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

By David A. Cleveland

This booklet is an interdisciplinary primer on serious considering and potent motion for the way forward for our worldwide agrifood procedure, in keeping with an figuring out of the system’s organic and sociocultural roots. Key elements of the e-book are a radical research of the assumptions underlying diversified views on difficulties relating to nutrition and agriculture worldwide and a dialogue of other recommendations. David Cleveland argues that combining chosen features of small-scale conventional agriculture with glossy clinical agriculture can assist stability our organic want for meals with its environmental impact—and proceed to satisfy cultural, social, and mental wishes with regards to food.

Balancing on a Planet relies on Cleveland’s learn and interesting educating approximately meals and agriculture for greater than 3 a long time. it's a device to assist scholars, school, researchers, and readers comprehend debates in regards to the present drawback and possible choices for the long run.

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Sample text

4. THE EARTH’S HUMAN CARRYING CAPACITY We have seen that we humans have a remarkable biological potential for reproducing ourselves and an equally remarkable potential for controlling the environment to support this growth. We have also seen that the potential for growth is limited—but if we are to use our cognitive abilities to anticipate and adapt to these limits, we also have to understand a bit more about those limits. In this section we focus on human carrying capacity as the constraint to population growth and other aspects of human impact, both locally and globally.

In chapter 9 I examine what has become the most popular alternative to the problems caused by the mainstream globalized and industrial agrifood system—grassroots localization. In the industrial world, the push for localization seeks to reshape the economic, social, and physical infrastructure of agrifood systems; in the Third World, it seeks to conserve and improve what remains of local agrifood systems. Localization is a critical case study of how different values and goals for the future can lead to very different interpretations and actions.

We need to think critically, holistically, systemically, and compassionately. And we need to get to work right away. 4. THE LAYOUT OF THIS BOOK To address my goals, I have organized BOP into two parts. In part 1, Agrifood Systems History and Future, I focus on the food demand-supply problem, the underlying factors that drive our past and current agrifood crises and successes, and how basic concepts such as sustainability can be useful tools for understanding those factors and moving toward a better 6 Introduction future.

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