JustSayin

    Mmmm… Hot grilled Mc’Bioreactor burger with engineered bio-fat and “special” sauce, with syntho fries, cooked in silicone oil. 

    My stomach is growling.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      …and all your organs will be groaning, too. A little, helpful advice : Just say no to the Cancer Burger!

    • TFRX

      Don’t forget the <a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/us-children-getting-majority-of-antibiotics-from-m,121/&quot;built-in health care attributes.

      • JustSayin

         Yep.  I really think we could eat veggie burgers — some of them are quite good, but still overly expensive. The protein could come from legumes.

        As to the antibiotic problem, blame the media which trundles out the same ole overuse in hospitals argument, but never mentions the real source of antibiotic resistance caused by the meat industry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia
  • Thinkin15

    I’m all for researching and developing new ways to increase the food supply and make use of desert areas, etc. It certainly makes more sense than creating a space station, on a bare rock in space, that has only traces of water in the past and no oxygen.

  • Yum

    Eat the poor.

    • Thinkin15

       The GOP is working on that right now.

      • Yum

        The Republican$ do not want to eat the poor. They just want to enslave the poor and delight at the sound of gnashing of their teeth

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Just because CAFO’s are disgusting machines based on an industrial mentality that ignored pollution, does’t mean that we should remove meat production one step further from what is natural. Returning animals to the pasture and feeding them on grass rather than corn can actually benefit the ecology by returning their fertilizer to the soil, and create healthier meat and eggs that aren’t full of steroids, antibiotics, and drugs like prozac. I can’t imagine that the CAFO system would survive at all if the price of corn was not subsidized by tax dollars.

  • Cmzampini

    What about population control? Clearly there is not enough resources to go around, why do we think that growing at this rate is sustainable? 

    • notafeminista

      Ehrlich was wrong you know.

  • Mflane

    Ultimately this is a question about controlling human population levels.  We shouldn’t be exploring new ways to expand food production but limit population growth and increase sustainability. See the book Limits to Growth by Meadows, Randers and Meadows who suggest that the world can only support about 8 billion people at a quality of life similar to that of the poorer countries in Eastern Europe.  Planning for 9 billion is a mistake.  We have to plan to reduce our population levels globally.

  • guest

    is there a reason why we are not addressing the population problem????? i would like to hear some comments on this front. more and better efforts t address family planning?

  • nj_v2

    The only alternative to industrial meat farming is not petri-dish meat.

    Agriculture, even if practiced sustainably, is already a significant step away from the hunting/foraging methods that sustained much of early human development.

    Genetic engineering, test-tube meat, etc. are giant leaps further away from what humans evolved with.

    All of these technologies will have unforeseen, unpredictable, negative consequences. As with the Faustian bargain people are willing to make with nuclear power, we will rely on increasingly esoteric technologies with unknown consequences in a vain attempt to support levels of population that are ultimately unsustainable.

    This will merely push out, but not avoid, the day when the laws of nature ultimately rebalance the unsustainable human influence on the planet.

  • Mandy

    What’s idyllic is thinking that corporations like Monsanto actually have our best interest in mind when they develop GMOs. Those of us in sustainable agriculture don’t hate or distrust science; we distrust multinational corporations.

  • Lauren

    I see your guest as no different from the Global Warming naysayers.  People will look for any excuse or way to deny what is a catastrophic problem.  Giving an inch to processed or genetically engineered food is flagrantly irresponsible and does not get us any closer to solving the real challenge of healthy people/healthy planet.

  • Andy

    I’ve been a vegetarian for ethical reasons for over 20 years. Personally, I’d be delighted if someone developed some cruelty-free lab grown chicken wings. Yum!

  • http://ibelieveinbutter.wordpress.com/ Soli

     Incidentally, purslane is delicious! I’d eat it from my own yard but I live in a condo and don’t want to eat food regularly doused with fake fertilizers.

  • troll_doll

    We’ve opened up public land for Oil Drilling. How about Organic Farming?

  • Naturalist

    Our bodies have not changed much over the centuries. Our bodies still require food that can be identified in order to absorb and assimilate properly. Our food supply has contaminated with chemicals and processed foods which is why our nation is so sick. We are not simply not getting what we need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Obese & starving to death, simultaneously. The dearth of naural, absorbable nutrients in highly processed foods leads people to eat more of the bad stuff simply to feel “well fed”. It’s a self-propagating dilemma, at this point, human-engineered to maximize financial profits while making populations sicker & thus promoting auxilliary corporations such as those invested in “health care” & pharmaceuticals. 

      • Nutricj

        I have a really uphill battle trying to convince people that obesity and diabesity are really diseases of starvation. The general population at large has a difficult time getting this definitionally.

        Starvation = body not receiving the nutrients it needs to survive.

  • Siva

    We have a food chain in place for millions of years. With bioreactor food system, the market would MASS produce the food that only sells. Doesn’t this cause ecological imbalance that is beyond human’s control ? Isn’t this a path to disaster ?

  • Badolliecat

    I was raised in Vermont.  Foraging for food was a regular.  Our most common was dandelion greens for eating and the buds for making wine.
    Recently I was looking through seeds at a store and a man asked me if I’d seen any Dandelion seeds.  I told him no and then looked things over and confirmed to him that I didn’t see any at which time he laughed at me with his friend like it was a joke.
    I didn’t realize it was a joke.  It’s part of my family’s staple and the only strange thing to me about the question was that he was looking for seed packets. I thought how it grows everywhere but then also thought he may have wanted a packet to hopefully insure that there were no pesticides polluting the store bought seeds as opposed to foraging about.

    • TFRX

      Speaking of foraging in Vermont: Happy fiddlehead season.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1280042796 Jenny Knott

    The REAL problem is that we continue to look to others, other stores, other growers, others…… in general… to supply us with food. The VIABLE answer is to forage and grow your own food! The man is right – nutritious, edible weeds grow everywhere. Yet, we fall into the spell of products like RoundUp because we want our yards to look like what marketing tells us they should look like. If we just leave it alone, we’ll have all the food we need. I mean, why are we even having this discussion??

  • ToyYoda

    Guys, check out moringa.  It’s a tree that grows in the desert.  Here’s a quote of what it has:

    Their leaves can be eaten raw, cooked, or ground into baby formula. They contain four times the calcium of milk, three times the potassium of bananas, four times the Vitamin A of carrots, seven times the Vitamin C of oranges, and about half again the protein of soybeans. The seeds can be pressed for an unsaturated fat like olive oil or crushed into a powder that purifies water: its electrolytes attract impurities and precipitate them out of the fluid. Best of all, Moringas are fast-growing and extremely drought-tolerant.

    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/12/19/111219fa_fact_bilger#ixzz1tupMb7g4 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Bioengineering is driven solely by profit. And that is the real problem with it.

  • Tamara

    I feel like the guest is completely ignoring the fact that there is huge inefficiency in the food production/distribution network. Lot’s of food is thrown away and a lot of people take in much more food than they need or use. We should seek simpler solutions to this problem before turning to genetic engineering (and that’s coming from someone with a Bachelors in Biology and a Masters in biotechnology).

  • Handsondesign

    The trouble with big ag is their reliant on making profit, not feeding people.  for example, big ag should not be able to copyright a gene!  If Monsanto wants to feed the world, they need to teach, not control.

  • Nutricj

    My ears are bleeding. Josh speaks very well, most philosophically. And I think Monsanto has its new poster boy. I am reading the book just to make sure I am understanding him correctly and I am HORRIFIED. He really needs to go back and read Steiners book on Bees from approx. 100 years ago. And then look at the bees now. Corn syrup loaded with pesticides being argued for today by mainstream ADA dietitians and defending their safety for humanity is one glaring example of this type of argument being made by this author. The 9 billion people need to learn to grow their own food and support small local framers and food raisers the whole world wide. Listen to his jargon, he is trying to confuse good science with GMO!!!! Friggen save me!!!!!! UGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!

  • Yum

    Yes, lets support the local farmers that can produce specialty cheeses, raise pigs and cows with masters degrees and grow organic arugula for the 1% that shop at Whole Paycheck and for the rest who have bought into the fallacy that we can eat local.  There is nothing growing in New England fields for more than half of the year.

    • Alan in NH

      New England used to do it on half a year’s growing season before California and Florida and Chile were discovered. They used to can and store and salt. I grew tomatoes last season that I’m still eating today. It is possible to live on mostly locally grown food even now, hardly a fallacy. And even in New England, there are a host of crops that can be grown over the cost of eight months – onions, broccoli, potatoes, spinach, brussel sprouts to name a few. And even this season can be extended with greenhouses and cold frames.

      • Yum

        yes, that was when there were 10 people in New England.

        • Alan in NH

          You have a strong penchant for hyperbole. Ten people in New England? When exactly was that? I can grow all the vegetables I need for the year in a 1600 sq. ft. garden which I can do on my 1/4 acre urban sized lot. I don’t need forty acres and a mule.  And “Whole Paycheck” foods? – clever but a little snide. I’m presuming you’re referring to the cost of locally grown food as compared to factory grown food. But the true costs of factory foods are disguised as other costs. Agri-business often gets government subsidies which help offset their expenses. Factory farm true costs show up in increased health risks and expenses from pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and the environment suffers from the same inputs. Check out a map of the dead zones in the ocean around the U.S. borders; many of those areas are at the mouths of rivers overflowing with toxic run-off from factory farms. I’m willing to bet if we took those factors into account, local produce costs would look pretty good.

  • Nutricj

    Yes, if we are going to be carnivores, we should eat the bugs.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Perhaps there is more than just our technology that will need to be changed to keep our population stable into the future. There could be outdated design points in our financial, social, and legal systems that are preventing us from being as healthy as we could be.

    • nj_v2

      http://www.foodfirst.org/en/conventional+agriculture+won%27t+end+hunger

      We already grow enough food for 10 billion people… and still can’t end hunger

      Hunger is caused by poverty and inequality, not scarcity. For the past two decades the rate of global food production has increased faster than the rate of global population growth. The world already produces more than 1 ½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. That’s enough to feed 10 billion people, the population peak we expect by 2050. But the people making less than $2 a day—most of whom are resource-poor farmers cultivating unviably small plots of land—can’t afford to buy this food.

      [excerpt]

  • Gwen in Brookline, MA

    The reason the banana could be wiped out by a single parasite is because of the 1000 varieties of bananas in the world, only ONE kind is commercially farmed. Diversity would render the banana more resilient to all sorts of parasites.

    • Alan in NH

      I agree. This holds true for the apple, the tomato, and a host of other fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, greater diversity makes factory farming more difficult, and there is huge money behind its perpetuation.

  • Screamingpalms

    Josh sounds about as informed as a third grader when it comes to GMO food. It comes down to Patents….Monsanto wants control of ALL seed. Humanitarian efforts are a perfect example of the use of GMO food….cheap, synthetic and with the potential for being used for sterilization.

    How about the statistic that we WASTE 50% of the food in the US ????

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=512892971 Lynda Blair Vernalia

    I am trying to take in all sides of this discussion, but are you taking into consideration the political culture of where food is needed most?  We can grow all the food we want, but if it does not get to the populations that need it, what good will it do in the long term?

  • Sheryl Trainor

    Why is no one discussin the very root of the problem? There are too many people on this planet! The regulation of human breeding is the only sustainable solution to this problem. Families of 3 or more children are unsustainable whether we are talking about developed or undeveloped countries.

    • guest

       i couldn’t agree more but, sadly, any discussion along these lines seems to be radioactive.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        There’s MORE POWER, and MONEY, in over-population? 
           The POWER-GREEDY rich, get more corrupt power from so MANY poor that they can abuse?

        • notafeminista

          Down to food,fuel and shelter yet?

    • notafeminista

      I think it’s a great idea Sheryl.  How do you propose to enforce it?

  • m. vincent

    monsanto has no interest in benevolently distributing their seeds; on the contrary they are gaining more control over them.GMO plants can migrate and contaminate other varieties with unexpected results. Their use has generally resulted in more use of pesticides  than previously estimated. Organic methods help conserve water with composting and help enriched overly taxed soil washed out by 5-10-5 fertilizers.
    margaret vincent

  • John in Buffalo

    We Americans are amazingly self deluding!  How “real” is the majority of food that people buy and eat today off the grocery shelves and in the fast food restaurants?

  • Shannon

    What does Josh think about agroecology? Agroecology is a framework that respects the knowledge of individuals and communities dedicated to environmental stewardship. In agroecology, the knowledge of those who work the land and protect biodiversity is the foundation for the development of local solutions to the climate, water contamination, and food production. In that sense, agroecological practices are based on the knowledge of people whose survival depends on the synergetic relationship with nature. 

    The Union of Concerned Scientists report “Failure to Yield” shows that often technologically engineered and chemically fertilized crops produce less yields. They require 18% more energy use than agroecology as well. 

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Don’t forgot that solutions will also come from chef’s around the world. The reason people are already skeptical of centralizing forces like Monsanto is because we can already see that nutrition of our foods has reduced since they have come on the scene. 

    The benefit the size of these companies gives them is in the legal realm, but a well organized public would easily outweigh them. Thus we come to the issue of our media environment, and how few hours of broadcast time are put into important topics like this. If it weren’t for NPR and PBS, would we even know that these topics were being discussed, or would we just get 45 second news clips advertising new GM foods.

  • J__o__h__n

    Food scientists brought us trans fats to replace lard.  Skepticism is merited. 

  • JustSayin

    Bio engineering meat is like having my toaster hooked up to the internet. As solution in search of a problem.  Why not formulate future foods from natural products like beans and veggies.

    Veggie burgers are quite good, and other natural solutions seem easier than building a bio-reactor industry.

  • lauren

    A steak that has the health profile of an avocado so someone doesn’t have a heart attack?  Please.  Eat an avocado.  Healthy food exists without going to extraordinary efforts to make something that is inherently unhealthy healthier. So, so wrong.

    • incarcerate corporations

       exactly, nature has all ready developed the perfect efficient product

  • Fred from Newton MA

    With gene transplant technology, it may be possible to have a “meat plant” – an idea my son suggested as a high-school student several years ago.

    • Alan in NH

      Maybe he read the book “Feed” by M.T. Anderson, published in 2002? The protagonists visit a “meat farm” composed of acres and acres of beef plants feed by blood, antibiotics, nutrients…every once in a while, however, a cow’s eye appears where muscle tissue should be.

  • Steve

    Instead of playing God by engineering food, let’s focus on population control, improving local farm development, and eating less meat.

    • notafeminista

      Right, let’s play God by controlling people.  Good thought.

  • Adrianne K

    it reaches the consumer.
    This doesn’t include the food that Americans waste at home. We don’t
    need to produce more food; we need to stop wasting the food we produce
    now.Also, GMOs often produce resistance
    in weeds in pests because they introduce a selective pressure on these
    organisms, and they readily evolve.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    I’d much rather eat bugs than en vitro meat. I have no problem with beetles used for red food coloring. I could imagine some great recipes similar to peanut brittle. 

  • aj

    Tom is funny?

    ” Whatever bugs are on the windshield?” LOL!

  • Mflane

    Man they keep avoiding the excess population issue aspect of this don’t they?  All of the problems being described in this show would simply go away.

    • notafeminista

      And what do you propose to do with “excess humans.”

      • incarcerate corporations

         a 2-child policy–for life!  encourage people not to have children.  Encourage, and distribute free condoms.  Legalize abortion in fanatical nations where it is not yet legalized/acceptable like America. 

        Sterilize rapists, molesters, and corporate criminals.  and repeat-murderers. 

        • notafeminista

          That already happens.  Perhaps you are familiar with public health agencies and that grand hero of the Left Planned Parenthood?

          Eugenics worked well for the Third Reich.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Planned Parenthood does SO MUCH for girls and women, besides the small percentage of abortions!

          • notafeminista

            Especially minority women.

  • nj_v2

    The more i listen, the less impressed i am with Mr Shonwald’s seemingly naive, blind faith in technological solutions to problems that are fundamentally social, economic, political, and, even, spiritual.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    “Eat each other?” Dead silence. Tom, you’re as funny as Colbert when you wanna be! Love this show. It keeps on getting better.

  • Desiree

    The discussion focusing on protein in a diet is under the assumption that meat is the only way for humans to get enough high quality protein. This is a false perception perpetuated by industry. Vegetables, legumes & whole grains have plenty of protein even for children who are growing rapidly.  For example, breast milk has 5% protein & is an ideal food for a rapidly growing human. So why do we need more than 10% protein ever in our diets? Industry is the only explanation.

  • Adrianne in Ventura, CA

    Sorry, the app cut me off.  Half the food harvested from
    the ground in the US is wasted before it reaches the consumer. This
    doesn’t include the food that Americans waste at home. We don’t need to
    produce more food; we need to stop wasting the food we produce now.

    • elizabeth Regina

      Also Americans load their plates and dump what they cannot eat . It is given no thought.
      Get the steak – appreciate an animal was killed to satisfy one, eat , don’t waste.
      I am a citizen here , yet I dislike this arrogance and attitude.
      You the owners of the planet screw it  , rape it with out any regard. I can’t change it.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        We CAN change it!   DON’T GIVE UP!  If you change 1 attitude, they may change 1 or MORE!

    • incarcerate corporations

       Exactly–simple and brilliant!  Add this too a green community system with green roofs, gardens instead of lawns, green walls, potted gardens…trains–no trucking…no war…organics…there is no problem.  the problem is Monsanto, the problem is Cheny an blackwater and war-mongers.  The problem is fossil fuels.  the problem is agribusiness.  the problem is corporation–Americans processed diet, processed life–the hive!  the mindless borg!

  • Cmzampini

    Food will become a class issue, in this case, if population is not controlled. The rich will eat great, good luck if you’re poor…

    • Nutricj

      That’s already happening with food. And it definitely is already happening with clean water, watch FLOW.

    • notafeminista

      Always someone else’s fault isn’t it.

  • Tyler Bolles

    On insects:
    Middlebury College students developing bars from grasshoppers: “Bumu’s objective is to research and develop a process for making a
    highly nutritious supplement out of insects to sell to international aid
    organizations like World Food Project and USAID.
    http://blogs.middlebury.edu/middstart/2012/04/04/bumu/

  • J__o__h__n

    Why are we wasting agricultural resources growing Winston Flowers instead of food?

    • Gregg

      There is a movement around here to plant only fruit or nut bearing trees (as opposed to ornamentals) in any public facility. Makes sense to me.

      • aj

        Sounds like heaven.

      • J__o__h__n

        WBUR has annoying fundraising around Mother’s Day and Valentines Day hawking these flowers.  It was a reference to that. 

        That is just asking for lawsuits when people start climbing trees to get their free nuts.

        • Gregg

          I don’t know maybe but it makes sense to me to plant food. I try and plant a few tees every year.

        • notafeminista

          Not to mention lawsuits generated by people falling out of trees.

          • Gregg

            Subtle but deep. heh

        • aj

          From Johnny Appleseed to John Edwards the trial lawyer. Are going backwards or is it just me?

          • aj

            -Are we going-

        • incarcerate corporations

           post a sign–climb at your own risk–dont climb the trees–volunteers only should pick high fruit–and brought to local community market–for dirt cheap or even free.

    • Alan in NH

      …or tobacco?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Got to make BIG MONEY, killing people with a Slow, Painful, NASTY death?
           Each person, ask yourself ‘How many drug-addicts do you know, that DON’T use tobbacco?’

  • Nutricj

    But we don’t eat the flippen bag Josh! Seriously????

  • Ignacio Villa

    Let´s use good science to help farmers the world over to produce better and more abundant food. Good science is the kind that copies what nature has already figured out. Let´s say no to bad science, such as that used by Monsanto to promote the used of its chemicals and to control a common good (genetic material) for its own profit.

  • mghanauer

    Wouldn’t it be so much better to stop population growth rather than endure the many many problems and loss of personal freedoms (including what we eat) associated with trying to support still more people? The emphasis is so backwards.

    Check out Growthbusters.org for a wonderful new film that approaches the problem from a quality-of-life perspective.

  • http://twitter.com/Secretoriginz Don

    This piece had all the objectivity of an infomercial. Either that or the host is just criminally uninformed to be conducting an interview on this topic. Lobbing softball questions one after the other up. This is what happens when you assume that there being two sides to an issue equates to both sides being equally right. There is SO much about the background of GMOs that wasnt even hinted at in this piece. I can’t remember the last time I was this disgusted with a piece of “journalism”.

  • Mike

    You can’t expect to effectively regulate human reproduction. That’s like expecting me to get a carbon credit every time I use my fireplace. It’s just not feasible from an enforcement perspective. We need a cultural shift combined with appropriately-applied technology. De-centralization is the only way we’re going to get a robust economy.

  • Chris

    Anyone who claims to pursue a vegan or vegetarian diet, yet eats fish or bugs, is a hypocrite.  Just because grasshoppers aren’t as cuddly or cute as cows doesn’t mean their life is any less meaningful.

    • Gregg

       Oh yes it does.

    • jefe68

      Your kidding, right? Anyone eating bugs or fish is a hypocrite. How about eating bug eating fish…
      Grasshoppers are pests by the way. Their cousins the locusts will destroy acres of crops in a few hours.

  • elizabeth Regina

    Nothing is absolute. Man had his ideas.
     GM may be needed, But Monsanto is lining the pockets of the congress. Congress is not protecting the citizens, or even their progeny.

    We measure everything in terms of quantity ,  We want a lot of everything. In the game of aquuring so much , We have no time to think. We are in the game 24X 7.
    Politicians are absolutely greedy. corporations use no brians , they want to exponentially make more money .

    worst in this country is journalist are very greedy and , very few has a passion .
    Jouranlism is a million dollar job , call it spin milling.

    Tom is not bad. But TV, even PBS is short sighted.

    This counry is dragging humanity towrds its grave because of greed. also lack of respect for non europeans .
    We are all human. God was invented by man .
    God has made this planet a man forsaken place.
     Try to be realists and good humans. Shed greed.
    Practice birth control .
    Quality matters.
    Share
    Don’t think non europeans have no brains.

    • notafeminista

      Yeah but you run into the whole enforcement problem. What if people refuse to follow your rules? 

      It ain’t this country with the population explosion.

      • aj

        Keep in mind, we are 5% of population using 25% of energy and resources.

        • notafeminista

          Doesn’t answer the question.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ‘Conservative’ ‘Capitalists’ are trying to reduce China’s population, by stimulating a mad rush to production, causing population-killing and maiming pollution, as happened in the U.S. 1820-1970?

          • notafeminista

            I have no idea what you are talking about.  China instituted a one child policy years ago.  Girl children are aborted or thrown away (sometimes literally as we saw earlier in the year) routinely.  What does that have to do with any tenet of capitalism?

            Don’t you read?  It’s not the capitalists who want to reduce, recycle and re-use.

  • elizabeth Regina

    Regardless of what the inteligent design creatures say. Huaman species or even life for that matter emerged by an accident.
    We evolved by many things that happened over many millions of years. Time scales – million years - is not a huamn life span.
    Self righteoues right wing guys were not even monkeys ,
    So , we need to take things slow . accept our limited knowledge.
    take it easy.
    Don’t indulge in food , eat less, control pleasures .
    Too much sex , too many children , NBC show case this family with 19 kids .
    Crazy values. While pointing fingers at non europeans.
    Aussie aboriginies have been the oldest surviving civilization.
    Our greed is destroying all.
    We have killed aussie aborigins .
    We are too fast , non thinking greed driven society.
    Genetic Engineering is good , but do it slow.

    Give up lying.
    Our people has their Aunt in heaven they invented , She/it is our kind so we assume this planet is ours to spoil.

    GOD is the main problem that has made this planet a man forsaken place.
     

    • Gregg

      That’s one theory.

    • UpRoarLion

      Anyone who actually studies nature, anatomy, the cycles of life, seasons, etc. and still thinks it happened by accident is absolute moron.

      • incarcerate corporations

         thats debatable.  Anyone who thinks Zeus created it is an absolute moron!

    • Doubting Thomas

       Feeding the troll!

      First off, anyone who says that evolution is more than a likely hypothesis isn’t thinking objectively. If you can’t use the scientific method to prove through repeatable experiments that something is worthy of being called a theory, then you can’t claim it to be so.

      Is evolution the most likely way things came to be? Probably. I certainly think so. But why on earth would the answer to a “how” question affect the “why’ question? It’s like trying to use perpendicular force vectors on each other; a waste of time.

      Second off… you know atheists have killed far more people than any other faith religion combined, right? In the past hundred years alone through Mao, Stalin and Hitler, we’re up to at least 300 million.

      Yes, atheism is a faith- it relies on the use of a logical impossibility, that God doesn’t exist. Ever tried proving the null hypothesis about anything? It requires exploring every possible potentiality, and certifying them to be false. If you can, then you deserve your nobel prize right away. Logical atheists eventually admit that they are technically agnostics. I don’t personally care, unless someone tries to claim that their faith is somehow more “logical” than mine, when the definition of faith itself requires that it be based on the unprovable.

      But atheist, christian, muslim, buddhist, or any other faith: If it doesn’t affect how you live, it doesn’t matter at all what you believe. You may as well claim to be a sparrow, for all the good it does.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        THANK YOU! 
           Faith is Belief, NOT proof!

        MANY ‘Believers’, convince others of their ‘belief’, to GAIN POWER, personally!
           Treat others as you want to be treated, covers almost ALL major religious teachings, AND the BEST of Civil Laws!

  • Gregg

    There’s no shortage of cows or pigs. Chickens a’plenty. Thanks to good management in most places the woods are full of deer and the lakes –  fish and ducks. If you think about it, the best way to preserve an abundance of food, meat in particular, is to eat it.

    • Wbsurfver

       not only that but there is an almost endless supply of land that is currently not used for anything except to grow yards, lots of weeds and such. There are permaculture methods where you can grow edible perennials of one kind or another, fruit trees and so on. Some of these are not your typical plants. Groundnuts for instance are highly nutritious potato like plant that was eaten a great deal by the pilgrims, early colonists, and native americans. It can be easily grown in many areas and if prepared in the right way it tastes very good.Jerusalem artichokes is another one. shitake mushrooms can be grown on logs. 

  • George Weber

    Soylent Green is the future of food…

  • ESG

    I am not a particularly religious person, but I OUR CREATOR put us here on this planet with everything we need to support us- that is, if WE do not destroy it.

    We have a symbiotic relationship w/our food that has developed over EONS.  We have NO IDEA what the result of GMO’s will be, now that scientists have decided to start playing God & splicing mouse genes into tomatoes. 

    If Mr. Schonfeld wants to make good use of SCIENCE- let him apply it to the discovery of better and more efficient ways of cultivation, and discovering new varieties of nutritious plants.

    These so-called “scientists” will not help humanity- they seem hell bent on destroying it.

    • Doubting Thomas

       As a scientist (albeit a physicist, so not quite my field), I agree. The kind that would manipulate things without first understanding them are the same kind of people, albeit in different professions, who exacerbated a housing bust into the financial crisis four years ago. God gave us minds because he wanted us to understand, appreciate and have a healthy respect for the world He created.

      (Disclaimer- not a genetic engineer, just somewhat familiar with molecular biology from relevant research) GMO food could theoretically work out quite well, but to make sure it is completely safe, it needs to be tested for, at minimum, one lifecycle of the host. This is potentially more dangerous than if a Class-3 medical device were to malfunction, because worst-case-scenario is that something gets spread amongst the population. Or even worse, if a “genetic time bomb” of sorts, pieces of something that when combined could be harmful, are spread and indeed do at some point combine, unleashing some fun new problems.

      This means that making sure it is safe enough for consumption would take… at least 80 years. Which company that cares about its bottom line is going to do this again?

  • Dee

    Many alternative pathways to scientifically savvy ecological agriculture are emerging. Please look into some of these important options for developing naturally nutrient sufficient foods and re-localizing agriculture on small scale systems that will reduce ‘food mileage’ and apply to local climate, flora and fauna. Earth is filled with diversity we need all sorts of living organisms to create cycles of growth, decay and digestion, and new life!

    http://highbrixgardens.com/home-highbrixgardens.html
    http://www.fungi.com/mycotech/mycova.html
    http://www.biochar-international.org/research/education
    http://remineralize.org/
    http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/
    https://www.biodynamics.com/biodynamics
    http://growingsmallfarms.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/new-vermiculture-technology-book/

    Get out of the test tubes and care for the EARTH she is a living organism needing our stewardship… we can restore and re-invent hands on agriculture, create wonderful ‘jobs’, recycle our food/human wastes, giving back to Mother Earth… then she will feed us

  • John Myers

    Our carbohydrate-rich environment is the cause of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and probably Azlheimer’s disease.
    Triglyerides too high? Cut out the bread.
    The author didn’t dig very deep. Saturated fat in the diet is not the problem. It’s the sugar and refined flour.

    • Doubting Thomas

       I was going to mention this too actually- whole grain carbs are actually okay, provided you burn them off. If you have a desk job, probably not a good idea to have too many, even if you exercise a good deal.

  • Jeff Fowler

    Need to read the book but Josh’s ideas seem to conflict with many of our government policies that protect big agri-business. “It shouldn’t be that way” Josh says, but it IS that way. Everyone knows FDA/USDA are bought-organizations. I believe we’ll see a major food crisis in the next 10 years, leading to a revolt of significant proportions before anything will be done.

  • U.S. Vet.

    With a gallon of gas going up more than two dollars since Obama became President, the poor in the U.S. are having a much harder time avoiding hunger.

    • incarcerate corporations

       obama has nothign to do with it.  The oil companies are the biggest institutins in the world–hail bush!  hail Cheney!  The system is the crisis!  Dont blame the puppet!  Blame you gods Cheney and Bush I, II, and Reagan.  Blame your corporate government.  You dont need oil.  There is another way.  Anyone who says the tech is not there–is a liar and speaking for big oil, big coal. 

      You want to bring down the price of your precious oil-get active and support green technology–you are addicted to lies.

      • U.S. Vet.

        “Obama had nothing to do with it”?

        OBAMA BIGGEST RECIPIENT OF BP CASH
        http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/36783.html

        Oh, looks like your left-wing hero (Obama) has been exposed for the two-faced fraud that he really is.

        But feel free to keep swallowing Obama’s lies, at least your good for something.

        • Doubting Thomas

           Isn’t it sad that while Obama’s not the man we thought he was when elected, that the alternatives are so mortifying it’s downright scary? And Obama’s the fool who kept a few of the same people who facilitated the bailouts just three months before he assumed office.

          Romney is nothing more than a face to the very people who nearly brought our economy to its knees four years ago. I’ll enjoy a snowcone in hell before I trust their kind with the reigns of power again.

          tl;dr? Watch the South Park episode “Douche and Turd”.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      HOW MANY TIMES did the price of a gallon of gas, diesel, motor oil go DOWN, for over three years, during the 8 years of ‘W’ and his oil cronies?
         ‘W’ campaigned that he would make the Budget Surplus BIGGER!  DID he?
         Make us SAFER, after ‘W’ took office?
         Aren’t ‘W’, and his oil cronies RICHER?  Compared to blue-collar workers?

      • U.S. Vet.

        I don’t know why you respond to me.

        I never read the pro-Obama dribble that you ‘write”.

      • notafeminista

        President Obama won.

  • incarcerate corporations

    We don’t need to starve, nor do we need frankenfoods.  To hell with Monsanto–the evil kingdom.  We need to learn the seasons, cycles of nature, gardening.  We need to re-think our communities and ours systems.  All homes should be green designed to recycle energy with gardens–potted plants, trellis up the walls–green walls–inside, outside, green roofs–carrots on the roof…solar panels.  Windmills.  I don’t see why we have to have stark white modern mills either, if you don’t like them–we can be aesthetic–we can build graceful windmills of stone or brick and elegant sails or something out of ancient Sweden.

    Every urban home should have a lot.  Every community a csa.  Every corporate & government building designed and enhanced with gardens–feed themselves.  each building an internal energy grid–self-sufficient.

    Cows and meat are an enormous waste–bad for the environment, bad for the climate and partially responsible for inequality and starvation.  A vegetarian diet is more healthy, cancer-preventing, disease-preventing, and uses less energy and land.  Factory farming–agri-business–huge corporate monolithic farms are the problem–the disaster–the crisis!  And unsustainable–stupid!

    greenhouses in every home, every building. No need for barren grass lawns–plant food!  it would be a fruitful beautiful neighborhood and bring communities together–as gardening is inherently communal and cooperative.   We could live in a garden of Eden.  Instead you choose to hail trademarks!

    Suburban life is also unsustainable.  trucking is unsustainable–build Eco-environments on rail systems for transport and freight. 

    There is no reason, absolutely no reason anyone has to starve or go without healthy choices.  We could save the environment, the planet–the climate–mental health, ailments that plague us, and food crisis in one clean swoop.

    This is more fear-mongering–sponsored by and brought to you buy franken-freaks like Monsanto, Cargill, the Gates Foundation…hogwash!  Bollocks!  There is no need for GMO–repeat–NO NEED!

    How much more corporate fodder can NPR stuff down our throat?!

    Capitalism (as we know it) is the crisis!   Re-think our communities.  Step out of the system–that has failed you–and hates you–and take action.  Build Eco-communities and tell Monsanto and big business to go to hell–they are not welcome.  Create your own banking/monetary system!  Drive out the robber barons and fascist corporate sponsored  FBI and CIA military complex that is your government.  

    Lower the US flag–burn it–and plant a garden and windmill.
    Your tech-toys are an opiate for the masses–you are a slave.  You don’t have to be cyborg–live life,breathe air, have a chat face to face, get on your bicycle and travel this broad land from sea to shining sea!

    it is our land–not Monsanto or Backwater!  if they come in your community–make a citizens arrest and lose the key!

  • incarcerate corporations

    Sub-Saharan africa?!  many of these people are starving–famine is almost synonymous with Africa and you want to take more of their food and bring it to the wealthy elite in the west?  Are you evil?

  • incarcerate corporations

    aqua-culture–fish in vats–factory fishing– requires a tremendous amount of hormones and anti-bodies.  This boy is a fool!  Where is the passionate critique of this propaganda?

  • incarcerate corporations

    Josh schonwald is a liar and a puppet.  Factory-farming is growing meat indoors.  He wants to create flesh in a test tube without a living body–and sell it?  This is about money folks–big corporations controlling your food.  Do you want to be more dependent on corporations. more than you are now?  Completely dependent on factory-farms–with franken-flesh grown on hooks?  He who controls the food controls the world–watch out for gates!

    I feel so sick listeing to this crap!  This boy is pathetic!!  this is evil folks–listen to what he is saying–and think about the industry, the money, the power behind it.

    • Doubting Thomas

       It is a sad tradeoff, isn’t it. We need population controls on our planet now, at least for some countries (US will in fifty years or so). The only way around this would be to grow food in methods such as described in the article. But that would also be giving over more power to the very same groups of people that have proven to be incredibly untrustworthy many, many times in the past.

      I wish I had a better response than posing the problem, and a solution that probably won’t be viable for fifty or more years- extraterrestrial colonies, be they space or on Mars. Otherwise, we need to solve the population problem, and all be in charge of our own food supply. Or get people in charge of it that we can actually trust. The “for-profit” motive only works for people who are incorruptible, and there’s only been one of those so far.

      On the bright side, we’ll all get to see Him if this works out as it is on track to now!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        DEATH is your BRIGHT side?
         
        You KNOW you are in this life, with its pleasures and pains! 
           You BELIEVE there is an Afterlife.  Or NOT?

           There ARE solutions to almost ALL problems here on Earth!   Some ‘solutions’, which give POWER to certain people, or groups, ENRICH those groups, and make the problems WORSE!

  • incarcerate corporations

    The discussion here under comments is far more honest and informative than Ashbrook’s show or guest–once again.

  • Jack Simmons

    Hi guys. I’m a new listener and I love your show. I wondered if you had discussed what is going on with Kodak. I grew up with their products and services as a part of my life and they were influential in photography becoming my vocation and my joy. They even made some decent digital cameras after the transition from film photography to digital. And I always used The Kodak Gallery for my on line printing and was always impressed with the quality. That  is gone soon also and has been sold to Shutterfly. So…Goodbye Kodak, alas we knew you well.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      CEOs, and other executives, that probably got ‘Performance BONE-USes, made some BAD mistakes, and ruined the company!

  • Guest

    We need to stop eating ALL animal-based foods. Direct manufacture of proteins from plant material or even in a “test-tube” would be far more preferable to raising animals both from an efficiency, energy and water AND for ethical reasons. I think if we want we can get to a point of producing healthy,  naturally-based, food products that can fool most “meat eaters” within 1-2 decades (if we try hard enough). Eating meat is SOoooo 19th/20th century! It takes 20,000 gallons of clean water to raise ONE cow! No way can we feed the world and even have enough water too. Besides, in 100-200 hundred years we will think that eating “animals” is just plain as disgusting as “eating people”. Want to become known as having been one of “those animal eaters”?

    • notafeminista

      Ehrlich was wrong, you know.

  • Pingback: “When I get home, I’m making waffles!” | runningonjava

  • zoomia

    I am way behind on this because I listen to onpoint as a podcast. And even though I listened to this a couple of days ago, I am soooo STEAMED by this.

    First, a person who writes about food not knowing the conflicting science about the liquid hypothesis and gleefully saying, “We could have steak with the nutritional profile of an avocado”–it’s appalling. Just eat a freaking avocado. Which leads to …

    Second, have we not learned any lessons from what’s going on in the seed world? This is the natural extension of that, powered by agribusiness.

    Third, let’s actually look at how much food goes to waste in this country, about half by some estimates. Maybe let’s try not wasting food? How about eating organ meats before making test tube muscle meats?

    Fourth, let’s look at how much LAND goes to waste. I live in Seattle, I have chickens and ducks for eggs, am raising meat birds, and am thinking about getting rabbits. I do this on our plot, and on neighbors’ land that goes unused. That’s most of the animal protein for a year for us and enough to share with neighbors, all on land that would otherwise just lie there going to weed. We won’t even talk about the veggie gardens, which is amended with chicken manure compost, from my chickens. Walk around your neighborhood–even in the city, you’ll see empty plots that are being used for nothing.

    The problem is not that there won’t be enough food. The problem is that we are disconnected from the food chain because of agribusiness, which controls pretty much everything around the world. You want to talk about feeding all of Africa? How about supporting local farmers, saying NO to genetically modified seed that has been patented. This is just the next step.

    Tom, I love your show. But I did not love this guest.

  • Eternalist

    Most commenters are idealistic and ignorant..they really do not know how many people need to be fed. There is not enough land for everyone to eat organic, on-farm raised food products. That is a luxury.

     Furthermore, transgenics can be perfectly fine. In fact, “traditional corn” is freakishly large compared to 100 years ago. It used to be called teosinte, but has been “naturally bred” to create todays large corn grain – by this they actually mean exposing DNA to radiation and then breeding the mutants. 

    The unfortunate reality is that the carrying capacity of the Earth  for humans has been exceeded….and as for the “don’t eat animals” BS, we are omnivores for a reason. If you want to return to conventional farming then kill off a good chunk of the population…otherwise do your own research and stop listening to pseudo-green thinking. 

  • Pingback: PRK On The Air: Calls For Science And Manure | WBUR

  • Pingback: Care For Some Chianti With Your Cricket? Why We Should Eat Bugs | Cognoscenti

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 23, 2014
In this Saturday, July 12, 2014, photo, migrants walk along train tracks and boxcars after getting off a train during their journey toward the US-Mexico border, in Ixtepec, southern Mexico. (AP)

Crisis at the US border. What do Latinos on this side of the border have to say? We’ll ask our special roundtable.

Jul 23, 2014
Actor Wallace Shawn attends special screening of "Turks and Caicos" hosted by Vogue and The Cinema Society at the Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, April 7, 2014 in New York.  (AP)

From “The Princess Bride” to “My Dinner with Andre “and “A Master Builder,” actor and writer Wallace Shawn joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jul 22, 2014
Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka "Elephant Bill," is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke's new book, "Elephant Company." (Courtesy Random House)

We’ll travel to the jungles of Burma for the remarkable true story of Billy Williams—aka “the elephant whisperer”—and his World War II heroism.

 
Jul 22, 2014
Smoke rises after an Israeli shelling at the Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza City, Monday, July 21, 2014. The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip signaled Monday that the Islamic militant group will not agree to an unconditional cease-fire with Israel, while Israel's defense minister pledged to keep fighting "as long as necessary," raising new doubt about the highest-level mediation mission in two weeks. (AP)

The escalated Gaza offensive. We’ll get the views from both sides and the latest developments.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: July 11, 2014
Friday, Jul 11, 2014

As we prepare for a week of rebroadcasts, we reflect on Facebook posts, misplaced comments and the magic of @ mentions. Internet, ASSEMBLE!

More »
Comment
 
Two Former Senators, One Fix For US Democracy?
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

Former US Senators Tom Daschle and Olympia Snowe joined us today with a few fixes for American political inaction.

More »
Comment
 
Future Radio Interns Of America: On Point Wants YOU!
Thursday, Jul 10, 2014

On Point needs interns for the fall. Could YOU be one of them?

More »
2 Comments