Summer times = happy times! Also in your book?
Let’s see what we are reading on the terrace with an iced coffee in hand:
What is Organic? You might be surprised. This is a depressing reminder that labels are not the be-all and end-all of things, as the ASPCA highlights that American consumers assume organic regulations make much higher demands in the realms of animal welfare than is actually the case.
There is a new plan to rescue fish populations in the open – to make all international waters a sanctuary where fishing is not allowed. Oh, what a dream come true, but as an international relations major I can tell you that is very unlikely to happen.
The Next Breadbasket? is a great feature by National Geographic on the land grabs of fertile soil currently going on in Africa.
The continent is emerging as a laboratory for testing new approaches to boosting food production. If sub-Saharan African farmers can raise their yields to even two tons of grain per acre using existing technology—a fourfold increase and still a tall order—some experts believe they could not only better feed themselves but actually export food, earning much needed cash and helping to feed the world as well. […] But the thorniest question is, Who will do the farming in Africa’s future? Will it be poor farmers like Chirime working one-acre plots, who make up roughly 70 percent of the continent’s labor force? Or will it be giant corporations like Wanbao, operating industrial farms modeled on those of the American Midwest?
And finally, this is a great commentary on the intellectual and educational bias that is threatening to perpetuate our current unsustainable farming model into the next generation. Just read the opening paragraph:
I stood at the front of the classroom, a veteran of 25 years of teaching at one of the nation’s front-line agricultural institutions, and I was trying hard not to show my disbelief. The young man who had just spoken was a superstar student and, like most agriculture students in Iowa, came from a farm. He’d just heard a team of fellow students report on the grass-fed beef system of the Argentine pampas, and his first reaction was to ask: “Cattle can really eat grass?” I had to simultaneously process how to handle the educational situation while absorbing the fact that this college senior was weeks from graduating with a degree in agronomy and our curriculum had clearly failed him.
P.S. The situation may have been a decade ago, but I can assure you that at least in agricultural economics, not that much has changed.
What are you reading right now?