Terry D. Etherton
Scientists at Stanford University have published provocative new findings that agriculture’s “Green Revolution” has greatly reduced forest clear-cutting and resulting climate-warming emissions. This is a remarkable (but not unexpected) benefit of contemporary production agriculture, and the application of technologies (and biotechnologies) that have boosted efficiency of food production. Because agricultural “advancements” like fertilizers and genetically engineered crops have boosted yields, there has been less need to slash and burn for additional fields, and this has meant fewer carbon emissions, the report says. The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Mitigation by Agricultural Intensification,” was published in the June 29 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the rest of this entry »
Emeritus Professor of Animal and Food Science
Penn State University
Dr. Henning had a letter posted in USA Today combating myths about beef and global warming.
Here is Dr. Henning’s letter. Read the rest of this entry »
Terry D. Etherton
The United Nations (UN) Food Summit (High-Level Conference on World Food Security), held in Rome in early June, 2008, was designed to address food security issues in the face of soaring food prices (see Figure below), and the growing challenges associated with rising energy costs, and how this has impacted food prices and food security.
The increase in food prices is astounding! For example, during the early part of 2008, nominal prices of all major food commodities reached their highest levels in the past 50 years. For the first time, the annual global food import bill will surpass $1trillion (FAO, Food Outlook, June 2008)! Read the rest of this entry »
Jörn P. W. Scharlemann and William F. Laurance
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Balbao, Ancon, Panama
(Published in Science 319:43-44, 2008)
Global warming and escalating petroleum costs are creating an urgent need to find ecologically friendly fuels. Biofuels–such as ethanol from corn (maize) and sugarcane–have been increasingly heralded as a possible savior (1, 2). But others have argued that biofuels will consume vast swaths of farmland and native habitats, drive up food prices, and result in little reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions (3-5). An innovative study by Zah et al. (6), commissioned by the Swiss government, could help to resolve this debate by providing a detailed assessment of the environmental costs and benefits of different transport biofuels. Read the rest of this entry »